Red Dead Revolver
|Red Dead Revolver|
|Developer(s)||Rockstar San Diego|
Red Dead Revolver is a Western action-adventure third-person shooter video game developed by Rockstar San Diego and published by Rockstar Games. The first entry in the Red Dead series, it was released for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in North America on May 4, 2004, and in Europe on May 28, 2004.
Rockstar San Diego, at the time known as Angel Studios, began working on Red Dead Revolver under the oversight and funding of Japanese video game publisher Capcom in 2000, and the game was announced by Capcom in March 2002. It was originally intended to be a spiritual successor to Capcom's Gun.Smoke, a 1985 arcade shoot 'em up designed by Yoshiki Okamoto.
In November 2002, Take-Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar Games, announced that they had acquired Angel Studios, with it being moved to the Rockstar Games label and being renamed Rockstar San Diego. Following the purchase, Rockstar Games executives reviewed projects in development at the studio, so to sort out what was worth keeping. Dan Houser, creative director at Rockstar Games, remarked that the game "looked very good" and caught the review team's eyes, despite it being in an unplayable state. Due to the troubled development leading to that unplayable state of the game, with it missing both the 2002 European Computer Trade Show and the 2003 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Capcom cancelled the title in August 2003. However, Rockstar Games acquired the rights to Red Dead Revolver the following December, and let Rockstar San Diego go on to develop what would become the first installment in the acclaimed Red Dead series.
This game takes place in the 1880s Wild West as Nate Harlow (Kurt Rhoads) and his partner Griff have found gold in an area called Bear Mountain. To celebrate the find, they commission the creation of two revolvers with a distinct cast iron scorpion on each; Nate takes one and Griff takes the other.
Griff is later captured by the Mexican army and sentenced to be executed. However, he offers General Diego (Robert Jimenez) half of the gold in Bear Mountain if he were to spare his life. Diego complies but later sends his right-hand man, Colonel Daren (Dennis Ostermaier), to kill Nate. Daren arrives with his men to the Harlow farm and shoots Nate and his wife, Falling Star (Messeret Stroman). However, Nate's son Red (Jason Fuchs) retrieves his father's gun and shoots off Daren's left arm before he escapes.
Years after his parents' deaths, Red (Robert Bogue) becomes a ruthless bounty hunter. He begins by battling a gang led by an outlaw of the name "Bloody Tom" (Christian Tanno). Hoping to claim the bounty on the gang, he takes their bodies into the town of Widows Patch where he is attacked by a rival gang and its leader "Ugly Chris" (Erick Devine). Red and Sheriff O'Grady (Stephen Schnetzer) beat the gang and survive the attack, but the sheriff is badly wounded. They must travel to Brimstone, the nearest town with a doctor.
After Red drops O'Grady off, Brimstone's Sheriff Bartlett (Gene Jones) asks him to help take care of some thugs. This includes battling an evil traveling circus that was originally aided by an English trick-shootist Jack Swift (Gregg Martin) along with other bounties including a former saloon girl turned gang leader (Heather Simms) and a murderous undertaker (Geoffrey Arend). After all the bounties are complete, he asks for the bounty on the corpses' heads. He is told by Sheriff Bartlett that the gold wagon carrying the reward has not yet arrived and later learns that one of the townsfolk, Annie Stoakes (Carrie Keranen), is in danger of losing her farm and that Governor Griffon (Bert Pence) owns part of Bear Mountain. Recalling that his family was killed over that very mine, he goes to discuss the issue with Annie. After the talk, he goes back to Brimstone to inquire from local ruffians about the whereabouts of the wagon train. When they refuse, a fight ensues and Red is forced to kill most of the patrons which finds him arrested by Sheriff Bartlett, from whom he discovers that General Diego and Colonel Daren are still alive and court bound.
When he is released he goes to attack a camp where General Diego's supply wagon is apparently stationed. After destroying the wagon he is captured and imprisoned by Col. Daren to work in his mines as slave labor. It is there he meets a captured African American soldier who is known only as the Buffalo Soldier (Benton Greene). Finally, with the aid of his Native American cousin Shadow Wolf (Chaske Spencer), he is freed along with the Soldier allowing Red to go and attack Diego's fort and kill Daren, however Shadow Wolf dies of his wounds inflicted by Daren. During this, the Buffalo Soldier goes to inform Governor Griffon of General Diego's operations, only to be captured as Griffon is fully aware of the operation. Afterwards, Red strikes out on his own and disables the train carrying Diego's gold. In the ensuing firefight, Diego is critically wounded. He offers Red everything. However, Red declines and kills General Diego.
Later, during the quick-draw competition, which Annie Stoakes and Jack Swift both attend, Red learns that it was Governor Griffon who sold out his parents to General Diego. Governor Griffon orders Red to be killed by contestant Mr. Kelley (Joseph Melendez), but Red defeats and kills him instead and pursues Griffon back to his mansion with the aid of Annie & Jack. There, Red shoots Griffon in quick-draw fashion. For killing him the Sheriff offers to pay Red the gold he is owed and warns him to flee as murdering an official is a hanging offense, but he refuses to arrest Red because of all the good he has done for the people. Red refuses, telling him to give the gold to Annie to pay off her debts and help the Buffalo Soldier she rescued. He is disheartened to realize that Jack perished in the firefight to give him a chance to kill Griffon and takes Griffon's revolver, later claiming "It never was about the money."
Red Dead Revolver received favorable reviews, aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 2 version 74.59% and 73/100 and the Xbox version 74.29% and 74/100. According to The NPD Group, Red Dead Revolver sold 140,000 units during June 2004. As of July 2, 2010, it has sold 920,000 copies in North America according to Joystiq.
The first glimpse at a sequel was in 2005 when Rockstar showed a teaser at a Sony press conference. The successor to Red Dead Revolver, Red Dead Redemption, was officially announced for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009. After a few delays in release dates, it was finally released on May 18, 2010 in North America, and on May 21, 2010 in Europe and Australia to critical acclaim, with many reviewers praising the game's gameplay and technical improvements over its predecessor.
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