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A day with Red Dead Redemption

The open range

Armadillo, like the other towns in Redemption, is more than just a collection of wandering civilians and rustic buildings. There’s actually quite a bit to do here, like visiting stores (which sell everything from healing items and guns to new horses and treasure maps), or going to the local saloon and turning down the attentions of prostitutes (Marston is married). More interestingly, there’s also a little movie theater that reminded us of the TVs in GTA IV, except that it only shows silent (but original!) animated shorts for the princely sum of $2.


Above: You can also rent property, which is cool

That’s another thing you’ll need to get used to; since it takes place in the early 1900s, cash goes a lot further than it does in GTA. Of course, that also means you’ll get a lot less of it, with payouts for missions averaging between tens and hundreds of dollars. It’s odd that a game could make us think of a $25 price tag on a bottle of potentially life-saving medicine as outrageous, but when you’ve only got around $40 to play with, decisions like that can be surprisingly tough.

From here, we were more or less free to do as we pleased; we could head back and do more favors for Bonnie, or we could pay a visit to the sheriff and try to get his reluctant help in hunting down Williamson. We could also explore the surrounding countryside, which more often than not got us into trouble with the local wildlife, or into random encounters with bandits and/or lawmen.

Sometimes you’ll stumble across a prospector who’s pinned down by a couple of bandits, and other times someone will run up and beg you to save his friend from a lynching, giving you a chance to shoot the hanging rope (yes, just like in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly). Be careful, though; some people claiming to be in need of help will instead try to kill you or steal your horse (which, you know, is always a good strategy when you’re not the one with the guns). Once, we were even flagged down by an apparently injured woman, only to be immediately set on by her bandit friends.

When things like that happen, you’ll be glad that the wilderness offers a lot of rocks and trees to dive behind for cover. In general, surviving firefights revolves around effective use of sticky cover, which is a lot easier to use than it was in GTA IV. In fact, fights in general are easier than GTA IV’s, because so long as you’re not being shot, your health will gradually refill (turns out that medicine we mentioned earlier is an emergency solution that’s also vital for certain missions). And even if you manage to die or otherwise fail during a mission, the forgiving checkpoint system will just drop you back in near the point where you bit the dust.

 

Cover tactics won’t do much good, however, against the wolves and cougars that rove through the wilderness. These bastards can take down your horse (and you) in seconds, and more often than not they could absorb multiple point-blank shots to the face before they go down. On average we’d rather fight outlaws, even if we can’t skin them and sell their pelts.


Above: F**K!

Wandering into the brush also let us take advantage of Redemption’s smartest feature, campsites. Using a camping kit anywhere outside of civilization gives you the chance to not only save your game, but also to fast-travel to any town or notable location you’ve visited.

 

Honor and glory

As far as the story is concerned, Marston is a reluctant killer who’s trying to do right by the law (which prompts Bonnie to call him a hypocrite). Seeing as he’s a former outlaw, though, and seeing as this is a game made by the creators of GTA, his morality doesn’t end there, and you have a certain amount of leeway to shape it.

For example, there’s a trio of semi-random “stranger” missions we found early on (these are sort of like the “pedestrian” missions in GTA IV, except there are more of them and they’re easier to find), wherein crying townsfolk asked us to investigate the disappearance of a loved one who disappeared into the nearby hills.

32 comments

  • mariusbru - July 12, 2010 3:43 p.m.

    what a game! Enjoyed playing it every second! The end surprised me though! so uncalled for! :P
  • Limbo - May 1, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    Dear God this looks amazing. Too bad it got pushed back to mid-May. That's so badass that you can shoot a gun out of a person's hand. In GTA4 you had one option, shoot them.
  • DriveShaft - April 30, 2010 10:22 p.m.

    This is what I love about this site, information we actually care about, humour and not completely ruining the story (cough, IGN, cough)
  • lovinmyps3 - April 30, 2010 2:19 a.m.

    This game is going to be amazing. I can't wait!
  • D0CCON - April 30, 2010 12:34 a.m.

    Way better than IGN's strategy in telling you nothing about gameplay, but ruining the first 6 hours of the story. I skimmed it, so I only have a very vague understanding, but this is worth reading.
  • djsizzlefresh - April 29, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    i hope this game is as kick-ass and in wide open as say fallout 3 or gta IV
  • Felixthecat - April 29, 2010 3:54 p.m.

    I COULD BE PLAYING RDR NOW BUT ROCKSTAR HAD TO PUSH IT BACK TO MAKE IT EVEN BETTER. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO :'( :'( :'(
  • Evilsafetyboy - April 29, 2010 3:50 p.m.

    Dead-eye!!!
  • CountZero - April 29, 2010 2:59 p.m.

    Looks cool. I'm really hoping for a strong main plot though. Side missions and extra little activities are fine, but they usually get repetitive fast, or the novelty wears off. I need a good story and a character I care about to hook me.
  • Tenfey - April 29, 2010 2:21 p.m.

    The game seems very manly.
  • FreekinIdiot - April 29, 2010 1:52 p.m.

    @Rhymenocerous Couldn't agree more. And that cannibal side mission is just awesome/creepy.
  • dash141 - April 29, 2010 1:49 p.m.

    One word - Amazing.
  • Rhymenocerous - April 29, 2010 10:31 a.m.

    Also, you shot the gun out of the guy's hang? AWESOME
  • Rhymenocerous - April 29, 2010 10:27 a.m.

    Yes! Money is harder to get (and you actually need it). BTW I turned auto aim off on GTA4 just so the fights would be more fun, (where's the fun in just locking on to enemies?)so I hope the aiming is smoother in this.
  • crumbdunky - April 29, 2010 7:44 a.m.

    The more I see stuff about RDR the more I'm a little disappointed they haven't expanded the template a little more. A few more rpg style touches in a western game would be fantastic-even within the framework of having your character set up and a fairly linear main story. ~I'd like to see them go a lot further with future entries to the series in this respect but here more chance for latitude like upgrading your own weapons, mixing herbs and items for medicine, levelling up your horses as you break and train them would be cool along with a decent karma system that could affect what route and endings you can have would all have been possible. I say this because such a seemingly detailed world just lends itself to a feeling of extra freedom. I'm really looking forward to it but just think they could REALLY have opened up a few more avenues and made the game truly great and pretty unique to boot had they just had the chance/opportunity and desire to add a bit extra gamer freedom.
  • Samael - April 29, 2010 7:37 a.m.

    AHHHH! If I attempted to anticipate this game anymore than I already am, I'd probably get a brain aneurysm. So, so awesome... "Marston is married" NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! CURSES!
  • Hobojedi - April 29, 2010 5:29 a.m.

    Oh, this game better come out for the PC..
  • Kurtido - April 29, 2010 5:08 a.m.

    What do you have to say about the frame rate? Is it like GTA's clunky FPS? Is it better? I would like detailed information on this before buying it. I have had bad experiences with those games in the ps3.
  • whiteknight1981 - April 29, 2010 3:46 a.m.

    @Setre: The government has kidnapped Marston's wife and kid so he will become a bounty hunter for them. Its facinating to read the different sites about this same preview. Mikel said the riding and herding were pains while the other few sites said it was the best part of the preview. I look forward to see the final word on this game that has been in development for 5 freakin years!
  • sklorbit - April 29, 2010 3:16 a.m.

    looks real nice pardner

Showing 1-20 of 32 comments

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