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SummaryIt’s good, it’s bad but it ain’t ugly
The GoodPerhaps it’s not every kids dream, but I always dreamed of being Clint Eastwood. To be more specific, the spaghetti Western Clint Eastwood.
If I was only a bit taller, a lot cooler and could convincingly wear a poncho in public I’d make my dream a reality. Distraught I had resigned myself to wait until the fashion world discovered the retro qualities of mid 19th century clothing… until I stumbled upon this game.
The action in the game comes fast. After a brief tutorial level you’ll find yourself getting into the thick of it. When it comes to the later levels however the real challenge begins as you will be facing insurmountable odds in order to survive. All in a days work for a gun slinging bounty hunter I suppose…
In all honestly though the gameplay, while action filled and enjoyable can be said to be highly repetitive. You start the new level/setting, walk forward kill the enemies that appear until you end up at the level boss character, Repeat this 10 times and you’re finished the game practically.
The “Dead Eye” ability while initially difficult to use is a feature that brightens up the sometimes repetitive action. Essentially it works in a similar fashion as the bullet time in
The showdown moments of the game are a nice touch. Few Western themed games have attempted to have a proper showdown element to them and I think it’s a credit to the games developers that they’ve created a solid draw system with a good cinematic quality to it. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly the best attempt I’ve seen anyone come up with so far. The showdown situations are used to great effect in the game, especially in the Duelling Tournament in the later game stages, in the style of The Quick & the Dead.
By far the greatest quality of Red Dead Revolver has to be it’s faithfulness and reverence to the Western film genre. You can tell that the creators and staff who worked on the game were big fans of the Sergio Leone classics. The grainy film quality of those first Spaghetti Westerns has been incorporated into the games cinematics. It’s this attention to the small details that makes Red Dead Revolver one of the best Western games I’ve ever played, though I’ll admit there isn’t many of them.
The music - while it’s not for that of Ennio Morricone's famous Western music, my guess is that it was pretty damn expensive to get the rights to use the music – adds a lot to the atmosphere of the game. According to the games credits comes from other obscure Spaghetti Westerns and it’s just another example of the lengths Rockstar went to create the sense that your playing a Western movie and not just a Western themed game.
Another example of this is the level where you play the Mexican General Diego. The level is almost completely lifted from a scene in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. As for the games protagonist, Red, it obvious from the intro alone that he’s modelled on Clint’s mysterious stranger of the Sergio Leone movies. For fans of the Spaghetti Westerns I must say that this game is pretty much as good as it gets.
The BadAs I mentioned earlier the gameplay can be repetitive. This trait isn’t helped by the fact that the enemy AI is pretty poor, with perhaps the exception of the third last mission your opponents don’t offer up much of challenge. It’s only on the optional “Bounty Hunter” side of the game - a post game completion mode which allows your character to earn extras in the regular game, infinite ammo, invincibility, etc. – that provides a real challenge.
The opportunity of creating a lively Western environment for your character to inhabit in between missions is wasted. While the Brimstone setting between levels is a nice idea it doesn’t work as everyone you meet has only two set phrases to say. It’s a pity that the developers went to the trouble of creating a fairly decent Western town only to populate it with cardboard cut out characters. In the town the only options available to you, besides listening to the same dialogue from the non–player characters again and again, are to buy extra weaponry or items that affect the multi-player or extra material aspects of the game.
Red Dead Revolver has a bit of a schizophrenic character about it. At times it appears to be a somewhat gritty Western type drama that deals with greed, betrayal and revenge. Other times it descends into farce with the Professor Perry interlude of the game, with its circus freaks and clowns. It’s a pity as its moments like that take greatly from the main plot of the game.
This brings me to the games plot. It’s fine, a few bad moments like I said, but overall it’s ok. Perhaps this is not fair to say, but I felt that there was a lot more potential in the story then what was used in the game.