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OutRun 2, XBox, Sports

Product: Red Dead Revolver
Company: Rockstar Games
Website: Official Game Site
Estimated Street Price: $49.95/£44.99
Review By: Brian Kvalheim

The Features

Wild West…Trains…Horses…Third Person shooter…Guns (no, not weapons). If you like the sound of those little details, you should thoroughly enjoy what appears to be the best Western game on the market in 2004. If those little details don’t interest you, then carry on. This is a game for those who love the relic days of kickin’ up dirt and tippin’ yer hat to the purdy ladies. Oh, and who like killing people for little to no reason.

• 1-4 Players
• In game Dolby Digital 5.1
• System Link supports up to 10 player
• HDTV 480p support
• Xbox Live Aware

Gameplay

Review Quotes
I found the game to be very fast pace, and to be very challenging. Some missions took me upwards of 10 tries to pass the entire map.

If your family was slaughtered in front of you, revenge would be the first thing on your mind. That was the first thing on Red’s mind. Now a grown man, Red seeks revenge on those who savaged his family. You are Red. You need to make things right. You need to kill everyone who made you grow up to be a man much sooner than you should have.

As a bounty hunter, you will be taken to maps to save the ladies and uncover the truth behind the mass murders. Don’t expect to trot into town on a warthog or even horse and carriage. You will be hoofing it.

Enter stage left.

Immediately you are under fire during your training session, and so begins the story and the loss of your family. Integrating the training in the story appears to work for this game rather well as each training mission seems to work for each instance that you are under attack. Outside of your rural home, you are attacked on all fronts surrounding your home. Quickly you learn the excessive number of steps required to aim, zoom, fire and un-holster your gun(s). If you are used to the typical third person shooter layout, forget about everything you have learned. Once you get the hang of this Wild West control, future missions are much more pleasant. I found that after putting the game down and going back to other third person shooters, I had to learn the controls again each time. Not something I am very fond of, but trivial none the less.

The Wild West was real, however this game is not (unlike Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow). There are health items to fix your gun shot wounds, allowing you unlimited shots to your body if you play the game right. Taking out the bandits will require more than one shot as well.

And now that you have the aiming figured out, add jumping and ducking. When you are thrown onto the runaway train, you need to make your way to the locomotive engine without losing your life (saving is an option) while running along the top of the train. Take out the bandits while jumping and ducking over and under wood planks that cover the train along it tracks. Jumping, ducking, aiming, zooming, holstering, and firing can be a challenge in this game.

And speaking of challenges, you will be submitted to show down challenges on each map. The challenge will require you to un-holster your gun, cock your gun, enter a slow Wild West motion, take four target aims at the body and then fire. Who ever is the fastest, wins. You will then be awarded with a handsome reward for killing a wanted man, giving the loot required to enhance your weapon collections. You can win even more money by playing hands of black jack and poker.

Speaking of playing cards, you can play outside of the story line and have a free for all shootout. Killing others will give you additional poker cards to add to your collection and make more money for more weapons for more fun.

I found the game to be very fast pace, and to be very challenging. Some missions took me upwards of 10 tries to pass the entire map.

 

Graphics & Sound

Review Quotes
If you are used to the typical third person shooter layout, forget about everything you have learned. Once you get the hang of this Wild West control, future missions are much more pleasant. I found that after putting the game down and going back to other third person shooters...

No custom soundtracks. No problem. This is a western! The music is perfect for this game, and makes you feel like you are actually in a western….ok, well not quite. But it feels like you are watching a western! The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround gives you a heads up on people approaching you from behind as well as shots fired from behind. Some of the dialog seems cheesy, which leads me to believe that they skimped on paying real actors to feed the dialog. Repetitive screeches from the woman being kidnapped can be somewhat irritating, especially during multiple attempts to clear a map.

Even the guns sound like guns. When you reload and fire your weapon, you can actually feel and get a sense of the weapon you are using. I personally believe that whomever was in charge of the gun sound effects and the soundtrack were focused on this game and what it was supposed to feel like when played.

Graphics are on par with “standard” quality for the Xbox. I found nothing earth shattering in the actual graphic detail. In fact movements tend to be a bit jumpy and jagged. As for attention to detail in the game environment, this game gets an A+. The trains, horses, rolling hay, saloons, windows that can be damaged, wagons, weapons and landscaping looks impressive when playing on an HD television.

 

Final Comments

How It Grades
Controls: 70%
Gameplay: 80%
Graphics: 80%
Multiplayer: 72%
Sound: 95%
Manual: 84%
Interface: 75%
Price: 74%
Overall: 79%

Red Dead Revolver is a great 3rd person shooter in a western theme. Actually, I should rephrase that. It is the BEST western game available to date, but not necessarily a great game. I think it is a good game. The fast paced action will shorten the games shelf life, which adds to the lower score for the overall rating. The game play is beautiful, the soundtrack is original, the side bets are entertaining, and the missions are well stated. If Rockstar were to release a second version “Red Dead Revolver 2”, I would recommend renting this game and buying the new release. Adding online live multiplayer maps downloadable maps, and slightly improved graphics would make this game a huge hit.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 79%
Version Reviewed Red Dead Revolver (NTSC)
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 Red Dead Revolver DVD-ROM
1 Set Of Instructions/Faux Catalog
The Good Points Soundtrack
Great 5.1 Surround w/HD Support
Well thought out environmental details
The Bad Points Graphics not up to par
Poor acting
Difficult Controls
Xbox Live! Enabled? Yes (Aware!)
Widescreen Support Yes
PAL 60 Support (Europe) Yes
Progressive Scan 480p


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