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Redfall Review – A Toothless Nail In The Coffin (PC)

Redfall

Redfall is a crushingly disappointing experience at best and an utter waste of time at worst. Incredibly stupid AI, lazy slideshow-style cutscenes and bland moment-to-moment gameplay all combine to create one of the biggest let-downs of the year so far. Instead of being an exciting gothic co-op experience, Redfall is Arkane’s lackluster attempt at exploring a genre that has already been perfected by other studios in years gone by.

The very first thing that I experienced after booting up Redfall for the first time was a hard crash. Immediately after the first slideshow-style cutscene played out, my screen turned black and never loaded me into the game. This forced me to have do perform a hard reset before I had even experienced a single moment of actual gameplay. I guess Arkane decided to start as it meant to go on, as this crash actually works perfectly as a metaphor for my overall feelings on the game.

Redfall is out now and is available on PCXbox and Gamepass.

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After accepting that this thing was going to be a slog to get through, I began playing through the introduction sequence of Redfall. When Deathloop dropped back in 2021, it too was a somewhat disappointing, but the thing that people remember from that game was its cool presentation, which called back to the grindhouse era of filmmaking. Comparing the intro sequences of Deathloop and Redfall is night and day, far more effort was clearly put into presentation the previous time around.

This lack of care and cobbled-together feel carries over past the intro sequence too and into the actual gameplay. When the hastily thrown in text boxes, (which function as the game’s tutorial,) begin to periodically flood your screen, interrupting any sort of attempt at building atmosphere, they are littered with spelling and grammatical errors. These tutorial boxes appearing also led to at least two subsequent crashes and one occurrence of me being stuck within the menu screen, unable to exit to the game.

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One of these tutorial boxes describes how to perform a stealth takedown, however there is no actual animation for a stealth takedown included in the game, so the player character just essentially bashes the back of an enemy’s knees, which inexplicably causes them to pass out. Allow me to remind you that Redfall is a first-party, AAA title overseen by one of the biggest publishers in gaming.

Remember in the Dishonored games, (titles that are now eight years old,) how you were able to use clever, environmental attacks to dispatch foes? Whether it be setting up an explosive trap, or dropping something heavy on them to make their death look like an accident, those games provided tones of creativity to the art of killing bad guys. Redfall has absolutely none of that. In fact, the notably stale and dated Dead Island 2 contained more creativity within its environmental combat. In Redfall, the only real way to dispatch enemies is by mundanely emptying clips of ammunition into them.

Pop in is another aspect that is prevalent throughout Redfall.
Pop in is another aspect that is prevalent throughout Redfall.

If the main issue with Redfall’s combat was the bland FPS mechanics then that would be one thing, but the aspect that plagued every single one of the combat encounters that I engaged in was the shockingly poor enemy AI. Enemies can literally be sniped when standing right next to their companion, and the companion will remain completely oblivious to the fact that his buddy’s head has just been blown off. The AI in the game is so bad that it leads one to wonder how these inept creatures were even able to overrun the town in the first place.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor dropped at the tail end of last month and the general consensus on that title is that it is a great game which is unfortunately marred by a litany of bugs, however once the game has eventually been patched it will be a phenomenal experience. Redfall will never come close to being a phenomenal experience. Even if its barrage of technical issues is ignored or fixed, it still won’t be a title worthy of its $70 asking price.

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The two open world environments featured in the game don’t do anything to help remedy this either. There is precisely nothing worth seeing in Redfall’s game world, as Arkane’s notable lack of effort extends to the environmental design too. At one point I came across a car park with three trucks sitting parked within. Not only were these trucks all the exact same color and size, they even had the exact same oil spill pattern underneath each of them. This blatant copy and paste behavior is laughably prevalent throughout the entire game.

Overall, Redfall looks bad, feels bad and is bad. When playable, its gameplay is generic and unremarkable, its story never equates to being anything more than pointless background noise and the game’s performance upon release is an utter disgrace. Arkane’s lack of effort or care is present in every aspect of Redfall from its underwhelming world design to its entirely forgettable cast of characters. Redfall signifies Arkane’s sad fall from grace and is the type of game that should be completely unacceptable in the modern gaming landscape.

Redfall – 2/10

Redfall was reviewed on PC via Gamepass.

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Written by Daniel Boyd

Dan is one of FandomWire's Gaming Content Leads and Editors. Along with Luke Addison, he is one of the site's two Lead Video Game Critics and Content Co-ordinators. He is a 28-year-old writer from Glasgow. He graduated from university with an honours degree in 3D Animation, before pivoting to pursue his love for critical writing. He has also written freelance pieces for other sites such as Game Rant, KeenGamer.com and The Big Glasgow Comic Page. He loves movies, video games and comic books.