Rockstar promotes Red Dead Redemption with Facebook 'Gunslingers' game

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Mega-developer Rockstar is best known for sprawling, 3D console epics like the Grand Theft Auto series. But the company isn't immune from the Facebook gaming trend, pulling back the curtain today on Red Dead Redemption: Gunslingers.

The game lets you choose between three classes -- powerful Outlaws, accurate Sharpshooter and quick "Fast Hands" -- for your character, which you can customize with a unique name and baskstory. From there, it's all about challenging friends or strangers to duels, which play out as relatively graphic canned gunfight animations featuring the 3D characters from Rockstar's upcoming PS3 and Xbox 360 game, Red Dead Redemption.

Winning gains you more experience, which goes towards higher levels and improved statistics in attacking, dodging, health and stamina. The more duels you fight (and the more new friends you attract into the game), the higher you move up a global leaderboard, and the more meaningless achievements you earn.

Overall, the game's Mafia-Wars-minus-the-missions gameplay seems unlikely to set the social gaming space on fire. Still, it's interesting to see a major developer using a Facebook game as a tool to promote an upcoming major console release. It remains to be seen how successful the promotion will be, or whether it will inspire other publishers to follow suit, but we're going to go ahead and lean towards "no" on both counts.
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