Redfall Analysis

Redfall Analysis

Leaving the comfort zone is a risk and this time tails have come out: Redfall is a game in which the Arkane seal is not visible anywhere, resulting in an FPS lacking in personality.

It’s not something easy, but Arkane has been able to find his own style for many years now. Although his career goes back a long way, with great titles like Arx Fatalis or Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, the studio took a step forward with Dishonored, Prey and more recently Deathloop. All of them have a common denominator: they are considered cult titles and highly valued by the media, especially due to their level design and having managed to give the genre of games a twist. immersive sims, but its high quality does not end up endorsing high sales. Perhaps that is why on this occasion they have tried other paths, betting on a somewhat more digestible concept for a majority public such as that of the shooter looter cooperatives with an open world, without forgetting that “house brand” that has given them so much prestige. Redfall arrives under this umbrella, but if what you are looking for is a short answer, we anticipate it: things are normal.

The region that gives its name to the game has been isolated from the outside world due to the siege of some vampires who have covered the sun to be able to roam freely and cause terror among the survivors. This is the starting point of a plot that does not claim to be the most important part of the work at any time, although Arkane’s attempt to build something interesting and even emotional around it can be glimpsed. However, all these intentions are buried by his own concept, so in the end it all comes down to having fun killing vampires… or at least trying to. Playing one of those survivors, we must choose the character that we like the most, taking into account that all of them have different special abilities that will fully affect the way you play. That is where the cooperative makes sense, which is the main attraction of Redfall: forming a squad with friends, taking advantage of each of the characteristics of the characters sounds like a great plan, and that is where the whole is squeezed the most. It can also be tasted alone, taking into account that we will not be able to change characters throughout the game, and that almost all aspects of its design show that they are designed to be explored in company.

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If I mentioned the studio’s own style before, it is precisely because their works usually have an overflowing personality, but on this occasion there is not a trace of that brilliance and the opposite is true, because Redfall never gives the impression of being a game made by Arkane. This is breaking your heart little by little, with the force of a stake. Logic told us that it would differ from the previous works in his catalogue, but that is not the problem: the worst thing is that we are faced with an excessively generic and bland title. One that has design, structure and development problems, as well as some technical flaws. It is difficult not to wonder what has happened during its development so that a study with so much talent and such contrasting has signed such a disjointed product.

Redfall follows blindly the dogma of the shooter looter, with all the good and all the bad that this entails, looking for fun without many complications. And sometimes he succeeds, but in many others not. The development of their missions starts from an operations center where we can chat with other NPCs and equip ourselves with weapons, first-aid kits and other objects that help us to be able to go abroad with guarantees. Once the corresponding mission has been selected, and having some freedom to follow an order, it’s time to get going with the whole team. There is nothing particularly remarkable in these missions, beyond the fact that, and here we do have a slight glimpse of what Arkane is, it is possible to choose how to approach each situation in order to successfully achieve your objective, either through our arsenal of weapons or with the abilities of the characters.

Each location that we can access has several different entry methods, be it sneaking through a window, hacking a door or finding a hidden nook through which to access. But if my case serves as a reference, a lover of infiltration and stealth games, in the second or third scenario I gave up the idea of ​​being subtle, opting to go in “sacking” using shotguns, rifles, stake launchers and everything that I had within my reach. The game’s marketing has sold us stealth as an alternative but, at least, I haven’t been able to find it despite the fact that there are characters with specific abilities, like Jacob with his optical camouflage or Devinder with his teleportation. It is quite significant, to be honest, that there is no option to execute the enemies from behind or that if we have to kill one of them we have no other option than to shoot (at the classic sponge enemies, as well), thus alerting the sentinels close. And if it’s already difficult for a single person to go unnoticed in levels full of enemies, imagine four people.

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The gunfights are relatively satisfying, but not complacent. They are, yes, full of intensity, urging us again to make use of both our abilities and those of our companions, for example with Leyla’s elevator to be able to shoot from the air being a more difficult target. Of course, the battles against the vampires deserve special mention, which are the sauce of the game; There are several types, providing variety to the fights and a slight tactical component, and they do not think twice when it comes to coming for our neck at full speed, despite the fact that they can also attack from a distance, draining our blood. You have to be skillful to finish them off, and a final shot with a stake is also necessary for them to dissipate completely. It is with human enemies, however, with which the balloon is punctured, because their presence is directly a nuisance: their null AI leads to ridiculous moments, being able to pass a meter from our position without seeing us, being stunned without firing or even point in the opposite direction. It’s blatant that something like this was given the go-ahead in the testing process, because it noticeably tarnishes the immersion.

Another element that doesn’t work too well is the progression, both of the characters and of the missions. On the one hand, we have the equipment of our survivors, obtaining new, more powerful weapons as we search drawers or trunks. This encourages us to constantly test new tools, although a good part of the arsenal has very specific uses, such as the aforementioned stake launcher or the ultraviolet light beacon. There is also an experience system and a skill tree, but this could go a long way: the improvements that we have at our disposal are quite token, and are mostly limited to giving us more inventory space or making the effect of skills have more damage or last longer. I firmly believe that it could have been exploited in another way so that the feeling of discovery, the one that usually accompanies Arkane games so much, would expand more over the hours; a more visual variation or a new power would be much more effective and pragmatic than a magic that lasts three seconds longer.

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The open world of Redfall, in any case, has its own and stands out both for its style and for having some very striking settings. Everything is designed so that during long walks there is always something that catches our attention, be it a simple house where we can look for an object for our collection or several of the secondary tasks that we are entrusted with, such as destroying vampire nests, restore electricity in the shelters so that they serve as an enclave or carry out the tasks that are asked of us from the base of operations. In this way, the experience and the duration of the game are extended, and many of these secondary ones can be done while we are in the middle of any other mission, facilitating its fulfillment. But some of these tasks, apparently unrelated to the main story, end up being mandatory to continue in the adventure. This is the case of the refuge missions: there are two in each of them, the second being a battle against a sub-boss, whose skull we will need to open some portals. The story asks us for a total of nine of these skulls, which means that at a certain point we have to complete a total of eighteen of these “optional” phases, which are also very similar to each other and not too fun. Again, it is difficult to find a justification for this other than extending the hours of play in a way that is as artificial as it is unnecessary.

In the end it is difficult to process the computation of what Redfall is. Born with the clear intention of being a more commercial game, the truth is that it ends up becoming a small stain on Arkane’s spotless record. It would be unfair to crush one of the most talented studios in the industry for something that, for one reason or another (that we may one day find out), hasn’t turned out as well as we wanted, but it’s especially hard when it’s so hard to get a reading. positive of their assault on the field of cooperative shooters: throughout the game there are clear signs that they have not been entirely comfortable with the development, and that has come together in such a chaotic result. Everyone is entitled to have a bad day, and at least you can’t say they haven’t tried to get away from the place where they’ve always been so comfortable.

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