Upon the game’s release, I immediately bounced off Arkane Austin’s immersive sci-fi horror game, Prey. Chalk it up to misplaced expectations, but returning years later to cover it for Safe Room, I was rewarded with an experience I had fundamentally misunderstood and would later come to view its approach to game design as second to none.
The complexity and intricacies of Prey still serve as a shining crown amongst Arkane’s already impressive catalog of mostly immersive stealth action games. Whether discussing Prey, the Dishonored series, or Deathloop (however, to a lesser extent), Arkane’s pedigree for crafting complex worlds and implementing tactile means to traverse them continued with Prey. A world ripe with choices and enough of a narrative to steer the player to a logical conclusion to the tale of Talos 1. But the true story was how players chose to make their way through that world, given the unprecedented amount of choice they had in playing the game their way.
So when it was announced that Arkane’s next game would revolve around a sleepy seaside New England town filled with vampires running amuck, “eagerly anticipating” would be a massive understatement. It was a premise seemingly made in a lab curtailed solely to both mine and Neil’s collective horror interests. But despite the excitement driven by that initial premise, Redfall was seemingly a different kind of game than Arkane typically makes.
Redfall’s larger open world, co-op focus, and hero classes with play styles that differ more than the one that came before it is common enough variables but ones that are rarely staples of Arkane experiences. While not an overt red flag, Redfall was shaping up to be something different for the studio, but given Arkane’s pedigree, that was an exciting prospect.
So, now that Redfall has finally arrived, is it worth sinking your fangs into? For this week’s episode, Neil and I are joined by returning friend of the show, and regular contributor to Bloody Disgusting’s gaming side, Aaron Bohem to unpack Arkane’s handling of an open world, hero-based combat, and what it could mean for the studio’s future. – Jay Krieger
Safe Room Podcast now has two episodes a week! Horror Bytes now has its own show on Thursdays. Each week we highlight small-scale indie horror game gems or interview the people responsible for them. This week we cover the story that unfurls in a seemingly empty cinema in Movie Night and a cemetery that should be a lot quieter than it is in Graveyard Duty. – Neil Bolt
Safe Room is a weekly horror video game discussion podcast with new episodes every Monday and Thursday on iTunes/Apple, Sticher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Linktree for additional streaming services.
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Next week we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Silent Hill 3, and we would love to hear your thoughts on it!
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