Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption.jpg
Red Dead Redemption cover
Developer(s) Rockstar San Diego
Rockstar North
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Director(s) Ted Carson (technical)
Josh Bass (art)
Daren Bader (art)
Producer(s) Steve Martin
David Kunkler
Josh Needleman
John Ricchio
Designer(s) Christian Cantamessa (lead)
Leslie Benzies
Alan Blaine
Silas Morse
Programmer(s) Michael Krehan (lead)
Tom Shepherd
Tim Laubach
Fredrik Färnström
Artist(s) Nick Trifunovic (lead)
George Davis
Writer(s) Dan Houser
Michael Unsworth
Christian Cantamessa
Composer(s) Bill Elm
Woody Jackson
Series Red Dead
Engine RAGE[1]
Euphoria[1]
Version 1.06[2]
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date(s)
  • JP October 7, 2010
Genre(s) Open world, third-person shooter, action-adventure, western
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Rating(s)
Media/distribution Blu-ray Disc, DVD

Red Dead Redemption is an open world action-adventure western video game, developed by Rockstar San Diego and published by Rockstar Games. It was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on May 18, 2010. It is a spiritual successor to 2004's Red Dead Revolver.[6] Most of the game's story takes place in the year 1911, during the decline of the American Old West. The game follows John Marston, a former outlaw, while he sets out to hunt down his former gang members. Marston's wife and son are taken hostage by the government in ransom for his services as a bounty hunter. Having no other choice, he sets out to bring his three former gang members to justice.

Upon its release, Red Dead Redemption was met with high critical acclaim, averaging 95% on both review aggregate websites Metacritic and GameRankings, making it one of the highest rated video games for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on both websites. It won several "Game of the Year" awards. Reviewers praised the visuals, music, open world gameplay and the story. As of September 2011, the game has sold over 12.5 million total copies.[7] A Game of the Year edition containing all additional content was released in October 2011.[8]

Contents

Gameplay

Red Dead Redemption is an open world game. Players can interact with the environment and engage in combat with enemies, using various firearms. Different breeds of horses are the main forms of transportation, which come in a variety of quality. These horses must be tamed, however, in order to use them.[9] Swimming is not an option, as the protagonist John Marston cannot swim — he will drown if he ventures too far into deep water.[10]

In addition to following the main storyline, players can take part in random events they encounter as they explore the West. These include public hangings, ambushes, pleas for assistance, stranger encounters, "ride-by" shootings, and dangerous animal attacks. For example, if a group of people ride into town firing guns in the air, the player can kill them, and will receive a bonus of honor and fame. Players can also take part in optional side activities including duels, bounty hunting, herb collecting, gambling, and hunting animals for pelts, meat and other various items.

Red Dead Redemption makes use of a morality system where players have the ability to gain positive or negative 'honor'. Some of the ways to gain positive honor include taking an outlaw alive instead of killing him, or saving a kidnapped innocent. Negative honor can be gained for committing crimes including killing or robbing civilians. This works along with another system, 'fame', showing and governing how people react based on Marston's honor status. If Marston has negative honor, lawmen and civilians will usually say obscenities to Marston and feel insecure around him; lawmen will even threaten to kill him next time they see him. If he has positive honor, lawmen and civilians will usually greet him and feel safe around him.[11] As Marston's fame and honor increase bounty hunters think twice about attempting an arrest and people turn away from his criminal behavior. Marston can, however, prevent his honor or fame from being altered by wearing a bandana, making him unrecognisable.

Combat

Like many other Rockstar games, Red Dead Redemption features a cover system that allows players to hide behind objects and reach out to fire on people and animals.

