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May 16 2010
Red Dead Redemption - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
21/5/2010RockstarRockstarRockstar San Diego
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
12-16$109.95
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Red Dead Redemption is coming to PS3.
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Riding horses with your posse.

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Using the mine cart for transport.
Back in 2004 Rockstar released a rather entertaining title called Red Dead Revolver which received positive reviews and fairly good sales. Six years later and developers Rockstar Sand Diego (who are most well known for their Midnight Club racing games) are set to release a game, Red Dead Redemption. If it's the Wild West you're after then look no further then this game...

America, early 1900's. The era of the cowboy is coming to an end. When federal agents threaten his family, former outlaw John Marston is sent across the American frontier to help bring the rule of law.

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Rounding up some wild horses.
It's fair to say that Red Dead Redemption could be likened to another of Rockstar's open-world titles, Grand Theft Auto. Indeed this game too is an open-world sandbox styled game played from a third person perspective. Instead of being set in a modern day city though, this is set in the Wild West where horses are the main mode of transport and rifles and revolvers rule the weapons. Though this game you will take part in gun battles, train robberies, bounty hunting and duals to the death.

Indeed the combat will be a major part of this game and indeed while you do have pistols and rifles there is plenty more including knives, sticks of dynamite, molotov cocktails, lassos, mounted Gatling guns, shotguns, and cannons. The game includes a "Dead-Eye" system which acts in a similar way to bullet time by slowing down the action allowing you to precisely target areas of the enemies bodies.

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Taking cover behind the wagon.
Online gameplay will play a major part of Red Dead Redemption but don't expect the developers just to throw in a couple of online Deathmatches. No, this is so much more then that, and even the average game modes from Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV will pale into insignificance compared to the efforts in this game.

When you start up the online game you will enter a lobby system which allows you to walk around and form a posse of up to 8 players which can then enter the online matches in a variety of game modes including Free Roam, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Gold Rush, and Team Gold Rush. The latter two modes are essentially a Capture-The-Flag styled individual or team based battle where you grab bags of gold. The more you grab though the slower you will be making you a bigger target for the opposition.

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Now that's one big explosion!
In what should be a hilarious moment each of the online multiplayer matches starts out with a shootout. Each of the (up to) 16 players is placed in a large circle, and when the game starts there's a Mexican Standoff styled gunfight to the last person standing. The winner gets to grab some goodies while those cut down in the gunfight will respawn in different parts of the map. Depending on your performance in online matches you will be able to move up in the 50 levels of rankings. The higher you move up in the rankings the newer skins, weapons, mounts, characters and challenges. When you start the game, you'll only have an old donkey to ride around on, as you move up the rankings you'll get horses, or even better...

Getting back to the lobby this isn't your typical menu based lobby at all, but rather the game world where, besides forming your posse, you can go on hunts together, search for herbs or objects, hunt for bandits or even pick fights on other players. Rockstar has confirmed there will be some free DLC released in June 2010 which will include six new co-op side missions.

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It's not just human enemies in the game!
Red Dead Redemption runs on Rockstar's RAGE engine which is used to power the other current-generation games as well as the Euphoria Engine which handles the animations in the game. From what we have seen in the screenshots and released trailers this is an impressive game visually with great character design and modelling and a unique style and time period rarely seen in video games.

Besides Ubisoft's recently released Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (well, released in 2009) there aren't a lot of games based in the Wild West, but this latest game from Rockstar looks set to impress on so many levels. One can only hope that gamers buy this game to make the risks worthwhile for Rockstar. Expect a release in late May 2010.

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Visually Red Dead Redemption looks authentic.
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Character models are impressive in RDR.