When Arkane is preparing to release a game, there always seems to be an endless list of questions. Due to their history of creating some of the best immersive sim games in the industry, there is often a sense of mystery to their games. Featuring some jaw-dropping plot twists like the first 30 minutes of Prey (2017), to some of the best stealth action in the Dishonored franchise, it feels like creativity knows no bounds at Arkane. However, with the reveal of Redfall, some fans are concerned that the vampire-hunting co-op shooter might lose some of the depth that Arkane games typically feature.
Our own Lord Cognito got to sit down with Harvey Smith Co-Creative Director of Redfall and Studio Director of Arkane Austin. They discuss a variety of aspects of the upcoming shooter. As well as how they preserve the Arkane spirit in a co-op experience.
Full Video Interview with Harvey Smith Studio Director Of Arkane Austin
Environmental Challenges And Multi-Path Traversal
You will fight a variety of different vampires during your time in Redfall and will have different tools at your disposal. But it won’t just be your character’s weapons and abilities at your beck and call. There will also be environmental aspects that will assist but also hinder players depending on the situation. Smith explains that environmental aspects such as UV lighting, fire, and electricity will play a key part in your combat experiences. Drawing certain vampires into UV lighting will petrify them making them easier to dispatch. However, there will be dangerous elements to the environment players will want to avoid such as the red mist.
This red mist is simply called “Dead Mist”, it can be emitted from specific vampires as well as dispersed by Cultists throughout the island. The mist will damage and slow down players. This will leave the player more vulnerable to attacks and ambushes from enemies. The mist is not just a small area of effect, at certain times it can envelop an entire street creating dangerous scenarios for players in an instant.
Keeping The Arkane “Magic” And Creating Freedom
There was one major concern that many Arkane fans had, myself included. Would the new direction of Redfall mean that Arkane will step away from its immersive sim routes? But Harvey Smith states that Redfall “is a fully open world built on Arkane’s values.”
Players will be able to explore and interact with the world in a variety of ways. From hacking turrets, and picking locks, as well as a major focus on environmental storytelling. Smith explains Redfall has layers to its storytelling. From environmental stories told by interacting with the world around you. To player’s characters interacting with each other and reacting to the world around them. Then of course main story missions will help to progress the overall narrative.
Redfall Avoids Co-Op Tethering
Perhaps one of the most exciting tidbits that we learned about Redfall is that there will be no tethering in co-op. If you are unfamiliar with tethering, it’s a common mechanic of keeping players close together in co-op worlds. It is often used in order to keep the game’s performance running smoothly as rendering an entire open world as two players interact with it on opposite sides of the map can cause massive issues. However, Redfall does not have tethering.
Players will be able to explore the world as freely as they like. But Smith hints that the scaling of enemies within the world is based on how many players are present. It is far safer to stick together because you never know what could be around the next corner. But given Arkane’s open-ended level design, combined with each character’s unique abilities, players will be able to attack any scenario in an almost endless variety of ways. This variety will no doubt help to combat the open-world fatigue that many games suffer from once the gameplay loop is established. It will be interesting to see how Redfall stacks up against other open-world games.
Will you be checking out Redfall this summer? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check back for the latest gaming news and information.