When Bethesda first announced Redfall in 2021, Arkane Studio’s foray into the co-op survival shooter genre, they quickly had my attention. 

As a fan of the studio’s previous works, having spent countless hours playing games like Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood, and World War Z, I was eager to see how Arkane would bring their unique twist.

Set in the fictional town of Redfall, Massachusetts, the game’s premise of hunting down vampires instead of zombies was a refreshing take on the survival shooter genre.

After playing Redfall during the hands-on event in Sydney, Australia, in its early access phase, I can confidently say that the game’s mechanics are solid, and its co-op gameplay is well thought-out. However, some areas of the game could use improvement.

Here is our spoiler-free review of Redfall.

Redfall has its moment in the sun

Redfall gameplay screenshot
Credit: Arkane Studios

The open world and diverse cast of characters are the two main aspects where Redfall excels. Jacob Boyer, Remi De La Rosa, Layla Ellison, and Dev Crousley possess distinct abilities that fit various playstyles. 

If you prefer a more covert approach, Jacob’s skill set will undoubtedly be of interest to you. If you want a more bizarre gameplay experience, you can play Layla and summon her vampire ex-boyfriend to join her in battle.

Combining these distinct characters enhances your adventures, as each possesses unique strengths and weaknesses. Remi, for instance, is well-suited for players who genuinely enjoys filling the support role.

The characters also synergize well with Redfall’s open world. It is an exciting and eerie place to explore, with the city’s brownstone buildings, parks, and cobblestone streets shrouded in darkness and filled with various enemies, including mercenaries, cultists, and vampires.

Unlocking new guns is enjoyable, for the game offers a range of unique weapons to collect, including flareguns, UV lights, and stake launches, to take your vampire hunting skills to the next level. You unlock new weapons by going around the city, opening locked boxes, and hacking various chests, just like any other looter shooter.

After dedicating several hours to playing Redfall, however, it became clear to me that the game’s encounters suffered from a lack of variety, causing the experience to become repetitive.

While Redfall offers enjoyable co-op gameplay and diverse playable characters, it falls short when it comes to the excitement and memorable set-piece battles that Arkane Studios delivered in their previous titles. 

The missions in Redfall lack the twists and turns that made Dishonored such a hit, leaving me waiting for thrilling and engaging experience that never seemed to materialize.

On the technical side, I ran into some frame rate issues when two to three waves of enemies approached me even though I played Redfall on ultra settings with an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor, NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics card, and 16 GB system RAM.

Overall, Redfall is a triple-A title that comes as advertised. However, while the game boasts all the hallmarks of an Arkane Studios game, such as detailed environments, deep characters, and enjoyable gameplay mechanics, it doesn’t seem to stand out in any particular area. 

If you’re looking for a looter shooter with an eerie survival feel and diverse characters to play with your friends, Redfall might be the game for you. But if you’re looking for a game with a deep and engaging story with intricate missions, it might not meet your expectations.

You can check out the game’s official launch trailer below:

Redfall is officially out on Xbox Game Pass for both PC and Xbox Series X|S consoles.

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