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PS3 Preview – Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar Games’ highly anticipated follow up to Red Dead Revolver is almost upon us. We recently got some hands on with Red Dead Redemption and it brings new meaning to the “Wild West”.

Red Dead Redemption is basically Grand Theft Auto meets the wild west. Its got the same open-world style gameplay, however these aren’t city streets you ride on in your stolen cars. This is the desert, and your means of transportation is your trusty horse. The landscape you’ll traverse is vast and realistic, you’ll find yourself in everywhere from desolate deserts, to lush mountainsides.

You’ll take the role of main character, John Marston, a former gang member who’s been tasked by with taking out his former gang member buddies from the Walton Gang. Despite John’s rough past, he’s truly a good guy in every sense of the word. We played a mission where Marston saved a rancher’s daughter who was being held hostage by some thugs. Even though Marston has a heart, he’s also a tough, badass who takes no prisoners.

The majority of the game is a third person shooter. However it’s not just running and gunning. You’ll be able to get into full scale shoot-outs on horseback, take out gangs with a Gatling gun, throw knives and more. Only a few weapons were shown, but many more were promised for the game. You’ll be able to pick up new weapons and ammo at local shops.

The game features a ‘Dead Eye’ ability where Marston, can slow down time to hit his targets more accurately. It allows you to select multiple targets and let the bullets fly. As if that wasn’t rewarding enough, it allows for just enough extra slowdown to see your slain enemies body’s slump to the dirt.

What little of the story we saw was interesting. The characters were life-like, well scripted, and with voice acting befitting of the wild west.

The game’s physics engine was a real high point. Unload the barrel of your shotgun into a gang member’s stomach and watch him buckle at his midsection backwards, all the while his had pops off and gently falling to the ground. Shoot a horse riding enemy and watch his lifeless body get tossed around as the horse gallops.

Another thing that really stood out was the lighting. It added another layer of realism to the game. At one point the sunset was so bright, it was impairing our ability to aim properly and hit our targets.

Red Dead Redemption is going to heat up this Spring when it finally releases on May 18, 2010. Click here to pre-order Red Dead Redemption now.