As the hype builds toward the Spring 2018 release of Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption II, this site wants to reflect back to the first game of the Red Dead titles, Red Dead Revolver (2004). Released by Rockstar for the original Xbox and PlayStation2 systems, the game is set in the West of the 1880s (prior to the 1911 time-line of 2010’s Red Dead Redemption).

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Players take on the role of Red Harlow, a bounty hunter on a quest to find the assassins of his parents. Harlow is of mixed-race, half Euro-American and half-Indigenous, and is assisted on his mission by his cousin and friend, Shadow Wolf. As the game progresses, it is revealed who betrayed Harlow’s parents.

Red Dead Revolver is played in third-person view and Rockstar Games drew on the traditions of Italian Westerns for the game’s style. For example, the use of color (red, black & white) in the title cards for the characters is a nod to similar aesthetics in those Italian films. More directly, the music of Ennio Morricone, who has created Western soundtracks for both Sergio Leone and Quentin Tarantino, was licensed for the game. The Western compositions of Bruno Nicolai, who worked with Morricone, are also in Red Dead Revolver.

Interestingly, the game uses a “grainy” effect, most noticeable in the cut-scenes, to give the appearance of an older, well-worn Western film, one perhaps played too many times at the drive-in!  Here is one trailer for Red Dead Revolver:

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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