Red Dead Revolver Hands-On Impressions

The once-canceled Western shooter finally resurfaces.

Back in the old days, Red Dead Revolver had the Capcom name on it. Capcom and Angel Studios teamed up to deliver a Western-themed third-person shooter with an emphasis on spaghetti Western style. After showing the game numerous times, Capcom appeared to lose interest in the game. Somewhere along the way, Rockstar purchased Angel Studios and rechristened it Rockstar San Diego. Capcom soon dropped Red Dead Revolver, and it appeared that the game would never come out. But after a few months in limbo, Red Dead Revolver was given a new lease on life when Rockstar announced that it would be completing and publishing the game. And now, the company has finally shown off an updated version of the game for both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

On the surface, Red Dead Revolver hasn't changed much since the last time Capcom showed the game, because you'll still play as a bounty hunter named Red. After seeing his entire family slain by thugs, Red is out for revenge, so he works the bounty hunter angle as a means to hopefully find out who was responsible for the crime. Over the course of the game's 20 or so levels, you'll take on bad guys in various Western settings. In one area we saw, a usually friendly town had been overtaken by a local gang, so it was up to Red to gun them out of town.

Red has a special move called a "dead eye." When you pull off a dead eye, everything slows down, and you're able to lock onto multiple targets. It sort of works like a cross between bullet time and Panzer Dragoon. As the story dictates, you'll control other playable characters. One flashback sequence puts you in the role of General Diego, a tough-looking guy who is defending his forts from the cavalry. Diego's special move involves launching flares, which essentially paint targets for his fort's cannons to fire upon. There will be six different playable characters in the single-player game and more will appear only in the game's split-screen mode. You'll also encounter some animals to ride during the game, including horses, cows, and bison.

Graphically, the game looks a little more polished than it did when we last saw it. Furthermore, this is the first time we've seen the game running on an Xbox. As you might expect from a multiplatform game, the Xbox version looks cleaner and runs a bit smoother than the PS2 version does, but since neither version is optimized, there's still time for both to look even better. Other features, such as widescreen support or progressive scan, haven't been decided at this time. The Xbox version, however, will have one additional level that won't be in the PS2 release.

From what we've seen, Red Dead Revolver seems like it could have some extremely cool action sequences, and the camera problems that plagued the game back when it was on Capcom's roster seem to be gone as well. Look for it to finally mosey onto store shelves during the last week of April.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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