While Arkane’s games, as the Dishonored developer is fast to admit, are hard to define, made up as they are of a blend of genres and an overlapping mass of systems, its co-op vampire hunting game Redfall is, at last, coming into focus. It even has a release date: May 2, 2023.
In previous live streams about Redfall, Arkane has focused on the moment-to-moment gameplay, how the guns work, some of the skills you can unlock, and how you can collaborate with other players to combine abilities against your vampire enemies. But in this most recent live stream, the Xbox & Bethesda Developer Direct, Arkane took a step back to talk about your overarching aim in the Xbox Series X game.
Your mission is simple: clear the town of Redfall of all the bloodsuckers and their buddies.
That may seem like a straightforward goal, but in practice, there’s a little more to it. For a start, the town of Redfall doesn’t just have a vampire problem. Human cultists have taken up residence in the community, capturing survivors and feeding them to the bloodsuckers. It’s a kind of hero worship for the cultists, trying to get on the good side of the pointy-teethed menaces and gain favor with the vampire gods.
To rid the town of vampires and cultists, you’ll need to go from neighborhood to neighborhood, eliminating vampire nests and cultist operations. Eventually, when you’ve caused enough of a ruckus, you’ll need to kill a vampire underboss. These are souped-up vampires armed with special abilities you’ll only encounter in those boss fights.
In each neighborhood, you’ll find a safe house in which you can set up shop. Arkane didn’t go into much detail about what you could do at these locales, though hopefully, they’re more than good fast travel and respawn spots.
When you kill an underboss, you will claim their skull, which acts as a kind of key. Collect enough skulls and you unlock a fight with one of the vampire gods, and I don’t know how to put this other than saying they’re a heckin’ big bloodsucker. They’re the kind of big that makes me think I may have to play Redfall in co-op after all, even though you can complete the whole game in single-player.
I’ll make the call on whether I want to go it alone against the vamps nearer the time, but at least I can schedule the decision in now, because the Redfall release date isn’t far off. I only have to wait until May 2. And, of course, as it will be out on Game Pass on day one, I don’t even need to convince my friends to pick up a copy. We can just boot it up on a whim.
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Julian's been writing about video games for more than a decade. In that time, he's always been drawn to the strange intersections between gaming and the real world, like when he interviewed a NASA scientist who had become a Space Pope in EVE Online, or when he traveled to Ukraine to interview game developers involved in the 2014 revolution, or that time he tore his trousers while playing Just Dance with a developer.