Arkane offers a masterclass in creating some of the best immersive sims in the gaming industry. With their recent foray into co-op with Deathloop and now Redfall, they look to blend their signature style with an exciting cooperative experience. We were lucky enough to go hands-on with Redfall last week, as well as interview Arkane Austin Studio Director Harvey Smith. We learned a lot about the world of Redfall, and here are 3 things you should know about the upcoming shooter before you jump in on May 2nd.
Single Player or Cooperative, the Choice is Yours
One of the main concerns ahead of Redfall‘s release has been the cooperative nature of the game. Often when a game focuses on delivering a fun co-op experience, it can sometimes be lackluster when you are playing on your own. Not only can it not be as fun, but sometimes the balancing of enemies and the number you face can make a single-player experience absolutely miserable.
During our interview with Harvey Smith, he cited a scaling system that was developed to make sure it was balanced no matter how you choose to play. It’s not just something as simple as throwing more enemies at you or making them more resistant to your attacks. The amount of diverse enemy types will increase as more players join your party. This means in a full 3 person lobby things are likely going to be very hectic with a wide variety of enemies to deal with.
How you handle each encounter will drive the difficulty and challenge for players. If you are playing lone wolf, it is much easier to take a stealthy approach to deal with hoards of enemies silently. While doing this with a full party of 3 will be a lot more challenging to maintain stealth throughout. The main point Smith stressed in the interview, is that this game was crafted to be a unique experience whether you play in co-op or on your own.
Undoubtedly, the game will be much tenser and horror-like in a single-player experience when your friends aren’t yelling at you for alerting all the vampires to your presence. As someone who likes to explore solo and play with friends, I find it exciting that I might have completely different experiences depending on a wide variety of variables.
The Environment is Your Friend…and Enemy
Interactivity within your environment has been a staple in classic Arkane games such as Prey (2017) and Dishonored. From being able to pick up and look at objects, to being able to interact and move completely freely throughout a world in order to complete objectives. Killing Mimics in Prey with hacked turrets, garbage, and environmental items was a highlight of my time with the game. Redfall continues this trend of environmental creativity in how you can dispatch vampires using the environment around you. You will have opportunities to use environmental objects such as UV light, electrical devices, and flammables to kill the vampires and cultists. Being able to petrify vampires and eliminate them quickly using UV lighting will be a huge advantage for hunters.
However, not all of the environment is your friend. Some vampires have unique status effects that can be caused by exposure to various environmental hazards. One vampire type once petrified with UV lighting will begin to leak “Dead Mist”. This Dead Mist is a putrid red smoke that slows down and damages players over time and can leave them vulnerable to ambushes from other enemies.
Dead Mist can cloud up entire streets and creates a unique challenge for players to circumvent in certain areas and combat scenarios. One wrong decision and all of a sudden you are surrounded by mist and overwhelmed by a horde of enemies. On the flip side of this, maybe you are being chased by a horde of vampires, and then you blow up a nearby car which causes fire to go everywhere heavily damaging the pursuing foes. Which then allows you to turn the tide of the battle to your advantage. There will certainly be more ways to kill enemies than just shooting them with your guns like other “hunter” style games.
Freedom To Explore And Make Mistakes
Perhaps one of the most interesting tidbits we have learned about Redfall is that there will be no tethering between co-op partners in Redfall. Quite often in cooperative games, you will not be able to stray too far from your partner. The game will give a warning that you must return to your partner. Some games even went as far as slingshotting the player all the way back to their partner without warning. Redfall avoids this as there is no tethering and players are free to explore as they like. This will allow players to explore freely without the game forcing them to stick together.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. Just because you can roam hundreds of meters away from your partner doesn’t mean you should. You never know what could be lurking in the attic of that abandoned house. Being able to split up creates unique risk and reward scenarios for players. We all have that one friend who goes running into a fight like Rambo. It is likely that friend will be dispatched quickly by foes with his reckless attitude. However, there is the possibility of team coordination to either shock or awe your enemies by dispatching all of them before they can react. Or even if you have the skill, to stealthily dispatch your enemies as a team. No two encounters are likely to be the same and will require a different approach to succeed. Freedom appears to be the primary focus of Redfall, from how it approaches its exploration, combat, and worldbuilding.
If you want to learn more about Redfall you can listen to this extensive in-depth conversation featuring the members of our own Iron Lords Podcast. They discussed their experience with the game in the clip down below.
Will you be checking out Redfall this May? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check back for the latest gaming news and information.