Following the massively disappointing 2022 Xbox slogged through, it seems as though trouble is still in paradise and here to stay. As it was announced recently that the upcoming PC and Xbox exclusive, Redfall, will be launching without a performance mode. To those unaware, performance modes have become commonplace amongst games on Xbox and PlayStation. These modes will offer concessions in visual fidelity, like resolution, or lower settings to hit 60fps or above in those games. Most games will aim for sixty, while others aim for 120fps.
As such, this means that Redfall will be locked to thirty frames per second, which is a shame. Arkane seems to have aimed for the highest settings and resolution for the launch version. While, at the same time, alienating those who like to enjoy games at higher frame rates. Some games like A Plague Tale: Requiem, and The Medium also did the same. The key difference between these titles is the slower-paced gameplay and superior graphical fidelity. Redfall is going to be a first-person shooter game, so imagine playing a game like Destiny 2 at half of the framerate. It is not an ideal experience.
With this in mind, the optics for the games have taken a massive U-turn. As the game debuted in 2021 with skepticism. Then shifted to an optimistic view throughout 2022 despite its initial delay. To the high praise given to it by recent previews. The game was building up goodwill and was a game I was interested in playing. But Arkane burnt most of that with the Xbox community in one tweet. Highlighting a major issue with a lack of focus and care for the Xbox platform by Xbox itself.
Xbox Losing Its Identity With Redfall
As previously mentioned, Xbox deciding to release Redfall in this state is unacceptable to the player base. After all, there are tens of millions of gamers who have dropped over five-hundred dollars on a console that is advertised solely with its power. Giving them a product that won’t be able to showcase the flexibility the power of these consoles offers is inexcusable. As it shows a lack of respect for the product that represents the brand, in name as well. Or maybe it only represents the brand in name alone.
Not to mention that at the exact same time, Redfall will launch on Xbox. It will also launch on PC as well. Where players of that platform will not have to pay for Xbox Live Gold to play with their friends. While also being able to go into their settings on PC to tune things to reach sixty and above with what hardware they have. Players on Xbox will not have these options so they are stuck playing it at 30fps until Arkane decides to patch it in.
This is also not an isolated incident where Xbox has either mistreated the launch of its own games. Or the console player base themselves. As Halo Infinite launched without multiple staple features, including the promised couch co-op. Showing a “ship it now, fix it later” mentality. Then there are multiple games that Xbox Game Studios publishes without also releasing the game on Xbox for an unforeseen amount of time. For lack of better terms, if you own a PC, you are valued more than a player that bought the console that holds the Xbox name.
Lords of Gamings Editor-in-Chief Mahmood also has this to say about the situation.
I was absolutely gutted when I heard that Redfall would launch without a performance mode on Xbox Series X|S. Despite wide coverage of the game only a couple of weeks earlier, something was off when Arkane would not allow media and content creators to post their own footage of the game. Now, it seems that we know why. The developers were hiding the fact that the game was not going to launch with a performance mode and it’s truly disappointing. Usually, I am not one who gets upset over video games. After all, they are just forms of entertainment, but I believed that Redfall would mark the beginning of a wave of content and feature complete games available on Xbox Game Pass.
On paper, the current generation of consoles should be able to hit 60 FPS and above relatively easily. But there is something going on in the wider industry that’s resulting in more unoptimized games. Things have gotten so bad that newer PC system requirements demand GPUs that cost well above $600 to meet recommended requirements. It’s a joke when cards launched only 2 years ago are quickly falling into obsolescence.
It’s unfortunate that unoptimized games and a “fix it later” mindset is quickly becoming the norm in AAA video game development. Players have every right to feel upset. But in all honesty, there are so many games coming out on a weekly cadence that it’s hard to keep up as it is. It’s easy to find alternatives to AAA titles, especially in the indie scene that’s producing high-quality titles. If there’s a game that didn’t meet your expectations, then don’t buy/play it until it does. It’s a form of patient gaming that will pay dividends to you in the long term. Let’s hope the buck stops at Redfall, but then again, I’m not holding my breath.
This Can’t Keep Happening
There has been an ongoing narrative that games hitting Xbox Game Pass on day one lower the quality. This is of course, absurd but not entirely unfounded. As Halo Infinite came out in a way that you would see some game preview multiplayer games would. Now Redfall is also going to launch with multiple stains that it has to clean post-launch. Such as the always online requirement which I do not believe is an actual issue, but if someone like me plays alone, why should I care about being online?
Then there is the issue of progression being tied to the host of the game and now the 30fps situation. There are no timetables for addressing these issues as well. If consumers decide to pick up the game in a retail store. Or buy a potential Xbox Series X Redfall game bundle. They are going to expect a fantastic product that will provide them with an experience they won’t soon forget. However, I feel the memories that will be made from these issues being present will result in the opposite.
Redfall only has one chance to make its mark. Please, Arkane, delay it to ensure the quality you are known for is upheld.