- Despite the promise of Redfall being Arkane’s most supported game, it has received no further updates, upsetting fans.
- Redfall was a pretty weak project with a myriad of issues like repetitive quest design, tedious gameplay loop, lack of unique content, weak loot rewards, and an always-online requirement.
- Online games require consistent updates and fresh content to maintain their appeal and attract players.
- Arkane did an exceptional job with its past games; Prey, Dishonored, and Deathloop. It’s a shame this level of creativity never made it to Redfall, and hopefully, future updates might bring something new.
When the mastermind behind epic titles like Prey and Dishonored; Arkane, announced a new game, there shouldn’t have been any reason to doubt it. However, slowly but surely, the reasons started popping up to the point we had an ominous premonition that a total mess was coming. Regrettably, it turned out to be true when Redfall was released to a disappointing reception.
Redfall was riddled with problems upon launch, like awfully weak gameplay, poor quest design, and a surprising always-online requirement. A saving grace of sorts was Arkane’s promise of Redfall being its most supported game, and it was supposed to receive consistent updates. However, even that is nowhere to be seen, and it seems the lack of content has finally caught up to Arkane’s attempt at a looter shooter.
Redfall’s Critically Flawed Formula
In addition to the problems plaguing the looter shooter genre as a whole, Redfall also has a host of other issues, such that it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with the game. It tries to achieve something good but just gets lost in the process. The first thing to highlight that turned away many players was the always-online requirement, even if you wish to play the game in single-player mode.
The game has a dedicated single-player story, but you need a consistent internet connection to play through it. This means slow connection or frequent disconnections will hinder even the story mode for players not interested in multiplayer. Couple that with the game’s bulk of technical issues and performance drops and you get a near unplayable game for those unfortunately having connection problems.
Coming up, the game lacks any sort of novelty or distinctive feature that immediately hooks you up. It had an interesting vampire-infested premise, but the game does little to play with its strengths. Instead, you get a bland story with no intriguing characters and a slog you have to force yourself to sit through, waiting for a miraculous twist that never happens at any point.
An important issue is the lack of differentiation among the game’s weaponry, and Redfall is also a victim of this. Weapons are an integral part of looter shooters, and failure to make each one distinct will surely distance the players. Redfall has a bunch of weapons that all feel the same, with little incentive to go for the legendary ones other than simply more damage. It’s like they all play out the same and it’s just one hit slightly harder than the other.
Last, but certainly the most critical issue is the lack of meaningful things to do. The game is filled with the same repetitive gameplay of a base occupied by vampires and their lackeys, and it’s your job to liberate it in a tedious gameplay loop. If the core elements were fun, it might have been bearable, but the game’s awful gameplay and soulless gunplay render the entire experience devoid of any fun.
Online Games Require Efficient Preparation
After Redfall’s unfortunate state disappointed us, Arkane’s promise of consistent updates was a glimmer of hope that it might become better, but so far we’ve seen nothing, and it’s quite alarming for the game. When it comes to online games, they need to provide consistent fresh content to retain the player base’s attention. They run for a lot longer than single-player games and need to justify that lengthy runtime.
Recently, the genre has become quite troubled as a whole. After critically acclaimed games like Bungie’s Destiny and Borderlands, looter shooters became considerably prominent, and other games tried to replicate this success. However, they ended up missing the point that made these games successful. Over time, the genre became saturated with games that lack any distinctive quality, and present repetitive content.
Just designing a Destiny clone and being done with it is not what looter shooters should become. They need to provide new and ingenious game modes, that don’t feel like something you’ve done before, and truly enjoy playing alongside your friends. Therefore, proper planning is needed, and Exoprimal is a good example. Drafting a roadmap, considering fan feedback and implementing meaningful changes, and sticking to the promise of fresh content is what keep a multiplayer game alive.
We have considerable examples of games that suffered a downfall because they failed to do so. EA’s Anthem had a pretty intriguing concept, but in the end, repetitive and less refined gameplay, technical issues, and lack of extra gameplay modes were not favorable aspects. A very recent case is Marvel’s Avengers, which was a critically flawed and underwhelming project, plus a total lack of content that led to its eventual demise.
Another important issue that Redfall seems to be suffering from as well is an improper loot system. For games focused on loot, the items you obtain need to be distinct and fascinating enough to justify the work put into them. If all you get are the same reskinned weapons or gear that do nothing but bring slightly different numbers and a little cosmetic variety, no one would be motivated to go out of their way to get them.
Online games require much more dedication and planning than single-player ones. As a source of entertainment, you are continuously competing for the gamers’ time and in the end, the game with consistent support and ideas will take the win. Games shouldn’t be just about making money. If you offer nothing but the same type of endeavor over and over, with the same handful of enemies and uncreative weapons and gear, and no effective planning, you’re killing the project with your own hands.
Redfall Is In Dire Need Of Some Of That Arkane DNA
When Redfall first came out, I honestly couldn’t believe this was a game from Arkane. On one hand, we have epic sci-fi horror fps; Prey, and the ingenious superpower-fueled action stealth; Dishonored. While on the other, we got a bland shooter with repetitive and unimaginative quest design and gameplay in Redfall. It was truly a crushingly surprising change of events. And with no updates that were promised, the game’s repute among fans continues to fall.
Dishonored is among the best games of the genre and something very difficult to find in any other. A first-person action game that puts you in the shoes of Corvo in the first game, and both Corvo and Emily in the second, both with unique superpowers. You have the choice to approach a gameplay segment in any way you see fit. You can uphold morality by killing only when necessary, or go on a killing spree either stealthily or in a bold fashion.
Similarly, Prey introduced a refreshing playground to tackle unknown alien entities on a desolate spaceship. Alongside the setting which was a superb presentation in both visuals and design, we had a fun and rewarding gameplay with plenty of unique weapons to play around with and combat encounters that give off a sense of dread when initiated and a sense of accomplishment when you conquer these cosmic horrors.
Prey still not being on Overwhelmingly Positive upsets me pic.twitter.com/rgVHIzA9fI
— FPSthetics (@FPSthetics) May 4, 2023
Next came Deathloop which although had a Dishonored feeling, brought unique and original gameplay elements which included excellent mechanics at a level where you are constantly on the edge as anything could happen, retaining the element of surprise with its invasion mechanic. What I mean to say is that these games brought ingenious gameplay and a novelty we wished to see in Redfall too.
I’m among the few who are clinging to the hope that Arkane’s consistent support might bring improvements to the game. There’s still time to overhaul the core gameplay and bring novel game modes, utilize the vampire premise more creatively, and expand the story mode to include character development and a heartfelt characterization and writing of the cast, alongside improved loot and gear.
Arkane was behind some of the best games in their respective field, and it was because those games had creativity and thought put behind the implementation that was peerless, setting them apart and creating their undeniable legacy. Redfall had the potential to be the sleeper hit that Xbox truly needed, but seeing it become a disappointment was truly regrettable. Arkane promised Redfall to be its most supported game, and it’s time to fulfill that vow and bring meaningful content to the game that might clear its name.
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