A Year Later, Redfall Players Who Spent $100 Are Still Waiting For Its Promised Heroes

Image: <a class="link " href="https://twitter.com/redfallfr/status/1407063293919911940/photo/3" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Arkane / Bethesda;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas">Arkane / Bethesda</a>

Players were excited at the prospect that Redfall might combine the fun co-op loot mechanics of a Borderlands with the bespoke environmental storytelling of a Dishonored. Ultimately, though, the day-one Game Pass blockbuster didn’t quite accomplish either of these things, and it was burdened at launch by bugs, performance issues, and weird gameplay issues to boot. Now fans who spent $100 on the deluxe edition are still waiting on the two post-launch DLC heroes they were promised at the time.

“Redfall exists as a novelty from a once great studio that has neither lived up to its hype or the promises,” a player, who goes by Obvious on Discord and is one of the $100 edition owners, told Kotaku. “It’s better than it ever was, which makes it just about reach ‘mediocre’ but it never got the Cyberpunk treatment and probably never will, but I’d be happily proven wrong in this case.”

They had hoped the DLC heroes would be released as part of a big Halloween update last year, and haven’t played the game in months. “The fact it’s taken over a year now shows Redfall either hit issues or they hadn’t even started [on the DLC], which is bizarre,” Obvious said. “Some people think they might be working on it behind the scenes for another big release at some point, but I’m starting to lose hope in that.”

Redfall, developed by Arkane Austin, was Microsoft’s first Xbox Series X/S game with a next-gen price tag of $70. Players hyped for the squad-based shooter about killing vampires in a small Stephen King-esque New England town went above and beyond and purchased the Bite Back Edition for $100 (which is still for sale on Xbox, Steam, and the Microsoft Store). In addition to a laser beam skin, tactical knife stake weapon attachment, and alternative outfits for the four main characters—Jacob, Layla, Remi, and Devinder—it also included the Redfall Hero Pass for “two future heroes” that would be added to the always-online shooter down the road.

Screenshot: Arkane / Bethesda / Kotaku
Screenshot: Arkane / Bethesda / Kotaku

But Redfall’s launch was such a mess that Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer went on a podcast to personally apologize, and Arkane seemingly had bigger fish to fry. The developers rushed out a hotfix for infinite loading screens and save system crashes. A month later, a version 1.1 update addressed a number of other glitches as well as enemy AI and encounter frequency issues, both of which had gone a long way to making Redfall’s combat feel both janky and empty. Big patches in the fall delivered the game’s long-awaited 60fps mode on console and a new sniper rifle called the Basilisk and more balance changes.

What about the new characters? “We’re continuing development of The Hero Pass and we’re excited to share more about Redfall’s new heroes and other updates later next year,” the development team wrote in the patch notes last November. Nearly six months later, there’s been no further update on the status of the missing DLC, or whether Redfall still has a future as former Bethesda VP Pete Hines had previously promised. Many fans were hoping for an update on the one-year anniversary of the game’s May 2, 2023 release, or possibly even a surprise shadow drop. Instead, the Redfall Twitter account hasn’t posted in 30 days. The last tweet reads, “that’s bait.”

“Oof, with the amount of radio silence, starting to worry Bethesda forgot it even made this,” one player wrote on the Redfall Discord server last month. “Bright side, if they can’t remember, they can’t shut it down.” Another responded, “We could publicly gaslight ourselves into acting like the dlc came out and the games peak.”

Mostly a ghost town at this point, there are still sporadic comments on the server from those still playing (Steam concurrents now hover around 50) or fans waiting for a whisper that the DLC heroes are finally coming out. “I’ve learned a long time ago that you should never pre-order games given how they’ve been releasing them lately and I’m not just talking about Redfall,” a player who goes by rabbi921 told Kotaku. “Unfortunately it’s not the fault of the employees, but of the managers of these companies [who] always try to release the games in terrible condition and cheat the customer who buys the game by betraying their trust.”

“I’ve played a lot of Redfall on Game Pass and I can’t wait to buy the dlc but first they have to show me something concrete,” they continued. “I love this game but I don’t want to be made fun of either. I think more or less all the other fans think the same.”

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