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
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: IT Project Coordinator / Manager

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

    Metail Ltd: Business Development Manager for Asia Pacific

    £35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Supervisor

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well establis...

    Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Owner

    £30 - 40k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product ...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy