A closer look at Red Dead Redemption

It would be a fair assumption to say that the games industry has been neglecting the western genre.  We had Gun a few years ago and most recently there was Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood release just this past summer.  This April you’ll be able to experience a sandbox style Western that utilizes the same engine applied in Grand Theft Auto IV (Euphoria and RAGE) from Rockstar San Diego.  The game has been compared to GTA4 and has even been called “Grand Theft Horse” because of the unique cast of characters you will meet on the course of playing the game and that it’s basically a Grand Theft Auto game set in the Wild West.  Not much has been said about the large mass of land you will be able to embark on in the game, but what we know is that it’s going to be even bigger than what we saw in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

The year is 1908 and you play as John Marston; a former outlaw who is forced to help bring justice to the lawless land by hunting down the gang members he used to ride with.  Your mission is to kill or capture your old best friend, Bill Williamson.   That’s as far as I’ll go with the premise because that’s all the public knows for now, but from watching the trailers you can see the colorful array of characters you will interact with and meet along the way — be it enemies, allies, or just regular folk passing through.  The large setting is split into three different areas like San Andreas; The North, The Frontier, and Mexico.  With an area built on this massive scale you will be able to roam freely and do side missions if you are so inclined.  These include picking up a wanted poster and going for a bounty and hunting.  For the latter– Rockstar implemented and ecosystem of around 40 different animals including snakes, wolves, bison and bears.

Rockstar has stated that within the game while you play there will be random encounters generated.  This includes things like going by a town and seeing a hanging taking place, a robbery happening in front of you, (with your choice of helping the bandits, the victims or just stand back and watch) pleas of help from pedestrian bystanders,and hunting as well as animal attacks.  Like the past couple GTA games there will be mini-games included in — you can do stuff like gamble, the aforementioned bounty hunt, herd cattle, and play good ol’ five finger fillet.  You will have consequences to the actions you take while playing the game, because there is an Honor of Fame system that acts as your morality gauge.  Doing things like helping a victim during a robbery or hunting criminals earns you honor while committing a robbery or killing an innocent bystander will get you wanted.  While you have the regular aiming mechanic you see in many games — lock-on and toggle between enemies– there is also a “Dead-eye” targeting system that lets you lock on to more than one enemy and kill them all in a split second like any gunslinger in your favorite western flick.  As far as your arsenal goes you’re given weapons like sniper, revolvers, knives, rifles and a lasso. Redemption is one of the biggest games we have coming to us this spring along with Splinter Cell Conviction and I can’t wait until I could get my hand on it.  If you’re a fan of old Spaghetti Western films from Sergio Leone like me then this is the game you’ve been waiting for.