Want to know all about Redfall? Redfall is the next game due for release by Arkane Studios, the developer behind the Dishonored series as well as Deathloop, 2017's Prey reboot, and latterly the Wolfenstein spin-offs. Along with publisher Bethesda's in-house project Starfield, Redfall is one of the most anticipated games of 2023; but, like Starfield, it was delayed last year, with details of its new release window left quite vague.
Uncertainty around its release date hasn't stopped us here at RPS from declaring Redfall one of our most anticipated games of 2023, so it's safe to say that we're pretty darned excited. Read on below for everything we know about Redfall right now, from details on the release window and platforms to gameplay, story, and more.
On this page:
- Redfall release date
- Redfall platforms
- Redfall multiplayer
- Will Redfall allow cross-platform play?
- Will Redfall have a single player option?
- Redfall trailer
- Redfall gameplay
- Redfall story and characters
Redfall release date
Redfall is due for release on May 2nd, 2023, according to details given at the latest Xbox Developer Direct. Tuesday is not always the most auspicious release day for games, in my experience, but on this occasion, it does give you a few days to co-ordinate plans to play with your pals on the weekend.
Of course, Redfall has already been subject to one delay, so there's no guarantee that these details won't change again before we see that eventual release. Nevertheless, that "first half of 2023" window is the most up-to-date information we have; we'll let you know as soon as something more specific emerges.
Redfall will be exclusive to Microsoft-owned platforms, and will launch on PC as well as the Xbox Series X|S. This is due to Microsoft's acquisition in 2021 of Bethesda Softworks LLC, the publishers behind Redfall (and owners of Arkane since 2010). PC players can purchase the game via either Steam or the Epic Games Store.
This means that as it stands, players who prefer Sony or Nintendo platforms sadly won't get the opportunity to check out Redfall on their console of choice. Nor will those Microsoft fans who are still contenting themselves with an Xbox One, since Redfall is acting as a flagship console exclusive for the Series X|S.
There's good news for Game Pass subscribers, though, as Redfall is due to be added to the Game Pass library on Day One of its launch.
Redfall is primarily a multiplayer co-operative title, where you and up to three buddies can choose from four playable characters with different skills and combat abilities. Together, you'll roam the open world town of Redfall, fighting against both vampiric and human enemies in combat encounters varying from small group skirmishes to larger battles.
You won't be tethered to your buddies, meaning that all four of you can explore different parts of the town independently if you like. There will, however, be beneficial buffs to encourage co-operatation without demanding it. There's also no word yet as to whether enemy difficulty will scale up to meet the number of players in the world, meaning that sticking together could potentially be an informal requirement anyway.
Will Redfall allow cross-platform play?
Happily, Arkane have recently confirmed that yes, Redfall will support crossplay between Xbox and PC, further clarifying that the latter will support crossplay between the various storefronts the game is being sold on too. That means that regardless of whether you obtained Redfall via Steam, Epic, or Game Pass, you and all your buddies will definitely be able to team up for some co-op vampire slaying.
Will Redfall have a single player option?
Although initial announcements around Redfall leaned heavily on its multiplayer co-operative mode, it has now been confirmed that the game will also include the option to play solo, and furthermore that each hero character has the ability to deal with every encounter in the game in single-player. This will hopefully be cheering news to Arkane fans who fell in love with the studio's solid single-player titles, and were worried about being left out of the Redfall fun. However, Bethesda have now confirmed that Redfall will require a constant internet connection to play, even if you're slaying solo, although Arkane have decided to try to patch this out following negative feedback to the announcement.
The recent Xbox Developer Showcase brought us an extra-long new trailer containing a whole 11 minutes of Redfall gameplay footage, which you can view for yourself below:
Redfall is being described as a "story-driven shooter" blending FPS and RPG elements, in which one to four players fight hordes of the undead. This, of course, made us immediately think of Left 4 Dead, but Arkane have been quick to downplay this association. Instead, they're pointing to the game's open world as evidence that Redfall will have more in common with titles like Far Cry.
