Redfall was one of the games Microsoft had planned to release this year, but it was recently declared delayed until 2023 along with Starfield. During the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, we got a closer look at Redfield, which actually kicked off the entire event with plenty of gameplay.
Thanks to this and a longer information drop launched on Bethesda's website, we now have a decent look of what's to come. We can look forward to co-op for up to four people where we'll take on the roles of; ex-military Jacob Boyer (who has strange abilities), scientist Layla Eddison (equipped with telekinetic abilities), cryptozoologist Devinder Crousley (an inventor with unique weapons) and combat engineer Remi de la Rosa (who has a robot companion).
What awaits us is an open game world on an island somewhere in New England, which was shut down after a failed experiment that turned people into vampires. Redfall is bigger than anything Arkane has done before with plenty to explore, and senior content manager Anne Lewis has this to say about the game world:
"Arkane loves to blend the familiar with the extraordinary when it comes to their worlds, and Redfall is no exception. 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."
Redfall has a story to offer and there are plenty of quests and the like to explore as well as a storyline. Therefore your job is not just to reclaim area after area, but to try and find out more about what happened while you and your party destroys vampire nests, defeat bosses and so on. Incidentally, those who want to play by themselves will be able to have a good gaming experience anyway. Studio/creative director Harvey Smith explains the thinking behind the singleplayer experience:
"A huge emphasis for Redfall has been the solo experience, in keeping with Arkane's passions. 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 already stated above, the vampires are the result of an experiment gone wrong, and consequently not a supernatural being. This allows Arkane themselves to give them the characteristics they desire and have been able to throw all the old vampire concepts out the window. Smith explains:
"Our vampires are not some aspirational fantasy. They're predatory monsters who feed on the vulnerable to make themselves more powerful."
Fighting these monstrosities requires powerful weapons, of course, and the idea is that you'll be able to craft your own guns and equipment from things you find along the adventure, although there are more traditional guns too. We think this sounds like a twist on the Borderlands system, and production director Ben Horne elaborates:
"Our weapons are an interesting twist on the genre. 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."
Exactly how enjoyable exploring Redfall and shooting its vampires will be, is something we'll get to find out in the first half of 2023, when it premieres on PC and Xbox Series S/X. It's also included with Xbox Game Pass from day one.