Video Game Review

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  • Platform: Playstation 2, Xbox
  • ESRB: Mature
  • Players: 1-2
  • Genre: Action
  • Publisher: Rockstar
  • Developer: Rockstar San Diego
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: B
  • Sound: A-
  • Gameplay: B-
  • Replay: B-
  • Fun Factor: A-
  • Reviewer’s Wild Card: A-


Rockstar's six gun shooter for gamers

By James Stevenson     June 10, 2004

© Rockstar Games

It was years ago that I first sat in a small conference room at the Electronic Entertainment Expo as a Capcom representative showed off RED DEAD REVOLVER for the first time. The game featured what seemed to be an innovative targeting system in addition to a wonderful spaghetti western style. What still struck me the most at that time about the game was the music. Some of the catchiest music heard this side of the ZELDA theme one journalist was humming the tune after only hearing it for a few minutes.

The game disappeared though, and didn't show up at the next E3. Rumors of the demise of a promising western shooter abounded and the game was finally canceled. But there was redemption: Rockstar picked the title up and published it.

Gamers play as Red. The opening training level of the game begins when Red's father is killed after striking Gold. Red manages to survive, and is after revenge. Red remains a fairly unknown figure though there is little exposition surrounding him. This hurts the story somewhat, but the game still pulls off the Western theme well.

The gameplay is


straight-up action that features a huge variety of weapons, as well as a special bullet-time effect. When entering that mode, you queue up targets on the enemies body before releasing the right trigger, and thus rapidly shooting each of those body parts. It's a variation on the original targeting system in the game (which solely relied on this feature).

The game has a lot of hiding behind objects while aiming before popping back out. In some ways, it seems like MAX PAYNE, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you like MAX PAYNE. There is also a cool dueling system for those ever-important meetings at high-noon.

The game also features some death matching that just doesn't work very well. I don't really care to play this mode it's just not nearly as fun as some of the other deathmatch-type games out there on the market.

From a graphical perspective, the game has tried to imitate the western films. From a pure perspective, the graphics aren't that great. Thanks to the dust and the filters that make it look as much like a movie as possible (including vertical yellow lines that flicker), the game looks excellent. The game looks excellent, and conveys the western films it attempts to emulate perfectly.

From a sound perspective, you have the soundtrack mentioned in the opening of this review. All of the music is absolutely perfect for the game stuff you'd hear in westerns when the two rivals confront each other on the street, as well as the type of music that you might hear in a saloon. There's some decent voice acting, and excellent sound effects abound.

When you put all of this together, a game comes together that perfectly conveys a dying genre: The Western. The game is enjoyable to play through, even if the action can be competitive and the game isn't as polished as it could've been. All in all, it comes recommended.

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