Red Dead Redemption Preview
Xbox 360 | PS3
Red Dead Redemption box art
System: X360, PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Rockstar San Diego 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Rockstar Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: May 18, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-16 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
The World of the West
by Amanda L. Kondolojy

May 27, 2009 - Although Westerns have been typically ignored by the world of video games, it seems the ol’ West is now getting the star treatment. This year we are getting not one, but two sequels to Western video game franchises: Call of Juarez and Red Dead Revolver. While both of these sequels look good, the Red Dead Revolver follow up is the one that has me most intrigued.

Red Dead Redemption screenshot

Although the original title for the Xbox was an interesting venture into the Western genre, it didn’t have very deep gameplay, and it played a lot like an arcade-style shooter. However, the franchise is back and will feature an open-world, new characters, and some new gameplay elements which are sure to please fans of the original as well as new players.

Red Dead Redemption is basically a reboot for the franchise. Although it only had one entry before, the storyline in the previous one has all but been thrown out the window. Our new protagonist, John Marston, is a retired outlaw who has been forced out West due to a few too many run-ins with the law in his past. Though he has changed his ways and even started his own family, his past finally catches up to him and he is forced to leave his entire life behind as he seeks a new way out West.

The game takes place at the turn of the 20th century, and the world is changing. Though Marston expects to return to the old West he knew as an outlaw, he instead finds a place that is rapidly embracing technology and is abandoning his the way of life he remembered.

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The game, without making too many parallels, will play a lot like GTA IV. It will feature a third-person action format, with an open-world where you can run around an accept missions. You can travel around on foot, but it looks like riding around in stagecoaches and on trains will be the best way to get around.

Red Dead Redemption screenshot

As you travel, you will meet people and will be able to talk to them and form relationships in order to eventually take on missions. These missions will most likely involve traditional Western-stereotyped situations involving chasing stagecoaches and engaging in shootouts with other outlaws. As far as weaponry is concerned, Red Dead Redemption will have plenty of period guns, as well as a lasso and a kerosene lamp with which to engage in combat. In addition to the more action-oriented missions, there will also be brief mini-game style diversions, which will allow you to play Western-themed diversions, like a knife swinging contest, that will involve timed button mashes.

But of course, what is an open-world game without decisions. Red Dead Redemption will feature a classic good/bad system where your actions in-game will ultimately decide the direction of the plot. While this concept has been used several times over the past few years, it is a welcome addition to Red Dead Redemption, allowing you to really create your own Western adventure.

Red Dead Redemption screenshot

There is certainly a lot that will be different in Red Dead Redemption, a few things will remain the same. Most notably, the Dead Eye system will be returning, which allows you to slow down time in order to take accurate shots. However, the Dead Eye system will be somewhat improved, and you will now be able to use it while you are in motion (like riding a horse or on a stage coach) as well as using it when you are stationary.

In addition to all of these new features, it has been confirmed that there will be a dueling system as well as multiplayer elements to the game. However, details are scant on these elements, which will probably be revealed closer to its release, later this year. Red Dead Revolution seems to have little in common with its predecessor in terms of story and gameplay, but nonetheless this looks like a very competent action game, and the open-world setting and mission-based gameplay look to add another level of immersion that the first was never able to quite achieve. This game looks like one to watch for, especially if you are a fan of Westerns!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor


Game Features:

  • Utilizing Rockstar's proprietary Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE), Red Dead Redemption features an open-world environment for players to explore, including frontier towns, rolling prairies teeming with wildlife, and perilous mountain passes - each packed with an endless flow of varied distractions.
  • Along the way, players will experience the heat of gunfights and battles, meet a host of unique characters, struggle against the harshness of one of the world's last remaining wildernesses, and ultimately pick their own precarious path through an epic story about the death of the Wild West and the gunslingers that inhabited it.


  • Screenshots / Images
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