Redfall requires a 'persistent online connection', even in singleplayer

Redfall wallpaper detail - image of a vampire
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Arkane's upcoming vampire shooter Redfall puts a lot of emphasis on co-op multiplayer, but it also supports solo play: The Steam page describes it as "an open-world, single player and co-op FPS." In case you're not convinced, Bethesda communications chief Pete Hines has also specifically stated that you can "play it by yourself." Unfortunately, even if you're playing alone, you'll still have to be online.

The "always online" requirement was revealed in a Redfall FAQ, which states, "a persistent online connection is required for single player and co-op." That's about as unambiguous as it gets: If you want to play, you have to be connected. You'll also have to link to your Steam or Xbox user ID in order to play. 

It might not seem like a big deal in this era of digital distribution and cloud gaming, where it seems like everyone is constantly connected anyway. But some people still don't have solid, reliable connections, and as someone who is occasionally in that position, I can tell you that it is beyond frustrating—frankly, it's absolutely infuriating—to be told you can't play your singleplayer game because your internet has crapped out. 

The situation is better than it was a decade ago, when then Xbox chief Don Mattrick faced massive blowback for saying that people unhappy about the Xbox One's online requirements were welcome to stick with the Xbox 360. (The "candid feedback" in response to Mattrick's dismissive statement was so strong that Microsoft ultimately dropped the requirement.) 

But it still sucks for people in rural locations or on metered accounts, or anyone who doesn't have the luxury to safely assume that their connection will always be there. And that doesn't even take into account the principle of the thing: There is simply no good reason for requiring me to be connected to the internet in order to play a game by myself.

Redfall will no doubt lean heavily into its social element and that can absolutely make for a better game, but it doesn't need to be mandatory. I much prefer the approach taken by the game I'm currently playing, Weird West, which is excellent and, somewhat ironically, designed by a couple of Arkane founders: It offers an online mode that collects analytics data and enables "community events," but you can switch it all off if you prefer. I play with it constantly connected, for the record, but I very much appreciate having the choice. 

Arkane's Redfall is set to come out on May 2, and will be available on Game Pass at launch.

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.