Redfall Is The Wake-Up Call Xbox Badly Needed

Xbox requires a rude awakening immediately and it's time for them show some visible progress.

By Rayan, Posted 12 May 2023

Despite owning all the consoles, I love Xbox the most. Maybe because my first console was the Xbox 360, I eventually got them all but Xbox has always been my first love. I was thrilled when Microsoft began acquiring game studios like Blizzard Entertainment, Obsidian Entertainment, ZeniMax Media, and Ninja Theory. I was eager to find out the outcome. However, not everything worked out as expected from Redfall. Unfortunately, it's not hard to figure out why Xbox is having so much trouble with Redfall. Redfall lacks any real depth or originality and is plagued by bugs across the game.

The backlash Xbox is experiencing is warranted and should be a wake-up call for the company to improve its product quality. We may be their fans, but we don't dive into anything you drop because we pay for the games or the Game Pass. Furthermore, Xbox and Microsoft have a lot of room for development in terms of earning our trust so that we may devote more time and energy to their platforms. While I decided not to review Redfall and be among the ones who rated it poorly, I feel it's important to discuss the current state of Redfall in detail because Microsoft needs a wake-up call after the disastrous launch of Redfall and the reviews, reception, and social media reaction to it.

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Of course, the most pressing problem Xbox faces right now is Redfall. Everyone anticipated this game for two years since they knew exactly what it was. Microsoft, notably Xbox, has been touting this game for some time as a major AAA release that would also serve as an original IP. Now, everyone in the gaming industry assumed that this new intellectual property would be developed by either Bethesda or Arkane Studios. It would also be the first title to come from Xbox's massive acquisition of ZeniMax Media 2.5 years ago.

It's interesting to consider that PlayStation-exclusive titles like Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop were released over 2.5 years, and then suddenly, it was all Xbox. I'm aware that we received a HiFi Rush, but that item was a random drop, and despite the fact that the game was quite solid, there wasn't a lot of excitement surrounding that item. Redfall, however, represented a departure from the norm, and its release was welcomed with widespread enthusiasm and anticipation. 

But following its release and criticism, we must question what the Xbox is doing. The game was supposed to release in the summer of 2021. However, they pushed it back. In its current state, however, the game is playable but not up to the standards of a AAA release. The game does, in fact, have high-end requirements and plays fairly well on modern hardware. However, other issues should be addressed. Enemy artificial intelligence is one of them.

In some instances, they did nothing but stand or run around aimlessly, but in others, they often did exactly what was required of them, including flanking, assaulting, and making the confrontations heated. However, these instances were extremely rare and occurred only seldom. Here comes the question. Who was responsible for Xbox's quality assurance, if anyone? Let's be honest: we were all psyched when we heard that Xbox had acquired Bethesda and its affiliated studios, including id Software, Bethesda Softworks, and Arcane Studios. Xbox enthusiasts were excited since this was a major acquisition.

Redfall, Xbox Series X, Game Pass, Review, Opinion Piece, Wake Up Call, NoobFeed

The same thing transpired with Bethesda, which has been happening with ZeniMax for some time. The release of Fallout 76 was not the only new event to occur. Their games generally did not perform well in the marketplace. Wolfenstein 3 does not exist. Despite its high quality, Wolfenstein 2 failed to wow fans. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 4, and DOOM Eternal were the only best-selling games. That's all there is to it.

There are some of their other games that have become major hits, but in general, they needed to be reined in a bit. That's exactly why we anticipated Xbox with such glee. Because we had the impression that they were going to give them money, and they develop the kinds of games that you are skilled at making. Then Redfall arrives, and it's the complete reverse of what we anticipated. Many are attempting to express positive things about Redfall, but it would be dishonest to Xbox and Bethesda if they were not told the truth. 

A large number of Xbox supporters have been criticizing Forspoken and other upcoming games. And now the tables have turned completely. A large number of Sony fans are mocking Redfall and its mediocre score. Yet, Redfall is fully deserving of this criticism. It's plagued by more issues than any other recently released game. There is potential in the game's mechanics, but ultimately they fall short. Even if the game's basic loop were improved, it would still launch on consoles and PCs with performance difficulties. The game's visuals completely differ between the PC and Xbox Series X versions. The Series X appears artificial in appearance. It's not simply the 30fps; something about the game's vibe is off. That may sound off-putting, but it's the truth.

