Redfall Review – A Dark and Riveting Journey Through New England’s Shadows

Redfall Review – A Dark and Riveting Journey Through New England’s Shadows

Redfall, the latest release from renowned developer Arkane Studios, has left me deeply disappointed. As a dedicated fan of their previous works such as Dishonored and Deathloop, I had high expectations for this vampire-hunting first-person shooter. However, my experience with Redfall has been marred by technical flaws and perplexing design decisions that detract from the game’s potential. Instead of an engaging and immersive adventure, I found myself navigating through a lackluster world that drained the excitement out of me.

redfall review

Set in the fictional harbor town of Redfall, Massachusetts, the game throws players into a battle against vampires and their cult-like followers. As one of four distinct protagonists, your mission is to restore the once-thriving region to its former glory. The main antagonists, known as the Vampire Gods, are a wealthy group of scientists-turned-monsters. However, their backstories fail to make a significant impact despite the game’s attempts to flesh them out.

Following the introductory sequence, players embark on story and side missions from a central base of operations. The initial hours of the narrative shine as players encounter The Hollow Man, a mysterious entity whose presence adds an eerie atmosphere to the game. During this phase, players explore a dilapidated mansion with a dark past, engage in a thrilling battle at a cliffside lighthouse amidst a raging storm, and rescue hostages from The Hollow Man’s followers at a boatyard. Unfortunately, Redfall struggles to maintain this level of intrigue throughout the rest of the game. The storyline becomes convoluted, side activities become repetitive, and the second map fails to captivate as much as the initial areas. Additionally, the Vampire Gods’ backstory is presented through forgettable flashbacks featuring vaguely humanoid ghosts conversing in an abandoned setting.

On a positive note, Redfall introduces four likable protagonists: Remi and her robotic companion Bribón, Devinder the teleporting cryptozoologist, Jacob the marksman with a psychic eye, and Layla the biomedical engineer with telekinetic powers. Each character possesses unique skills that can be upgraded through a straightforward skill tree. However, with only three abilities per character, players find themselves relying more on firearms than their individual abilities. It would have been more engaging if players had the freedom to choose from the game’s 12 abilities to suit their preferred playstyle. Unfortunately, players must commit to a single character with a predetermined skillset for the entirety of the game.

Redfall’s shooting mechanics and arsenal of weapons are serviceable, with standout options like the stake launcher and the ultra-violet raygun, which petrifies vampires. Throughout the game, players discover new weapons as they explore and complete missions. However, the game’s loot system feels repetitive, offering slight stat increases with each new iteration of a weapon. The same can be said for the variety of enemy vampire types, which often feel recycled with different names, leading to a sense of monotony in combat.

As I surveyed the world of Redfall, I couldn’t help but feel disheartened by the wasted potential. While there are a few standout locations, the majority of the game world feels forgettable and empty. Moreover, Redfall suffers from numerous issues, including the absence of proper stealth takedowns, a cumbersome quest and waypoint system, and the inability to pause gameplay in single-player mode. Technical problems further tarnish the experience, with frequent server crashes in multiplayer, unresponsive controls, broken animations, and various other bugs that hinder the overall enjoyment of Redfall. For a game centered around battling the undead, Redfall fails to capture the essence and spirit that make such adventures captivating.

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