How Historically Accurate Was Red Dead Redemption?

1up puts a Western historian in front of the game to get his reactions.

Full article through the link

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TheTruth892639d ago

who cares!

The game is a 10/10.

Rainstorm812639d ago

I second that...Its a game not a history lesson.

Here ill settle this John Marston doesn't/didn't exist so i guess history wins?


I dont care how accurate it is but it was not 10/10...I would give it a solid 9/10.

DeadIIIRed2639d ago

Agreed, unless there were motorcycles in the game, it came close enough

Ghoul2639d ago


how the hell can you make such a article when the devs clearly aimed (and said) that the game is a combination of all great western movies.

realism or historical correct presentation was never the target of RDR

FragGen2639d ago (Edited 2639d ago )

I'm fairly sure there was an undead/zombie outbreak in the New Mexico territory in the mid 1800s, I always assumed the expansion pack was based on that.


I think their next article should be on whether or not Sonic the Hedgehog is a reasonable depiction of real hedgehogs.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2638d ago
kneon2639d ago

Another inevitable inaccuracy was the incredibly high murder rate. The "wild west" wasn't so wild at all, it had a much lower murder rate than today, but then that would have been boring.

hikayu2639d ago

you know , i always doubt these pseudo-statistic that always lead to consumption of how terrible today's world is . "Afghanistan's capitol have lower death rate for children than New York" , " was on yahoo news the other day . in my Statistic class , we dissect that hell out of that article came to the conclusion that the stat was not fully nor fairly conducted . in this case , i doubt anyone would keep a close count of the western front to make any statistic count at all . many of the frontiers didn't give a crap about sensus or anything thereof , survival is just part of their life .

kneon2639d ago

I agree that you need to be skeptical about statistics, especially when presented by the popular media. But the history of the US west has been well studied and there are many historical accounts from the time period that refute the common view of the wild west portrayed in modern books and movies.

Most people died of disease and injury, murder was rare. The murder rate was likely in the range of 1-2/100000, about the same as Canada today. The US is currently at 2-3 times that rate.

cowkimon2639d ago

"...Red Dead Redemption shares more in common with the western genre of films and old serial stories than it does with actual western history."

Though I do not agree with what you have to say, good sir, I will fight to the death for your right to say it.

There's a broader theme in RDR than just that of the dying American gunslinger - the death of the American frontier. NPCs talk about it. Marston discusses it at length. There are telephone poles running through the once relatively unblemished fields and valleys of New Austin, showing its affects at large. It's a huge transitional stage in the life of America that affected how people thought, interacted, and generally conceived their position in the world. Here's an old dead white guy discussing it:

"There's a town out there, and then the federal government comes in. I think that narrative is a little too neatly sequential. When Phoenix was created in the 1870s, it settled really largely to grow grain to sell to a federal army camp down the road. So state action in the west happened hand-in-hand, rather than the big evil American government coming to impose its vision on the towns."

Again, I disagree. This line of thought is too vague.

The 'forces of government and industry' arrived slower in certain areas than they did in others. Sure, train stations and army depots made great locations for towns like Phoenix or Denver because they provided a market for various ranchers and farmers to sell their goods. That doesn't mean that there weren't - and still aren't - thousands of ranches and farms deliberately located off the beaten path. Ever been to Eastern Montana? Take away the town Walmarts and satellite TVs and you've got yourself an 1890s time machine..

So John Marston killed enough people to make Al Capone look like he ran a day care center. That doesn't mean RDR is a historically inaccurate game. The Frontier Thesis, though it wears the mask of the traditional Hollywood gunman, is the historical heart of RDR. All the showiness that comes with it is - historically inaccurate and Hollywood inspired - is simply a fun and exciting way to bring that central theme alive to gamers. Plus, the rugged American hero, the great explorer and individualist, is equally as important in that it has been found in popular American media since the days of James Fenmore Cooper, and therefore resonates with America's identity.

The point - don't get too caught up in the little things regarding history in media. Red Dead Redemption is a great example of history being done right in a game, and should be emulated in the future.

DanSolo2639d ago

...It was like a window into the past....

But on a serious note... Playing the game did make me wish that they had made the final series of Deadwood... that show was fucking amazing and it was a shame they didn't complete it!

SeraphimBlade2639d ago

I always like it when I can learn something from games. Good to know this wasn't complete BS.

Red Dead: It's Edutainment! even when you tie hookers to railroad tracks.