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Redfall: A Metaphorical Take on the Horde Shooter Genre

February 21, 2023
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Redfall—a supernatural slayer game from the developers at Arkane—is fast-approaching and it looks like it has the potential to be a defining moment in online gaming.

From the outset, it may look like a variation of Left 4 Dead, with the inclusion of vampires among the hordes of enemies. But, according to Harvey Smith, one of the directors at Arkane, there is much more to Redfall than meets the eye.

In a recent interview with Edge Magazine #381, Harvey Smith was frank and upfront about Redfall’s mythos and its core narrative. He made sure to clarify that this game is not “a zombie game or a horde shooter.” Instead, it intends to tell a story of a sinister organisation that has worked its way into a small, sleepy community; an organisation that will stop at nothing to “undermine it and warping it to their own needs.” Smith was particularly keen on the metaphor of vampires, a powerful symbol of the “privileged controlling-elite people.”

For all the comparisons, Redfall will not be a survival horror game. Smith has already made it clear that, despite the vampires and the horrifying implications of the game’s story, Redfall is an open-world shooter. It, therefore, carries with it the possibilities of improvisational tactical play in ways more often attributed to Deathloop or even Prey.

But, as Harvey Smith insists, you cannot simply put Redfall into pre-defined categories. It’s a game that builds upon the set of values established by Arkane and—in the same vein—aims for an immersive, audiovisually stimulating experience. From scavenging for resources to vampire-slaying, the game packs a huge combination of activities in a great deal of narrative depth.

Redfall is looking to make its soon-to-be-announced debut onto the gaming scene on May 2, 2023. Thankfully for arkane fans and players alike, the game promises to maintain the same level of quality and originality that we’ve come to expect from the development studio. With the additional element of an endlessly creative co-op mode to take advantage of, it’s easy to get excited for Redfall’s upcoming launch.

In the hyper-competitive world of gaming, it’s asking a lot of any developer to come up with a game that brings something new to the table. While it’s difficult accurately predict whether Redfall will live up to its expectations, it’s clear that Smith’s ambitions of creating a unique game are taking precedence over one-dimensional archetypes like “zombie games” and “horde shooters.”

What do you think? Will Redfall be a huge hit when it debuts in May 2023, or are Arkane holding out for too much from their forthcoming shooter? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!

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