Redfall Hands-On Impression – A Delicious Meal to Sink Your Teeth In

Redfall Hands-On

If you need a game that has a bit of a bite, then Bethesda’s upcoming first-person shooter featuring vampires might do the trick! Thankfully, we now have an idea on how it plays. On March 13, I got to take part in an event in New York City put on by Bethesda and Arkane Austin in support of the upcoming release of Redfall,. At the event, we got to play the game for about 90 minutes as well as listen to a presentation from studio head Harvey Smith. 

Redfall takes place in the island town of Redfall, Massachusetts. The area has been overrun by vampires and cultists, and it’s up to us to figure out why this has happened while also trying to put an end to it before it’s too late. There are four playable characters that offer a fun mix of abilities to choose from: Divinder Crousely, Layla Ellison, Remi De La Rosa, and Jacob Boyer. 

Fang-tastic Combat

During my playthrough, I decided to go with Remi. She’s described as a brilliant combat engineer who has spent her life on the front lines. She has a healing ability and a useful little robot named Bribon. I chose her mostly because of her healing ability and because I like having a little companion helping me out, and that’s definitely what Bribon is all about. There are times when I would be getting attacked, and Bribon would start making lots of noises to pull agro away, and it got me out of a jam or two. 

Another interesting character is Jacob because he reminded me of Mordecai from Borderlands with his sniper rifle and spectral raven, and he may end up becoming my main once the game releases, but I definitely don’t regret using Remi. 

The best way to describe Redfall is as somewhat of an open-world BioShock game with vampires. It has that same level of creepiness and mystery and really lives up to the type of vibe you would expect from the Arkane family of games. It feels familiar, while also being its own thing.  

While the game offers four player co-op, we didn’t get a chance to try this. However, playing solo was definitely fun, and I cannot wait to explore the town of Redfall with a group of friends, as I found exploring and gazing upon the beautiful environments to be amongst the highlight of my play session. Being from Massachusetts myself, Arkane really nailed the aesthetics. It had true Cape Code/Martha’s Vinyard vibes, and even the interiors and buildings resonated with me as a native. I understand that seeing the radiator designs and how they look like the ones at my grandparent’s house won’t matter to many people, but I point it out because it speaks to the authenticity and attention to detail Arkane has in building this brand-new world. 

They started us a little bit into the game at level 8, so we didn’t go through all the tutorials, and we were able to set up our skill tree and find some cool weapons. This also allowed us to play around with some of the abilities and the skill tree, and they are all pretty interesting and about what you would expect from a game like this. I didn’t get to go that deep, but one of the abilities Remi has that struck out was the C4, which I quite enjoyed flinging at groups of enemies and laughing as they went boom. 

Stake to the Heart!

Because one of the enemy types happens to be a vampire, it’s not as simple as shooting it until it dies. Once a vampire enemy is depleted of health, you also have to melee attack them with a stake to the heart. I learned the hard way that in order to do this, you have to have a weapon equipped that has an actual stake on it, and I maybe died once because none of my guns did have one, and some more advanced vampires kept reviving and coming back to bite me — literally

If you enjoy looter shooters, I think Redfall is going to be a lot of fun for you. Is it reinventing the wheel? Not necessarily, but from what I got to play, it did all the things you want a quality video game to do, and I think Arkane’s track record speaks for itself. The 90 minutes I got to play really flew, and I just can’t wait to get back into it. 

One thing that I think is going to be important to point out for some people is that we were told the game does not intend to have microtransactions. There is a “Bite Back” Edition that can be purchased at retail for $29.99 that comes with a steelbook, a Hero Pass that will let you play as two future heroes, and some other digital skins and attachments, but there will be no in-game store full of skins and such. Microtransactions don’t necessarily bother me as much as some people, but I do think it’s really cool that a little collector’s bundle is being offered since most people will probably get the game on Game Pass. I personally love steelbooks and not having to pay extra for the game to get a cool steelbook is a great idea.

Redfall will be available on May 2nd on Xbox and PC. As mentioned, if you have Game Pass, it will launch Day 1 on the service for free. Based on what I’ve played so far, I’m eager to see the other characters and what they can do in the battlefield, as well as the other enemy types we’ll able to fight. 

Jason Joseph runs the YouTube Channel JayShockblast. Travel was provided for this event by Bethesda. 

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