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Redfall: somehow they made vampires boring

Read time in minutes: 6

I bought an RTX 4080 recently. It's a fantastic card and can easily handle literally everything I throw at it. When I bought the card, Canada Computers told me it came with a copy of The Last of Us Part I. When we got home and redeemed the codes, turns out it wasn't for The Last of Us. It was for Redfall. My husband got a 4080 with the same game too, so we decided to wait for it to release and then brace for impact.

They really did try when making this game, but it's nowhere near ready for release. Their intent was to make a co-op focused looter shooter about vampires taking over a small island, but what we found was a bland, boring, and overall uninspired mess of a game that I'm glad I didn't pay for.

hero image vampire
Ligne Claire -- ligne claire, flat colors, vampire, spooky house, 1girl, green hair, green eyes, flashlight, indoors, ambiance, face mask, hoodie, pop art

I would get some pictures or video of the game (we forgot to record our playthrough) but I can't be assed to download the game and endure it again.

Aoi is wut
<Aoi> Wait, they made vampires boring? How do you do that?
Cadey is coffee
<Cadey> The same way they did in Morbius, not using social constructs around vampires to do innovative things. The island is invaded by vampires but none of them really do anything different. It's just the same enemy a billion times.

In our testing, we had the following issues:

  • Flashlights are local-only and seem to work by increasing brightness in a cone of vision like how they do in Half-Life 2. This would be fine, but because this is a co-op game you can't use your friend's flashlight to your advantage.
  • Our characters have psychic powers but they were almost never as useful as shooting enemies in the face to kill them.
  • Shader compilation stutters were constant and made me think I was playing a game on a Wii emulator. This is a problem endemic to Unreal Engine 4 games on PC from what I understand, but it was too frequent to be ignored.
  • Many "distant" objects Z-fighted until we got close to them and then the higher LOD models were able to resovle that.
  • Nearly identical weapons are impossible to tell apart on the inventory screen (a model of shotgun with a red dot sight and the same model of shotgun without a red dot sight).
  • At one point my husband's character was running around pantomiming holding a gun but wasn't actually holding one. Really wish I got a screenshot of that.
  • If you hide behind a car, the enemy AI can't pathfind its way to you.
  • They do the horrible pretend mouse cursor thing on controller instead of just using normal menu navigation. I know why they're doing this, because Destiny does it. I hate it there and I hate it here. I use a controller because I want to navigate around the menu directly, not because I want to pretend I'm using a mouse.
  • Tree pop-in made Pokemon Violet look good.
  • Loot is instanced, but if someone is looking through a chest another co-op player can't look through it until they're done. This has lead to my husband mentioning guns that I can't see or get ahold of. This confused us both greatly until we figured out loot was instanced.
  • Your player characters will frequently fail to pick up ammo. No matter how many times you press the button. No matter how many times you walk away from the ammo and come back.
  • Having two nearly identical weapons makes the weapon switching button Y fail to switch weapons.
  • The inter-character dialogue is very uninspired and overall feels quite forced.
  • The cutscenes are ken burns effect vignettes of dramatis personae doing actions like cleaning the firehouse. It reminds me of the kind of animation quality you get when you need to finish the TV season but you ran out of budget, just like the last episode of Evangelion. This is not a complement. The last episode of Evangelion is much better made than the cutscenes in Redfall.
  • Alt-tabbing out of the game gave you a 2% chance that it would crash. It made having a second monitor for replying to Discord messages irrelevant.
  • We didn't choose to end our playthrough, the game just disconnected us after we finished rescuing hostages.

Many of the issues in this kind of game would be "immersion-breaking", or the kind of issues that make you suspend your suspension of disbelief that you're playing a game. I would be willing to wager that this game cannot suspend disbelief because it didn't even induce the suspension of disbelief for me and my husband.

I feel really bad for the team that made this because this game is obviously not done yet, but the critical reception is so bad that the game may never be finished. I understand why reviewers usually don't talk about performance or game quality because those can and will change in this day and age, but at least the game looked decent. The RTX cores on my 4080 were certainly a huge part of why it looked decent though.

There is a good game here and it is trying so hard to break free, but this just ain't it chief. This game is a solid 4/10. Wait a few months for it to be patched if you really want to get it, but don't hold your breath.

This article was posted on M05 03 2023. Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.

Series: reviews

Tags: game redfall steam

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