While online chatter continues as to the potential sequel (or prequel) to Red Dead Redemption (2010), this post will look at the use of trains within that acclaimed Western video game.

Image – gameinformer.com

Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption provides three basic modes for interaction with a railroad while playing as reformed outlaw, John Marston, during the single-player campaign. Those modes are travelling by train, robbing a train, and completion of a story mission. The online multiplayer feature, allowing gamers to take on each other or form “posses”, does not have the presence of trains (which has been a critique by some).


Traveling by train in single-player mode allows Marston, as expected, to reach destinations faster than by horse or foot. Once aboard, players may view the entire trip – which includes 3rd-person views of both Marston and of outside the train – or skip ahead to the next station. Players typically either board a train at a station or jump (when prompted) from Marston’s horse to the train while it is in motion. While the timing is difficult, Marston can also step aboard a passing train while on foot. On board, Marston can move about the travelling train and even climb to the top of cars.

Image – ireddead.com


While onboard, Marston can rob or shoot any passenger on the train – this affects the player’s honor and how the virtual world reacts. Killing a passenger or the conductor will stop the train and any remaining passengers will flee. The train then remains stopped until the player leaves the area.


Image – i1.ytimg.com

“The Great Mexican Train Robbery” is a specific mission within the single-player story-line of Red Dead Redemption. For those familiar with the history of Western films, the mission’s title is a reference to the very first Western film made, The Great Train Robbery (1903). The goal of the mission is to steal a Mexican Army supply train and turn it over to Mexican rebel forces. Actions to complete include the detaching of cars and taking control of the train’s engine.

As a final note, railroads and trains have been a staple of the Western genre since its inception, and the drama and high-speed action they bring have continued into the digital realm. For current generations, a form of such rail theatrics can be “experienced”, and even directed, within the world of video games.

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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