Arkane has built its reputation on immersive sims like Dishonored and Prey over the years and has firmly established itself as one of the best developers of immersive sims, but the upcoming Redfall is deviating from the established Arkane formula in significant ways. Rather than offering a focused immersive sim experience, it’s going for a much more action-driven approach in an open world setting with quite the emphasis on co-op.
Even so, that doesn’t much Arkane is done with immersive sims just yet. In fact, as per studio director Harvey Smith, there’s a very good chance that eventually, Arkane will go back to making the kind of experiences that it’s always been known for (though Bethesda does insist that Redfall isn’t completely devoid of those qualities either).
“I think we will eventually go back to the very sealed immersive sim-like environments,” Smith told GamesRadar in a recent interview. “But just once we wanted to know what it would be like to wander an Arkane open world and see where each little road will take you.”
Smith also went on to talk about Redfall’s open world setting and the kind of gameplay loop it will enable, with player freedom and emergent stories taking precedence above all else as a result.
“You’ll want to see if you can get into a barn you found, climb a fire lookout tower that you spotted in the distance, or try and get into a house to read all the notes scattered inside,” he said. “Some of Redfall’s most powerful moments come from wandering around, absorbing the world, and getting caught up in high action for a moment. That was the atmosphere we set out to create from the beginning.”
Later, he added: “I feel like, at some point, we will pendulum back to what people know us for.”
Of course, should Redfall prove to be a critical and commercial success, one would imagine that Arkane would want to keep making games that focus on similar strengths. Even so, fans of Arkane’s past works should be glad to hear that the studio isn’t done with making more immersive sims that are set in much more focused environments.