Arkane as a developer has an excellent reputation and track record, which makes sense, considering the fact that this is a studio known for the likes of Dishonored, Prey, Deathloop, and more. Its next game, however, is looking like its biggest and most ambitious title ever. Redfall was announced last year, and recently at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, we got to see its gameplay debut. It was a sizeable showing that revealed plenty about the open world shooter, and here, we’ll be going over all of those key details.
LAYLA AND JACOB
Redfall centers around four primary characters that form the backbone of its story, and all four are also going to be playable, each with their own unique abilities and strengths. First and foremost there’s Layla Ellison, who used to be a biomedical engineering student. She was an intern at a research facility, and after an accident there, she was left with telekinetic abilities. Then there’s Jacob Boyer, an ex-military sharpshooter, who has also been affected by the strange happenings on the island of Redfall, and now finds himself with a far seeing vampiric eye and a spectral raven.
REMI AND DEV
The other two characters in Redfall’s core cast also look quite interesting. There’s Remi de la Rosa, described as a “brilliant” combat engineer who has plenty of experience with firefights. Interestingly, she also has a robot companion named Bribón, though it remains to be seen what role that will play in gameplay and combat. Finally, there’s Devinder Crousley, a cryptozoologist and aspiring inventor who will be taking to fights with weapons of his own making.
Since the moment it was announced, Redfall has been billed primarily as a co-op game, but anyone looking to play it as a purely single player experience will be able to do that. According to creative director Harvey Smith, the game becomes much more focused on stealth and exploration if you’re playing it solo.
“A huge emphasis for Redfall has been the solo experience, in keeping with Arkane’s passions,” Smith says. “Redfall is an open world game, but it can be soloed with any of the heroes. The pace becomes more exploratory; you can use recon and stealth to gather info on encounters and avoid enemies or get the drop on them.”
When you decide to play Redfall with other players, it’ll turn into a bit of a different experience from its solo offerings, in that the game will become much more about facing your enemies head on and less about stealth and exploration. In short, it’ll be much more fast paced and intense. At the same time, using different abilities with different characters in combination with each other will also be an important part of the experience. Arkane also promises a seamless experience where you can hop in and out of co-op whenever you want.
“Whereas playing solo forces you to rely solely on yourself, forming a squad allows you to combine strengths with other players and test out strategies only available when you’re part of a team,” writes Bethesda’s senior content manager Anne Lewis on Xbox Wire. “And, of course, you can change things up at any time. With a seamless blend of single and multiplayer, Redfall gives you the freedom to play with whoever you want. How you choose to face the darkness is up to you.”
Vampires are the starts of the show in Redfall. The game is set on the titular island, where these vampires have completely taken over, blocked out the sun, pushed the water away from the island, and cut it off completely from the rest of the world. Arkane insists that these are not regular vampires- made thanks to a science experiment gone wrong, they’re extremely powerful and come in many varieties from “sneaky vampires that grab you and separate you from your team” to “hulking vampires capable of tearing you and your team to pieces” to much more powerful ones that have blocked out the sun, as mentioned earlier. According to Arkane, the vampires of Redfall have a hierarchy of their own, and the higher up the chain you go, the deadlier and more terrifying your enemies will get.
While vampires are very much the main antagonists of Redfall, they’re not the only threats in the game, and you will be taking on other enemies as well. Those aforementioned vampires have also raised an army of cultists who are well armed and ready to fight and die for their overlords, and are desperate to eventually get turned into vampires themselves. They may not be as deadly and dangerous as the vampires themselves, but cultists will supposedly put up enough of a challenge in their own right as well.
Arkane as a developer has crafted many memorable and expertly crafted worlds in its games over the years- Dishonored’s Dunwall, Dishonored 2’s Karnaca, Prey’s Talos I, Deathloop’s Blackreef island. The island of Redfall will be different from all of those in one crucial way- it’s Arkane’s first open world setting ever. It’ll be much larger, and based on what we’ve seen of it so far, it looks like there’s going to be plenty of environment diversity with various locations popping out in the gameplay demo we recently saw. At the same time, Arkane says the setting will also exhibit the strengths that the studio’s game worlds have always been known for.
“Arkane loves to blend the familiar with the extraordinary when it comes to their worlds, and Redfall is no exception,” writes Bethesda’s Anne Lewis. “The master level designers behind the alien-infested art deco beauty of Prey’s Talos I space station have brought their careful touch to the studio’s most modern setting ever, creating a rich, immersive world for players to get lost in.”
OPEN WORLD ACTIVITIES
And what exactly will you be doing in this open world? Well, quite a lot, apparently. You can expect to be exploring a lot, of course, which goes without saying for any open world game, but there are supposedly going to be plenty of activities on offer as well. In addition to main quests and story missions, players will be able to take control of neighbourhoods back from the vampires to restore order to the island bit by bit, clear out cultist bases and strongholds, head into twisted psychic spaces called Nests, and more.
Redfall is also promising quite a bit of variety where its weapons are concerned as well, which should combine nicely with the unique abilities and upgrades for each of the four characters. In addition to finding and unlocking weapons likes shotguns, sniper rifles, and what have you (each with randomized traits), players will also be able to create weapons of their own using resources and components found in the world. Meanwhile, Redfall will also feature some specialized vampire hunting weapons like a UV beam, a stake launcher, and more.
Stealth, too, is going to be an important part of Redfall, especially if you’re playing solo. While Arkane hasn’t gone into too much detail on that front, the studio says players will want to make sure they’ve got the right gear in their loadout to ensure that they’re well equipped for any situation. Meanwhile, some characters will obviously be better suited to stealth than others- for instance, Jacob can use his raven to scout out areas and spot enemies.
Here’s what creative director Harvey Smith says on the topic of Redfall’s stealth: “Redfall is a game where stealth can be used to get the drop on an enemy, reach a good vantage, or avoid a combat encounter altogether. It’s not a pure stealth game, but a stealth-enabling shooter. We love that because having AI with simulated hearing and sight always leads to interesting dynamic gameplay moments. Creeping up on enemies, avoiding notice, using the right weapons and damage types, choosing when to employ your crazy powers, knowing when to break off combat and stake a vampire that’s been petrified by UV light, all of that is part of Redfall’s tactically expressive gameplay.”
Share Your Thoughts Below (Always follow our comments policy!)