Redfall release date, trailers, and gameplay

Redfall - four protagonists all lined up facing forward
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Redfall is now out in the wild having released in May 2023. It brings us some bloody, co-op vampire-slaying FPS action from the same studio that made Dishonored and Prey.

Developer Arkane Austin's Xbox Series X Redfall is all about battling vampires in an open-world post-apocalyptic town that has been delightfully doused in retro horror. But you don't have to take on these vamps alone (unless you want to), as Redfall allows you to get together with up to three other players as you aim to unravel exactly why these toothy creatures are there in the first place. 

You'll have your choice of four distinctive heroes all armed with unique abilities and weapons that'll make any vampire cower in fear. Want to know more? Read on for a a bunch of details about the game, and everything we collected in the run-up to this release.

Redfall: cut to the chase

  • What is it? A co-op first-person shooter from Arkane Studios
  • When did it come out? May 2, 2023
  • What can I play it on? Xbox Series X|S and PC

Redfall release date and platforms

Redfall gameplay

(Image credit: Arkane)

Redfall was released on May 2, 2023, for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC. It also came to Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass on day one. 

While Redfall skipped the last-gen Xbox One, anyone who's yet to upgrade to Microsoft's latest console can access it through Xbox Cloud Gaming (providing you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription).

Redfall trailers

One of the last trailers that came before the release of Redfall, premiered at the Xbox and Bethesda's Developer Direct showcase in January 2023, and provided us with a gameplay deep dive – and a change to the Redfall release date.

Previous Redfall footage has focused on 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. However, this most recent trailer saw Arkane stepping back to talk about your overarching aim in the vampire-slaying shooter. It's pretty simple: clear Redfall's neighborhoods of bloodsuckers. Check it out below:

Redfall story and setting

As well as the above official story trailer, Redfall's website goes into some detail about 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. Unfortunately, as you may expect, no sun means that these vampires can wreak as much havoc as they want. These bloodsuckers are also joined by a human faction that worships them.

Redfall characters

A player in Redfall expands a purple umbrella shield made of energy

(Image credit: Arkane)

In Redfall, you pick from four playable heroes, each boasting their own unique personalities and abilities, to take on the town's legion of blood-sucking vamps. These abilities are able to be upgraded as you progress and you're able to experiment with different playstyles and loadouts, too. When playing co-op, players are 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.

Here are the four characters you'll be able to pick from – and 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.

Redfall gameplay

Redfall is a story-driven, open-world first-person shooter that boasts Arkane's "largest setting ever". You have the choice of playing solo or squadding up with up to three friends in co-op. It's worth noting, though, that both solo and co-op play requires an online connection.

The types of vampires you face in Redfall range from lower-level minions to godlike bloodsuckers that can eclipse the sun. In between those, you face the likes of the Angler, who uses a psychic harpoon to drag players away from their teammates, and the Watcher, a terrifying vamp that perches on vantage points to keep an eye out for intruders. It's not just vampires you need to worry about, though. These vamps have gained a small army of loyal cultists who have set up bases and patrol routes across this island.

To rid the town of these big bads, you need to go from neighborhood to neighborhood clearing out the cultist operations and vampire nests. In each neighborhood, there are safe houses in which you can set up shop.

Each neighborhood has an underboss vampire that you need to kill to claim back the area. Once you do, you claim their skull, which acts as a kind of key. Collect enough skulls and you unlock a fight with one of the vampire gods. But the gods aren't going to let you get to them that easily and every time you slay an abundance of vampires they'll call upon the terrifying 'Rook' to punish you.

Redfall news

the docks area of redfall

(Image credit: Arkane)

No 60fps Performance mode at launch
In a tweet that dismayed many looking forward to Redfall, the game's official Twitter account confirmed that there won't be a 60fps Performance mode on console at launch.

Comparisons to Left 4 Dead
During the Xbox Games Extended showcase in 2022, 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.” 

Keyboard and mouse option enabled for console players 
Microsoft stated that those playing Redfall on their Xbox Series console can choose between a controller and a keyboard. This made Redfall the second first-party title released by Microsoft in 2023 with this option available. 

When it launched, Redfall unfortunately didn't become one of the best Xbox Series X games for fans. If you missed it due to still playing on Xbox One, you can also check out our best Xbox One games list.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.

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