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For a long time, I believed that Bethesda has always been a PC-first developer. Thus, I will point the finger at Xbox for this. They have developed a number of games on PC. They've always done a great job of PC optimization; I had no issues running Redfall on my PC, though others may have done so. Compared to other Xbox game developers, they've been falling short. The majority of the series X's features, besides Hi-Fi Rush, might benefit from optimization improvements.

Unlike third-party Xbox titles, this one was developed by Microsoft. What do you think third-party developers and publishers will do if you release a first-party Xbox game at 30 FPS? Is it likely they'll make use of each and every given tool? Not at all! First-party studios are responsible for this sort of thing. And until we see 60 FPS with everything operating and all the tools being utilized by the first party, I'm going to say this right now: third-party developers aren't going to be utilizing them at all, and all the games will perform better on different platforms.

If the first party is unable to master the resources and implement them correctly by the planned release date and within the allotted budget, then there is little reason to expect that anybody else will be able to. This isn't limited to the particular gaming system. I find it hard to make sense of it. Microsoft's Xbox division requires a rude awakening immediately. First-party studios are using the technologies available to them to create a more unified experience between hardware and software. As of this moment, they are not in any way. As far as I'm aware, it's being implemented in games from the previous generation. While Gears of War 5 and other recent releases feature welcome enhancements, the next-generation platforms are still required to fully enjoy the first-party games currently in development.

I have no idea what is slowing them down or stopping them in their tracks; some have speculated that the Xbox Series S is to blame, but I can't confirm that -- if that's the case, they'll need to revise their approach. Xbox, in general, due to the fact that consumers who spend a premium of $500 on a system do not deserve to obtain 30FPS and games which appear like Redfall on Xbox. Unfortunately, it does not look good on that device.

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When played on a PC, the game takes on a whole different appearance; even the shooting using a mouse and keyboard has a distinct physical sensation, in addition to being visually improved. It is unfortunate to have to convey that information to a great number of individuals because it is something that a lot of them need to understand. And in the grand scheme of things, Xbox needs to be competitive. Fans should be aware that the Xbox showcase is scheduled for June and that there are rumors of a Sony showcase happening in May, or at the very latest, a couple of weeks before Xbox.

Sony is expected to release a string of highly anticipated games, and fans should prepare themselves accordingly. Simply said, that's what Sony is known for. They build up your expectations and then surpass them. You don't have to look too far if you've played God of War: Ragnarök. Look at all the games they plan to release, such as Marvel's Spider-Man, which is scheduled to be released this year, and then Marvel's Wolverine, which is scheduled to be released in the following year and a half to two years after that. Those are some very significant games, and we haven't even begun to discuss the factions or any other studios they have. That's some healthy rivalry. Within two and a half years, Sony has managed to shift 38 million PlayStation 5 units, and Xbox is nowhere near that. It's time for Xbox to start competing with other platforms and take a serious look at the gaming industry.

The CMA's decision to prohibit the Activision Blizzard acquisition is frustrating, but closing one deal shouldn't mean you forget about the others. Since this agreement was blocked, they have been relatively silent for the past fifteen months. So they should start making noise, displaying games, and releasing something of high quality. Perhaps invest in quality assurance, as this was noticeably lacking in Redfall and other first-party studios. The time has come for visible progress to begin. Despite being an Xbox enthusiast, I have some constructive criticism to offer. I refuse to waste time here capping for the Xbox Game Pass or anything else.

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Simply put, Redfall has the makings of a great franchise. It had the makings of something spectacular that many people loved the coop or social settings but never got off the ground. Arkane Studios missed an opportunity to deepen the experience by including a wider variety of monsters and narratives beyond vampires and werewolves. Vampires had the potential to be both trendy and massive, but tragically neither of those things happened. The Xbox is once again stumbling, this time with a Metacritic score of 64 and in a crowded market.

Again, similar to how they handled the whole "12 months" thing at their concert the year before and all the other delays. And if you consider the release of Redfall, you'll see that everyone backed back the delay in hopes of a better final product. They could have made a better game with the extra time they had. This calls for Xbox to figure out a solution. No amount of nostalgia for the Xbox or past success can help them now. Everything depends on their current offerings to the fans.

Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information



Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Bethesda Softworks
Developer(s): Arkane Studios
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2022-05-02

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