Combat and gunplay are major parts of the game. Gunfights in Red Dead Redemption are conducted using a third-person system. The player can take cover, target a specific person, blindfire, and free aim. Individual body parts can also be targeted, in order to take targets down non-lethally, and capture them alive. When the player shoots an enemy, the game engine uniquely creates the AI reactions and movements. John Marston can choose from period-accurate weapons including revolvers, pistols, lever or bolt-action rifles, knives, explosives, lassos, mounted gatling guns, shotguns, sniper rifles and cannons.[12]

A combat feature that Marston can use is the "Dead-Eye" targeting system. "Dead-Eye" is used in a bullet time-like manner, allowing the player to slow down time to place a precise shot or paint in multiple shots on the body parts of one or multiple enemies. When the targeting sequence ends, Marston will fire in extremely quick succession on targeted people and objects, displaying his impressive ability as a gunslinger.

Adopted from the Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead Redemption has a modified wanted system. When the player commits a crime such as killing people near witnesses, some will run to the nearest police station. The player can bribe them or kill them before they reach the station. If a crime is committed near a police officer, the wanted meter immediately appears along with a bounty count which increases with each crime committed. To evade law enforcement in pursuit, John Marston must escape a circular zone until the wanted meter disappears. Despite the chase being aborted, a bounty is placed upon John which will cause bounty hunters to come after him in the wilderness. It is impossible to surrender to these bounty hunters by putting away Marston's weapon and standing still as they will kill him regardless. Only law enforcement in towns and posses will accept surrenders. The police will continue to chase Marston unless he pays his bounty at a telegraph station or presents a pardon letter. When arrested, Marston pays off his bounty and is then released. If the player does not have enough money to pay back the bounty, the police will assign bounty hunting activities.

Multiplayer

Red Dead Redemption includes online multiplayer with a maximum of 16 players per session. Every multiplayer game, both free-for-all and team based, will begin with a Mexican standoff. Survivors of the standoff will be able to move to any part of the battlefield in preparation for respawning enemies. Crates in the environment will contain extra weapons, ammo, as well as recharge Dead-Eye powers, which has all the features of the single player version except it will not be in slow motion. Players can level up and complete weapon challenges giving rewards such as new character models, golden weapon skins, new titles, and new mount breeds. New multiplayer modes, such as Stronghold mode, have been added in the Liars and Cheats pack.[13] The Undead Nightmare pack included two new games modes: Undead overrun mode, and Land grab. It also included eight new zombie characters, including a Zombie Marston and Zombie Ricketts.

Both regular and team versions of Shootout mode follows a traditional deathmatch scenario where players or teams must accumulate the most kills. Many Capture the Flag variants are also available. Hold Your Own is a traditional capture the flag, where each team has their own bag of gold to defend from the enemy team. Grab The Bag has both teams attacking one bag placed in a section of the map. Gold Rush is a free-for-all variant, trying to grab and keep as many bags, spawned all across the map, as possible. Red Dead Redemption features free roam gameplay. All players in the server can form and join player parties, named "posses", of up to eight players and taking part in activities such as attacking computer-controlled gang hideouts or other player posses, go hunting, and create in-server matches.[14]

Synopsis

Setting

Red Dead Redemption covers two fictitious counties and a state: New Austin, West Elizabeth, and Nuevo Paraiso. New Austin and West Elizabeth are adjacent to each other and the border with Mexico. Nuevo Paraiso is a Mexican state, separated from US territory by the San Luis river, which forms the border. The game takes place in 1911, featuring the decline of the Wild West and the cowboy and outlaw archetypes that shaped it.

Plot

In the year 1911, John Marston, a retired outlaw formerly of a gang led by Dutch van der Linde, is taken away from his wife Abigail and his son Jack by government agents. The agents tell Marston that he will be reunited with his family if he hunts down the remaining lead members of his former gang. Left with no choice, Marston travels to the territory of New Austin to capture or kill one of his old friends, Bill Williamson, who now runs his own gang of bandits out of Fort Mercer. Marston confronts Williamson, only to be shot and left for dead outside the fort. A rancher, Bonnie MacFarlane, finds him wounded, and brings him to a doctor to be treated.

