Redfall is an upcoming open-world co-op FPS from Arkane Austin, who previously developed Prey and the Dishonored series.
This new IP sees you battling vampires in a post-apocalyptic town setting, doused in a delightful retro horror aesthetic, either solo or in a squad with up to three other players as you aim to unravel exactly why the vamps are there in the first place. You'll be able to pick from four heroes, each with their own unique abilities that complement each other in a variety of ways, and have access to a variety of vampire-hunting weaponry that looks to make your quest that much more enjoyable.
Thanks to Redfall's appearance at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, we've learned a lot more about what to expect. We're excited to sink our teeth into Arkane's co-op shooter, even if we'll be waiting slightly longer than we were previously told.
Want to know more? Read on for everything we know about Redfall so far.
Redfall: cut to the chase
- What is it? A co-op first-person shooter from Arkane Studios
- When can I play it? The first half of 2023
- What can I play it on? Xbox Series X|S and PC
Redfall release date and platforms
It'll also be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one. While it'll skip the last-gen Xbox One, anyone who's yet to upgrade to Microsoft's latest can access it through Xbox Cloud Gaming too. Providing you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, that is.
Arkane's co-op shooter was initially scheduled for "Summer 2022" but Bethesda announced a delay in May 2022. Alongside a delay for Starfield, it told us both were being delayed to the “first half of 2023”, stating the teams at Arkane Austin and Bethesda Game Studios have “incredible ambitions for their games, and we want to ensure that you receive the best, most polished versions of them.”
Redfall seems to have been in development for at least a few years. Several years back, a trademark dispute between Zenimax (Bethesda's parent company) and author Jay Falconer brought the name "Redfall" to light.
Back then, Redfall was theorized to be the subtitle for The Elder Scrolls 6. That's due to the name being similar to both Daggerfall (a kingdom in The Elder Scrolls' setting of Tamriel) and the series' Redguard race.
Bringing Redfall To Life
Back in August 2022, Arkane Austin released a new video. While most of its included gameplay was previously shown during the Xbox and Bethesda showcase, Arkane's Harvey Smith discussed how Redfall's open world feels "expansive" but "lived in." Confirming this is the largest open space we've seen from the team yet, you can watch that in full below.
Welcome to Redfall
Following on from the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, Microsoft has now released a fresh Redfall trailer. Giving us a brief view of the game's skill tree and loadouts, you can get a quick look at this below.
Official Gameplay Reveal
During the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase in June 2022, Microsoft gave us our first in-depth look at Redfall gameplay. Starting with a lone hunter investigating an abandoned church, it showcased the game's co-op focus, shedding light on the story too. You can see this in action below:
Official announcement trailer
Redfall's debut trailer was a lovely bit of CG goodness and, while it didn't give us a look at gameplay, we were able to piece together some semblance of what we can expect from the Redfall. Check it out below:
Redfall story and setting
Redfall's website gives us a brief synopsis of the game's story, setting and the larger-than-life characters that inhabit the world.
The vampiric enemies of the game are actually science experiments gone wickedly wrong. These creatures have cut off the town of Redfall from the rest of the world by blocking out the sun. According to Bethesda (opens in new tab), the types of vampires you'll be facing in Redfall include "sneaky vampires that grab you and separate you from your team", "hulking vampires capable of tearing you and your team to pieces" and "Godlike vampires powerful enough to eclipse the sun".
The vampires are joined by a human faction that worships them, as was seen in the debut trailer. As such, it looks like firefights will often have us dealing with both enemy types - and perhaps a few more - at once.
Redfall's official website describes the game as "cooperative, story-driven FPS experience," and will be played from a first-person perspective.
The game features four playable heroes, here are their descriptions according to Bethesda:
- Layla Ellison: A biomedical engineering student who interned at a research facility, where something went very wrong, leaving her with intense telekinetic abilities.
- Jacob Boyer: An ex-military sharpshooter turned private contractor. Strange happenings on Redfall have left Jacob with a mysterious vampiric eye and a spectral raven that’s never far from his side.
- Remi de la Rosa: A brilliant combat engineer who has spent her life on the frontlines. With the help of her robot cohort, Bribón, she’s determined to help rescue Redfall’s survivors.
- Devinder Crousley: A cryptozoologist and aspiring inventor. Armed with weapons of his own creation, he’s on a mission to prove himself.
You will pick from these four playable heroes, each boasting their own unique personalities and abilities, and will be able to upgrade these abilities as you go. You'll be able to try out different playstyles and loadouts, too. The website states Redfall will blend "single and multiplayer options seamlessly, allowing the player to venture into the darkness alone or squad up with up to three friends for four-player co-op."
The use of the word "seamlessly" implies that a drop-in co-op system could be implemented in Redfall, which would allow players to join someone else's game without needing to back out to the main menu. For players who prefer solo play, the official website states you can build your characters around playing alone, catering to both.
