Bethesda faced multiple challenges while developing Redfall. As its release approached, concerns surrounding the game grew, which came to a head especially after it was announced that it would not support 60fps on consoles, which has been a disappointment for many Xbox fans, given that 60 fps is now almost a standard for action games on modern consoles. While Arkane is a renowned studio and has crafted an intriguing vampire-based narrative, the signs were ominous. In the end, the answer to the question of whether you should also be worried about Redfall… Unfortunately, I have to say yes.

Arkane Austin has an incredible track record in creating single-player games, standing out among other things for its deft level design, gameplay, and storytelling in immersive simulation titles like Dishonored and Prey. However, Redfall turned out to be a disappointment, as the studio blatantly failed in every area.

The game immerses you in a mission to save a city besieged by vampires. As one of four available characters, you must gear up and venture into the scenic town and its surrounding forests to hunt down vampires, uncover the mystery behind their existence as soulless creatures, and in doing so help to protect people in danger. . While in theory there are plenty of possibilities to explore with this concept, Arkane did its best not to keep the narrative interesting.


The quest design structure in Redfall is tedious and uses an outdated format that belongs to the early 2000s. map to the next story milestone, like in most open-world games. No, in Redfall you have to specifically select a mission from a hub that is essentially separate from the main open world. The quests themselves are repetitive tasks that involve finding an item or piece of information, or simply killing a specific vampire. What you see in the first 30 minutes of Redfall is pretty much what it gives you for the rest of the game in terms of mission design.

But at least the open world and side quests make up for it, right? For nothing. The side quests follow the same format as the main quests, and the open world is a dull and empty experience. When exploring Redfall, most buildings are closed, and the few that can be entered offer nothing of interest. Unless you like collecting lore items and junk (like pliers, tape, wire, etc.), these buildings aren’t worth exploring. Before we assume what this scrap can be used for, it’s important to note that Redfall doesn’t offer any crafting items or gear upgrades, so the scrap you find is simply converted into currency to buy gear. items from a small selection of sellers. .

One of the most important secondary mechanics in the game is finding and securing the Havens, which are basically places where you can take refuge and rest for a while from the vampires. Each Shelter is unlocked in the same way, you have to follow yellow wires to a generator that you have to activate. Once inside the vault, you can start the two side quests which aim to reduce the local vampiric threat, although there isn’t really a significant difference after completing them. The first mission can be around four different objectives, while the second is always about killing a slightly more powerful vampire, to get a skull which is used in the main story at times. Since there isn’t much else to do in the game world other than these shelters, you better get into the habit of completing more than 15 of them before reaching the end of the game. you have a problem with Ubisoft and their use of “points of view”, this mechanism will quickly become very boring. There are also Vampire Nests you can explore, but in general they’re not much different from being out in the open world and killing Vampires like you normally do.

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Anyway, let’s talk about the variety of enemies, one of the key elements of Redfall: vampires. During the game, I faced about five different types of vampires, each with different gameplay elements, but in the end, they all behaved the same way in battle: running towards me in a straight line. While the fisherman snagged and dragged me occasionally, or the shroud reduced my visibility, the truth was that when it came to dealing damage, the vampires seemed to have a collective consciousness and attack like simple drones foolish. Although there were other types of enemies to face, such as human factions using different types of weapons or explosive bloodbags and other gruesome types of weapons, most of them behaved like vampires: rushing at me relentlessly. This actually makes combat less appealing and puts a lot of pressure on characters and team choice.

However, this is not the solution that is needed. The characters only differ in three unique abilities each, but none of them are really effective in practice, so in the end they aren’t that important. As for gear options, you can choose three unique weapons to equip at once, as well as a relic and a vampire blood option to slightly alter the way a character plays. Each is defined by a rarity color which adds a weird and unsatisfying loot system to the game. The problem is that all of this is affected by Redfall progression, which makes enemies stronger as you progress through the game. game. But since there are no gear upgrade options, the game actually forces you to switch weapons as the story progresses for no real reason. It’s a different take on weapon durability, because while weapons don’t break, they become much less effective the lower they level, which means you have to upgrade. It’s a thankless and frustrating game mechanic.

Redfall’s level progression system doesn’t take advantage of perks that can be acquired to level up each character, as none of them are really effective and they don’t change the way you play much. Compared to the impressive skill trees in games like Borderlands 2, where different combinations of perks greatly affect how the character acts, in Redfall these perks have little impact, resulting in an experience of very unsatisfactory character building. Although there is no endgame stage, the fact that the character build is so bad is not that important. Once the credits roll, there are no more activities to unlock or explore: either start a new game with a new character or with the highest difficulty. Considering I managed to finish the game on the highest difficulty early on and get it all done in under nine hours, there’s very little to enjoy in terms of content.

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To me, Redfall seems like a game Arkane had a very clear idea for, but over time the desire to add some serious co-op elements ended up sacrificing pretty much every other part of the game. can be played with friends, admittedly it can make the world a little less monotonous, but in reality it’s not a game that necessarily needs co-op support, and Arkane didn’t enough to create an engaging game. experience that attracts players, alone or in groups. I strongly believe that this title would have been better if it was single player, allowing you to build a character that combines the abilities of the four available characters, because as it stands the characters are uninteresting and their individuality is so limited that they hardly affect the game.

Combine all of these factors with Arkane’s response to Redfall’s difficulty, which just seems to throw more drone enemies, and the fact that the map and compass are so counter-intuitive and outdated that they sometimes piss me off ( Sometimes). having a quest objective to head towards, you have to manually place a marker on the map if you want a direction indicator on your HUD compass), there are a lot of things that Redfall doesn’t do well at all. But before concluding, we have to talk about the elephant in the room: the performance.

Gamers don’t like when a title starts poorly when it comes to optimization, and Redfall might be the last straw for many. On my PC, which has an 11th Gen i9-11900KF processor, RTX 3090 graphics, and enough DDR4 RAM to go to the moon and back, Redfall hit 115 fps in tight areas in the center. , but dropped to 25 fps in the open cities of the world. On top of those abysmal frame rates, the game also features popping textures, crashes, buggy enemies, NPCs in T’s position, and it all adds up to a motion system that gets in your way while playing. to the game, which makes it frustrating to go through. the vertical parts of the map. I highly recommend playing as Layla, as her jump ability is a great solution for scaling cliffs and jumping walls that are otherwise impossible to cross. Personally, I haven’t experienced the Xbox Series versions of this game yet, but what I’ve seen of the PC edition is surprising at times, which makes me wonder how the game could even boot on a Series S console. .

As it stands, Redfall is a huge disappointment, especially when parts of the game reveal the brilliance of Arkane’s team. The map has potential, but there’s not much to do on it, while the story has its plot points and the concept of a small town deep in America with vampires still works. It’s just that the game is sometimes a real mess. It does next to nothing to keep you hooked, and when you find something to enjoy, its sultry performances do its best to remove that glimmer of illusion. In a way, I’m glad they finally released it, because it means Arkane can wake up from this nightmare and focus on something much more suited to his talents.

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