Redfall appeared at QuakeCon 2022 and Arkane Austin used the event to give us our best look at the game and what the studio hopes to achieve with it yet.
Key members of the Redfall development team gathered for a twenty-minute deep dive, during which creative director Ricardo Bare said that for the Arkane team, Redfall “represents our most ambitious title we’ve tried to make here at Austin. studio ever”, with studio director Harvey Smith adding that it was “our effort to bring what Arkane does well […] and we stretch a little.”
Over the course of the deep dive, the team revealed the various ways they’re putting effort into Redfall’s development. One of the most impressive is making Redfall a truly open world game with the studio’s biggest map yet.
Big dreams for a small town
Art director Karen Segar said that while Talos in Prey was “five football fields”, Redfall is “kind of ‘hold my beer'” and that it “definitely challenged the whole team to do something this big”.
To give you an idea of the scale, Harvey Smith described a moment during development when a developer working in Redfall’s “rural” district two took all of Talos and threw it into a farm there to find that “the district just eats the entire space station.” […] It’s gigantic.” Chief Producer Aaron Carter added: “It was the size of the actual farmland and this is just a mission.”
Making it clear that the team is trying to create a sense of place as much as a sense of space, Segar said that the city of Redfall is “quaint, it’s small. Even though it’s our biggest game, it feels like a small American town.” As part of that, Bare said the team “put so much effort into storytelling, world building, environmental storytelling” and much more in hopes of making “players feel transported to somewhere that feels real”.
“It’s an open world, but it’s not an open world based on vehicle scale, it’s an open world based on standing,” explained Smith, adding that you can “walk through the place, go into family grocery stores, apartments, climb onto the roofs of buildings and try to put in as much of the environmental storytelling scenes as possible so it feels very vivid.”
Deep diving doesn’t just touch on the Redfall setup either. It highlights the game’s “less common view” of “science-derived” vampires, as well as the skill and equipment trees that will help you customize the build of the protagonist you choose. Oh, and let’s not forget the weapons that range from “high-end military” weapons to the “found ammo” stake launcher, which can turn broken pool cues and broom handles into something vampires should fear.
It was certainly nice to see Redfall show up at QuakeCon with some new details, especially after it, along with Starfield, was pushed back to the first half of 2023.
We’re not sure when we’ll get our next big look at Redfall, as while Xbox and Bethesda will make an appearance at Gamescom 2022, Bethesda has made it clear that we should expect to see “an Xbox replay and Bethesda Games Showcase Gameplay Preview” in instead of any new gameplay.
After the delay, Redfall still doesn’t have a solid release date. When it launches in the first half of 2023, however, it will be playable on PC, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S, with Xbox Game Pass day one availability.