Continuing online connection needed for Redfall in singleplayer

Redfall vampires game

Bethesda’s upcoming vampire shooter, Redfall, puts an emphasis on multiplayer co-op, but also offers solo play. According to the game’s Steam page, it’s “an open-world, single player and co-op FPS” and Pete Hines, Bethesda’s communications chief, has confirmed that it can be played alone. However, even when playing solo, the game still requires an online connection.

A single player or cooperative game of Redfall necessitates a constant connection to the internet. This is explained in the game’s FAQ and is quite clear – if you intend to play, you must be linked to your Steam or Xbox account.

In this day and age of digital downloads and cloud-based gaming, many assume that everyone is perpetually connected. However, there are still individuals who do not have a steady, dependable internet connection, and being in this predicament can be extremely maddening when you can’t play a game that isn’t even multiplayer due to your connection failing.

A decade ago, Don Mattrick, the then-chief of Xbox, faced a huge backlash when he proposed that those who were not content with the Xbox One’s online requirements could just stay with the Xbox 360. This led to a lot of “candid feedback”, which eventually resulted in Microsoft rescinding the requirement. The current situation is much better than it was back then.

Those in rural areas, with metered accounts, or without the privilege of an always-on connection, have a particularly hard time. Not to mention the sheer injustice of requiring an internet connection to play a single-player game.

The social element of Redfall is sure to be a major part of the game and it has the potential to improve the game, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be required. The game I’m currently playing, Weird West, takes an approach that I prefer. It happens to be designed by two of the Arkane founders and is great. It has an online mode which collects analytics data and produces “community events”, however you are given the option to have it all turned off. I keep it connected all the time, but I’m thankful for the choice.

Redfall will be available for PC and Xbox Series X/S on 2 May 2023.

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