Redfall Review: Dishonors Arkane’s Legacy!

There are some questionable design decisions in Redfall, a mishmash of the half-baked famed Arkane system. I like video games made by Arkane Studios, with Dishonored changing into a title I revisit now and again for its distinctive emergent gameplay. And that is what compelled me to strive Redfall. In spite of everything, it’s the … The post Redfall Review: Dishonors Arkane’s Legacy! appeared first on Ferdja.

May 25, 2023 - 14:00
Redfall Review: Dishonors Arkane’s Legacy!

There are some questionable design decisions in Redfall, a mishmash of the half-baked famed Arkane system. I like video games made by Arkane Studios, with Dishonored changing into a title I revisit now and again for its distinctive emergent gameplay. And that is what compelled me to strive Redfall. In spite of everything, it’s the Austin-based studio liable for creating 2017’s Prey (which it’s best to play if you happen to haven’t). Sadly, Redfall falls in need of what it intends to be as a result of it feels just like the studio is attempting to fulfill sure checkmarks.

Because of a evaluation code offered by the oldsters at Nvidia, I’ve been taking part in Redfall even previous to its launch. Although the sport launched on 2nd Might, I wasn’t fairly able to ship my ideas as I used to be headway by way of the gameplay. Whereas the start felt promising, the sport grew to become a boring, drab, and tedious funding as time handed. Nonetheless, not the whole lot is disappointing on this sport, and a few parts are price fawning over, albeit only a few. Why do I believe that? Properly, hold studying to know my ideas on the primary sport revealed by Bethesda underneath Xbox management.

Redfall’s Setting: The Plotline

A lot of the principle story of Redfall is fairly easy and doesn’t require you to undergo a wiki. The story takes place in a fictional island city of Redfall, Massachusetts, which has a supernatural outbreak. Reduce off from the remainder of America (and with the solar blocked), Vampires and their worshipping cultists overrun the city. After a deliberate escape from the island will get awry due to vampire gods, 4 characters take the duty to chunk again on the hostile forces, taking again Redfall.

Redfall offers gamers the choice to choose one of many 4 characters to play by way of the sport. The self-proclaimed “Cryptid Hunter” Devinder Crousley, college scholar Layla Ellison, Redfall Coast Guard Remi De La Rosa, and Bellwether soldier Jacob Boyer. Every of those characters has distinctive talents and a backstory for a way they gained their capability. Gamers can learn these when deciding on a personality, however they’re by no means mirrored within the sport’s cutscenes.

For instance, Layla acquired her talents after volunteering for Aevum Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical firm in Redfall liable for the vampire downside. Equally, Jacob acquired his talents after Miss Whisper, a vampire god, compelled her on him.


Moreover, each single character within the sport, together with the NPCs, is voice-acted, although with restricted selection. Nonetheless, giving voices to every character helps with setting their personalities aside. That is one thing Arkane is understood for from their previous titles, and so they proceed that with Redfall.

Redfall additionally returns with the signature Arkane artwork design now we have seen in numerous titles by the studio, nevertheless it’s probably not there and appears a little bit dated. Water-color cell-shaded design returns, and whereas the players are hell-bent on welcoming the visually sensible however uninspired design, this artwork design isn’t too boring for me. All through my playthrough, the city radiated that cozy island city really feel, and kudos to the group for pulling that off.

Redfall: Preliminary Gameplay Expertise

Whereas artwork design and characters are price fawning over, gameplay is essentially the most essential side. Redfall fumbles on this division, and it fumbles badly. For starters, this sport doesn’t observe the normal immersive sim design that previous Arkane video games are well-known for, together with Deathloop. The characters don’t have bazillion talents for artistic gameplay. As an alternative, they’ve solely three talents, distinct throughout all 4 characters.

What Arkane did with this sport is that they included the player-driven gameplay to the co-op expertise. Each capability synergizes with one another, and the player-driven gameplay begins exhibiting up. For instance, Devinder’s final Blacklight could be modified with Remi’s Bribone bot and C4 cost, taking out a number of petrified vampires within the course of. Equally, Jacob’s cloaking capability might help them sneak round difficult conditions. It’s these small little issues that make Redfall a worthwhile expertise, however solely when you’re taking part in in co-op. And that’s the place the issue begins!


This brings me to my first main gripe with Redfall, the gameplay choices and expertise. The sport performs out superb and may even be enjoyable when two or extra gamers group as much as deal with the vampires. Although, it utterly falls aside once you play by way of the sport solo, instantly turning Refall right into a boring, open-world FPS.

No capability to experiment, no emergent gameplay; simply an uninspiring shooter with fairly the common gunplay. I performed 7+ hours of this sport out of my complete 20 hours solo, and I by no means need to undergo these grueling seven hours ever once more. It was the whole lot I hate in video video games, concentrated into one single expertise.