After recovering from his wounds several days later, Marston begins repaying the MacFarlanes for their help in the form of several jobs around their ranch. At the same time, he recruits help for a plan to attack Fort Mercer. Along with U.S. Marshal Leigh Johnson of Armadillo and his men, con man Nigel West Dickens, grave robber Seth Briars and drunken arms dealer Irish, Marston uses a Trojan Horse strategy to breach the fort. Marston and the Marshals breach the fort and massacre Williamson's gang, only to find that Williamson had already fled to Mexico to seek help from Javier Escuela, another member of Marston's old gang. Irish offers to take Marston into Mexico over the river border. Along the river, Irish and Marston encounter Mexican bandits. Marston and Irish take the bandits out, barely making it into the country.

In Mexico, Marston works with Mexican Army Colonel Agustin Allende and Captain Vicente de Santa, as well as the revolutionaries in the area led by Abraham Reyes. He also improves his gun skills under the tutelage of elder gunslinger and childhood inspiration Landon Ricketts. Allende promises to deliver Escuela and Williamson to Marston, but soon betrays him and has de Santa attempt to execute Marston for working with the revolutionaries and killing Allende's men with Ricketts. After escaping execution, Marston sides with the rebels who help kill de Santa and successfully get Marston to Escuela. Following Escuela's capture or death, Marston joins Reyes and his men for an assault on Allende's villa, not only culminating in the deaths of Allende and Williamson, but also Marston's rebel friend Luisa when she attempts to save Reyes. Reyes takes control of the surrounding Mexican counties, and vows to march onto the capital with his rebel army. Marston, meanwhile, returns to the city of Blackwater to meet with his government contact, Edgar Ross.

Much to his dismay, Ross will not let Marston return to his family until Dutch van der Linde, who has emerged from hiding, has been killed. While Dutch and his men wage war on the United States Army in the area, Marston has several run-ins with Dutch who manages to elude capture each time. Marston eventually joins Ross and a group of U.S. soldiers in an assault on Dutch's hideout. Marston follows the outlaws to their base, and confronts Dutch on a cliff. Dutch ultimately chooses to commit suicide, backing off a cliff to his death. Moments before he dies, Dutch warns Marston that the government will always find another "monster" to justify their pay.

Marston is released from his deal with the government and returns to his family at his ranch. After some time spent getting the farm up and running again, Marston is forced to repel the army when Edgar Ross betrays him with a surprise attack. After Marston's friend Uncle falls, Marston manages to get Abigail and Jack out safely but stays behind to hold back the soldiers. Despite a valiant last stand, John, realizing what he must do to save his family, tells his family to ride away and that he will catch up. Then, John steps out of the barn to confront his attackers. He is able to take down a handful of soldiers, but is shot multiple times by Ross and his men. Jack and Abigail return to the ranch after hearing the gunshots, finding John dead and the soldiers gone. John's body is buried on a hill overlooking the ranch, his grave inscribed "Blessed are the Peacemakers".

The game then jumps three years ahead to 1914, where the fresh grave of Abigail rests next to his. An older Jack, now the playable character, is seen standing at the foot of where his parents rest. He walks away to search for Edgar Ross who has now retired. After questioning Ross's wife under the guise of a messenger, Jack learns that the retiree is out hunting. Eventually, he finds Ross shooting ducks on a riverbank. When Jack reveals his identity and intentions to Ross, the two get into a heated argument, and Ross claims that John killed himself with the life he lived. To resolve the dispute, the two duel, in which Jack guns down his father's killer. Almost immediately after Ross's death, Jack looks down at his gun in confusion; while he has avenged his father, he has also become a murderer and a criminal, which his father died to prevent. Jack holsters his gun, pauses, and then walks back up the riverbed, his future, uncertain.

