Arkane are "fixing" Redfall's always-online requirement
No microtransactions either
Arkane’s upcoming co-op shooter found itself in hot water when fans heard of Redfall's always-online requirement, even when playing alone. This deflated some longtime Arkane fans since their other immersive sims - between Dishonoured, Prey, and Deathloop - had either no online functionality or were still playable offline. Thankfully, in an interview with Eurogamer, game director Harvey Smith said the team are now working to U-turn the decision.
In regards to the always online requirement, Smith says, “I'm not supposed to promise anything - but we're looking into and working actively toward fixing that in the future." There's no specific date in mind since the team needs to “encrypt your save games and do a bunch of UI work to support it,” but it’s something they’re working to address.
Smith says the decision was made because the team is trying to respond to feedback with “empathy.” He points to players who live in areas with regular outages, or households where “shitty” broadband means people need to compete with their family to stream films or play games. When my shitty childhood broadband was stretched too thin, my siblings and I resorted to throwing mops at each other, so I’m glad Arkane see this as a “legitimate critique.”
Why make Redfall always online in the first place? The answer is mainly data gathering, but not the insidious kind. Arkane can look at how we play, and then make adjustments to areas that are perhaps too difficult. "It allows us to do some accessibility stuff," Smith continues, “for telemetry, like - if everybody's falling off ladders and dying, holy shit that shows up. And so we can go and tweak the ladder code.”
Smith was also quick to assure fans that "There's no store in the game, and there's no microtransactions." He compares Redfall’s monetisation to their past games, saying that there may be bundles with “stuff like guns, costumes, characters,” but not much else. I do find the mention of additional characters interesting since we’ve only seen the four-core squad up until now.
Redfall is launching soon and Ed’s hands-on preview finally has me excited for the vampire infested hell hole. Ed said Arkane’s “talent for storytelling and level design bubbled to the surface constantly, making exploration a genuine joy.” Despite a few reservations about the game’s “open world-isms” he couldn’t wait to play even more. Those open world doubts might be soothed when playing with friends since Redfall won’t tether players together in co-op.
Redfall is coming out on May 3rd for Xbox consoles and PC via Steam. It’ll also be available on Game Pass, day one.