Red Dead Redemption: Legends & Killers • Page 2

Things of the wild frontier.

Rio Bravo is also one of the few multiplayer maps where the new tomahawk weapon is equipped as standard. From an aesthetic point of view, it's a fun addition, ticking off another iconic Western image as axes thunk into fleeing backs. It's not massively different to the throwing knife, but it does double as a lethal melee weapon and has decent range.

It's also incredibly unbalanced and inconsistent, a reminder that Rockstar is still learning as far as multiplayer is concerned. Most of the time a tomahawk attack results in an instant kill, regardless of where you're hit, making it one of the best mid-range weapons in the game. It was amusing to watch Rio Bravo matches change over the afternoon when the Legends and Killers pack went live, guns rapidly dropping out of use as players realised just how effective the new weapon could be.

However, when you can unload two blasts from a shotgun into someone's chest but be killed instantly by a tomahawk in the leg, something's gone a bit screwy. It's a weapon that really needed more tweaking, or at least its own dedicated map and game mode, to make sense.

The tomahawk is also available in single player, offering up a new set of challenges and an Achievement or Trophy for completing all five ranks. It's nothing terribly taxing – certainly nothing to compare to the exacting nature of the higher level Sharpshooter or Master Hunter tasks – but it's probably enough to tempt lapsed players back into the game for an enjoyable afternoon of axe-lobbing distractions.

3
Mr Kelley, the perfect skin for those who like to rock the Lee Van Cleef vibe.

All of which leaves only the new character skins to round out the package. Drawn from Red Dead Revolver and unlocked automatically for all players, they offer a nice acknowledgement of the flawed potential that Rockstar built upon, but they don't make any difference to the game. At best, they add some more colourful characters to the roster, and judging by the number of identical faces now jigging and brawling in the live lobbies the ability to play as dapper gunslinger Mr Kelley or hulking bomb-freak Pig Josh clearly appeals more than grinding through more ranks to unlock another random Mexican or Miner.

So, is this lucky dip worth the download? Sadly, probably not. It certainly doesn't help that competitive multiplayer is not the most compelling part of Red Dead Redemption's online offering. Even though it's viewed in third person, and involves a lot of shooting, you could never truly describe the game as a third-person shooter and the game still suffers from occasionally clumsy control that works best against the more forgiving aim of AI opponents.

4
Pig Josh may look funny, but remember – there's a lot more of him to hit.

Fumbling about for cover, jiggling about in a door frame - these are the sort of things that get you killed in a multiplayer game, and Redemption still falls prey to them too often for comfort. It's still more fun, and more efficient, to move up the ranks through co-op missions and tackling the gang hideouts with friends.

A peculiar pick-and-mix selection of multiplayer bits, all of which are fine in their own right, Legends and Killers simply doesn't offer enough coherent gameplay benefit to warrant its 800MSP price point for Xbox players. PS3 owners can rightly bristle at the even steeper £7.99 they're being charged. An expensive indulgence, Legends and Killers undoubtedly improves the multiplayer in terms of variety, but that's just not enough to make it essential.

6 /10

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About the author

Dan Whitehead

Dan Whitehead

Senior Contributor, Eurogamer.net

Dan has been writing for Eurogamer since 2006 and specialises in RPGs, shooters and games for children. His bestest game ever is Julian Gollop's Chaos.

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