Arkane’s Austin studio, the team behind the original Dishonored and 2017’s Prey, is working on its biggest, most ambitious game to date in open world first person shooter Redfall, and at the recent Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, we got to see its gameplay for the first time ever. The title’s gameplay debut was quite a meaty one and revealed plenty of new details in the process. Shortly afterward, a post published on Xbox Wire provided additional details (a lot of which is in line with a leak from last year), while also revealing new screenshots (which you can view below).
For starters, while Redfall will, of course, allow for four-player co-op, 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.”
As for who you’ll be paying as, there are four characters you can choose between. Layla Eddison is a former bioengineering student who, after an accident at a research facility, is left with telekinetic powers. Jacob Boyer is an ex-military sharpshooter has is left with “a mysterious vampiric eye and a spectral raven” due to “strange happenings on Redfall.” Remi de la Rosa is a combat engineer who travels with her robot companion Bribón. Finally, there’s Devinder Crousley, a cryptozoologist and aspiring inventor who’s fond of using weapons of his own creation.
Meanwhile, even though the open world setting of the titular island city is much larger in size and scope than previous Arkane games, you can still expect the trademark design ethos that the studio has 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 senior content manager 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.”
The open world will have plenty of activities and room for exploration 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 Ness, and more.
Meanwhile, that world is, of course, going to be fraught with plenty of danger, mostly in the form of vampires. According to Arkane, you can expect plenty of variety from Redfall on that front, with this web of vampires having their own hierarchy, which sees them getting more powerful and dangerous the higher up the chain you go.
“Sneaky vampires that grab you and separate you from your team. Hulking vampires capable of tearing you and your team to pieces. Godlike vampires powerful enough to eclipse the sun. Arkane vampires,” writes Lewis.
“Our vampires are not some aspirational fantasy,” says Smith. “They’re predatory monsters who feed on the vulnerable to make themselves more powerful.”
And it won’t just be vampires you’ll be squaring off again. The vampires all over the island have raised an island of cultists who are fighting for them and want to turn into vampires themselves. They have established bases and patrols throughout the island and are well-armed and deadly.
As for what you can expect from the game in terms of weapons and abilities, Redfall will allow players to handcraft your own weapons using resources and components found in the environment, while readymade military-grade weapons will also be available. All in all, there will be plenty of emphasis placed on collection and upgrading gear.
“Our weapons are an interesting twist on the genre,” says production director Ben Horne. “We have loadout options players already know and love, like rare shotguns and sniper rifles, all with randomized weapon traits to make each drop feel like one of an endless potential of combinations. In addition to that, some of our weapons are unique vampire-hunting weapons — like the Stake Launcher or UV Beam — that can be used tactically to eliminate the vampire threat.”
“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,” says Smith. “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.”
Redfall is due out for Xbox Series X/S and PC in the first half of 2023.
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