Redfall may be open world, but it doesn’t break Arkane’s magic

Remember when Arkane said their cooperative vampire Redfall was More like Far Cry than Left 4 Dead? I do! I remember a chill running down my spine as I recall Far Cry 6, where the tutorial island itself was longer than anything else I played that year. I fear Redfall could suffer the same fate. I imagined it filling my head with map markers until my head swelled, exploded like a balloon, and spewed out the rare gray matter in my brain.

Well, after letting Redfall play for 90 minutes, maybe I was a bit dramatic. The game can be open-world and there might be some slightly jarring open-worldism, but I feel like Arkane’s magic isn’t diluted by it all. Their talent for storytelling and level design is constantly emerging, making exploration a real pleasure. Sure, I have some apprehensions, but I can’t deny that I’d love to play it again.

To set up the scene quickly, I crashed into Redfall after a few hours in the main campaign and could only play it alone, no co-op allowed. It’s a shame I can’t play co-op-centric FPS with the others, but hey, ho. It’s also a build in development, so I can’t comment on how it might run on our devices post-launch. Not to mention it all took place in a really dark room with only the red RGB light from our PC to illuminate, so my notes looked like cave graffiti when I stepped out. out of the dark.

Once I’ve chosen my character – by the way, a decision that locks you out for that entire save – Remi De La Rosa, I open my menu and allocate some skill points. Remi, it turns out, is a supporting character. I chose her purely because she was accompanied by a cute cyborg named Bribón who looks like a puppy from Boston Dynamics. As you’d expect from a class based FPS, I can upgrade my abilities in the skill tree, so I made Bribón a distraction that can absorb damage for me, stuffing some points into my C4 explosive, then make it “mine”. Rally” will heal me a lot within its radius.

After tending to my plants, it became clear that I was born in a fire station that some people converted into a central space. Here I can take on main quests, replenish ammo, buy new weapons and heal. I’m not sure if it expands, if you can redecorate or really anything else, but to me it’s like a typical safe space, acting as an anchor for your open world orientation. My guess is that you’ll go back to the fire station between each mission, chat about it, then move on to the next.

Devinder and Layla opened fire on the Redfall cultists.
The world’s shelves are filled with trash like pots and pans that you can collect to get Supplies. You can use Supplies back to the fire station to replenish ammo and the like.

So far, very unsurprising, eh? My attitude changed dramatically when someone gave me a quest to start with and I got a feel for the world of Redfall. The fire station’s popcorn machine broke down, so I had to find somewhere I could hide some parts. While there’s no compass or flashing yellow dot when venturing into the night, I can open my map and see exactly where I need to go: the theater. Turns out, that place was full of vampires.

My time at the cinema is spent dealing with the usual ghouls scurrying around the floor and then surfacing somewhere else, or charging at me with their claws. A special Shroud envelops me in a shimmering bubble, then disappears under the floorboards to avoid my attacks, or slips behind me to ambush like a slippery bloodsucking eel. However, as long as you confront vampires in small doses, the battles are simple, but if caught by many vampires and you are in big trouble. Machine parts? Never found them.

For no part, I stumbled into the Safe House, which not only serves as a quick-travel point later, but also unlocks a special Safe House quest. It sent me to activate some satellites in a port town teeming with cultists and vampires. I think this is where Redfall really grabbed me.

A screenshot from Redfall, showing Layla driving a stake into vampires and burning them on impact.

A magical crow perches on Jacob's arm as he looks into a church in Redfall.

Layla creates a magical purple umbrella to block bullets from a cult in Redfall.

The port town is a sparkling spot, with countless colorful houses crammed together in a community that was once a sunny, bright community before vampires appeared. Across the harbour, a shadowy vampire hovered beside a shipwreck, which would surely rest on a wide sandbar surrounded by a ring of blue. A ring… blue? Then I timed – the sea! The sea had literally blown out, like someone had clicked a finger and froze the waves in place after a catastrophic explosion. Amazing.

