What kind of game is Arkane’s upcoming Xbox-exclusive Redfall, anyway? When the game was first unveiled most folks immediately tagged it as a Left 4 Dead clone. That’s a fair assumption, since Redfall is a four-player co-op action game about re-killing dead people, but Arkane has been insistent the game is more than that. In a new interview with GamesRadar, Arkane goes further to make their point, comparing the game to the likes of Far Cry and STALKER.
Those comparisons are likely to stir some controversy, as the Far Cry brand has lost some of its lustre in recent years and STALKER has a very particular appeal, but Arkane’s point is Redfall is an open-world game. Not a session-based shooter with some Arkane world-building sprinkled in, but a true open-world adventure. Here’s Arkane creative director Ricardo Bare on the misconception Redfall is just a L4D-like.
“It's totally understandable for somebody to come to that conclusion. There are four playable characters, you can play together cooperatively, and you're going against the undead. But, in terms of the way that you play and experience Redfall, it's not like those games at all. Redfall is more like loading into Far Cry."
Studio director Harvey Smith echoed Bare’s sentiments, saying this is something Arkane has wanted to do for a long time…
“Redfall sometimes feels like what you'd get if you blended the Arkane creative values with Far Cry 2 or STALKER. That's the kind of thing that we have wanted to do for a long time."
While Arkane may be throwing around names like Far Cry and STALKER, don’t expect the world to be overwhelmingly huge. This is strictly an on-foot game with no vehicles, so the map is more compact. That said, the map is divided into urban town and rural districts, with lots of densely-packed detail and opportunity to explore. Players can embark on structured missions but can also explore freely, clearing out nests of vamps, establishing safe houses, and more. Despite the sun being partially blotted out by the vampires, there is still a day-night cycle and storms will gradually build, leading to the arrival of powerful vampire bosses called Rooks.
As for the game’s co-op elements, think Borderlands or Diablo rather than Left 4 Dead. Co-op is drop-in, drop-out, and each of the game’s four playable characters are more than just cosmetically different; they represent different classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Redfall launches on PC and Xbox Series X/S sometime within the first half of 2023 (with a May release rumored). What do you think? More interested in the game now that you know what it’s actually about?