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Redfall Review

redfall review

arkane Studios is a developer based in Lyon, France, who has been characterized by creating titles with unique worlds with a fairly rich lore. Each game has a very particular vision, although with similar gameplay (FPS) that captivates the player due to its mechanics. Proof of this are Dishinored 1 & 2, Prey (2017) and Deathloop, which have convinced critics and public. Now they bring us to redfall, another first-person game with a multiplayer focus that takes us to an island where vampires rule.

It is one of the first exclusive acquisition of ZeniMax (Bethesda) by Microsoft and will come to Xbox and PC consoles. As a preview, it has many of the things we know from the studio like supernatural powers, use of weapons, and a story where the supernatural is the norm. However, it also has its own thing like an open world, the possibility of playing in cooperative multiplayer and a Diablo-like component, but that playably isn’t surprising enough.

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When an experiment goes too well

In Redfall we find ourselves on an island of the same name somewhere in Massachusetts where a strange organization has been experimenting on people to achieve immortality. As always, things have gotten out of hand and a plague of vampires has spread throughout the land. Suddenly, neighbors attack each other, some transformed into vampires and others for their survival. So much so that around an enigmatic figure named The Gaunt, A dangerous sect has been created that traps the survivors or to serve as food or to join the cause.

Evacuation missions have been organized to escape from Redfall by means of the ships, but the vampires managed to suspend the waters so that no one escaped, in addition to cutting off communications with the outside world, they also caused an eclipse. On one of these journeys, one of four eligible protagonists is found: Layla Ellison, Jacob Boyer, Devinder Crousley and Remi de la Rosaeach with their backstory and how they find themselves in a bad time on the island.

Redfall Review

Certainly, the game maintains the studio’s hallmarks by creating a story through the little that is told to us in character comments, conversations, and documents that we find scattered around the map. However, the NPCs hardly have interactions with our character and at a certain point one feels that he will be alone most of the time.

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Luckily, the figure of the Gaunt is omnipresent in every corner of the island as if it were Big Brother. Even so, the protagonists overflow with a lot of personality and we can see it in the comments they make when touring the island. There is also another figure, which we will reveal its mysteries through collectibles.

welcome to redfall

Redfall Review

First of all, we must choose one of four playable characters and each one has different abilities that can be complemented in cooperative games. By defeating enemies, completing missions and finding secrets, we’ll level up and earn points that we’ll invest in improving our skills. Part of the hallmarks of the studio are found here such as eating to recover health, collecting objects that are immediately converted into money to buy, and the use of some powers that we have already seen in other games such as Dishonored and Prey, to name a few.

We briefly detail each character:

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  • Jacob Boyer: The elite shooter. He specializes in long range. He has the Raven abilities with which he can mark enemies, Veil that activates a camouflage and Cold Blood that summons a spectral rifle that deals a lot of damage.
  • Layla Ellison: The telekinetic. This was my choice for his power set. With his Umbrella abilities he can summon a telekinetic umbrella to stop shots, Elevator a psychic elevator to perform high jumps and My Vampire Ex who can summon a vampire ex-boyfriend who attacks enemies.
  • Devinder Crousley: The technician. He specializes in area attacks and his abilities are Electric Javalina that can launch a stake that paralyzes enemies with electricity, Translocator that launches a device that teleports us to the place where it falls and finally Black Light that sticks a camera that emits a wave of ultraviolet light that paralyzes vampires.
  • Rémi de la Rosa: I support her. She is a mid-range combatant who has distraction and support abilities. With Siren ability she sends her Rogue mech to distract enemies, with C4 Charge she can launch an explosive to cause a devastating explosion and Team Speech that emits a healing slingshot.

Redfall Review

Although the game has been promoted as cooperative, it can be played completely alone, apart from the fact that it has four difficulty modes in case things get complicated for us. However, the best way to play is with friends as each character’s own abilities can complement each other. Doing it solo will make it feel very generic since it’s gameplay we’ve seen in similar games.

Characters have three weapon slots, and weapons will have rarity levels, just like Diablo. This encourages looting and we will constantly be receiving more and better weapons. We have common ones in gray, Uncommon in green, Rare in blue and Legendary in gold. The more rare, the better benefits they will have when facing enemies. However, there is little difference between non-legendaries, and they basically feel the same, unless we find a truly unique weapon.

