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12 things you need to know about Red Dead Redemption

We recently had the pleasure of checking out Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption - the spiritual sequel to 2004's Red Dead Revolver - and early signs suggests this could be a classic.

Rather than sticking to the rigid structure of the original, Rockstar are set to give you a sprawling landscape to roam around, which is full of towns, bandits and animals. Think GTAIV but with less buildings and you're about there.

So take a look at the facts that we garnered from our first-look demo...


We presumed the lead would be Red from the original Red Dead Revolver, but it isn't. John Marston's your man. He’s voiceless in the demo (voice talent will be confirmed later) but his body language and the scars on his face – almost identical to Red’s – suggests he’s a no-nonsense, badass.

Marston’s background is similar to Rockstar’s other anti-hero, Niko Bellic from GTAIV. He’s a reformed outlaw who used to run with a notorious gang. He’s settled down with his family but all of a sudden The Bureau – who are later to become the FBI – turn up and deliver a horrific ultimatum. From here John’s life is thrust back into his previous dark ways.


Bigger than GTA IV's Liberty City, in fact. Our demo highlighted the vastness perfectly as John trotted from town to town over huge expanses of dusty desert, but that doesn’t mean there’s much to do (see 6). It’s split into three areas - the Frontier, the Plains and even Mexico.

There’s a train line that runs through the entire map too. We’re expecting to be able to ride it between different areas in a similar way to the subway system in GTAIV. One of the missions even involves racing along side a locomotive and protecting it from incoming attacks.


A tweaked version of the GTAIV engine is being used in Red Dead Redemption. As such the combat and movement feels very familiar, in a good way, obviously. So John will brush past folk in a realistic pushing motion and the people who are unlucky enough to be on the end of his six-shooter bullet will collapse according to where they’re hit.

The highlight of this comes in a stagecoach mission. It’s a classic on-rails jaunt as you ride shotgun for a merchant that’s just fleeced some bandits. You can blast them off their horses (which, we’ll add, are beautifully animated) but to demonstrate the physics a few steeds were popped in the head to show how their riders were thrown off. It’s a bit like blowing a tyre in GTA except horsy will crumple rather than swerve about. Nasty.


These games are a source of income for John. We’re expecting poker and other card-based gambling games but the one we’ve seen is something completely different.

Five Finger Filet is where you get a knife then stab the gaps between your fingers. Like that thing you used to do in school with a compass to impress your mates.

It’s a case of hitting the correct buttons as they flash on-screen. Miss the prompt and you’ll carve into your hand. Ouch.


We’ve seen cougars, vultures and rabbits so far, but apparently there’ll be armadillos, wolves and bears in Red Dead Redemption too. Not only will you be able to hunt these beasts and sell their hides but the ecology system in the game means bigger animals will actively hunt smaller ones. Should be interesting watching a scrap between a grizzly and a pack of wolves.


Wander through the seemingly barren lands and you’ll witness hangings, poor saps being dragged around by outlaws or even people being chased by cougars, screaming for help. These aren’t just eye-candy either, no sir, you can interact with these situations for rewards or kudos from certain characters.

One surprising event we come across is a lady in her underwear wailing for help near her over-turned stagecoach. As John approaches, a gang of bandits run out to try and cut him up. It’s a setup. This lawless land will test your moral fibre just like GTAIV does.

43 comments

  • Kordocwaffle - January 24, 2010 11:20 a.m.

    I loved Gun. Might pick this one up.
  • thataboy85 - June 18, 2009 6:20 a.m.

    I really like westerns alot! Where is the demo? I havn't been able to find it!
  • boxmeizter - June 2, 2009 9:52 p.m.

    wow...dude! this looks amazing rockstar truly rocks!
  • ste3009 - June 2, 2009 3:35 p.m.

    This looks awesome The first one was good but annoying with the bosses Is there ever gunna be like a 2nd GUN released omg i loved that game:P
  • MacGyver1138 - June 1, 2009 4:03 p.m.

