At the end of the Xbox and Bethesda E3 showcase, we got a wonderful surprise: Arkane Austin, the developers of Prey and Dishonored, are working on a new game that looks an awful lot like Left 4 Dead but with vampires and just a sprinkle of Stranger Things' '80s aesthetic.
We didn't see actual gameplay, but you can watch the CG trailer above. The game is called Redfall, and prior to its reveal Xbox head Phil Spencer said it's a game you can play either alone or with a group of friends (like L4D). The trailer does give us a pretty good idea of how it'll play: In it, a group of four survivors are hanging out in a ruined corner store along with a cute dog-like robot. Not long after, we see them fighting groups of humans using a wide range of magical abilities and guns.
Very quickly, though, Arkane throws us a twist as a group of vampires attack the group. Here get a peek at special weapons like a stake gun that can impale vampires at a distance and a special weapon that turns one to stone. Again, Left 4 Dead is an obvious influence, but mixed in are special abilities like you'd get in Overwatch, which is such an obvious combination I can't believe no one thought of it until now.
The Redfall announcement at bethesda.net (opens in new tab) reveals more detail: The game can be played solo or in squads of up to four players, and features a roster of four unique heroes, each with their own unique personalities, abilities, and reasons for fighting to protect the town of Redfall.
Dev is an internet-famous paranormal investigator, amateur cryptozoologist and aspiring inventor. Armed with weapons of his own creation, he’s on a mission to reveal the truth behind what’s happening in Redfall. If he survives, he’ll have one hell of a story to tell and the proof to back it all up.
Layla studied biomedical engineering at Redfall Technical University and interned at the ominous Aevum Therapeutics research facility, where something went very wrong. She says everything is kind of a blur. The last thing she remembers is waking up with a killer headache and wild telekinetic powers.
Remi de la Rosa
Remi De La Rosa is a combat engineer, and a brilliant one at that. She’s lived her life on the frontlines of conflict, using her brilliant mind to protect her loved ones and help those in need around the world as part of an elite Navy rescue unit. Now, with the help of her robot cohort, Bribón, she’s determined to help save Redfall’s survivors.
Jacob is an ex-military sharpshooter, sent in to Redfall just before the sun went dark as part of an elite private security force. Separated from his platoon, now he stalks the streets of Redfall, neutralizing evil from the shadows with supernatural precision. Strange happenings on Redfall have left Jacob with a mysterious vampiric eye and a spectral raven that’s never far from his shoulder.
Redfall's vampires, meanwhile, aren't undead, but are the results of an experiment gone horribly wrong. As bad as they clearly are, they're still evolving and developing powerful new abilities. The "Angler" seen in the trailer, for instance, is just one of the vampire types that will be present in the game. They're also not the only threat players will face: Human cultists who worship their new vampiric overlords have set up outposts throughout the region, and they'll have to be cleared out to make the area safer for survivors.
Of course, Arkane emphasized that player choice and a reactive world will be central to Redfall. "Every game we make is a little different from the last," co-creative director Ricardo Bare said. "Dishonored featured stealth. Prey leveraged tons of physics-related gameplay. Mooncrash introduced rogue-like elements. Despite those differences, in every case our focus remains on deep world building and inventive game mechanics. The same will be true of Redfall."
Journalist and comic writer Evan Narcisse (opens in new tab), author of Rise of the Black Panther, tweeted that he's working on Redfall too:
Working on @playRedfall with @Harvey1966, @RicardoBare, @HazelMonforton, and the whole @ArkaneStudios team has been a great experience. Can’t wait for people to dive into this world. https://t.co/srB7BmpvieJune 13, 2021
The announcement cinematic is a badass trailer that oozes style, exactly what we'd expect from Arkane, and we're definitely eager to learn more. We shouldn't have to wait too terribly long for that: Redfall is coming summer 2022.