A newspaper summarizes the fate of John Marston's companions. Marshal Leigh Johnson retired as sheriff of Armadillo, and then moved as far away as possible from the town. Abraham Reyes, though promising to lead Mexico into an age of freedom, was consumed by power and became a tyrant. Bonnie MacFarlane eventually married, but it is not said to whom, although several conversations heard throughout MacFarlane's Ranch suggest she married her foreman, Amos. Irish accidentally shot himself dead in a Thieves Landing outhouse when his gun discharged. Seth Briars eventually found the treasure he was looking for and became rich. Finally, Landon Ricketts passed away quietly in his sleep.

Development

A trailer of the project was sent to a select number of people at a Sony conference in 2005, promoting the release of the PlayStation 3 system. The trailer was a tech demo of RAGE set in a western setting referred to as Old West Project and a sequel to Red Dead Revolver. The trailer circulated throughout the Internet.[15]

Production had finally began in early 2008 after work had finished on Manhunt 2 and Bully: Scholarship Edition. It was originally titled during development as RDR2 and was aimed for release on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.[16] In the April 2010 edition of Game Informer, Red Dead Redemption was listed as being for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and (erroneously) for the PC.[17] On June 10, 2010, a representative for Rockstar Games stated, in a comment on their website: "As of now, there are no current plans to bring Red Dead Redemption to the PC platform. If that should change, we will let you know."[18] On February 3, 2009, Rockstar Games announced the first official trailer.[19][20] Resulting trailers showcased numerous characters, gameplay features, and multiplayer modes that would be featured in the final release.

Marketing and release

In North America, GameStop and Rockstar collaborated on a pre-order bonus in which customers could vote for one of three outfits that Marston could unlock in the game. Each outfit came with a different bonus. The "Savvy Merchant" would halve the purchasing price of ammunition and guns and double the selling price for ammunition and guns. The "Expert Hunter" would double the amount of money the player could get from selling hides of animals. The winner was the "Deadly Assassin" outfit, which allows Marston to regenerate slow-mo "Dead-Eye" targeting twice as fast. Voting was open to all, but only those who pre-ordered the game through Gamestop will receive the winning outfit.[21] However, Rockstar announced that in an upcoming patch to fix several issues players are experiencing, they will release the other two outfits for all users free of charge.[22] Rockstar announced that the other outfits of the contest will be available through a future title update.[23]

Along with the GameStop preorder special, there were several other bonuses available through other store chains throughout the world. The "War Horse" is a black horse with a white mane, tail and markings considered "rare", as well as being faster and having more health than any other horse in the game.[24] The "Golden Guns" reward increases fame with each kill, allowing users to progress more quickly up the ladder of fame.[24] The official online Rockstar Games store, the Rockstar Warehouse, offers a Red Dead Redemption T-shirt as the pre-order bonus. Walmart offered a $20 gift card and also a deck of playing cards that are used in game.[25] A limited edition version of Red Dead Redemption mainly featured redeemable codes for the Deadly Assassin and the official soundtrack while other countries also received the War Horse and the golden guns.[26][27]

Exclusive additional content such as a new gang hideout and an outfit from one of the game's gangs, is available for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.[28] Both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions features rewards respectively for Avatars and the social network PlayStation Home. The Rockstar Games Social Club is a website that displays the gameplay statistics of registered users and feature competitions and awards based on player activity within the game. The game was featured on NASCAR driver Joey Logano's #20 Toyota Camry in the Nationwide Series running of the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 17, 2010. Logano drove the Red Dead Redemption car again in June at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Film

In North America, television network Fox presented Red Dead Redemption: The Man from Blackwater, a half-hour machinima short film directed by John Hillcoat on May 29, 2010.[29] It was broadcast in the United Kingdom on June 5, 2010. The film explores an alternate take of the main storyline's first act. Shortly after release, the whole film became downloadable through Rockstar's official website.[30]

