Like many Xbox gamers, I was excited by the news of a new game from Arkane: the makers of Deathloop, Dishonored and Prey are famed for games of very high quality. But it seems that with Redfall, they've dropped the ball. The game, which launches on Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X and PC today, has attracted devastatingly bad reviews.
The game itself sounded like it would be fantastic. It's an open-world, co-op FPS that takes place in a town under siege from vampires. The story-driven action shooter looks great in screenshots and trailers, but the review consensus is that it's been rush released.
What's wrong with Redfall?
The game currently has 5/10 on Steam, 5/10 on GamesRadar, 4/10 on Gamespot and 3/5 on PCGamesN. IGN says there's a "lengthy list of display issues and bugs"; GamesRadar says "it feels rushed, unfinished and unsatisfying to play", and Gamespot pulls no punches: "the end results are a bloody mess".
I wonder how much of the disappointment isn't really Redfall's fault: it does feel that with the delays around Starfield, which was supposed to be 2022's big hitter but still isn't out, less ambitious games were expected to fill the gap – and perhaps Redfall's developers were pushed to hit a release date that the game just wasn't ready for.
But to get this kind of scoring on launch day is a hard thing to recover from, and these are very, very low scores: Cyberpunk 2077, which really was "a bloody mess" at launch and for months afterwards, scored more highly on release – 9/10 in IGN, 5/5 from VG247 and 78% from PC Gamer – possibly because they weren't reviewing the console version, which was a donkey.
Redfall will get better, fast: the developers will be rushing to patch the bugs and you can expect updates fairly soon. But it's a rare mis-step for Arkane and for now, if you want to play it the wisest option is to get it for free on Game Pass rather than pay full whack for a game that doesn't appear to be fully finished.