Red Dead Redemption Legends & Killers Hands-On Preview - Bringing Back The Old Skool
Written Thursday, August 05, 2010 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
We know Red Dead Redemption is good. We've all played it, most have finished it and some have even become entangled in its multiplayer free-roam as well as its numerous competitive and co-op game modes. For those people, Rockstar has got you covered with a whole host of upcoming multiplayer DLC, which kicks off next week with the Legends & Killers game add-on.
Expanding Red Dead's multiplayer with eight characters from Red Dead Revolver, nine new territories for competitive modes and a new weapon in the Tomahawk, Legends & Killers gives you plenty of new stuff to discover. Possibly the finest addition to the game's arsenal of bolt action rifles and six shooters, is the Tomahawk, which proves to be enormous fun on certain maps and match types, such as a Shootout Match on the new Rio Bravo map. The Tomahawk is indispensable for dealing out a quick and silent death while sneaking between the narrow gaps in the dusty mountainside, hiding behind the rocky outcrops with the throwing weapon at the ready.
Sat in a room filled with UK press and a handful of journos from Spain, we heard nothing but laughter for the entire match as Tomahawks were liberally thrown into heads, limbs and spines with a satisfying thud, as you can execute an opponent with a single strike in the right place. However, in a match where anyone can use guns, the Tomahawk is useless at range, unless you can get some height on your throw, judge the trajectory and bag a Hail Mary kill and a trophy if you manage to bag a kill from 35 metres or more. Here's hoping that Rockstar take our feedback and add a 'Tomahawks only' mode.
The Rio Bravo map, which lies between Fort Mercer and Tumbleweed, is perfectly designed for a Tomahawk face-off, with its tight winding nooks and deliberate lack of weapon pick-ups making each game a frantic skirmish. Moving onto the Fort Mercer map, and the Tomahawks are out, but the old Repeater Carbines and revolvers are in, as the walls of the stronghold make a game of Gold Rush – grabbing as many gold bags as you can and returning them to the closest drop point – a close-quarters affair, meaning that the sawn-off shotgun comes into its own. Yet, given the vantage points among the battlements, you'll need to be able to juggle long and short-range weapons quickly, which can occasionally be a bit difficult with the game's radial menu. Still, it's a test of how fast and steady that trigger finger of yours is, so it's fitting really.
We finished our Legends & Killers hands-on with Hold Your Own matches in the snowy mountain climes of Tall Trees and the labyrinthine alleyways and streets of Blackwater. This is essentially capture the flag, but with those ubiquitous gold bags stationed at each team's base instead of out in the middle of the map like Grab the Bag. We quickly find that in Tall Trees, you need a horse to cover the vast snowy area, and with only trees and the occasional rock for cover, you're incredibly vulnerable to a bolt-action bullet to the head. Both bases in Tall Trees are entrenched in a rocky bay, so the ideal tactic is to move in with a pincer movement from all sides to pick off the defenders and make a rush for the loot.