Downloadable content

On June 22, 2010, Rockstar Games released the first downloadable content (DLC) for Red Dead Redemption titled Outlaws to the End. The content includes six new cooperative side missions ranging from raiding a mine and stealing the gold to riding down a river to secure a town's weapon cache. New multiplayer challenges as well as new trophies/achievements are also included. The downloadable content is free for all users on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

On July 8, 2010 Rockstar announced four new downloadable content packs.[31] The first, dubbed the Legends and Killers Pack was released August 10, 2010. This pack adds nine new multiplayer map locations, 8 new multiplayer characters from Red Dead Revolver, a tomahawk, and new achievements and trophies.[31] The second pack is called the Liars and Cheats pack, and was released on September 21, 2010. It consists of new competitive multiplayer modes such as "Stronghold" and horse racing, as well as multiplayer versions of liar's dice and poker. Additionally players can play as the heroes and villains of the single-player story in multiplayer. Fifteen additional multiplayer characters are added. The explosive rifle is also added, however, it can only be obtained by earning the most points in one of the new gang hideouts. Killing someone with the explosive rifle will make that player drop all the weapons he has picked up, but it will be dropped on death. This pack also includes new achievements/trophies.[31]

The third expansion known as the Free Roam Pack brings new modes, challenges, and hideouts as well as leaderboards and a scoring system for multiplayer posses, however this was cancelled and combined with the Liars and Cheats pack instead.[31] The fourth expansion pack, called The Hunting and Trading pack, was released October 12, 2010 and included a new animal, the jackalope and the Savvy Merchant and Expert Hunter outfits for use in single player as well as related challenges.[32]

The latest expansion pack, Undead Nightmare, was released on October 26, 2010.[33] In this pack a horror element is added, with ghost towns and cemeteries full of zombies. It also brings a new single-player adventure, five new weapons, six new mounts, new animals to hunt, and eight more multiplayer characters as well as a brand new online co-op mode called "Undead Overrun". This plays out as a survival mode in which waves of zombies attack the players.[31]

On June 6, 2011, Rockstar announced that they would be releasing more downloadable content for free called Myths and Mavericks Bonus Pack, "including new fan-favorite playable multiplayer characters by popular demand as well as something for all players of Deathmatch, Grab the Bag, Gang matches and other online modes."[34]

On September 13, 2011, a Game of the Year edition containing all downloadable content was announced for release on October 11 in the North America and October 14 internationally for release on both PS3 and Xbox 360. [35]

Soundtrack

Red Dead Redemption Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released
May 18, 2010
Genre Video game soundtrack
Length 75:18
Label Rockstar Games

Red Dead Redemption Original Soundtrack is the soundtrack of video game music used in the game. The music was mainly composed by Friends of Dean Martinez member Bill Elm and ex-member Woody Jackson along with additional contributions from various musicians. Recorded at 130 beats per minute in A minor, most of songs featured are constructed from stems in the game's dynamic soundtrack.[36]

All music composed by Bill Elm and Woody Jackson, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Born Unto Trouble"   3:12
2. "The Shootist"   4:17
3. "Dead End Alley"   2:06
4. "Horseplay"   3:15
5. "Luz y Sombra"   5:19
6. "El Club De Los Cuerpos"   6:24
7. "Estancia"   2:02
8. "(Theme From) Red Dead Redemption"   5:38
9. "Triggernometry"   5:24
10. "Gunplay"   1:28
11. "Redemption In Dub"   2:10
12. "Muertos Rojos (aka The Gunslinger's Lament)"   5:51
13. "The Outlaw's Return"   6:54
14. "Exodus In America"   4:59
15. "Already Dead"   1:31
16. "Far Away" (José González) 4:40
17. "Compass (Red Dead On Arrival Version)" (Jamie Lidell) 2:59
18. "Deadman's Gun" (Ashtar Command) 4:15
19. "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie" (William Elliott Whitmore) 2:24
Total length:
75:18

