Last weekend I was in New York on invitation from Rockstar Games to preview Episodes From Liberty City, the new expansion for GTA4 which comes out on PS3 and PC this week. While I was there I was given the chance to preview Red Dead Redemption and below are my thoughts on the game and the event itself.
You can head to my event write up
(on iGrandTheftAuto.com) and read the whole thing, or just read below for the Red Dead write up.
After we were all GTA’d out, we headed back to the hotel. Rockstar told us we could either go for a helicopter tour over New York or speedboats in the river. I think we’d decided on speedboats. Anyway Rockstar came to collect us later and we got in a van to be driven to an undisclosed location. It took a good hour to hour and a half to get there, and we eventually arrived in a pretty run down looking part of Brooklyn. We pulled up outside an abandoned warehouse and wondered what exactly was going on, until we saw Rockstar’s personalized Red Dead Redemption van outside. Then it all made sense...
Red Dead RedemptionWalking inside, the place pretty much was just an abandoned warehouse, but Rockstar had decorated it up to look like a Western themed bar. There were four pretty girls dressed up in female clothing of the era, two of them working behind the bar and the others working on the food. There were wooden barrels all around the room with Dynamite shaped candles burning and even a noose hanging there.
Of course the 6 HD TV’s running Red Dead Redemption multiplayer from Xbox 360’s kind of brought it all back to modern reality, but it was a pretty cool looking place. Upstairs there were three TV’s running Red Dead Redemption single player and once we’d gotten our drinks from the bar, we headed up there to get a preview of the game.
We were talked through the controls and the physics, how to control the horses, how to aim and change weapons etc. The gameplay is very similar to Grand Theft Auto IV. The controls are almost identical and if you’ve played GTA4, you’ll feel very much at home. Of course the game is totally different. Not just from the visual aspects, which are stunning, but it’s just a different kind of game to GTA. However as one of the Rockstar guys put it, Red Dead Redemption is practically Grand Theft Auto: Wild West. You'll notice the similarities to GTA instantly, but if you're not a fan of GTA, or you have friends who don't like it much, Red Dead is different enough to get new people interested.
Don’t let that take credit away from Red Dead though, it’s a fantastic game and should be marked on it’s own merits, however it’s clear to see the RAGE engine from GTA4 has been used and improved to bring the game to life.
I’m not going to cover much of the single player or multiplayer game as I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. That’s the reason I only did two or three missions of the story, I want to keep the surprises for myself when the game comes out, but the few missions I did play were very fun indeed.
After a few hours, we moved downstairs and played some multiplayer. Again I won’t go into specifics, but I will just say it was AWESOME! Some of the games start with a duel where all players stand in a circle and when the time comes, must shoot and kill each other until there’s one person standing. The free mode element of multiplayer is incredibly fun too and is definitely something I intend to pick up and play a lot. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t usually get involved with multiplayer gaming too much.
Overall Red Dead Redemption is as good as the trailers and screenshots make it look and although I've already seen it in action, I still can't wait for it to come out and play it through properly!