Red Dead Redemption Gameplay Video Analysis

By Alex on April 13, 2010, 10:48AM EDT

Rockstar has released several trailers detailing the gameplay of their upcoming title, Red Dead Redemption. We're going to go over a few details you may have missed, along with some similarities to Rockstar's earlier game, Grand Theft Auto IV.

First off is the HUD itself. The map is nearly identical to the one in GTA IV, complete with icons to mark specific locations along with their height relative to you, what looks to be Marston's health on the left side, and the Dead Eye meter on the right. The Dead Eye system is a new combat tool used in RDR, similar to VATS from Falllout 3, but more on that later. Just above the radar is the ammo count for the weapon you currently have equipped. Seeing as the game takes place in the old west, don't expect many weapons to have enormous clip sizes! In the top-right corner of the screen is something newer, what seems to be a bounty tracker, showing the crime and the amount posted for Marsten's capture (or death). The targeting system looks identical to GTA IV's - complete with lock-on and free-aim modes.

Red Dead RedemptionThe big addition to the combat system is the Dead Eye targeting, which lets Marsten slow down the action to make a more precise shot, fire multiple shots into one enemy, or target a crowd of foes before they can react. From glimpses of the actual gunplay it looks as though the Dead Eye meter fills up with each kill Marsten makes, and it's been confirmed there will be an outfit that refills the meter even quicker.

Red Dead RedemptionThe control scheme looks like it's been tightened up as well. In one scene Marsten turns around instantly, where in GTA your character would have to run in a tight circle to turn on a dime. Another little tweak would be in the way Marsten shoots from his horse. One complaint about GTA IV's drive/shoot system was in the way the camera behaved while you were in combat. From the way the trailers show it, it could have been changed in a few ways, one being the horse, in certain context, goes on an autopilot and Marsten acts only as a gunman. The second being the horse simply acts as an extension of yourself on foot, where movement is controlled with the left stick entirely, rather than an acceleration button being separate. Either way it seems much more fluid than before.

Red Dead RedemptionIn terms of presentation, it looks almost identical to GTA IV, where missions play out in a similar fashion, ie. going to a character's location, watching a cutscene, carrying out a mission, watch ending cutscene. Of course, RDR uses the same game engine as GTA, so the style here will be similar regardless. Naturally this carries its own benefits as everything has been polished extremely well, the looks have been upgraded (especially the lighting) and the voice acting is just as spot-on as it has ever been, and of course the RAGE physics engine is back, with all the hilarity that entails (think dragging a captured bandit behind your horse!).

One feature Rockstar seems to be giving some attention to in RDR is a good/evil system. With the many ways to bring a target in, or disable a coach, Marsten's actions affect how he is perceived in towns, and with regard to law enforcement. The bonus of course, looks to be a higher payout from plundering each person you encounter!

With only about a month and a half left before Red Dead Redemption is released, it sure looks like Rockstar will have another hit on their hands! Red Dead Redemption releases on May 21st, 2010, but until we'll keep you informed!

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