Dishonored offers only single-player fun, and Deathloop – despite allowing for a specific type of two-player mode – largely remains a solo game as well. Meanwhile, another new game by the creators of those productions even before the release was considered a title focused primarily on cooperation.
The recent Redfall's press show was supposed to prove that Arkane Studios didn't give up on delivering good entertainment to people who prefer to play solo. In my opinion, this goal has not been achieved – although a statement like that could be premature at this point.
The world of vampires seems... dead?
During the show, I was able to spend about two hours in Redfall. I was cast into the game somewhere in the third of the story and faced a mission that allows learning about the past of the antagonist – a crazy doctor. The fragment of the story turned out to be quite generic, and the flashbacks – in theory emotional – were hardly engaging for me, especially since the way they are presented resembles pale afterimages of situations more than something truly moving. What I felt was lacking was something fleshed-out, a punch, a single feature that could make me more enthusiastic.
It's possible that the events would be more engaging if I also knew how all this began. Otherwise, it was hard for me to lend any credibility to it, the scenario seems generic, like a pretext for enjoying the gameplay. The second main mission made me even more convinced of that, and it consisted in finding and bringing two items – after that, there's a short briefing at the base and we move on. I found a lack of expressive characters, humor, drama – anything that could give Redfall a particular flavor. Theoretically, we can collect additional information (like notes), read the findings ... but what's the point?
It's similar with the open world. Again, the final version might have more to offer, and two hours is definitely not enough to evaluate the entire experience. But the island town did not manage to reveal its strengths to me – it's mainly composed of repetitive opponents who pretty much don't react to our attacks in any other way than having their health bar depleted. The game allows you to deal with garden-variety activities, such as freeing hostages from vampires, which rewards you with experience points. However, I can already imagine how quickly such activities will become boring.
Hope in co-op
I've had the time to test all the available champions, and I think their skills should complement each other well when teaming up. When playing alone, characters may not reach their full potential. Furthermore, while some abilities sound fantastic – like being able to summon an ex-boyfriend to help – in practice, they're not all that fun. A character supports us for a while and that's it. Stealth seems to have a greater impact on gameplay, with abilities such as temporary invisibility.
The game offers various approaches to gameplay, and they're all valid – from engaging in open gunfights, taking down enemies with a sniper rifle, to just playing the silent pacifist. Apart from that, if the character of the game that I've experienced is representative of the entire product, then get ready for searching for different things that will push the story forward. Some of them relate to the content nicely, as their location can be guessed by linking certain clues. However, I will honestly confess that blindly rummaging a large house to find a few items got me a little tired. I missed the revelio spell from Hogwarts Legacy.
In Redfall, I had to find the required things and get to know the generic and rather dry thread – this is unlikely to convince fans of single-player. Add to that a world that's largely oblivious to our actions, the openness of which I consider redundant, and graphics that I find slightly too colorful. Redfall can still turn out a nice game – I've only witnessed a small part of it. The potential is definitely in the cooperation, and sometimes in the design of the location (the vampire's nest with a cinema had some fun movie posters). I don't have high hopes, but only after fully experiencing it, we will be able to judge the quality of the newest offering of Arkane Studios.