Redfall is an Xbox-exclusive looter shooter from Arkane Austin. The game was highly anticipated and features in our list of games to look out for in May 2023 but for some reason, it has not met with the kind of enthusiasm that Arkane games usually receive.
While some reviewers have praised the game’s setting and the environmental storytelling, mostly everyone has called it a messy hodgepodge of looter-shooter mechanics, Far Cry-ish RPG elements, and bland mission design.
Redfall Gameplay: First 20 minutes
Redfall Review Roundup
Here are some reviews and first-look articles for Redfall from around the web.
“Ultimately, Redfall is a game that should not have been released yet. Its litany of bugs hampers the gameplay loop of exploring its world with friends, and that loop itself feels compromised by elements that are poorly executed and ill-suited to the team implementing them. I can’t pretend to know whether Arkane chose to make a loot-shooter or was assigned to make a loot-shooter, but I can tell you what it feels like: one of the best game studios in the world suddenly made toothless.”
“Redfall is ultimately not up to Arkane’s usual standards. It feels rushed, unfinished, and unsatisfying to play. Single-player is hampered by a squad-based open-world shooter structure, multiplayer held back by odd decisions, and decent gunplay is marred by uninspiring mission structures. It’s a confusing game, full of contradictions, and the result is unfulfilling.”
“It’s a bit difficult to parse out the overall quality of Redfall. If you’re talking about it from a technical perspective, it’s scattershot but comes out better than some games that look and sound pretty but have terrible performance. If you’re looking at it from a story perspective, it’s a slow burn that cranks up things once you get close to beating the first major vampire, and the same can be said for the gameplay.
Solo play is also better than co-op, based solely on the issues we ran into with connectivity, but mileage can vary. Overall, Redfall asks quite a bit of time from players before getting really good, which makes it perfect for Game Pass but tougher for those who don’t have the patience to spend the time to wade through the jank to reach that point.”
“Redfall is a compelling adventure with killer combat and an atmospheric setting in which you can easily lose a weekend. Even though it feels watered down by Arkane’s systemic standards, it’s an ambitious, primarily successful experiment full of narrative nuance and unique ideas. Hopefully, Redfall’s shakeup of the genre will pave the way for more inspired looter shooters in the future and, selfishly… another immersive simulator?”
“Redfall is a game where you can wander off by yourself into the woods at night to investigate every room of a creepy New England manor, piecing together the horror that struck there by reading notes and meticulously scouring the environment; it’s also a game where you can link up with two superpowered friends to launch a full-frontal assault on a bunch of cultists worshipping a tree vampire, or fight a giant giga-vampire in another dimension. The fact that it can offer these distinct experiences in a way that ranges from compelling, to competent, to ‘OK, but awesome with friends’ is an achievement in itself.”
Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.