Various previews and impressions for Arkane’s red fall from a recent hands-on event have become available, showing some new gameplay. Eurogamer also spoke to game director Harvey Smith, who confirmed that the team is “working actively” to remove the always-online requirement from single-player.
When asked about those who want to play offline in a world where most devices are connected online, Smith responded, “There are two ways developers could react to that, right? They could say: ‘Oh, my God, you’re always online. If you get on your Steam, and it’s not online, you freak out. If you get on your Xbox, and you can’t get the latest patch, or see what your friends are doing, you freak out. You want to be always online!’ But that response, I think, lacks empathy.
“There are people who live in places where there are outages, or their broadband is s***y, or they’re competing with their family members because their mum’s streaming a movie or their brother’s on another device. And so I think it is a legitimate critique.”
Of course, Smith isn’t promising anything. “We do take it with a lot of empathy. We listen. And we have already started work to address this in the future. We have to do some things like encrypt your save games and do a bunch of UI work to support it. And so we are looking into – I’m not supposed to promise anything – but we’re looking into and working actively toward fixing that in the future.”
It likely won’t be available at launch, and you’ll still need to be connected online when playing solo. As for why this is the case, Arkane is using the data gathered from online players to tweak certain things in-game.
“It allows us to do some accessibility stuff. It allows us for telemetry, like – if everybody’s falling off ladders and dying, holy s**t, that shows up. And so we can go and tweak the ladder code. There are reasons we set out to do that that are not insidious.”
red fall releases on May 2nd for Xbox Series X/S and PC. It’s also available on day one for Game Pass with cross-platform multiplayer enabled across all systems and storefronts. If you want to learn more about the story, its villains and how the titular town turned into a vampire haven, head here.