Mar 31

Written by: Brian Wray
3/31/2010 10:15 PM  RssIcon

byTravis Murray (Dalamornight)
Have you ever wanted to play a game where you’re a tough as nails buckaroo like Clint Eastwood set in the American Old West? Then you are in luck for Rockstar is about to grant you your wish with Red Dead Redemption.

Red Dead Redemption is not the first game set in the Wild West, but it may be the first game to get it just right. Unlike most other western games, this one allows the player to create his/her own legacy by roaming about in a huge open world, free from the requirement to follow a linear path. The Asylum was able to get some hands-on time with the game at PAX East. What did we think of the game?

Rockstar’s press kit describes the game as such:

“America, early 1900's. The era of the cowboy is coming to an end. When federal agents threaten his family, former outlaw John Marston is sent across the American frontier to help bring the rule of law. Experience intense gun battles, dramatic train robberies, bounty hunting and duels during a time of violent change.

Red Dead Redemption is an epic battle for survival in a beautiful open world as John Marston struggles to bury his blood-stained past, one man at a time.”

The demo started us off in a small town. We were shown the basic controls by a PR person for Rockstar. The controls were similar to those found in GTA. Pressing up on the directional pad whistled for our horse, allowing us to jump on and take a ride to just about any place visible on the screen. Similar to other Rockstar games, the world in Red Dead Redemption is huge and open for exploration. Luckily Rockstar provided us (the players) with a primitive GPS unit that displays via a red line the path towards a desired destination. This was welcomed feature as it would be easy to get ourselves lost out in this expansive world. With a destination set, we headed off towards our 1st mission; find an old prospector that has some information for us.

On the trip to find the prospector, I got a chance to check out the scenery in the game and I got say that the game looks extremely cool. I was also told that the game would feature some weather effects such as rain and dust storms. Also present is a day/night cycle, to really make gamers feel like they are in the old west. We were also told, as we rode towards our destination, that we were able to kill and skin animals in the game. We forgot to ask what we could do with animal skins but we assume that we must be able to sell them to make some money. Once we arrived at our destination the game changed into a cut scene done seamlessly with the same in game engine rather than cheating the visuals with pre-rendered video (which we thought was a very nice touch).
With the prospector located, we asked about the location of a certain person. He directed us towards an abandoned town. The town was far from being abandoned as a whole gang of scoundrels were waiting for us. Commence shoot-out. Selecting a weapon in the game is a simple thanks to a weapon selection wheel. The game has plenty of weapons for all scenarios. Rifles are very nice for distant shots, but close range shoot-outs require a six shooter. Shooting while in the open is not very wise. Good thing the game makes use of a cover system. Another option would be to fight from horseback. This can often give a strategic advantage over opponents. It was also good to see that the game’s AI reacting in a realistically by having enemies take cover after we had blown away one of their buddies.

It was really fun to simply shot guys and watch the well executed (and extremely bloody) death animations. Now sadly that was where our hands-on experience ended. I asked our PR person if there was going to be a demo released to the general public before the game gets shipped. I was told there wasn’t going to be one.

Red Dead Redemption will feature multiplayer action, but the PR person did not provided any details of what they may have planned. She kept repeating that multiplayer would be revealed on April 5th. After spending some hands-on time with this game, I am now wishing May 18th was arrive a little sooner.

3 comment(s) so far...


Sounds like fun & with the huge open world it almost sounds like a western Fallout3

By mordinxx on   4/1/2010 9:28 AM

OK fixed the part about GTA not having a cover system it did, just was not as good as the one in this game.

By Dalamornight on   4/1/2010 12:07 PM

I think if you liked the controls and environment in GTA4, you'll love this.

They did tweak some of the controls (like cover) and the dot you use to aim was nice - but I noticed the lack of the lock on aspect that was in GTA4 (maybe I missed it).

I grew up on Westerns and Clint Eastwood so this is must buy for me (plus I loved everything about GTA4)

The horse took a bit to control, but I'm sure that will come with time, everything was great.

By Sileed on   4/2/2010 4:58 PM
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