The tight-knit community’s final laugh lies in the sheer amount of roofs they’ve left me as an advantage against the bad guys. Arkane’s architectural prowess shines through here, as I jump between rooftops to avoid cult patrols roaming around, and vampires erratically teleporting below. Some vampires sit stooped atop streetlights, like elves’ CCTV. Others growled inside the ruined houses. Little did they know that I was collecting heat, something with my fists and ice gun. So like, cold heat.

Redfall definitely wants you to be invisible… At least for my time playing, it looks like Redfall’s arsenal supports the action a bit more.

Regular vampires harden after a while under the old freezing beam, after which I can break them to pieces with a satisfying stab. I also have a bet catapult that can fire rockets at anything unlucky enough to get in its way. Bribón is quite useful, allowing me to take on cultists by absorbing damage, but admittedly I rarely use my abilities. I can’t tell if I just picked the worst character to play alone or if Remi’s special ability will become their own in a group. Only time will tell.

Redfall definitely wants you to be sneaky, as there’s a warning meter that goes up whenever you cause a ruckus. When it gets to the top, a giant vampire will come to you – at least, I think that’s what triggered it. I die so fast, I can’t be sure it’s the warning bar. But I wouldn’t say stealth was as satisfying as I’d hoped, in that sneaking behind enemies was exhilarating, but without any exciting assassination animations as I prepared for a quick neck slit. fast. I would punch them in the back to deal a lot of damage, or like shoot them and make a lot of noise. For my playtime, at least, it looks like Redfall’s arsenal supports the action a bit more.

Layla observes a group of cultists gathered around a static TV in Redfall.
I cannot describe to you how happy I am when I see windows, ledges, or makeshift entrances to hide my movements. And how refreshing, in an open world, to be in a dense Arkane playground. They have an uncanny ability to guide your eyes and still make you feel smart in the process.

While fiddling around, I stumbled across a vampire den, which turned out to be a shimmering door leading to a distorted reality. Cool. What appears to be a lively street in reality is split in two by an earthquake, with shops at awkward corners and the main street itself all jagged with jagged rocks. I put in some vampires, then headed for the prize: a giant heart connected to a lot of little people. I disconnected the add-ons and the actual scenario turned into a bank robbery where I needed to smash and get as many loot crates I dared to risk before the whole place fell apart. .

I was greedy and died in the nest. Although, I showed up with a new leftover item that boosts some stats, so hooray…? It’s too early to tell if the nests and loot will become tedious later on, but a lot of the rarity and numbers feel a bit flat, even if the guns themselves are light and medium. hand. My biggest worry is the game’s direct service trends and its ability to squeeze out fun as it progresses.

For the final part of the demo, I imported a generally excellent Arkane set without being diluted by the game’s open world structure. It was called the Addison Mansion, and it was monumental in size and destroyed by the experiments of a reclusive professor. Vampire CCTVs swayed their heads on the roof, and the cultists hid in the corridors, so I needed to be a little sneaky if I wanted to successfully infiltrate this place. And man, once I climbed inside, it was spooky. I made my way through the dark, twisting corridors and pieced together the professor’s story as I went, collecting all the clues left behind by objects and the family room. Eventually, I discovered a dollhouse, which belonged to a girl named Amelia, and needed to find three dolls scattered around the property and bring them home. Hmm.

A dark path leads to The Hollow Man's mansion in Redfall.

I just go and import dollhouse, right?! I was in Amelia’s mind, a physical embodiment of her thoughts and feelings; A brand new villa. I won’t spoil anymore because that would be cruel, but it’s equally creepy and heartbreaking. It may not be as complex as Dishonored’s efforts, but it’s still Arkane at its best, concealing a story within the walls of a building and keeping players thrilled as they uncover secrets. The secret is locked inside.

I really can’t stop thinking about Redfall. I really want to play it again, that must be a great sign. The open world is moderately distracting, and Arkane’s level design is prominent throughout. There’s a bit of tension between stealth and action, but it remains to be seen whether those resolve with mates or later in the game. Again, my biggest worry lies with the loot and skill trees and all that slightly jarring, open world stuff I’m not used to in the Arkane games. The fingers that cross them find a balance that allows their strengths to play out when it launches on May 2.


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