It's not just vampires we need to worry about, either. According to Bethesda, they've also developed a small army of cultists, which the Redfall website describes as "well-armed and ready to die for the vampires." Having setup bases and patrol routes across this island, we'll need to be careful.
Redfall's website also states that the game's open world will be "ever-changing," and will be a "setting that reacts to your choices and actions." Between cultist bases and "twisted psychic spaces" called Nests, there's plenty to take care of before the island becomes safe once again. Creative Director Ricardo Bare tells us:
“When not doing the main story missions, players can help Redfall by taking neighborhoods back from the vampires and the cultists who worship them.”
It looks like Arkane's fondness for moment-to-moment gameplay and choices will bleed into Redfall, too, and we're curious to see just how far-reaching our personal decision-making will become in the final game.
Redfall news and rumors
Comparisons to Left 4 Dead
During the Xbox Games Extended showcase, Bethesda’s Pete Hines addressed comparisons between Redfall and co-op shooters like Left 4 Dead.
“If you watch, just like, combat footage, you might look at Left 4 Dead or Back 4 Blood or any of these things and go ‘oh, I see multiple characters facing a bunch of enemies and so it’s the same game’,” Hines said. “But I think that would be doing a disservice, that it’s all of the things that take place between the combat as well as the combat itself, combining different skills and abilities in the way that you do…those are the kind of things that Arkane does that really bring that extra special element that makes their games so compelling.”
The whole squad can play as any hero
Arkane has confirmed that, when playing co-op, players will be able to play as any character, regardless of whether a teammate has already selected them. That means you can all play as Layla, for example, if you want to.
𝐁𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬: Your whole squad can play as any hero. pic.twitter.com/xmJjIwDgdhJune 14, 2022
How similar is Redfall to other Arkane games?
During the Xbox Games Extended showcase, Bethesda’s Pete Hines also explained Redfall’s similarities and differences to developer Arkane’s previous work. In particular, Hines explained that, while Redfall has co-op elements, there’s still an enjoyable single-player experience to be had.
“On the surface, it’s a first-person shooter that you can play solo or with up to four players and so, you know, immediately you might say it’s not a single-player game so it must be wildly different,” Hines said. “And, don’t get me wrong, there are absolutely ways in which it is different but when folks play the game, and even when they see more of the game, I’ll think they’ll start to see all of those things about an Arkane game that they love and appreciate.”
“If you want to play a game by yourself and get a great Arkane story then you can absolutely do that in Redfall but you can also do things that you haven’t been able to do in an Arkane game, like experience it with friends and find out how the whole can become more than the sum of the parts, like playing it off of each character’s ability,” Hines continued. “I think the more that people appreciate that, you almost are going to want to try and play Redfall a couple of ways. You might want to play it by yourself a little bit, play it with others, and it's a game that allows you to do either or both of those things, however you see fit.”
Pete Hines addresses delays
During the Xbox Games Extended showcase, Bethesda’s Pete Hines addressed the delays to both Starfield and Redfall, saying that these delays were to allow the teams to “fully realize” the games.
“With all the time that goes into a game, it would be foolish to rush it out the door before it’s ready, Hines said. “I think we have continued to examine how we think about games and making sure that they’re going to meet players’ expectations. Obviously, the last few years have really challenged us from a development standpoint, how we work now largely remotely while a lot of our folks are not back in the office, and that has an impact. I also think we’ve been thinking about things like release dates and when do we give those out and how do we make sure we give one out that we actually hit and don’t have to change later.
“So, it’s not something that we undertake lightly but, at the end of the day, what our fans expect is a high-quality game and we want to do everything we can to give our teams the time to fully realize the games.”
In-game images reportedly leak online
Images claimed to be leaked from a Redfall playtest have appeared online (opens in new tab) (via IGN (opens in new tab)), possibly giving us a better idea of what to expect from the game.
The leaker claims that the game will step into the looter-shooter genre, with influence from Borderlands while incorporating elements from Arkane’s own Dishonored games. According to the leaker the test had six pre-made playable heroes (we only know of four thus far) and that these heroes “each have unique abilities which are reminiscent of those found in games like Dishonored” and these abilities “are improved via exp from kills and missions“
They describe the game as “An open-world Hero-based looter shooter with co-op and solo play, with various forms of missions around the world as well as fast travel and safehouses. Very Borderlands-esque.”
The leaker and images also points to characters being able to carry up to three weapons at a time, with there being “potentially 5 tiers” of weapons and those in the higher tiers appearing “to come with additional perks such as increased accuracy or higher damage.”
Any leaks should, of course, be taken with a pretty large pinch of salt. It’s also worth pointing out that even if these images are real, what we see from them now and what’s actually released in 2023 could change a great deal.