I was almost ready to declare Redfall another PC performance disaster, but a last-minute patch might've saved it

A close up of sniper Jacob in Redfall.
(Image credit: Arkane Studios)

I did not enjoy sinking my teeth into Redfall prior to launch day. That's partially just because I didn't gel with its co-op shooter/immersive sim mashup (see our review in progress for more on that), but also: It was running like butt. I'm happy to report that now, at least on mid to high-end hardware, that picture has changed.

Things were looking bleak just a few days ago. On my pretty respectable i5 12600K, RTX 3070 rig, I was averaging in the mid-50s fps as a baseline on 1440p medium, with DLSS performance mode enabled. While grinding through some early missions with fellow PC Gamer editor Tyler Colp, this generally low performance was augmented by everyone's favorite new PC gaming quirk, shader compilation stutters. Both my CPU and GPU utilization were around 40%, and as a cherry on top all the leaves in this foliage-dense New England town were always flickering and shimmering.

Tyler saw a generally more performant 4K 60 fps on the still-mighty RTX 3080 Ti, but still experienced general visual weirdness and stuttering. Hot on the heels of two rough PC ports in The Last of Us and Jedi: Survivor, I thought it was curtains for Redfall. "Here we go again," I said aloud, to my cat. "Reddit's gonna crucify this game, and Digital Foundry's gonna deliver the eulogy."

When I sat down today to reconfirm my findings, however, Steam started downloading a massive 70 GB update for Redfall before I could do anything. After a long wait, the game's now in a much more acceptable state. At 1440p with a mix of high and medium settings on the DLSS quality setting, I was comfortably in the 80s-90s fps tooling around the open world and getting into firefights. I found the shimmering foliage to be pretty well addressed by upping the level of detail setting, though the shader compilations are still a stutterin'. Tyler's had much the same experience: stutters still present but not as debilitating, and foliage shimmering fixed via higher LoD.

If you saw leaks of Redfall gameplay earlier on launch day, that's not necessarily the full story, and on my mid-range, relatively up-to-date setup, it's currently getting perfectly adequate performance with this day one patch. Whether the game's worth playing once you close the hood and get to it is something I'll leave to our full review, but if you were hoping for a new Arkane classic... you may want to keep hoping. Tyler puts its bluntly in his review-in-progress: "40 hours with Redfall has me wishing the vampires would win."

Some of the Steam reviewers have complained of poor performance, but that's not the only reason the $70 game has "Mostly Negative" user reviews at the time of writing. If you're playing Redfall, let us know how it's performing in the comments. We've only been able to test it on Nvidia GPUs so far.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.