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Read Dead History
The original game in the Read Dead series, Red Dead Revolver, was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2004. The game was a critical success and, with the help of GUN, brought with it a resurgence in the Western game genre. Since then, there have been numerous rumors of sequels to both titles, but until a short while ago, rumors are all we had to go on. Then, in early 2009 Red Dead Redemption was announced and Western junkies can finally rejoice.
In relation to the original title, Redemption is not a direct sequel in that it doesn't encompass the same characters, or even the same time period, as Revolver. The game features a different style of gameplay and while some things will carry over from Revolver, nobody who plays Redemption without playing the first game will be missing out on anything important.
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Grand Theft Horseback
The technology to create an immersive sandbox-style game experience was a rare feat in the days of the PlayStation 2. However, in this generation of super-power consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it is much easier for developers to wrap their heads around creating an entire game world, rather than just a series of events.
It was this technology that helped developer Rockstar Games create the stellar Grand Theft Auto 4, and it is that very same game engine that will power Red Dead Redemption. This means that players will be able to interact with the world in a similar fashion as they would in real life (if they lived in 1908, that is). Choosing missions at will, being a good guy or a bad guy, and even general exploration will be a big part of the experience.
There will be an advanced in-game monetary system, so buying things like horses and weapons will require some sweat on the part of your character. Also, like GTA IV before it, Redemption will employ a cover system, allowing players to duck from gunshots behind whatever happens to be populating their immediate vicinity.
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I Fought The Law
For some reason, one of the first things that most people do when presented with a large, open, virtual world is to try to kill the first person they come across. It's interesting to see what kinds of consequences arrise from such a random act of violence and it is often a good indicator of how well the game's developers thought out moral choices when creating the game.
In the case of Red Dead Redemption, the developers have already revealed that the game will feature an advanced notoriety system. This sytem will not only punish the player by sending the law in their direction after making a particularly cold-blood decision, but will also put a bounty on the player's head, allowing other non-player characters an incentive for hunting him down.
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While no solid release date has yet been announced, the game is scheduled to be released for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in the first half of publisher Take-Two's 2010 fiscal year. This time frame spans from November of this year to April of 2010. However, the Rockstar Warehouse (the official store of the developer) notes that the game will be released in 2009.
A collection of reviews and previews of Red Dead Redemption