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Red Dead Revolver

Jeff W

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Haven't really seen much on this game here since it was mentioned a few months back, thought for sure someone would have picked it up and commented on it. I picked it up on Friday and finished it this afternoon, thats only around 48 hours and ordinarily I'd be dissapointed by that but I'm not. I had a blast playing through this game and rank it with Freedom Fighters and Kill.Switch as games I finished quickly but re-play through constantly. Aside from some of the showdown duels later on in the game (which require more luck than skill) it was fun all the way through, I unlocked a hard mode and a bounty hunter mode that I will be getting to shortly as well so hopefully there's even more re-play value there. Anyone else pick this up or give it a rent? If so what did you think?

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If so what did you think?


I bought Red Dead a day after it was released and played through a good portion of the game. I felt it was a mixed bag personally. The game is a straight up shooter ala Max Payne. You move, you target your enemy and you eliminate any life he/she may have had. I know some people were looking at this title possibly hoping for the inclusion of some adventure elements but you'll find little, if any of that in Red Dead. Thats not to say this is a bad thing however as you can tell the developers took more time in implementing the various gameplay elements (Dueling, Dead Eye etc.) than on exploration et al. After all if Max Payne and its sequel can be compelling why can't this right?


For starters, Red (and company, as there are six playable characters) is capable of performing various moves depending on the obstacles set before him. Revolver does an excellent job of showing the player how to use and achieve victory when confronted with each of these scenarios. For instance on the second level you will be shown how to hide behind objects in the environments and you are given a practice session to get the hang of doing so. The same is done when you are introduced to using "Dead Eye" or when you find yourself in a duel. This does break up the flow of the game a bit but to Red Deads' credit its handled very well and is extremely helpful in easing the player into his/her new role as a skilled gunslinger.


Revolvers' biggest strength however comes in the form of dispatching these aformentioned obstacles with style and penache. The "Dead Eye" maneuver allows you to enter a "Bullet Time" like state where you can target individual parts of the enemies body and finally call down the thunder so to speak. (yes that was a tacky Tombstone reference ;) ). This is very satisfying and more importantly quite useful in large gunfights.


Entering a duel with an enemy begins an elaborate sequence of events involving you pulling out your pistol, targeting critical portions of the enemies body (head, heart etc..) and finally firing fast enough to kill the enemy before he ends up dropping you. If that sounds fun and tense it sure as hell can be but as mentioned by bug in his post above, it is a tad overused. The game also gives you access to plenty of weapons that you can upgrade over time including various rifles and pistols. You'll also be able to purchase special items that unlock a variety of secrets in the game. All of these items can be bought using money you earn in each individual level ( based on performance etc..).


My main points of contention with Red Dead Revolver begins with the horrendous AI. The enemies in the game are simply too stupid to be considered dangerous. No other way to put it. You'll spend a great deal of time planting bullets into the heads of the nearest enemy that is running STRAIGHT at you. In the off chance that they happen to deviate off track, they usually run around in a completely random pattern that makes it look as though someone let a caged animal loose and it has no idea where its going. There are moments however when the AI realizes bullets are, in fact not a good thing. At which point these fine fellows decide to hop behind a rock and casually stick thier heads out every once in awhile. Unfortunately for the most part there is little going on under the hood here and that is a disappointing realization to make considering how neat the various gameplay elements could have ended up being had the AI been given half a brain.


In the downtime between watching the intelligence level of your opponents you'll be treated to several glitches such as a boss in the fourth level of my play through who got stuck behind a fence and jumped in place for almost 5 minutes (I'm not kidding, I literally stood in front of him while he did so). It was actually quite entertaining, in a not so good way. I also caught notice of one less than energetic cowpoke who became stuck in a rock and simply stared at it without moving. That was one mean stare down I tell ya. I feared for the rock. None of this is really game stopping but considering how long Red has been in development and the shuffling around this studio went through you would figure the polish quotient would be high. Difficulty is also a word not found in the Red Dead Revolvers' vocabulary. The game is easy to a detriment IMHO. I stopped playing during one of General Diegos' missions and well I had yet to even die at that point. Nor was I ever in any real danger of doing so.


Graphically the game is the very definition of style over technical acumen. Textures are actually quite blurry and undefined in many instances. Some of the modeling work on the enemies and even the main characters is suspect but the game uses some really interesting filters such as a Silent Hill like grain filter as well an overcast brownish hue to create a gritty western world you can believe in. Environments are also lovingly crafted, however they are a tad too small for my taste and you don't really stay in any one area long enough to really take it all in.


Variety is also not a problem as you will find yourself in some wonderfully realized sun bathed enviroments ranging from a ghost town to a thunderstorm ridden farm, atop a moving train at sunset, in the bustling town of Brimstone and its selection of shops, a depressing cemetary and even a really cool looking Carnival! If I can pay the developers any one compliment, it is that they captured the look and atmosphere of the wild wild west perfectly.


Music is also excellent, as it should be considering many of the games sound cues were composed by Ennio Morricone. The very same man responsible for the music in such films as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Everything here would fit perfectly into a spaghetti Western and some of the tunes are actually quite catchy. Enough to get me whistling every now and again during my play time with the Red. ;) .


Red Dead is not a bad game by any means. In fact its leaps and bounds better than the recently released Dead Mans Hand in terms of both gameplay and capturing the feel of the West. Despite its problems it can actually be a very fun little game to just toss in and spend an hour or two playing. I'd definitely suggest a rental before spending the fifty dollars on this one though. Just to be safe.


EDIT: Corrected spelling and grammar.

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