Whereas the expertise adjustments relying on what number of of you’re taking part in Redfall collectively, what doesn’t change is the extent design. Redfall takes place in an open world with two modestly sized maps — Redfall Commons and Burial Level. Whereas each the maps are usually not as giant as, let’s say Prey, it’s the largest map Arkane has made until now. And in comes my second downside with the sport – a soulless open-world.


Whereas the map will get the ambiance on level, it doesn’t maintain any incentive to discover, outdoors of trying to find supplies and weapons. The maps exist to only carry the story ahead, stage up your characters, and discover some occasional lore trinkets, that are enjoyable to learn by way of, offering backstory and lore for the vampire onslaught.

Coming from some extent the place I’m used to having tight, but extremely detailed maps in Dishonored and Prey, Redfall utterly disappoints me with its stage design decisions. It seems like Arkane forgot to make the single-player gameplay significant and even enjoyable in an try to make a compelling co-op expertise.

Chunk Again In opposition to The Forces of Vampire

Properly, it doesn’t imply that Redfall doesn’t have any actions so that you can do, it does. Sadly, these actions are restricted and for lack of a greater phrase, lackluster. The actions are divided into the next:

  • The primary storyline follows the journey of the character by way of Redfall. These are restricted and present what occurs after the vampires take over the island.
  • Vampire Nests, that are the dungeons of this sport. These pop up randomly throughout the maps and ending them gives gamers with higher weapons or supplies.
  • Aspect tales, that are sparse however accessible across the sport world. Ending them will present expertise factors.
  • Safehouse missions – Unlocking a safehouse will present gamers with devoted missions. These are vital as finishing them reduces the vampire presence in Redfall. Two missions every in each protected home that you just unlock. Ending the safehouse missions additionally permits us to re-allot the talents of our characters.

These 4 mission sorts are vital, as doing them will present gamers will ability factors. You’ll be able to then allot the factors to enhance your character in a ability tree. These abilities don’t drastically change how your character performs however improves their present talents. Moreover, in quite a few cases, you possibly can obtain Vampire blood. These are blood samples from sturdy vampires, providing you with passive talents, like resistance to sure parts, increased well being, and so on.


Not one of the above-said actions are time-limited. Nonetheless, as soon as you modify the map, you gained’t be capable to do any of the missions left on the Redfall Commons. This sorely left a foul aftertaste in my mouth — but once more, as I used to be virtually compelled to complete my pending nests and side-quests. A factor I didn’t respect one bit.


Resisting in opposition to the vampires in Redfall additionally has penalties. With every profitable act of defiance, gamers refill the Rook Storm meter. When the meter fills up, a Pink thunderstorm begins across the island, bringing forth a stronger Vampire enemy referred to as Rook. Efficiently taking it down brings the meter again to zero and gives you new weapons. This can be a good characteristic that provides some stress to the sport.

To cease you from reaching your objectives, vampires roam the streets of Redfall always. There’s no loopy selection right here, although, however they’re a nuisance to cope with, particularly throughout night-time. There are the usual vampires, vampires that suck your blood out, protect vampires (actual), and shades. To take down vampires, you want weapons. Properly, fortunately, Redfall takes place in America, so there are many them so that you can select (shrug emoji).

Select Your Vampire Slaying Weapon in Redfall

Redfall options essentially the most dreaded system for weapons and I completely detest it – looting. As talked about earlier than, weapons are plentiful throughout the maps. They’re even color-coded, with every of them having stats and passives tied to them. The higher the extent of the gun, the upper the harm. Categorically, the gamers can hold three weapons with them, which incorporates the usual, i.e revolvers, assault rifles, snipers, and shotguns. However after all, we’re combating vampires in Redfall, so we want one thing pointy.


Every of the larger weapons like ARs and Shotguns comes with a stake. The sport plan is straightforward. You are taking out a vampire utilizing the weapons, and when they’re groggy, stab them utilizing one of many weapons fitted with a stake. That’s the core gameplay mechanic, and it rapidly will get monotonuos. Moreover, flare weapons and UV rays petrify the bloodlust enemies, and stake launchers are additionally accessible within the sport. As for weapons that you just don’t want, merely scrap them to get foreign money and purchase higher weapons from distributors.


To get higher weapons with higher stats, gamers must hit vampire nests. And that is the place the looting system comes into play. When you clear the nests, gamers have a minute to run throughout the room to gather no matter weapons they’ll discover. And nests usually maintain weapons with higher stats, so that they turn out to be a necessity to get higher loot. The opposite various is to scavenge by way of the homes.

