THE (BRIEF) RETURN OF JOHN MARSTON TO XBOX

Red Dead Redemption (2010), the iconic Xbox 360 Western video game from Rockstar Games, was briefly available on Xbox One the first weekend in February. In this “ghost in the machine” event, it appears that Microsoft accidentally gave access to the game as it was conducting tests to make the title backwards-compatible for the newer system.

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Image – rockstargames.com

Set in 1911, Red Dead Redemption presents a fading Old West, as the federal government and corporate industrialization extend their reach. Playing as John Marston, a reformed outlaw forced by the US government to track down his former gang, gamers can travel by horseback, stagecoach, and train across regions that parallel the Great Plains, the southwest, and areas of Mexico. The game can be experienced in either single-player or online multi-player mode. In the latter mode, players can form “posses” to take on each other and/or complete assorted missions as a team and are able to do so as a male or female from a range of racial backgrounds. Over 13 million copies of the game were sold within 18 months of its release and the title won “Game of the Year” at the Spike Video Game Awards in 2010. Rumors persist of a coming sequel for the newest gaming systems….or will it be a prequel?

Here is one gameplay trailer for Red Dead Redemption:

The Xbox One leak of the backwards-compatible Red Dead Redemption was removed late on February 7th. The temporary access was only for a digitally-based version via the Xbox Live online store – those with a hard-copy of the game could not insert the disc to play on the newer system. Further, the route to playing the title on Xbox One was not straightforward. Gamers needed to be “following” a friend who owned the game, then had to select the title from their friend’s game list which took them to the Xbox Live store to be purchased or downloaded, if already bought. It was the downloading option that then installed and launched the 2010 title. Currently, it appears that some who downloaded the game can continue to play it offline on Xbox One, although reports are that a player’s progress cannot be saved.

Despite some gamers expressing displeasure at this “tease”, to this writer such an event is an encouraging sign. The 2010 game is evidently going to be publicly available on the much more powerful Xbox One system and when that release does come, gamer support for it could help build momentum toward a new Rockstar Western game.

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

 

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