    I was only mildly interested before. After reading this, I am quite excited for it, and then you go and tell me that it's going to be a year or so before I can play it!
  • StupidTownColonStupidStateColon - June 1, 2009 1:30 a.m.

    Lasso, Lasso?.....Lasso!?!?!? Thats sweet! Stuffs being annouced a little too early for me, it gets me anxious like Dead Rising 2. recaptcha: what horse. nice
  • sft10 - May 31, 2009 5:16 p.m.

    looks awesome but is this just me or does this sound a little bit like gun? Which would not be a bad thing since gun is an awesome game
  • jar-head - May 30, 2009 3:41 p.m.

    unless it's some sort of sci-fi like bioshock, "Past" games could be give a 12/10, but think outside the bubble, it's still based on thew past events, future games like Mass Effect Blew Everyone away, due to it's actual "Realism"(yes, Realism in a Sci-fi is RARE) but basically games are split into, past/now/future, Moderwarfare was sent in the sort now play, iwth the MW2 slated in the near future, with our tech. thats building up, Owe Man. Give Me BAss
  • QMRFILMS - May 30, 2009 6:01 a.m.

    the only thing i love better than a western movie is a game...I cannot wait for this. i used to have gun for GCN....all i'm gonna say is this: I miss my dynamite bow! anyways, this looks great.
  • Samel265 - May 29, 2009 9:11 a.m.

    Fallout 3 + Gta 4 + Red Dead Revolver = This!!!, thats how that article read to me Hadn't heard of this before today, but quite excited now :D
  • homieomar - May 29, 2009 7:20 a.m.

    This game looks awesome. I played through and beat red dead revolver. I loved that game so I will be awaiting this game sucks that it got delayed but hopefully it makes it that much better
  • GamingDude571 - May 29, 2009 4:33 a.m.

    This looks freakin awesome.I'm sad it was delayed however, I think it will be just as good if not better than GTA
  • Mattgue - May 29, 2009 2:13 a.m.

    As soon as it comes out i am getting it I love the first one
  • GoldenMe - May 28, 2009 11:03 p.m.

    I played Red Dead Revolver. A truly unnoticed gem. And this game is making me jizz all over myself, thus making me jizz again. BUT NO!, says Rockstar. Delaying the game for another year. Great. I'm still eagerly waiting though!
  • may.be.vital - May 28, 2009 10:15 p.m.

    Can't wait! :)
  • Tasty_Pasta - May 28, 2009 9:44 p.m.

    I read an interview with one of the Housers, and he said there would be no dismemberment. :( I've read up a ton on this game, so none of this info is really new to me, aside from that the world is going to be four times the size of Liberty City!!! That's ridiculous. Is that bigger than San Andreas? The random events sound really fun, and I like the predatory animals idea too.
  • Frexerik - May 28, 2009 9:27 p.m.

    LASSO?! im getting it :D
  • ChrisCom66 - May 28, 2009 9:03 p.m.

    Ive got my eye on this game. i didnt play Red Dead Revolver, but i did play GUN and i thought that game was awesome. This looks like it will be 10 times better.
  • oryandymackie - May 28, 2009 8:18 p.m.

    Come on, Spring-Summer 10? This is pretty much the best-looking Western ever on the 360, or any console, and it's delayed. Please just keep hyping it, so it doesn't go from the public eye. I'll be following this avidly.
  • Ravenbom - May 28, 2009 8:03 p.m.

    Wow, looks like they took GTAIV, Gun, and Red Dead Revolver, put them in a blender and turned out something really cool and exciting. Especially since the western game genre hasn't been over saturated yet, this looks like it could be a genre defining game, like GTAIII was. I think John looks a little too much like Wolverine though. That would make me keep expecting bone claws to pop out in every cutscene.

Showing 1-20 of 43 comments

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