Redfall is Arkane Studios’ version of an open world, with a choral cast

If there’s something Harvey Smith wants you to take away from him red fallThe trailer for the game that was shown on Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase on Sunday, is that the next game from Arkane Studios Austin is not like Left 4 Dead.

“I should, unless I’m wrong, I should end all Left 4 Dead comparisons,” Smith, the studio’s head, said in an interview Monday.

red fall it feels more like Borderlands than it does any of the asymmetric co-op or PvE multiplayer games that have revived the Left 4 Dead gameplay cycle in the last couple of years. This is mainly because it’s an open world title (although, to some extent, so are L4Ds like Second Extinction). More importantly, the campaign is a completely solo experience, and no, you can’t bring bot teammates, another important distinction.

It’s probably better to talk about red fallin which players will fight to save a New England town from being overrun by vampires, set against the backdrop of other Arkane games. red fall it is the studio’s first open world game; that’s where the Austin developers are stretching their legs, seeing if they can present Arkane’s distinctive visual style in a more open format.

“We’ve always tried not to judge different approaches,” Smith said. “Missions that are very customizable, with broad linear paths to a location, are obviously very strong, and that’s what we did with the Dishonored games. A game where there is only one big mission, in a big space, like Prey, that’s also a solid approach. The open world gives you new strengths. So we were excited about that risk, we’re excited about the creative strengths that an open world offers.”

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There are also the multiple protagonists that players will level up throughout their games. That’s also a first for Arkane, where titles like deadly loop Y Prey they were led by a single player-character. “Of all the games Arkane made, it can be true to say that red fall it’s the most…” Smith began, searching for words, “it’s the party game, right? You can crawl, stealth, play at your own pace, and soak up all of the ambient storytelling and readability. If I were a player, the first time I played, I would do it from start to finish. But it’s also a party game because as soon as you add another character, those two characters are talking to each other. And it’s meant to be fun in that sense.”

red fallThe four heroes were introduced as the game’s original announcement trailer capped off the 2021 Xbox and Bethesda show. There’s Jacob Boyer, a sniper who appeared in Redfall under contract to the private military corporation that employs him; Remi de la Rosa, a Coast Guard officer and controller-engineer type whose gadgets enhance the team and shape the battlefield for his benefit; Devinder Crousley, a cryptozoologist who includes a powerful set of offensive tools with accompanying trade-offs; and Layla Ellison, “the telekinetic menace of student debt,” an all-rounder who adds psionic abilities to her athleticism and skill with firearms.

“You can use your powers against the very dynamic AI in the way you would expect from Arkane games”, Ricardo Bare, red fall‘s creative director, with credits on Dishonored and Prey. Layla’s psychokinetic powers can form a shield or lift teammates to higher ground literally manifesting an elevator car. Jacob’s sniping skills are aided by the “Vampire Eye” and “Ghostly Crow” familiar that he acquired after being ambushed by undead.

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red fall it bears with other Arkane games in its odd mix of supernatural and metaphysical abilities with basic first-person combat, but diverges in its atmosphere and antagonists. red fall‘s seaside setting mirrors a Massachusetts beach village filled with dilapidated lodgings and tourist traps; is deliberately familiar, at least more so than Dishonored’s weird steampunk whaling port or Preythe space station of .

“What if, instead of a fantasy land, it was a real place that you could have visited?” Bare recalled, going back to the original discussions the team had, shortly after Prey launched in 2017. “Like a New England resort town, with liquor stores, an alley dumpster, cables above the street, and a historical museum. What if we focus Arkane’s powerful art and narrative on that?

Another view of the post-apocalyptic town of Redfall, where the sun is in perpetual eclipse and vampires run the show.

In Redfall, the sun is in permanent eclipse, so the monsters come out at night, as well as during the day.
Image: Arkane Studios Austin/Bethesda Softworks

To the antagonists, Bare and his colleagues arrived at the vampire raid, instigated by a powerful vampire witch who manages to put the Sun in a permanent eclipse. Bare said that the narrative trick wasn’t meant to prevent a dynamic cycle of day and night (it’s still pretty bright when the eclipsed sun is out), but rather to make the vampires more involved and active during the game’s day, instead of devising an inactive period. which is less action oriented.

“We definitely wanted to do a day and night cycle, and our technical team has the strength to do it, kudos to them,” Bare said. “Our technical team put an inordinate amount of effort into a dynamic cycle of day and night.” This covers gameplay mechanics like enemy and monster spawning, their relative strength (sunset is a dangerous time), and other features.

The vampires are aided by gangs of imbecile humans who have ambitions to become as powerful (if not as dramatic) as their idols. Vampires will set up “psychic nests” above landmarks in the world, where players can fight the threat in Redfall proper or venture into a psychic portal, which distorts location and heightens opposition, to take out the “heart” of the vampire. nest and get rid of the threat. Obviously, a path supports more immediate and short-term gains and grinds, with the more difficult option required to take control of red fallThe world of and bring the story to an end.

red fall was originally expected for this year, until Bethesda Softworks announced it and star fieldthe newest role-playing game from Bethesda Game Studios, would be delayed until 2023. Smith said the Arkane Austin developers were given “a lot of latitude, a lot of freedom” when assessing development milestones and whether the project was truly on track for release. Delivery. window that was promised.

“We understand that it’s best to make a great game that people will remember and play for a long time, and talk the way they still talk. dishonor either Prey,” Smith said. “Ricardo and I worked together on Deus Ex 20 years ago, you know, so if you do it right, it annoys them. He gets in his blood. That is what we are always trying to do; make a game that we think is meaningful, both for our time and for his time.”

When it arrives, which Microsoft said is within the next 12 months, in a blanket guarantee made during Sunday’s presentation, red fall It will launch on Windows PC and Xbox Series X. It will also be available on day one on Game Pass.