There are several types of weapons such as shotguns, 9mm, assault rifles, sniper rifles, stake launchers and Ultra violet weapons. Each type has its variants that vary in fire rate, damage, ammunition, etc. However, the game shows indications that these weapons could be modded as the different types show telescopic sights, attachments such as stakes or bayonets and different magazines indicating that at some point the possibility of modifying them with accessories was contemplated.

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The longest night

Redfall Review

Redfall is an island with more or less considerable dimensions, although I have seen larger open worlds. Later on, we move on to another area, but it’s better for everyone to experience it for themselves. At the beginning we have an operations center that is a fire station that is located in the center of the island and where the survivors meet to plan the missions. It has a mission table, several weapon and item stores, and the NPCs that we are saving will come here.

We must travel the island on foot, and the game again shows indications that the different vehicles could be used to facilitate the journey. My comment is based on the wideness of the streets and we will see different vehicles like cars and Quads that I think would fit well into the overall gameplay. To solve long distances, we can find waypoints for fast travel, but sometimes there are considerable distances between one point and another.

Redfall Review

The map is distributed by districts and the central zone, these in turn are divided into activities such as Security Shelters, Points of Interest, places with hidden treasures, Vampire Nest, etc. These districts can be freed from the influence of vampires by liberating a haven, then completing a side quest and eliminating a mini-boss, this means having less enemy presence in the area once liberated. Regarding the vampire nests, they are a type of dungeons from a twisted version of Redfall in which we must destroy a large crystallized heart, collect some loot and then escape before time runs out, it brings a bit of variety to the formula to clean places, while we will obtain better loot.

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As for the enemies we will have two types, humans and vampires. Humans use firearms, and there are different variants such as lookouts, snipers, grenadiers, and stormtroopers. They are the most numerous although they are eliminated quickly but they compensate with numerical superiority. While vampires take more damage and are not killed with bullets alone, we must use a stake on either a bayonet or the spear thrower in order to kill them like a good vampire hunter. They have variants such as vampires that attack melee and are very fast, Sucker that drains our health, Night Manager that emits a red mist that does us damage, Watchers that warn of our presence.

Redfall Review

Missions range from go to X point and kill all enemies, retrieve Y item, get Z information. Nothing more to highlight than to be a messenger. As for the confrontations, in addition to setting up shooting brawls, in the scenarios there will be traps that we can use in our favor, and the enemies against us such as electricity, fire, red mist. However, enemies rarely got close, and it wasn’t an AI thing… we all love enemies getting close to that gas can about to explode with a puff.

60fps, what is that?

Redfall-GamersRD
Situations like this, I witnessed it several times

We arrived at one of the most controversial parts of the game and in which it did not go well. For starters, the game is not well optimized for an Xbox Series X, which is where it was tested. We could find late texture loading (even in the main menu), slowdowns when changing zones, bulk bugs and yes, it runs at 30fps but sometimes the frame rate is lower. One of my gripes with the Unreal Engine is that it has a ubiquitous blur effect which is noticeable here as well. Although not everything is bad, in certain areas we can see a good use of the play of light and shadow, but only specific moments, another detail is the reflection on the metal surfaces, and when we eliminate a vampire as if we were Blade, but little more than say.

As for the soundtrack, it has gloomy themes and one or two canchero. As for the dubbing, it is in several languages, including Latin, with a very good quality of dubbing actors. As for the sound effects, they are well achieved and we will hear our footsteps on water or a solid surface and things like that.

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Verdict

Really, Redfall is a game that has a story that might seem interesting, although not at the level of other Arkane Studios productions, but if we dedicate ourselves to digging through its intricacies we will see that the plot has something worthwhile. However, the game feels very empty for such a large island. The NPCs barely offer conversation, I didn’t empathize with any, except for the playable characters.

In terms of gameplay, its mechanics have a lot of Arkane, although many options have been simplified, making it feel generic and without substance. The looting and multiplayer component could save the game due to the synergy between playable characters. It has customization options, but they do not go beyond the aesthetic.

The part with the most failures is undoubtedly the graphic section. We will find collision bugs, floating objects, stutering, some frame drops and late texture loads and of course, it runs at 30fps. It is notable that the game was made in a hurry, or something close to that, because it seems that playable options were left unanswered, as they say.

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Note: This review was made on Xbox Series X and the code was provided thanks to Bethesda.

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