A day with Red Dead Redemption

The first two times, all we found was blood and bones, but the third time we met a man who told us a crazy city-type had broken his leg. We chased the bastard down, lassoed him and brought him back to the injured man, at which point we learned his “injury” was fake, the "killer" was his victim, and he'd been cannibalizing all the people we’d been sent to find. At that point, Marston walked away, and the game invited us to either keep walking, or turn around and do something about it. Naturally, we shot the cannibal dead and freed the man, but we didn’t have to.

Whatever your decisions, doing notable things raises Marston’s fame score, as well as his honor score. Doing things like saving cows, capturing criminals alive (with the all-important lasso) or shooting sociopaths before they stab prostitutes will boost your honor, while shooting lawmen or committing any sort of crime will make it drop.

Committing crimes also puts a price on your head, and that means a whole hell of a lot more than just pissing off the cops in GTA IV did. This time around, you’ll be set on by a posse of lawmen, who’ll search for you inside the radius of a circle that will slowly follow you once you’ve escaped from it. Kill your pursuers, and your bounty will only increase. The only way to get out of trouble is to die or to clear your name at the nearest telegraph office, which involves either paying the bounty yourself, or presenting a letter of pardon (which you can find scattered throughout the world).

Above: These guys will work with you no matter how many crimes you've committed, though

Interestingly, our honor wasn’t adversely affected later in the story, when we were pressed into service by a snake-oil salesman to help him sucker some farmhands into buying his wares. Reluctantly posing as a member of the audience, Marston takes a swig of the guy’s awful patent medicine and is directed to pull off a few trick shots. First, we shot a distant cow skull off the side of a farmhouse, after which a skeptic came up and ordered us to shoot his hat out of the air.

This was one of the best uses we encountered so far of the game’s Deadeye feature, a sort of bullet-time mode that enables you to “paint” multiple targets (or one very small target) and then let loose with a rapid, unstoppable volley of shots. It’s especially useful for when you absolutely have to kill four guys at once, or need to hit something very cleanly (like say that hangman’s rope we mentioned earlier).

Above: Or this bird, maybe

In this case, it let us slow down the guy’s hat and fill it with holes, after which he called Marston a swindler and pulled a gun. With no clear direction as to what to do next, we asked ourselves: what would the Lone Ranger do? With that in mind, we used Deadeye to target the guy’s gun-hand and successfully shot out his pistol. Not only did we defuse the situation and gain our con-man employer a new customer, but we felt like total badasses for figuring out the best possible solution.


We’ve been looking forward to delving into Red Dead Redemption for some time, and the game’s first several hours didn’t disappoint. There’s a lot to explore and do, and there’s a surprising amount of banter throughout the early missions about how the evil federal government – which around this point in history was tightening its control over the West – is trying to drain the pockets of earnest, hardworking country folk. As of this writing, the game’s release is only a few weeks away, on May 18 – but after this taste of what’s in store, those weeks are going to be long ones.

April 28, 2010


  • 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.

  • Evilsafetyboy - April 29, 2010 3:50 p.m.

  • 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

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