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Redfall Preview: Arkane’s Open World Shooter Coming in First Half of 2022

If there’s one thing Harvey Smith wants you to get rid of RedfallThe game trailer shown at Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase on Sunday, it’s Arkane Studios Austin’s next game unlike Left 4 Dead.

“So, unless I’m mistaken, it puts all Left 4 Dead comparisons to rest,” Smith, the studio director, said in an interview Monday.

Redfall looks more like Borderlands than any of the PvE or asymmetrical multiplayer games that have revived Left 4 Dead’s gameplay over the past two years. This is mainly because it is an open world title (although, to a certain extent, L4D-like such as Monday Extinction). More importantly, the campaign is a completely solo experience and no, you can’t bring your bot lane teammates, another key differentiator.

Maybe it’s better to talk about Redfallin which players will fight to save a New England town overrun by vampires, in the setting of other Arkane games. Redfall was the studio’s first open-world game; that’s where the developers in Austin are stretching their legs, seeing if they can present Arkane’s distinctive visual style in a more open-ended format.

“We always try to be non-judgmental about different approaches,” says Smith. “The missions are exceptional, with wide linear paths to a location that are clearly powerful, and that’s what we did with the Dishonored game. A game that really only has one big mission, in a huge space, like Prey, which is also a robust approach. The open world gives you new powers. So we’re excited about that risk, we’re excited about the creative powers that an open world offers.”

There are also many main characters that players will level up through their levels. It was also the first Arkane, where titles like Deathloop and Prey led by a single player-character. “Of all the games Arkane has made, it might be right to say that Redfall is at most…” Smith began, looking for words, “that’s the party game, isn’t it? You can climb, stealth, and play at your own pace, absorbing all the environmental stories as well as all the readable stuff. If I were a player, the first time I played, that’s how I would do it from start to finish. But it’s also a party game because as soon as you add another character, those two characters talk to each other. And it’s just for fun in that sense. “

RedfallFour heroes were introduced when the game original intro limited to the Xbox and Bethesda show in 2021. Features Jacob Boyer, a sniper who appeared in Redfall under contract to the private military corporation that hired him; Remi de la Rosa, a Coast Guard officer and control engineer, whose devices support the team and shape the battlefield in their favor; Devinder Crousley, a crypto-researcher who packs a powerful attack toolkit with a waiter’s balance; and Layla Ellison, the “distant threat of student debt,” an all-rounder who added psionic abilities to her athletic prowess and gun skills.

“You can use your powers against highly dynamic AI in ways that can be expected from Arkane games,” said Ricardo Bare, Redfallcreative director of, with credits to Dishonored and Prey. Layla’s psychic powers can form a shield or lift allies to higher ground by manifesting a literal elevator car. Jacob’s sniping abilities are aided by the familiar “vampire eye” and “ghost crow” he acquired after being ambushed by the undead.

Redfall in line with other Arkane games in its odd blend of supernatural and metaphysical abilities with basic, first-person combat, but it’s different in atmosphere and combat. RedfallThe beachfront setting reflects a Massachusetts coastal village rife with tourist traps and squalid accommodation; it’s intentionally familiar, at least more than Dishonored’s weird steampunk whaling port or Preyof the space station.

“What if, instead of an imaginary land, it was a real place you might have visited?” Bare recalls, going back to the initial discussions the group had, shortly after Prey launched in 2017. “Like a beachfront resort town in New England, with liquor stores and a liquor store in the alley, and electrical wires across the street, and a history museum. What if we shifted Arkane’s strong artistic and narrative focus there? ”

Another view of the post-apocalyptic town of Redfall, where the sun is in a perpetual eclipse and the vampires run the show

In Redfall, the sun is in a perpetual lunar eclipse, so singularities occur at night – as well as during the day.
Image: Arkane Studios Austin / Bethesda Softworks

As for the villains, Bare and his colleagues arrive at the vampire invasion, aided by a powerful vampire witch who manages to bring the Sun into a solar eclipse. forever. Bare says the narrative trick isn’t to avoid the dynamic day-night cycle (it’s still bright when the Sun is obscured) but also to get the vampires to engage and be more active during the game’s day. , instead of living a period of inactivity. less action-oriented.

“We definitely want to do a day-night cycle, and our tech team can afford to do that —kudo for them,” says Bare. “Our tech team put a lot of effort into a dynamic day-night cycle.” This includes game mechanics like spawning of enemies and monsters, their relative strength (sunset is a dangerous time) and other features.

The vampires are helped by gangs of bloodsuckers, who have ambitions to be as powerful (if not dramatic) as their idols. Vampires will establish “spiritual nests” on world landmarks, where the player can battle the threat in proper Redfall or venture into a psychic portal, which falsifies locations and Gather the opposition, to take the “heart” of the nest and get rid of the threat. Clearly, a supportive path more than immediate, short-term and abrasive profits, with a harder option needed to control Redfallof the world and bring the story to its end.

Redfall originally scheduled for this year, until Bethesda Softworks announced both it and StarfieldBethesda Game Studios’ newest RPG, will be delayed to 2023. Smith said the Arkane Austin developers were “given a lot of latitude, a lot of freedom,” as they assess development milestones and whether the project is really on track for the promised delivery deadline. or not.

“We understand that the best thing is to create a great game that people will remember and play for a long time, and talk about how they still talk about it. humiliation or Prey,” Smith said. “Ricardo and I worked together on Deus Ex 20 years ago, you know, so if you get it right, it’s under their skin. It seeps into their blood. That’s what we’ve always tried to do; make a game that we think makes sense, both for our time and yours. ”

When it arrives – which Microsoft says is within the next 12 months, in a general guarantee made during Sunday’s rollout – Redfall will launch on Windows PC and Xbox Series X. It will also be available on Game Pass on day one.

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