I want to say at the outset of this review that I was not provided a review code for the game and that I played it on PC via Game Pass so my comments are based on the fact that I did not have to pay the $69.99 price for the game.
The much-maligned Redfall was an attempt by Arkane and Bethesda to incorporate a four-player co-op game that could also be played as a solo game. When it was first revealed I saw it as a Left 4 Dead-style game with Vampires and it quickly became one that I was looking forward to.
The game is set in a quiet Seaside town named Redfall and it has had the misfortune of being taken over by Vampires who have also been able to warp the water around the island effectively cutting it off from the mainland and any hope of escape or help.
Playing as one of four characters, players will arm up and fight their way through hordes of Cultists aligned with the Vampires as well as the Blood-Suckers themselves on a series of missions.
Players will be able to gather resources which they can scrap for better weapons, ammunition, health, and so on along the way and their local community center serves as a base to recoup, rearm, and select main or side missions while interacting with various NPC characters.
The town is vast and it does require patience to travel and fight between locales as failing in battle often sends you back to the base unless you have been able to unlock a Safehouse or Historical Marker which allows players to Quick Travel between locales.
Players will have an array of weapons which include pistols, flare guns, shotguns, machine guns, Sniper Rifles, Stake Launchers, and U.V. guns. A player can only have three of them armed at any one time and the rest stay in the Backpack until swapped or scrapped.
Players will also have the ability to enhance various skills along the way via skill points that they use and players will also have special abilities which can be used on a timer. Playing as Jacob I had the ability to release a Spiritual bird that would ping enemies for me, cloak for short periods of time, and summon a deadly Sniper Rifle which would lock onto targets automatically and dispatch even Vampires and deal significant damage to special enemies.
As players complete missions the underlying cause of the Vampire infestation is revealed and players must fight their way to Safehouse missions to get access to fight an Underboss whose skull is the key for unlocking access to one of the four bosses in the game. Usually, three skulls and a special object are required and this means unlocking three safe houses, doing one mission each, and then taking out the Underboss.
Some side missions can be skipped in favor of focusing on the main missions so players who want to focus on the core storyline will be able to do so.
As most people who follow games know many issues with bugs have been reported in the game and I found numerous bags that were just floating, enemies who stayed stationary while talking to you, and even took weapons hits without reacting or taking damage.
I had a couple of crashes to the desktop and enemy A.I. would do some crazy things like just stop and stand still while being shot or crossing in front of me and then giving me their backs versus taking shots at me.
The biggest issue I found was the online play which to me was beyond excuse as there is no matchmaking and players are required to be online, on the host’s friend list, and must play at whatever point the host is currently at.
I was never once able to find anyone to play with online and even went to various forums to try to find players. While I was not able to play, I did speak with several and they outlined exactly what I said about the online play and my frustrations with it.
Much has been made of how for a large map there was little going on as while there are Vampire nests and places of interest; players will have little to do at them other than scrounge for resources.
Despite all the glaring issues with the game I actually found myself drawn into the story and action even when it became fairly routine and repetitive as there were only so many times I could watch the same stake and stomp a Vampire animation and they became annoying versus challenging rather quickly.
While the graphics and sound in the game are on-par with many games if a bit dated there were some interesting locales in the game and despite enemies lining up like Lemmings, I did still take delight in dispatching them from time to time even when it did as I mentioned become very repetitive.
In the end, I found Redfall despite being laden with bugs, design issues, and questionable choices to have provided some entertainment and was at times more engaging than some of the recent titles I have been asked to review.
There is the framework of a decent game buried in the mix but Redfall is going to require some serious TLC in the form of patches and updates to get it to where the developers and gamers had hoped for it to be. As it stands now, it is an interesting idea that fails to connect both goals and expectations.
2.5 stars out of 5