Video Game Review: ‘Legends and Killers Pack’ For ‘Red Dead Redemption’

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CHICAGO – The incredible world of “Red Dead Redemption” gets a bit bigger today with the release of “Legends and Killers Pack,” a downloadable expansion for the multiplayer portion of the game of the year. With nine new maps, eight new playable characters from the original “Red Dead Revolver,” and ten new achievements, the $10 price tag seems awfully affordable. Video Game Rating: 5.0/5.0
Video Game Rating: 5.0/5.0

Whether or not you should download “Legends and Killers” involves one simple Q&A. Do you enjoy the multiplayer in “Red Dead Redemption”? If yes, then buy it. If not, then move on down the road. There will be single-player DLC for you someday but the first non-gratis DLC for “RDR” is for those who love a good shootout.

The pack basically turns a number of locations from the single-player and Free Roam portions of the game into maps that can now be played in a variety of multi-player formats. Ultimately, you get 30 new game variations for $10. Is it going to drastically alter your “Red Dead Redemption” experience? No, of course not. And, in many ways, it feels like an appetizer for more meaty, full-meal DLC to come. Based on the greatness of DLC we’ve seen from Rockstar for “Grand Theft Auto IV,” we should have high hopes for what’s to come for “Red Dead Redemption.”

Red Dead Redemption: Legends and Killers
Red Dead Redemption: Legends and Killers
Photo credit: Rockstar

However, judged on its own terms, “Legends and Killers” is a success. The maps are varied and beautifully designed and how many multiplayer games would we LOVE to have nine new maps for this quickly after the game’s initial release? It took forever for “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” and the delay of new maps for “Battlefield: Bad Company 2” has been incredibly disappointing. Rockstar gave you time to get used to and arguably sick of the maps that came with “Red Dead Redemption” and is now refreshing the entire experience for only $10 in less than three months after the title’s initial release. Like everything about this game, other developers should pay attention.

Red Dead Redemption: Legends and Killers
Red Dead Redemption: Legends and Killers
Photo credit: Rockstar

The new multiplayer maps available in “Legends and Killers” are (and all of these locations should be familiar to those who have played through the single-player game) with the multiplayer mode(s) available at each:

“Blackwater” — Gang Shootout, Gold Rush, Grab The Bag, Hold Your Own, Shootout
“Escalera” — Gang Shootout, Shootout
“Fort Mercer” — Gang Shootout, Gold Rush, Grab The Bag, Shootout
“Hennigan’s Stead” — Grab The Bag, Hold Your Own
“Manzanita Post” — Grab The Bag, Hold Your Own
“Punto Orgullo” — Hold Your Own
“Rio Bravo” — Gang Shootout, Gold Rush, Grab The Bag, Shootout
“Tall Trees” — Hold Your Own
“Thieves Landing” — Gang Shootout, Gold Rush, Grab The Bag, Hold Your Own, Shootout

The expansion pack also adds Grab The Bag to “Diez Coronas,” Gang Shootout & Shootout to “Pacific Union Railroad Camp,” and Gold Rush & Hold Your Own to “Tumbleweed.” The playable characters that have been added will be familiar to players of “Red Dead Revolver” — Red Harlow, Jack Swift, Mr. Kelley, Annie Stoakes, Buffalo Soldier, Shadow Wolf, Ugly Chris, and Pig Josh. Finally, you’ll have some fun throwing tomahawks people. Good luck.

Red Dead Redemption: Legends and Killers
Red Dead Redemption: Legends and Killers
Photo credit: Rockstar

The variety of new maps make for a pack that doesn’t feel at all repetitive. Playing Hold Your Own in the many valleys of Punto Orgullo requires a different approach and plays significantly differently from something like Grab The Bag in “Thieves Landing” or “Blackwater,” two locations that are perfect for multiplayer. If anything, most of these new locations feel more expertly designed and developed than the ones that came with the game. Blackwater is a blast with its numerous cover spots and great sniper perches. Thieves Landing is one of the most vibrant places in the single-player game and it’s great to unleash multi-player violence in what already feels like a classic location (although those of you upset about your inability to swim should prepare for heartache…I drowned a couple times trying to get my bearings while running for cover). All in all, it’s a great collection of maps that will only get more enjoyable as they become more and more populated over the coming days and weeks.

Yes, one could argue that maps like “Thieves Landing” and “Blackwater” should have been included in the first place considering the importance of the locations to the world of the game and that Rockstar is basically asking you to pay an extra $10 for something that you should have had access to all along, but who can argue that the game was worth every penny of its initial release? Only in hindsight does it feel like these maps were something that should have been there all along. And now they are for less than the cost of two game rentals at most stores. It’s a no-brainer. See you in “Blackwater.” I’ll be on the roof.

Check out the great trailer for “Legends and Killers”:

StarRead our review of “Red Dead Redemption.”

‘Red Dead Redemption: Legends and Killers Pack’ was released by Rockstar Games and developed by Rockstar San Diego. It is rated M (Mature). The version reviewed was for the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade, but the title is also available for the PS3 through the Playstation Network. It was released on August 10th, 2010. content director Brian Tallerico

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