Video game release spotlight: 'Red Dead Redemption'

The cowboy theme is not exactly new in video gaming, but seldom has it been tackled on such a grand scale as in Rockstar San Diego's
Red Dead Redemption.

Even limiting a retrospective to recent years yields 2004's spiritual predecessor to Redemption, Red Dead Revolver and 2005's straight-faced Gun. 2007 saw the first Call of Juarez, and this year Ubisoft produced the samurai Western Red Steel 2 while Swedish coders Fatshark released multiplayer-only Lead & Gold.

Redemption, however, ups the ante in several ways. Though comparisons have been made to the Grand Theft Auto series by the studio's sister outfit Rockstar North, San Diego's output appears to sport an altogether more robust moral compass.

In a game that seeks to channel the iconic films of Eastwood, Wayne, and Leone, running and hiding isn't enough to escape the consequences of bad living - 'Wanted' posters will be plastered up around town, and posses will assemble themselves to dish out rough justice to players that cross the line on an unrepentant basis. Those that can't resist living on the wrong side of the law will need to pony up the requisite (and ever-rising) bounty to stave off an untimely end.

Its main storyline has been kept under wraps, no doubt to enhance those feelings of discovery as players swagger and trot their way through the America of olden times, though players will guide John Marston, ex-outlaw turned family man, through a series of trials and tribulations as he seeks to prevent an old vengeful gang from destroying this new way of life.

The vast wildernesses of untamed America are explored along the way, with various diversions available to digital cowboys in an expansive land: poker, horseshoe throwing, and other saloon-based antics act as counterpoint to more rural activities such as cattle herding, bear hunting, and horse rustling across locales alternately covered with clouds of dust, thick snow, and lush evergreens.

Making the game was said to be a test for Rockstar San Diego, measuring the studio's ability to produce a top-drawer title worthy of the Rockstar name, and in January 2010 there were concerns raised about the work required to meet those exacting standards.

Given Redemption's online multiplayer angle, which allows up to eight wannabe gunslingers to band together against rival gangs, it will be interesting to see how Redemption's post-release development is handled - whether extra single-player missions and accoutrements are given the same weight as multiplayer expansions - but as it stands the retail package seems to be robust and of good quality.

Early reviews from Game Informer and GamesTM awarded it 9.75 and 9/10, indicating that Red Dead is worthy of investigation, especially for those with a penchant for the gruff machismo of Clint's iconic characters or the visceral gunfights of Open Range.

Game information
Title: Red Dead Redemption
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release date: North America, May 18. Europe May 21. Australia, May 21. Japan, May 18.
Age Rating: M (North America) / 18+ (Europe) / MA 15+ (Australia)
Price: $59.99 USD / €59.99 / ~ $105 AUS / ¥5,300-7,900
Video trailers at Rockstargames.com/reddeadredemption

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
healthMeet the volunteer users helping to see if the banned drug can help cure depression and addiction
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Life and Style
tech
News
i100
News
Foo Fighters lead man Dave Grohl talks about the band's forthcoming HBO documentary series
people
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

    £27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Analyst

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

    Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

    £20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Web Designer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Web Designer is required to join a f...

    Day In a Page

    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

    Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

    Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
    Fifa corruption: The officials are caught in the web of US legal imperialism - where double standards don't get in the way

    Caught in the web of legal imperialism

    The Fifa officials ensnared by America's extraterritorial authority are only the latest examples of this fearsome power, says Rupert Cornwell
    Bruce Robinson: Creator of Withnail and I on his new book about Jack the Ripper

    'Jack the Ripper has accrued a heroic aura. But I'm going after the bastard'

    The deaths of London prostitutes are commonly pinned on a toff in a top hat. But Bruce Robinson, creator of Withnail and I, has a new theory about the killer's identity
    Simon Stephens interview: The playwright on red-blooded rehearsals, disappointing his children - and why plays are like turtles

    Simon Stephens interview

    The playwright on red-blooded rehearsals, disappointing his children - and why plays are like turtles
    Holidaying with a bike nut: Cycling obsessive Rob Penn convinces his wife to saddle up

    Holidaying with a bike nut

    Cycling obsessive Rob Penn convinces his wife to saddle up
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef pays homage to South-east Asia's palate-refreshing desserts

    Bill Granger's fruity Asian desserts

    Our chef's refreshing desserts are a perfect ending to a spicy, soy-rich meal
    Fifa presidential election: What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison