At first glance, Red Dead Redemption
looks like an awesome twist on the GTA franchise Rockstar is known for. On second glance, Red Dead Redemption is really an awesome twist on the GTA franchise Rockstar is known for. Throwing the Western theme into the mix of what is supposed to be a huge open world to explore and shoot people in created a charming environment with unique new experiences.
The quest you run through at PAX entailed locating a treasure chest for the mangy Seth Briars. His gums are bloodied and exposed, and the grime on his stick-bone figure is the perfect wrap to his drunken demeanor. Along the way to my destination – indicated by a very clear color-coded path on my mini-map – I encounter roaming wild horses that I can apparently capture with my lasso and tame. These aren’t the only encounters you’ll have with wild animals in the Wild West. Although I didn’t partake in the activities personally, my very informative Rockstar representative tells me that I can kill and skin animals in a very visually detailed manner.
Finding Briars at a graveyard, I follow him until I’m ambushed by revolver wielding baddies in Western attire. Playing with the controls, I slide into cover and take out the first two guys hiding behind the house to my left. Two others attempting to run to cover in the distance get shot down with Dead Eye, the game’s precision shooting based on slowing down time. After I’ve carefully planted my bullets into their bodies, I head into the house where the treasure chest is located. I’m already in fighting mode, which is perfect because there are many other trigger-happy folks to be found.
When I’m done dealing with the bloodthirsty mongrels indoors, I head back outside into the starlit night and marvel at how diverse the lands of Red Dead Redemption can be. I started my journey in daylight watching the tumbleweeds and various animals scurry across the sandy landscape, and now traverse a place that feels more quiet and peaceful. I haven’t even tinkered with the morality system of the game – either conducting good or evil acts to influence my reputation – but I can tell that when the game finally hits shelves that I’ll be spending a lot of time outside main quests and exploring what Rockstar has made to offer in this Western world instead.