Redfall, Arkane’s much-maligned 2023 co-op looter-shooter, didn’t give much for fans or critics to sink their teeth into when it came out. With a tonne of bugs and underbaked features, the game just felt incomplete in a way that Arkane’s previous works never did. However, nearly half a year and arguably far too late to salvage the game’s reputation, the game has received a massive update which adds in the long-awaited 60fps Performance Mode on console, as well as stealth takedowns and AI improvements. Whether it’s a matter of too little, too late is for the fans to decide.
“This patch brings a Performance Mode to Xbox Series X/S, stealth takedowns, new controller settings, Accessibility improvements, and much more,” wrote the developers on the game’s website. “Explore an even more dangerous Redfall with an increased open world enemy population and new encounters.”
The addition of a 60fps gameplay mode on Xbox Series X/S is probably the biggest addition to the game. Redfall was locked at 30fps on Xbox Series X/S at launch, with an optional 60fps mode to be patched in “at a later date“, as per the developers before the game came out. Despite this frame-rate lock, critics complained of performance issues regardless, and news of performance patches fell to the wayside. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer acknowledged the game’s disappointing launch, and understandably many players assumed that Redfall would not be worth Arkane’s time to revitalise. For whatever reason, Arkane seems determined to at least address some of the game’s shortcomings, even if it comes several months after most players had given up on it.
This update will go some way towards addressing some player concerns, such as the simplistic gameplay and technical shortcomings. That said, Redfall seems far away from a Cyberpunk 2077-style resurgence. For one, Cyberpunk 2077 is a single-player game, and thus how much fun you have with it has no bearing on how many others are also playing it. Redfall, by contrast, while playable solo, has a co-op focus, and that means that a lot of players will need to return to the game for it to become a fun multiplayer experience. The other is that the core experience of Redfall just isn’t that great; Cyberpunk 2077, for all its technical failings at launch, was still quite warmly received by those who were able to play it, and the gameplay overhauls brought in with its 2.0 update alongside the Phantom Liberty expansion if anything demonstrated how little tweaking the game needed to reach its full potential. Redfall, on the other hand, will still require a lot more work before it can proudly stand on par with Arkane’s other great games.
That said, never say never. Redfall had some very high expectations behind it, being the first major Microsoft exclusive game post-acquisition of Bethesda and its stable of developers. Despite its disastrous launch, Microsoft may still think it is worth investing in improving the game. After all, it took CD Projekt Red nearly three years to release the recent major overhaul, whereas Redfall has been out for less than 6 months. It will remain to be seen if this is the last attempt to fix Redfall, or if more substantial improvements are on the horizon.