Making its surprise debut at E3 2021, Redfall is a new co-op shooter from the Austin branch of Arkane – the studio that created Dishonored and Prey. It’s definitely not The Elder Scrolls 6. As much as Redfall sounds like an Elder Scrolls legend, we’re still a long way from the new Elder Scrolls. Sorry about that!
When it comes to what Redfall really It’s, we know some interesting things. The reveal trailer Bethesda gave us portrays it as Left 4 Dead with vampires, but the information we have so far paints a picture of a hybrid of Valve’s classic co-op and the pedigree of Arkane’s past hits.
What is the release date of Redfall?
Redfall will be released in the first half of 2023. At least that’s what we were told to expect. It was originally planned for summer 2022, but was pushed back to May 2022.
Bethesda announced the delay in May 2022, saying “The teams at Arkane Austin (Redfall) and Bethesda Game Studios (Starfield) have incredible ambitions for their games, and we want to make sure you get the best, most polished versions of them.”
Here is the trailer for Redfall E3 2021
Above, you can sink your teeth into Redfall’s E3 2021 announcement trailer. It shows the game’s four playable characters prowling around an abandoned convenience store, before reminiscing about an intense battle the group experienced down the street. Using weapons and various powers and abilities, they fight a group of masked humans, followed by an encounter with Redfall’s main adversaries: a swarm of powerful vampires.
A possible leak has hinted at setup and gameplay
It’s hard to say if it was accurate, but a leak from Redfall showed possible photos of test versions of the game.
In this potential leak, we’ve seen five rarity levels for weapons, weapons with some sort of ‘scrap value’, and comments from the leaker suggesting that the “gameplay style/loop is very similar to Borderlands”.
He also claimed six playable characters, the ability to play in third person, and multiple districts to play as part of the open-world element.
Is Redfall Coming to Xbox Game Pass?
You bet. Redfall is coming to Game Pass on day one.
What is the story of Redfall?
While the specifics of Redfall’s story are unknown, Bethesda has outlined the basic plot. According to a reveal page for the game, Redfall is an island town that “used to be known for its quaint streets, breezy boardwalks, and charming neighborhoods. Then the vampires moved in and ruined everything.” (Of course it sounds a lot like Santa Cruz from The Lost Boys.
Redfall’s vampires are not typical undead bloodsuckers. Rather, they are the product of a scientific experiment gone wrong. I assume the experiment wasn’t “Can we make vampires?” because that would be incredibly stupid. The page also mentions that these vampires were able to “eclipse the sun”, which gives us some insight into their power (and Redfall’s deliberately schlocky tone). Bethesda has yet to confirm whether Redfall is a link to the classic Simpsons episode “Who Shot Mr. Burns?”
Who do you play with in Redfall?
Redfall lets you play as one of four characters, each with a different backstory and a particular set of skills. Here is a quick summary of the heterogeneous team:
A biomedical engineering graduate from Redfall Technical University, Layla worked at a local research organization called Aevum Theraputics before the vampire attack. Her last memory of her before the takeover is of some terrible occurrence at the facility, before she woke up with powerful (and extremely purple) telekinetic abilities. In short, Layla is the mage of the group, able to push and pull objects in the world.
Dev is a professional influencer specializing in cryptozoology and investigating the paranormal. He ventured into Redfall specifically to document the events taking place there, and likely to sell branded sneakers to his audience in the process. But he’s not solely there to take selfies and flog bad goods, he’s also an inventor, fighting with weapons of his own making. This likely means that there will be some sort of weapon crafting or modification element in Redfall, centered around Devmeister (which is likely how he refers to himself).
Remi de la Rosa
Remi de la Rosa is a combat engineer and a special rescue agent for the US Navy. She is also a genius, apparently exemplified by how she built a robot companion to fight alongside her. The robot’s name is Bribón, which roughly translates from Spanish as “rascal”. It also sounds like a probiotic brand. For a healthier gut, drink Bribón!
There’s a bit of Odin about Jacob. His experiences in Redfall have left him with a strange “Vampiric Eye” (might want to get some eye drops for that), as well as a spectral crow companion that helps him in battle (minus certain eye drops will help here). As you can probably guess, Jacob is the sniper of the bunch, capable of popping vampire heads better than anyone else on the team.
Is Redfall just Left 4 Dead with vampires?
Redfall certainly has a lot in common with Left 4 Dead. Cooperative gameplay, intense action, an undead enemy.
There are also more specific features that Redfall shares with Valve’s shooter. For example, there are several types of vampires that try to impede your party’s progress in different ways. An example seen in the trailer is Angler, who according to the reveal page “uses a psychic harpoon to drag you away from his team”. In other words, it’s a prettier version of Smoker from Left 4 Dead.
But there are some crucial differences, the main one being Arkane’s immersive simulator heritage. In an interview with Gamespot’s Tamoor Hussain, Bethesda’s Pete Hines cites an example from Dishonored where the player can use the “possession” skill to break their fall by possessing a fish before it hits the ground: a tester, who discovered the systems of the game allowed them to do so.”
Hines says Redfall is “very similar” to this in terms of design ethos, ensuring that powers and abilities are consistent and logical in terms of how they can be used in the world. There is an example of this in the trailer, where Layla uses her telekinetic abilities to lift Jacob onto a roof, giving him a better firing position. These are the kinds of skill combinations and extrapolated systems that Arkane is known for, and it looks like Redfall will continue to support them.
One other point worth mentioning is that, according to Bethesda’s announcements page, their vampire enemies are “continuing to evolve”. What this means for the game is not specified. But that can mean enemies become more powerful and adapt to your combat style as the game progresses.
Is Redfall an open world game?
On Redfall’s reveal page, Bethesda explicitly states that the game is an “open-world, co-op first-person shooter”. That’s not all either. In his interview with Gamespot, Hines states that the city will have a dynamic element. “Every time you play, you get something different,” he says. “The world is changing since the last time you played it, significantly from a gameplay standpoint.”
It’s possible that evolving vampires will tie into this, with more challenging, tougher variants lurking around areas you’ve explored before, like the adaptive guards in Metal Gear Solid 5. But that’s a hunch.
Can Redfall be played alone?
Yes. In his interview with Gamespot, Pete Hines stated that “You can play [Redfall] essentially singleplayer, drop it and play alone. Or you can play with other people.”
As for how the solo game will work, that’s still unclear. Considering the emphasis on working together as a team, one thing that would be nice is if the game allows you to switch between characters in real-time in solo play, allowing you to use your powers for different combinations and effects. This might sound complicated, but it’s not that far removed from Dishonored’s possession mechanic.
At the very least, I hope the game lets you command AI bots so you can use your powers when you’re alone.
Look, if you need an Elder Scrolls fix so badly, try Enderal: Forgotten Stories. For all intents and purposes, it’s a new Elder Scrolls game and it’s completely free. Now stop asking.