Review by Console Ghost

"Is Red Dead Revoler dead on???........."

Finally, a western game after all these years!! The reviews you have read on this and other sites giving this game a lower score have an underlying handicap: they are written by fans of GTA (of which I am one admittedly). The thing you really have to do here, is recognize that this is a totally different game and not meant to be the sprawling, free-wandering exploration piece that GTA is. It is a solid game on its own, beautifully built, and offering lots on fun pokes at the Sergio Leone (among other) westerns.

Graphics: 8

Well done. Bravo to Rockstar again for not falling into the temptation to max out resolution at the sacrifice of game play (ahem Dead or Alive, please stop making them). The steamy, blurred "western-vision" is fresh and really does much to immerse you into the environment.

Gameplay: 9

Needs a bit of polish, but arcade style mayhem fun. GOD I've missed this. Nothing like a good old fashioned shoot-em-up, and the controls are intuitive enough for you to battle with ease and delight.

Sound: Perfect

I won't sully the sound score by putting a number to it. Superb. Perfectly captures the feeling from the old westerns. The dialogue is quirky, and humorous (overdone threats and classic movie one liners, what more could you want?) and fits well into the kind of game Dead Red is trying to be.

Let me deviate now from the customary review format to give the game a clearer look. I think most who played Red Dean had fun playing the game, but they had two major complaints about it which need to be addressed, and frankly rebutted against.

Major complaint 1) "We want more freedom for exploration:" GTA fans adored the seemingly limitless freedom granted them in the GTA series. If you decide you aren't interested in Tommy's agenda, you can just decide to hang out in hot rides and go stick up some liquor stores. Here however, the game is much more story driven. This is not to say that there is an incredibly deep story, nor should there be. Seriously, did you watch one Clint East Wood spaghetti western where they had a lot of stimulating dialogue and twist endings? No!!! Clint needs to kick ass, and there some simple reason why (he wants money, a lady needs a' rescuin', somebody killed his friend/mother/father/family etc etc). The sheer simplicity of plot allows us to sit back and enjoy the execution of the action. Since this game is action driven, and there is a strict script with pre-selected allies/foes, tha game is not meant to leave you a lot of freedom in destiny. Revenge is your destiny, and wandering around looking for cooler stuff would have just been distracting in this kind of story base.

Major complaint 2) "The character isn't deep enough, he isn't developed very fully:" Okay now..... Red is supposed to be a bad ass. Do you really want to spend the game exploring how he FEELS about the ass he is kicking? I think that games are actually moving a little too far into the domain of soap opera when characters are overdeveloped. Sure this character is shallow, sure the development of his character is nil. It's an ACTION movie. It's Clint Eastwood in For a Few Dollars More (in Brimstone). It's not Clint in the Bridges of Brimstone County. You don't have character development in a race car game either (that's because the important part is the racing).

In summary:

Kudos to Rockstar for finishing this game, we need more westerns and games of different genres (so tired of the same old Fantasy Sci-Fi Final Fantasy settings these days, it was cool the first 10 years, but lets move on already!!!!).

For those tempted to rent or buy. I highly suggest a buy. Give it a chance though. Don't expect GTA, because it's not. Not even close. It is a totally different game, not meant to be remotely similar. This is an old-school arcade shooter, redone with more sophisticated technology. It's fresh, it's fun, but it's not deep. If depth of story is what you are looking for, go read Tolstoy and Goethe. For shooter fans, Red Dead is dead on target.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/15/04

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