'One foot in the grave, one foot in the rave': Redfall gets offline mode and some big gameplay changes in a beefy final update ahead of Arkane Austin's closure

Redfall concept art - closeup of two player characters standing side by side
(Image credit: Arkane Austin)

Arkane Austin was closed by Microsoft earlier this month, a sad finale for the studio that gave us the brilliant Prey and also the end of the line for its ill-fated shooter Redfall. The studio pledged one final update before the curtain fell, however, and now it's live: A 20GB whopper that adds an all new reputation system with unique rewards, boss-focused Elder Nests, the ability to pause in singleplayer mode, and the long-awaited offline mode.

Redfall required an internet connection even for solo play when it launched, which wasn't a fan-favorite decision, and a soft commitment to drop that requirement after the game's launch was derailed by its disastrous reception. Better late than never, though, especially with the game now officially axed: Not many people are playing, but at least those who want to will still be able to into the future.

Harvey Smith was studio director at Arkane Austin; Ben Horne was production director on Redfall. (Image credit: Harvey Smith/Ben Horne (Twitter))

But developers aren't just rolling that out and calling it a day. The new Community Standing reputation feature added in this update is a significant addition in its own right. As players complete various missions, their Community Standing will grow through six levels, with 39 rewards that serve as permanent buffs.

The further you progress through the ranks, the more "impactful" the buffs become: At rank 1, for instance, cosmetics near your location will appear on the map and turrets and tripwires will take less time to hack, while at rank 4 you can choose a reward that will give medical supplies a 40% chance to not be consumed when they're used.

"All the upgrades from the Community Standing Skill Tree are meant to provide you with a mixture of QoL and gameplay benefits," Arkane said. "A few of the traits will even help collectors finish out their hunt for cosmetics and Grave Locks."

(Image credit: Arkane Austin)

Elder Nests are "new psychic spaces" with a vampire boss waiting deep inside. Portals to Elder Nests will appear throughout Redfall like regular Heart Nests, but will have a purple glow; defeating the boss will net you a Heart Shard, granting a temporary buff, with duration scaling based on campaign difficulty.

Along with the addition of offline play, Redfall also now has an option to pause the game in singleplayer mode: "If you need some time to adjust your kit, or you just need to step away for a minute, the world of Redfall will wait with you."

There's more to the update, including "new enemy encounters in Redfall Commons, continued AI improvements, Story Mode difficulty, and a new Unrivaled Weapon," but somewhat unusually, details on that are not being shared. "There will be no full patch notes for this update," Arkane said. "Thank you for understanding."

I can't honestly say that I understand the reasoning for that choice, but I will say that short of a surprise release of the Hero Pass content that was killed alongside Arkane Austin, this looks like about as strong an exit for Redfall as we could've hoped.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.