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Red Dead Redemption Goes To The Movies

Posted on Wednesday May 19, 2010, 15:11 by Ali Plumb in Infinite Lives
Red Dead Redemption Goes To The Movies


Playing Rockstar’s latest sandbox gunslinger, Red Dead Redemption, we couldn’t help but notice more than a few references to some of our favourite Westerns. Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch is the most obvious influence, as you guide your character over the border to Mexico, rob a train, help a group of revolutionaries and mow down a horde of banditos with a maxim gun.

An extra-grizzled version of a Dollars Trilogy Clint can also be seen in the lead character, and most clearly on the game cover art – and John Wayne fans will be overcome with joy when they see the screenshot of a silhouette that looks more than a little like the Duke walking away at the end of The Searchers.

So after we’d had our few minutes of blasting buckshot into banditos and shooting top hats off bad guys from atop our trusty steed, we were left with a few questions to ask those lovely fellows at Rockstar. How much more film cap-tipping will we see, how much inspiration did they draw directly from movies – and which films in particular?

Fortunately, Rob Nelson, Art Director for the RDR project, was very happy to oblige. What’s more, they’ve even got a blog dedicated to praising the Western films they love, which you can check out here. If you want, that is.

In the meantime, here’s that interview we just mentioned - and if you want to know more about the game, check out the spread on in at the back of this month's highly excellent issue of Empire.


What were main sources of inspiration for the plot and setting, in terms of film? How much time did you guys spend watching movies together - were there Sergio Leone movie marathons or the like?

We were definitely inspired by films that shared similar themes to the ones we were working on for Red Dead Redemption, the Wild Bunch and its band of misfits facing difficult odds in a turbulent time of change in, to the brutal means by which a government will seek to extend its reach as seen the Australian Western The Proposition, for instance, along with other classic and revisionist westerns including The Shootist, High Plains Drifter, Unforgiven, Lonesome Dove and so on. But the influences for the story of Red Dead Redemption also extend beyond film, for example to the Blood Meridian books of Cormac McCarthy, along with some real research into the region and its history.

Did you watch certain scenes, such as the final shoot out in The Wild Bunch, or the Stagecoach shoot out at the end of Stagecoach, and decide to, in part, turn them into 'scenes' or missions in the game?

Not really - we've spent enough time creating amazing action scenes for our other games like the Grand Theft Auto series to know how to get the set pieces we were after, but there are definitely sly acknowledgments within the game to scenes that we think are particularly iconic.

That's the kind of thing we'd rather leave for fans to discover when they played it for themselves. That being said, if we got the action to feel close to Peckinpah levels, we would be very pleased. For us, he really changed the way gunplay is depicted in films forever, and we strive to do the same in our games.

How much of a kick will Western film buffs get out of playing the game, and how much do you guys love the genre and why?


We hope a lot! Almost everybody at one point in their lives played around as a cowboy. It's a period in history that captures a lot of people's imagination, it also has very evident enduring appeal in cinema in particular, and all forms of fiction in general.

 We want Red Dead Redemption to be the first video game to do the western setting justice, and provide not only a compelling story, but also a virtual world in which you can act out any scenario imaginable: if you want to go hunt a buffalo and sell the skins in a market town you can. If you want to rescue horses from a burning barn you can. If you want to break in a wild mustang you can. If you want to lasso and hogtie a criminal and take him back to the sheriff and collect the bounty you can. Then if you want to get drunk in the saloon afterwards and shoot the place up you can do that too - you can turn the whole settlement into a ghost town if you want, but there will be interesting consequences for almost every action you take in the game.

Equally, there are going to be set pieces that will be reminiscent to western fans and homages to well known films, and we hope the story, themes and vast array of side characters that you meet along the way are going to make players believe they are in a living, breathing, 3 dimensional wild west. We loved the West before, but having worked on the game, it took our appreciation of it, and the nuances of the genre to a whole new level. Two aspects in particular, the role of landscape and nature on one hand, and the interplay between noble ideas and incredible cynicism on the other really played into the game we have tried to make.

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Comments

1 bird90
Posted on Thursday May 20, 2010, 06:30
this would be a very cool game!!! S6A

2 vdjfrancis
Posted on Sunday May 23, 2010, 17:15
bird90, please read artical before posting.

3 sgaray
Posted on Sunday May 23, 2010, 20:38
dear me bird90, just too focused on posting first

4 skypotter
Posted on Monday May 24, 2010, 10:01
Been playing it all weekend what a game! Shame my horse got killed by a cougar this morning. Add me for some multiplayer free roam GT - Skypotter

5 bird90
Posted on Monday May 24, 2010, 14:02
im sorry but what is the problem this game is and always will be awesome, its by rockstar where could it go wrong? so whats the problem?

6 LukeVlad
Posted on Monday May 24, 2010, 22:49
LOVE THIS GAME SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


7 Spencer69
Posted on Tuesday May 25, 2010, 06:36
Multiplayer was a major let down with this game, Single player has loads to do but disappointing they didn't put as much into multiplayer.

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