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Game review: Redfall (Xbox Series X)

2022 wasn’t a really good year for the Xbox brand as not many AAA exclusives were released for the Series X and Series S consoles. Well, 2023 is supposed to be a better year, as later, we will see the release of Bethesda’s Starfield. Before that, though, the Xbox brand has seen the release of Redfall from Arkane Studios.

Redfall is an Xbox exclusive only available for the PC and the Xbox Series X/S consoles. It is truly the first AAA exclusive we’ve had in a long time. Not to mention the game is a true next-gen exclusive thanks to the game not being released for the last-generation Xbox One console.

Before I begin talking about Redfall’s content, the first thing you have to know is that the Xbox version of the game won’t look as good as the PC version at launch. Arkane Studios has already mentioned on social media that Redfall can only run at 30fps at launch for Xbox consoles. A 60fps patch for the game will be released at a later date.

I will say that 60fps is sorely missed, although it’s not the end of the world. I still managed to play the game well at 30fps, despite the graphics looking a little outdated. That being said, the outdated look is a stylistic approach due to the game’s supernatural-style setting. I will say this, though: Redfall isn’t as beautiful to look at as the recently released Dead Island 2.

However, 30fps isn’t the only problem I had with the game at launch. Sadly, this game hasn’t been tested thoroughly because I encountered a lot of annoying bugs and glitches during my playthrough. One annoying glitch was that I couldn’t see the enemy life bars even though I turned them on in the settings.

Another annoying bug I had was that the main mission waypoint disappeared for no reason. The waypoint didn’t even come back when I restarted the game! Luckily I was still able to finish the mission I was on, but it took me a long time to find the item that they wanted me to seek out.

In terms of content and gameplay, Redfall is a single or co-op multiplayer game with a campaign. Unlike other FPS games out there, Redfall does not include a separate PvP multiplayer mode. This is a bit of a shame as it could have been fun playing a humans vs. vampires mode if the game had more development time.

As for its story, Redfall takes place in a small city called Redfall, and it’s currently overrun by cultists and vampires. The vampires have managed to somewhat block out the sun so they can prowl both at night-time and daytime in this game. There are only a few human survivors left, and they have made a home base at the city’s fire station like The Ghostbusters.

Before you begin the game, you have the option to play as four different characters in Redfall. The characters are Devinder Crousley, Layla Ellison, Remi de la Rosa and Jacob Boyer. I opted to play as Jacob Boyer mainly because he has the cool ability to use his raven to scout enemies, and he can also use his cloak to become invisible for a short time.

As for its gameplay, Redfall is your typical looter-shooter with some supernatural-style enemies. There are a ton of pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles and shotguns for you to collect. The more you play the game, the better your weapons can get. It’s important to upgrade your weapons whenever you can, as the vampires aren’t easy targets in this game.

Vampires are stronger and much faster than the normal human enemies in this game. They take more damage and move quicker than you. When you manage to finally deplete their life bar, you have to kill them by using a stake. I usually attach a stake to my shotgun as it’s usually the most powerful weapon I have in my arsenal.

There are also some environmental factors in this game that can aid the vampires. Littered throughout Redfall is some red mist or fog that can damage you on impact. The red mist can also help alert vampires to your location if you go through it too.

Another thing you have to look out for is Vampire Nests. Vampire Nests create a blue force field that can make vampires stronger and faster than they are normally. You will need to go inside Vampire Nests to destroy them if you don’t want to deal with more powerful vampires.

As for Redfall, the city itself, it’s small and very uneventful. There’s nothing really interesting in this city, and not many NPCs that you can interact with as well. Most of the missions are quite mundane, like searching for specific items or killing a specific type of enemy.

One thing I really hate about the game is that the waypoints are unhelpful when they are working. This game does not indicate how high or low the waypoint is. For example, I needed to go to the third story of the fire station, but the waypoint didn’t tell me to go to the third story of the building! I was stupidly looking at the basement and main floors before I realised I had to go elsewhere.

The game also has modern gaming features that I hate. Firstly, you have to be connected online at all times, even though you’re playing the game solo. Redfall also does not allow you to pause the game while you’re playing by yourself too. It’s annoying because you lose currency when you die, so you cannot even go for a bathroom break.

Redfall also feels like a rushed development because the game does not even have proper cutscenes, either. Instead, the game uses in-game character models as still images while your main character narrates the cutscenes. It’s jarring compared to the epic cutscenes you may get from other AAA video games.

Sadly, Redfall is not the system-seller that is going to increase sales of Xbox consoles. It is by far the worst game that Arkane Studios has developed, and there are not many redeeming factors I can say about it. This is only worth playing if you have a weekend free and have nothing else to play on Game Pass. 

Verdict: 6.0/10

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