Rockstar Games, maker of the Grand Theft Auto series, has released a beta version of their newest Facebook game, Red Dead Redemption: Gunslingers. The game is based on Rockstar’s upcoming Red Dead Redemption console game and is a social RPG that plays similar to other social RPGs for Facebook, but adds a few neat elements.
Basically, in the game you create yourself a Western gunslinger identity and choose a character class that gives you certain benefits. The Outlaw has power, Fast Hands has speed and Sharpshooter has accuracy. As soon as you’ve done that, you’ll get some basic stats and you’ll be presented with the duel page. You choose another player and then attempt to defeat them in a duel. You also collect achievements as you play, like getting “two faced” for winning 3 consecutive duels against friends. As you improve, you gain levels and your ‘rank’ goes up as well: my title is currently greenhorn, but as I play I hope to become an ‘expert’ gunslinger.
The best part of the game is undoubtedly the duels themself. They are rendered in stylish videos that show you a blow by blow account of the duel, and those are interesting. Your players will take 5 or 6 shots each before the round is done, and will shoot at different body parts. The graphics are pulled straight from the game and look fantastic. The tradeoff here is that you can’t do anything to your avatar, but it’s still pretty cool. Unfortunately, since there are only 6 character archetypes in the videos, it means you’ll pretty quickly have seen everything the game has to offer.
This is one of the first moves towards Facebook Games for talented game designers Rockstar Games. It seems pretty simple, and knowing the industry, I’m not sure how much of a role Rockstar played in the design of the game, but hopefully this will lead to more games in the future.