Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image | April 16, 2024

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Red Dead Redemption Preview

In title, this is a sequel to Red Dead Revolver, but in terms of game design, play mechanics, technology, and dev team, this is the next big GTA game.

The first Red Dead Revolver was largely done by Capcom, and to quote Rockstar co-founder and creative lead Dan Houser said it wasn’t a true “Rockstar design” and “It didn’t fundamentally play like a Rockstar game”.

“Story-wise it’ll work similarly to how Bully or GTA worked.”
“You’ll have a load of missions open at any one time, so you’ll have the choice of ‘do I go and do a mission for him or do I go and do a mission for them’ […] Our main goal with a game like this or with any game is giving the player freedom over what they do next. There’s always a ton of other activities, both mission-based and non mission-based to go and do.”


Only recently, can technology deliver the type of outdoor open world experience that they have wanted to do:

“…we were beginning to get wind of some of the specs on [PS3/360] and thinking about things we’d want to do on the new hardware. Obviously one of the things that we decided we would love to do is a game where countryside was rendered beautifully, because that was very difficult on a PS2 to make these big, open environments that look fantastic. We’d done it in a couple of different games, but we’d never made a game that was to the countryside as GTA was to the city.”


Games can deliver a wild west experience better than a movie possibly could:

“To represent a geographical area, which is what we’re talking about, is easier for a game than for a movie. The nature of a videogame is you are exploring space, whereas with movies it’s a series of images that run in front of your eyes.”


On handling the violence and blood/gore:

“We didn’t want it to feel like those old Saturday afternoon TV shows, matinee movie Westerns where people kind of get shot and crumble and die very quickly, very carefully off-camera. In reading books like [Cormack McCarthy’s] Blood Meridian, when it depicts the real horror of the West, I think we wanted to get an element of that in there. We didn’t want it to feel like Little House on the Prairie. I think there was a certain amount of blood and gore and gruesomeness, [which] was vital for the game to have the weight that we wanted it to have. It’s not generally something where we didn’t think it was being gratuitous at all. We thought it was vital for it to properly depict these kind of characters and this kind of world, the violence had to feel slightly raw and unpleasant.”


Random encounters that don’t feel “triggered” or scripted:

While exploring you might see an NPC spontaneously rob another, then in the middle of the act a mountain lion might pounce on the criminal. Rockstar is saying hundreds and hundreds of possible interactions like this will be infused into the world to make it seem more lively and authentic. “It doesn’t feel…triggered…There’s stuff you’ll never see again with the way things interact…We want to constantly surprise the player and make them interested in the world they are traversing just the same as if it was a city-based game.”

Read more here and here where Dan Houser talks about multiplayer improvements, NPC AI improvements, and recreating a authentically fictionalized feel of that time period.

I couldn’t be more excited about this game. In my own wildly subjective opinion this sounds like it has a good chance of becoming the best piece of wild west entertainment ever created.