Reception

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS3) 94.76%[37]
(X360) 94.18%[38]
Metacritic (PS3) 95/100[39]
(X360) 95/100[40]
GameStats (PS3) 9.3/10[41]
(X360) 9.3/10[42]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[43]
Edge 9/10[44]
Eurogamer 8/10[45]
G4 5/5[46]
Game Informer 9.75/10[47]
GamePro 5/5 stars[48]
GameSpot 9.5/10[49]
GameSpy 5/5 stars[50]
GamesTM 9/10[51]
GameTrailers 9.5/10[52]
IGN 9.7/10[53]
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) 10/10
Official Xbox Magazine (UK) 9/10[51]
PALGN 9/10[54]
Play Magazine 92/100[55]

The game received widespread critical acclaim, with much praise given to the presentation of the open world, story, and soundtrack. The game has received a 95/100 on both Metacritic and GameRankings. On GameRankings, it is the seventh best rated Xbox 360 game of all time, having an aggregate of 94% based on 67 reviews and the fourth best rated PlayStation 3 game of all time with a score of 95% based on 48 reviews. Red Dead Redemption has also been enormously commercially successful. According to an August 2011 report, the game has shipped over 11 million copies, 2 million of which are retail units of Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare.[56] As of September 2011, Red Dead Redemption has sold over 12.5 million units.[7]

The New York Times' Seth Schiesel said, "The leading edge of interactive media has a new face. [...] In the more than 1,100 articles I have written for this newspaper since 1996, I have never before called anything a tour de force. Yet there is no more succinct and appropriate way to describe Red Dead Redemption."[57]

IGN heaped praise on the game, giving it a 9.7/10 and saying "what is most impressive about this sandbox is how fun it is to simply hop on a horse and take off across the prairie." In conclusion they exclaimed, "Red Dead Redemption is a must-play game. Rockstar has taken the Western to new heights and created one of the deepest, most fun, and most gorgeous games around. You can expect the occasional bug or visual hiccup, but you can also expect a fantastic game that offers the Western experience we've all been waiting for."[58] GameSpot awarded the game 9.5/10 and said that it "raises the bar for open world action games".[49]

GameSpy gave it 5/5 stars saying "With Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar succeeds in creating one of the most impressive open worlds I've ever seen in a game, and it's telling that — even after playing for over 30 hours — all I want to do is get back on my horse and gallop back into the wilderness."[50] VideoGamer gave it a 10/10 exclaiming "The game itself is absolutely spectacular... The sheer quality of Red Dead Redemption is evident right from the word go." They also said "it's a magnificent piece of work that everybody should play."[59]

Eurogamer awarded Red Dead Redemption an 8/10, stating that it "successfully re-clothes the Grand Theft Auto framework in an exciting, distinct and expertly realised scenario".[60] The Australian video game talk show Good Game's two reviewers gave the game a 9.5/10 and 10/10.[61]

At the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, Red Dead Redemption won the "Game of the Year", "Best Song in a Game ("Far Away" by José González)", "Best Original Score" and "Best DLC (Undead Nightmare)" awards [62] and some critics have called the game's music score among the most influential in the history of video games.[63]

Awards

Since its release, the game has received a large number of awards. It has been recognized as one of the best games of 2010. It won several Game of the Year awards from media outlets such as GameSpy,[64] GameSpot,[65] Good Game,[66] Computer and Video Games,[67] and Machinima.com,[68] among others.[69][70][71] The game's music also received awards for its original score from GameSpot, Machinima.com, and Spike TV.[72] José González also received an award from Spike for his original song, "Far Away".[72] The graphics received honors at the Korean Games Conference,[73] and from the television program Good Game.[74] Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare also received Best Downloadable content awards from Spike TV, G4 TV and Game Revolution.[72][75][76]

See also

  • Gun
  • Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

References

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  18. ^ Rockstar comment. R* Y June 10, 2010 at 2:34pm "@XShady08X As of now, there are no current plans to bring Red Dead Redemption to the PC platform. If that should change, we will let you know."
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