This is why Redfall is Arkane Austin's ‘most ambitious title’

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

Redfall has made an appearance at QuakeCon 2022 and Arkane Austin has used the event to give us our best insight into the game and what the studio is hoping to achieve with it yet. 

Core members of the Redfall development team got together for a twenty-minute deep dive, during which creative director, Ricardo Bare, said that for the team at Arkane, Redfall “represents our most ambitious title that we’ve tried to do here in the Austin studio ever”, with studio director Harvey Smith adding that it was “our effort to take what Arkane does well [...] and stretch ourselves a little bit.”

Throughout the deep dive, the team revealed the various ways it’s pushing itself in the development of Redfall. One of the most striking is by making Redfall a truly open-world game with the studio’s biggest map yet. 

Big dreams for a small town

Art director, Karen Segar, said that while Talos in Prey was “five football fields”, Redfall is “kind of ‘hold my beer’” and that it “definitely challenged the whole team with making something this big.” 

To give a sense of the scale, Harvey Smith described a moment during development when a developer working on Redfall’s “rural” district two took the whole of Talos and dropped it on a farm there to find “the district just eats the whole space station [...] It’s gigantic.” Lead producer, Aaron Carter, added, “It was the size of the actual farm area and that’s just one mission.”

Making it clear that the team is trying to create a sense of place as much as a sense of space, Segar said that the town of Redfall is “quaint, it’s small. Even though it’s our biggest game, it feels like small town Americana.” As part of that, Bare said that the team has “put so much effort into the narrative, the world-building, the environmental storytelling” and more in the hopes of making "players feel transported to someplace that feels real.”

“It’s an open world, but it’s not an open world based on the scale of vehicles, it’s an open world based on foot,” Smith explained, adding that you can “traverse the place, go into mom-and-pop grocery stores, apartments, get on the roofs of buildings and we tried to put as many environmental storytelling scenes around as we possibly can so it just feels very lived in.” 

A lighthouse shining its light over the quaint town of Redfall

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The deep dive doesn’t just touch on the setting of Redfall, either. It highlights the game’s “less common take” on vampires “derived from science” as well as the skill trees and gear which will help you to customize the build of the protagonist you pick. Oh, we can’t forget the weapons which range from “high-end military” guns to the “found ammo” stake launcher, which can turn broken pool cues and broom handles into something vampires should fear. 

It was certainly nice to see Redfall appear at QuakeCon with some new details, especially after it, along with Starfield, was delayed into the first half of 2023.

We’re not entirely sure when we’ll get our next big look at Redfall, as while Xbox and Bethesda will be making an appearance at Gamescom 2022, Bethesda has made it clear that we should expect to see “a replay of the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase gameplay presentations” rather than any new gameplay. 

After its delay, Redfall doesn’t have a solid release date just yet. When it does launch in the first half of 2023, however, it’ll be playable on PC, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, with day one Xbox Game Pass availability. 

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.