Red dead revolver is the latest game to emerge from rockstar games and thankfully its better than there previous offering called manhunt.
As you may have guessed by the title it does involve guns... lots of them! so let me tell you a little about the game. Red dead is a 3rd person style shooter (for those that dont know what this means think GTA or Manhunt camera angles, viewpoints)
The game opts for a cowboy western type theme with revenge storyline in place, the game kicks off with you (red) as a young boy practising to shoot with your father when a gang of outlaws appear and savagely gun down your family. Skip to 10 years or so in the future (cannot remember the exact time jump) and Red is all grown up and thirsty for revenge.
As the story goes thats pretty much it but there are some interesting twists and turns along the way which i wont reveal now but lets just say its not as straightforward as you may think!!
At the beggining of most levels you get to choose a firearm of choice but these are limited, you wont find any assault rifles or rocket launchers here but a selection of old style weapons such as pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns and throwing weaponry such as fire bottles and dynamite. Each of these have there own strengths and weaknesses so its up to you what you feel comfortable with.
Each level of the game has its own mission and linear structure to it. Most levels are quite large and there are often different routes to take and secrets to be found but dont expect it to be free roaming like GTA (but what game is)They all have different situations such as boarding a train and running along the rooftops jumping/ducking posts etc as they come near, saving animals from a burning barn, and even riding on cattle and stampeding the bad guys. Each mission may comprise of a series of tasks to complete but they are all non taxing and generally involve you shooting something or someone.
How does the game play i hear you all cry!! Well let me tell you its not too shabby at all. You control Red like most of characters Left trigger to draw your guns and right trigger to shoot with analogue sticks moving the character and Aim. The other buttons are used for Jump, Punch and weapons selection so nothing hard here. You also have the ability to hide behing scenery and take a peek again all standard of a game of this nature. Perhaps one of the best features of the game is the bullet time style attack you have. Basically you get a power meter on your screen and this fills up as you kill bad guys, once this is full if you press down on your right analogue stick while aiming the action will slow down (any1 whos played max payne or matrix will know what i mean) and you can move your cross hairs over the bad guys and a little target mark will appear on there body, now if you move it around there body you can pinpoint other areas or you can quickly move the target onto another person and lock onto them. Now if you press the right trigger you will unleash a flurry of bullets dependant on how many 'Points' you marked on your victim thus normally wiping them out and saving your skin. This feature works quite well and isnt hard to use. Keeping with the theme of features here is another one. On numerous occasions during the game you may get confrontated by a boss guy/woman and they will offer you a showdown so get yourself ready as its quick draw time cowboy style! The game camera here will zoom in so you basically see the back of red and his itchy trigger fingers near his holster. Now when your ready you have to use your anologue sticks to draw your gun and quickly move your target over his body and try and target his body and then release your bullets before he/she does and take the mo fo down.
Again this works well and is a great feature to add to the game.
Through out the game your are not limited to being red all the time, as the story progresses you get the chance to play other characters which although the general missions etc may be the same as red it does offer a nice diversion and mixes the game up a little. Most levels end with a confrontation with a boss and while some are easy, others are quite tough and you have to figure out there weaknesses and use the terrain, buildings etc to your advantage.
Graphically the game is pretty good, sure it wont win any awards for the best looking game in the world but it does the job well, its got a grainy kind of look to it will dull washed out colours but it suits the game very well, the characters are well drawn and all the environments are good and are instantly recognisable in the Wild west themes, Saloons, runaway trains, Farms, dusty deserted towns. The game features a lot of cutscenes which are done quite well and all the voices are adequate and you will recognise rockstars style of character design and movement.
Sound is also good with realistic effects from your various weaponry and the added pings and pows as bullets ricochet off walls etc. I wont go into the sound detail to much as i feel it does its job well and dont have any complaints with it.
Now its all been strawberries and Cream so far and you may be thinking the game is perfect well let me air my grievances i have with the game.
Firstly the control isnt as fluid as you may think. Red controls ok but sometimes it feels a little sluggish and when you have several men on your ass it can be quite trick to kill them without taking major punishment another downside is the recovery time when you get blown up by a firebomb etc, you will roll on the floor for a while and when you get back up you can get blown up again if your unlucky. Other features of the controls can be pretty unresponsive as well. Take for example that on one level you are on top of a train and you have to alternate between jumping platforms and ducking under them... well you really have to have lightning fingers as half of the time when you are crouching you cannot recover in time to jump the next platform etc. Again this doesnt make the game unplayable but just spoils it a little.
My only other gripe with the game is the overall gameplay, i just feel that at times your doing too much of the same thing IE enter a level and shoot the bad guys!
Again this spoils the game a little as i feel it should have had a bit more variety to the gameplay. Maybe its the controls that make it feel a little tedious at times i dunno, again its just my opinion.
The bottom line is this.... Red Dead Revolver is a good little game the only thing that stops it from being a classic is the overall gameplay. Sure the game is far better than Manhunt and with going with a western feel the appeal is there. All the graphics, sound etc are good but the game has too many great ideas that are simply not executed as well as they could be. I have no doubt that a sequel would be great and i do wish for one.
If i had to give a score id give 7.5 out of 10