Rockstar Games' rootin' tootin' shooter is nearing the release horizon – so check out some of Red Dead Redemption's multiplayer modes.
A hearty Wild West romp, Red Dead Redemption carries certain genre expectations that fans of Westerns would typically look for: Mexican stand-offs, bandit hold-ups, posses full of roughnecks and low-down dirty double-crossers. Rockstar Games' adult action adventure shooter packs all of that - and it may come as a surprise, but that's not just in the epic single player mode, either...
Sawn-off shotgun, hand on the pump
Red Dead Redemption's multiplayer modes are all about indulging your favourite Wild West scenarios in the comfort and safety of your own home. Which is to say in the lawless lands ruled by the gun, there's a lot to watch out for in each of the game's excellent multiplayer options.
Rather than place you in a dully furnished lobby awaiting other players, the game kicks things off by inviting you to explore its open world, as seen in the single player mode. Up to 16 people can roam this massive map, giving you the chance to create a posse of up to eight players.
Which means most of the things you can do in the single player mode you can also enjoy with friends - hunt for game, become a dangerous stick-up bandit or a law enforcing gunman, complete various challenges or just enjoy the beautiful untamed scenery.
As you progress and gain experience points from your good or morally corrupt actions, more weapons, character skins and other goodies become unlocked. It's a brilliantly unique set-up that makes the most of the massive environment established by the development team, and lets you indulge in a number of playful scenarios at your leisure. However, Rockstar hasn't forgotten about the more competitive players out there...
It naturally starts with a shower of bullets and blood. Guns sounding off their deadly rapport, men flopping over from the resulting wounds and hats hitting the ground soon after. As Mexican stand-offs go, it's as tense and exciting as you'd expect - and an explosive introduction to how Red Dead Redemption's competitive modes work.
This mischievous Mexican stand-off opens up any of the four main competitive modes. First up is a free-for-all or team based shoot-out, where it's kill or be killed. Or you can take part in Goldrush, which throws everyone into a Mexican outpost and tasks you to grab saddlebags filled with gold and deposit them into chests. The more bags you check in, the higher your score, although carrying them slows you down and leaves you exposed to rivals who can kill you and steal your loot.
Finally, there's the gang match of Hold Your Own, which pits two teams against each other with the aim of capturing the opposition's bag, marked in their base. It's a mode which rewards teamwork and communication, as you can only score when your bag is safely stored in your own base, so defence is as important as offence. Just make sure you watch out for the cannon placements littered around the dusky plains...
Once upon a time in the West
The Wild West has only become bigger with Red Dead Redemption - and it's yours to explore whether you choose to go it alone or with a posse of friends. Make sure you're quick on the draw by checking back with eu.playstation.com when Red Dead Redemption is released.
Check out PlayStation 4 at the PlayStation E3 press conference on 10 June 2013.