As for a way they carry out, the weapons remind me of utilizing weapons in Deathloop, however not fairly. It seems like they re-used a number of the gunplay from the earlier Arkane releases, however barely modified it to the sport. Nothing spectacular, however helpful for vampire looking. Arkane tried to financial institution on our nostalgic worry of zombies, however sadly, it solely delivers an expertise price a couple of pennies of the 70$ it calls for for the sport.

Redfall PC Efficiency And Dumb AI

We lastly come to the dreaded query, how does Redfall carry out on PC? After the announcement that the sport will locked to 30FPS on the Xbox Collection X/S, many anticipated the identical on PC. Luckily, Redfall performs effectively on PC however has issues in different places. We examined the sport on the next system

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600
  • GPU: NVIDIA RTX 4070Ti
  • 16 GB RAM (3600MHz)
  • Put in on SSD
  • Performed at 1080p Epic settings

First, let’s tackle in regards to the elephant within the room — does the Redfall PC port run effectively? In that regard, on the above necessities, Redfall ran with none issues, with some caveats. With out Nvidia DLSS, we had been getting someplace between 75-80 FPS at each interval. We did discover a considerable body drop within the Suburbs space of Redfall Commons, full of crimson smoke and cramped housing. Right here, I additionally noticed the frames dipping all the way down to effectively under the 60s at a number of cases.

The sport does include Nvidia’s DLSS know-how, and we tried it out as effectively. For the uninitiated, DLSS is an upscaling know-how that RTX playing cards can make the most of. It downscales a sport to a decrease render level after which upscales it utilizing AI. This gives increased body charges with out dropping out on visible constancy at increased resolutions. Whereas utilizing Nvidia DLSS 3, we did discover a slight efficiency enhance with out dropping out on visuals. Nonetheless, even DLSS didn’t assist with the body dips within the suburbs.

It’s attention-grabbing to notice that at this level, my CPU utilization was at 30-40%, by no means going above 50%, whereas the GPU utilization was under 65% and averaging round 50%. Take it as you’ll. One other factor to notice is the visuals. I’ve learn tons of discourse on the web already whereas penning this evaluation, with many individuals saying how Redfall seems like a 2013 sport, which isn’t really the case. The sport follows the signature Arkane artwork fashion of watercolor portray and cell-shading. As such, the world doesn’t have the constancy you’d anticipate from a modern-day title, nevertheless it doesn’t look ugly.

What it does have an issue with are the feel pop-ins and draw distance. This sport’s draw distance for objects like timber is abysmal. In a number of cases, I discovered myself operating right into a tree (they popped out of nowhere) whereas warding off vampires to save lots of my life. Moreover, even when put in on an SSD, the sport struggled to load in textures by one and a half-second in quite a few instances. These points weren’t addressed on the launch, as I checked them earlier within the morning earlier than writing the evaluation.


One other main blunder Redfall makes is the enemy AI programming. I believed Deathloop had a number of the dumbest AI at launch. Because of Arkane’s continued efforts, Redfall takes the crown. There have been quite a few cases the place enemies both ignored me after I killed their pal proper beside them, shoot at me with point-blank accuracy, had zero motion animations, and straight-up felt spongy. They don’t seem to be good, they’re there to fill the world as a nuisance, and albeit, is a chore to cope with. Smarter AI goes a protracted option to make a sport pleasant, and Redfall doesn’t have that.

Redfall Falls Brief in Virtually Each Side

So, with all of those issues packed into an in any other case mediocre sport, I can’t advocate Redfall if you happen to don’t have a pal to play a co-op run of this sport. Even then, this can be a laborious promote on my finish. My love for Arkane Studio video games goes deep, with Dishonored and Prey being two of my all-time favorites. So, to see a studio I make one thing like that is heartbreaking. Redfall may as effectively go forward and take the spot of Dishonored: Dying of the Outsider for being a disappointing title by the developer. Not less than, that sport permits for some enjoyable.

Redfall tries utilizing a tried-and-test vampire story-driven strategy with Arkane’s smarts however doesn’t handle to ship. Redfall piggybacks off Arkane Studio’s legacy by promising the identical important goodness players skilled in Dishonored. Sadly, the studio manages to overlook that mark, thereby, making Redfall one other entry in a line of video games from the studio dropping its allure. Whereas one would anticipate Arkane to age like superb wine, the grapes have sadly turned bitter.

The emergent co-op gameplay is commendable and makes the sport considerably bearable. Sadly, nearly the whole lot else on this $70 bundle is both lackluster, uninspiring, or plain boring. So yeah, total, Arkane’s first title underneath Xbox as a first-party studio falls flat on the face, and the inexperienced group ought to huddle and reassess its methods. For now, it’s best to give this sport a strive when you have an Xbox Sport Cross, however you’re not lacking out on something if you happen to don’t.

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