Red Dead Redemption is Rockstar's second big hit today, right after the GTA series. But Red Dead in its early beginnings was not to be Redemption, nor was it the work of Rockstar Games. The game called Red Dead Revolver was originally made for the Japanese company Capcom. It was developed by the development team of Angel Studios, which was on good terms with Capcom due to the porting of Resident Evil 2 to the Nintendo 64 console.
The Japanese envisioned the Red Dead Revolver as the spiritual successor to the arcade game Gun. Smoke after 1985 and announced it to the world in early 2002. However, the development of the game was problematic. Angel Studios was an American team, and there were some barriers in communicating with the Japanese publisher. Therefore, by the end of 2002, the studio found a new owner in Take-Two Interactive, who renamed it Rockstar San Diego.
Rockstar Games leaders liked the idea of the Red Dead Revolver, but the problem was that the rights to the game remained with Japan’s Capcom. But as Capcom gave up game development after Rockstar bought Angel Studios, they were still willing to sell the rights to Rockstar, which continued to develop the game and launched it on this day 17 years ago, in versions for PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
Red Dead Revolver was a linear type of arcade game. At the end of each level, players would face a showdown with the boss, and at the end of the mission, they received ratings based on the speed of transition, precision targeting, etc. It was played with several different characters, each with his specific weapon. Between each level, one could freely explore the town of Brimstone.
Although Red Dead Revolver was a significantly different game from its later sequels, it used a distinctive slow-targeting mechanics called Dead Eye that was carried over into Redemption as well. This mechanic was most often used in duels, which were also the most interesting part of the game. In addition to the single-player campaign, there was also a component of local multiplayer for two players with the classic deathmatch format.
The Red Dead Revolver received mostly mediocre ratings upon release and by 2010 had sold just under a million copies. Of course, Red Dead Redemption was later far more successful. The original "RDR" can be played today on current PlayStation consoles, exclusively in digital form.