This seems to support my feeling that Redfall is going to be more action-packed urban fantasy than survival horror, even though that Halloween trailer made it look very spooky indeed. You'll regularly take a face full of supernatural nastiness, but whether solo or with a squad, the main characters seem more than prepared to deal with what gets thrown at them. The emphasis seems to be on enabling your powerful vampire-slaying fantasies, rather than forcing you to cower in the shadows.
Fittingly given the studio's history with Dishonored and Deathloop, Arkane have confirmed that you will have the option to use stealth in Redfall as part of your tactical arsenal. You'll also be armed with a variety of conventional weapons, unconventional powers, non-lethal crowd-control abilities, and unique skills for each character that can be combined in co-op for even more creative carnage.
Gameplay footage from the latest Xbox Developer Direct gives a hint as to some of the deeper mechanics at play. For instance, a recurring boss called The Rook is seemingly summoned by overcharging some kind of vampire killing metre. This will presumably force your squad to choose between clearing out an area in one huge battle and risk attracting The Rook, or using stealth to manage some kind of cooldown that lets you avoid him. Or maybe he just shows up after you stake 50 bloodsuckers no matter how you try to manage things? I don't know, but I'm excited to find out.
The same preview confirms that, in additional to traditional missions, Redfall's open world will feature "encounters" which spawn somewhat randomly. If you're familiar with games like Marvel's Spider-Man, you'll presumably be familiar with this kind of street crime-style event, which gives you the opportunity to help out civilians under threat as you make your way across the map.
Aside from progressing through the main campaign, another major objective will be reclaiming Redfall from the vampires and their cultists neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood. This is where that Far Cry comparison really comes in. The final step in reclaiming each neighbourhood is a fight with an underboss, described as "the powerful elites of the vampire gods". These differ from the vampire gods themselves, apparently, who are quite clearly the endgame bosses, to be faced once you bring the entire town of Redfall back under human control.
Redfall story and characters
Redfall takes place in the fictional community island of Redfall, Massachusetts, which probably ought to have picked its name better if it didn't want sinister stuff to happen there. The aftermath of a failed science experiment leaves the town cut off from the outside world and overrun with vampires; and, just to make things worse, some of the human inhabitants have elected to turn against their fellow survivors as well. Fans of Stephen King novels such as Salem's Lot and Under The Dome, as well as Mike Flanagan's 2021 Netflix series Midnight Mass, will probably recognise a concept that they've enjoyed in the past — I even caught sight of a super-referentially named "Haven's Lot" district on the map — so hell yeah, sign me up already!
Players will be given the option to choose between four protagonists:
- Remi de la Rosa, a Naval combat engineer with a robot companion who is useful for distracting enemies
- Devinder Crousley, a cryptozoologist and trapper who invents his own equipment
- Layla Ellison, a biomedical sciences student who developed telekinetic powers during a medical trial and can use them to form a powerful deflecting shield
- Jacob Boyer, an ex-military sniper with a supernatural secret and a pet raven who can perform reconnaissance
Each player character has a unique set of skills and combat abilities, and will spark some unique interactions depending on which other character(s) you're playing with in co-op. However, if you do choose to take on the game in single-player, Arkane are quick to reassure you that every hero is equipped to deal with every aspect of the game solo. Each character will also have an upgradeable skill tree that allows you to tailor their play-style to your preferences.
There will also be friendly NPCs who your character(s) can interact with in the game's safe zone areas. In addition to adding some local colour to the setting, these survivors will be a source of supplies and side-missions.
And of course, since this is an Arkane title, expect plenty of deep twisty lore to uncover as you explore its open world. Indeed, Arkane have described the town of Redfall as being just as much a character in the game as its inhabitants, and indeed the map features multiple districts with their own unique purpose and feel. There are also Stranger Things-style pocket "psychic spaces" for you to explore in addition to the more traditional vampire-overrun reality, and vampire nests (like regular enemy hideouts, but with gross beating hearts at their cores) which sound like they might be procedurally generated.
That's all we know about Redfall for the time being, but we hope to have more details to share with you very soon! Meanwhile, it's almost impossible to talk about Redfall without bringing up Bethesda's other highly-anticipated 2023 release Starfield in the same breath, so why not check out our run-down of everything we know about Starfield while you're here?