Aside from the recent release of 'Dead Mans Hand,' Western videogames have pretty much become a thing of the past. Well, thinks are about to change partner with Rockstar Games latest addition 'Red Dead Revolver,' a classic Western tale of revenge.

The Game
Red Dead Revolver (R.D.R) is a 3rd person action game based more around gunfights than exploring the wide-open West. Taking a step back from the typical Rockstar sandboxed approach, Red Dead is more of a linear shooter. R.D.R is driven by its gritty tale, which gives the action sequences more substance. The levels are pretty straight forward with the majority of your time spent gunning down bad guys until their boss shows up. Red Dead Revolver is simple and fun... made for the shooter in all of us.

In Red Dead Revolver you play 'Red,' who embodies a young Clint Eastwood. Red is on the warpath seeking reveng for murdered parents. Red's story revolves around classic Western clichés where he meets new characters along the way and ultimately gets his revenge. Taking his gun-slinging skills on the road of adventure, Red proves that he is one of the toughest hombres in the land.

One sweet spot in R.D.R. is that you are not stuck with shooting six-shooters all the time. You will also get to use rifles, knifes, dynamite and more. When each level begins you have to select three weapons you will bring with you, and each weapon will have its own unique stats consisting of range, damage and reload speed. Each aspect is important, and since Red is not an elite commando, you will be ducking and reloading as you deal with the classic gunnery.

R.D.R spices up the gameplay and takes the spot light off a Red at times while you get to run through other levels as other characters through the game. The other characters all connect to the story and all have unique skills. It doesn't make a huge impact on the game, but playing as the other character spices up things for brief times. My favorite additional character is the American native, Shadow Wolf -- and sharp dressed, duel shot king Jack Swift.

My only gripe with R.D.R. is its lack of Xbox Live support and short story mode. RedDead Revolver could have benifited from a few more hours of gameplay. On the plus side, the difficulty was set just right. I couldn't blaze through the levels, but it didn't seem overly difficult. It hit that sweet spot making it a fun challenge. To get the most out of Red Dead you might want to replay the game to unlock all the journal items, or to use a different selection of weapons. This will give you a few more hours in Red Dead. For a total I would say one run will last on average 15hrs. Overall, I don't have too many complaints, Red Dead Revolver is a quality action shooter which should make any gamer happy.

Graphics & Sound
The graphics are excellent in R.D.R, with a lot of special particle effects and other screen tricks to make this game feel like you're watching an old cowboy movie. The character models are good, with Red being as stylistic as cowboys come. R.D.R. also does an excellent job recreating the environments of the old Wild West. One level that stuck out more than the rest was the train ride.

R.D.R excels in the sound department adding superb old western inspired soundtrack overtop of some good sounding samples. The weapons sound great in R.D.R and they added some extra little things like the sounds of stray bullets off rocks. All the voice-overs are solid, helping the player return to that old west feel. Red must be a student of Max Payne, he is so gritty. Lastly, the soundtrack is near perfect in Red Dead Revolver, forget about the tumbleweeds.

Rockstar's western shooter is similar to other 3rd person action games, but there are some special features that keep Red Dead Revolver fresh. One of the coolest features is the "Deadeye" feature which re enacts the one on one showdowns in slow motion. In deadeye mode you have a limited amount of slowed time to draw, aim and fire up to six shots. Then the action speeds up to normal time and the duel goes down placing all the shots you made full speed. The classic old western showdown couldn't have been done better.

Red Dead Revolver has done a first in videogame history as I am aware. They have added new characters that I haven't seen in a game before-- Evil "Cowboy" Circus Clowns! This deserves some creepy mojo -- thanks -- laughing cowboy clowns... thanks for freaking me out. Clowns aside, Rockstar does a great job spicing up a standard western story with some special moments, and just like their other characters like GTA's Tommy, Red has a strong charisma that could carry him on for a couple more runs.

Red Dead Revolver is a solid action game set in the Wild West. This game is definitely worth a rental or purchase. The lack of multiplayer and short story mode are the only drawbacks in this otherwise excellent game.

Gameplay: 8, Graphics/Sound: 8, Innovation: 8, Mojo: 7. Final: 8

Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy- May 27th 2004


  • Read Dead Revolver is a blazing third person gun slinging action game, fueled by a revenge driven storyline punctuated with humor. The arcade style gameplay blends seamlessly with the elements of the Wild West era. Full motion capture cutscenes fuel the cinematic ambition of the game.
  • You will learn the ways of the untamed frontier as a bounty hunter, in your quest for justice. Red's arsenal includes a variety of weapons including pistols, rifles, shotguns, and dynamite. During levels Red can carry one side arm, one long arm, and one thrown weapon. In total there will be around 30 different weapons.
  • The Wild West is realized with a wide variety of environments. Dusty towns, windswept prairies, rugged saloons - all of the elements that one would expect to see in a classic Western movie respectfully integrated into the game. There is a stunning attention to lighting in Red Dead Revolver. Rays of sunlight stream in through windows, candles and torches correctly light interiors, and the sunsets are breathtaking.

Red Dead

May 2004