red dead redemption

Finals time is the best time to get excited about a new video game. Rockstar (makers of the Grand Theft Auto series) have announced a sequel to the somewhat unexciting Red Dead Revolver game, and it looks very promising. Red Dead Redemption is a fresh take on the Western that promises to deliver much more than previous attempts at the genre due to the embracing of new technologies, such as the Euphoria physics engine (the same used for GTA:IV). It will offer an expansive open world with three distinct locales to explore and many missions, diversions, and characters to interact with. Allow me to give my take on the game.

While the idea of a Western game has always appealed to me, previous games like the one upon which this is loosely based, as well as Gun, just never looked like very much fun to play. While the game is still being developed, several features have already been mentioned that should make this one better. First is the open world itself, with dynamic day/night cycles and the possibility of massive amounts of exploration. But its important to note that it takes much more than this alone to make a good game. I bought Far Cry 2 based largely on this motivation and was sorely disappointed; you could explore the land, sure, but there was only the very occasional zebra and really nothing else to do. In Red Dead Redemption, the developers claim the world will be much more alive, with many wild animals and even the ability to hunt and then sell furs. The example is given of coming across a bandit robbing someone spontaneously, only to see the bandit be mauled by a bear or mountain lion. Its this kind of random interaction of the environments inhabitants that should make the experience much improved.

Also promising is the technology used for horses, carriages, and trains. The animations seem fluid and lifelike and riding your steed shouldnt feel like youre stuck on a fixed object instead of a living creature. In addition, you can shoot the horses right out from under your enemies and theyll fly off realistically (recall the beauty of some of those motorcycle wrecks in GTA:IV). When riding in a carriage or train, youll have the ability to take a nap, thereby speeding up the process of getting from one point to the next. These different transportation options should make traversing the open world more bearable and still fun in a distinct way from the cars of so many other games. And you can lasso things.

Questionable is that theres no real property ownership, and theres still much that remains to be seen. The inventory system is unknown, and exactly how the posses and marshals will try to track you down is not a certainty. While its clear that making evil decisions will make people distrust you and can even prevent you from being able to take on certain missions for a while, a good/bad alignment system doesnt really seem to be in place. These are minor quibbles and shouldnt be too bad, but the property ownership was my first concern. It would be nice to have a house or two to call my own as I embark on outlaw escapades. Still, after having seen the property systems in both Far Cry 2 (where every safehouse you owned was exactly the same) and Fable 2 (where you could buy everything but it was still very unsatisfying), this isnt going to make or break the game.

Mostly, Im just looking forward to something new, and Im confident that the people at Rockstar are capable of making an entertaining game out of these lofty ideas. Bioshock was incredibly engrossing because of its unique atmosphere and storyline, even if the gameplay wasnt revolutionary. This type of game could have the same effect; there will be standard gunplay with the occasional deadeye mode (slow-motion, as first witnessed in Max Payne), but so much else surrounds the player that it feels more significant than it really is. Now if they can get Clint Eastwood to do some voiceover, Ill be a happy man.

You can - and should - watch the games first trailer on their website.

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4 comments to red dead redemption

  • there better be some saloon interactive piece with an old blind guy in every town saloon, playing on the pian-y, hooligans drinking whiskey like water, and last but definitely not least, girls with negotiable morals (5 - 10 - and 15 cent options) you should also be able to conceive children, having no use for rubbers in the wild west, and you should be able to sell said child into slavery with profitable margins to finance more saloon debauchery. That having been said, the game looks to have potential.

  • this is rockstar were talking about - im sure there will be no shortage of chubby prostitutes. as for the conception of a child, im not sure that really fits in with this type of game. you could basically do those things in fable 2 but it turns out that that stuff sounds more fun on paper than it really is in execution.

    i do hope there will be card games. i want to have the option of slipping a few aces up my sleeves and starting a saloon brawl as a result.

  • doesnt fit in with the game? its realism at its best. pop a child out, sell him into the gold mining business, lasso up some sweet make-up caked turd women and repeat. A house on the prairie, perhaps some realistic fishing would be in place? I know how you like that shit. Also, you should be able to learn new abilities such as twirling pistols, and extra-cultural abilities like scalping. think of the possibilities of scalping a prostitute.

  • yeah but rockstar has never gone that much into the simulation route; they usually stick with the mission-oriented story-driven game design. i agree that it would be awesome to do some scalping and fishing, but really rune factory 2 offers me everything i could ask for in a game, so im not looking for it to include all that.

    now gun-slinging tricks would be cool. hopefully theyll at least have some slick animations lined up for that, if not some moves to learn.