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14 Years Later, This Open World Masterpiece Could Finally Come To PC

Well worth the wait.

Rockstar Games

An under-the-hood update to Rockstar Games’ PC launcher suggests that the original Red Dead Redemption could finally make its way to the platform, a much sought-after port that could breathe new life into a 14-year-old masterpiece.

A newly added line of code to the Grand Theft Auto maker’s proprietary game launcher seems to confirm that the open-world western is set to make its PC debut more than a decade after its original release. The discovery was made by dataminer Tez2, who shared their findings on social media.

The text in question is preempted with the label “promotion_Large_Body,” and reads “Journey across the sprawling expanses of the American West and Mexico in Red Dead Redemption, and its zombie-horror companion, Undead Nightmare [sic] now playable on PC.”

Tez2 called the text “marketing strings,” on the social media app X, formerly Twitter, and noted that it’s “the same way Rockstar promotes GTA V.” Rockstar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The timing of the discovery makes sense. Last year, Rockstar ported Red Dead Redemption to the Nintendo Switch and the PS4. Before last year’s re-released, the only way to play Red Dead Redemption on modern hardware was on the Xbox Series consoles thanks to backward compatibility. Releasing the game on PC is the logical next step if they mean to preserve the game’s legacy in the modern landscape.

It may be 14 years late to the party, but it doesn’t change the fact that an imminent PC release for Red Dead Redemption could be a big deal. For one, PC-only players who enjoyed the sequel can finally seek out the conclusion of the Red Dead saga via legitimate means. Red Dead Redemption 2, a prequel to the first game, ends on one hell of a cliffhanger. The ability to tie up John Marston’s loose ends is a sigh of relief for PC players. The inclusion of one of the best expansions of all time, the unforgettable horror-themed DLC Undead Nightmare, is a bonus.

Getting to play the original isn’t the only reason to be excited. For players who didn’t enjoy Red Dead Redemption 2, there’s a strong possibility that its predecessor will make a much better impression. Rockstar’s sequel is notoriously divisive because it goes all in on the immersive elements of the game. Compared to other open-world games, just about every part of Red Dead Redemption 2 is considerably more tedious. Every side activity, from hunting and cooking to shopping, comprises detail-oriented mechanics, with added steps and long, unskippable, complex animations, all to make the game feel like a true-to-life recreation of the Western setting.

Not everyone enjoyed the little immersive touches, such as cleaning your weapons, that Red Dead Redemption 2 added.

While I am firmly someone who loves the immersive, cowboy-simulator approach Rockstar took, (yes, I’m the guy who wants to check every cupboard and closet of the home I’m looting), I completely understand why that wouldn’t be for everyone.

While the first Red Dead Redemption is still absolutely massive, with plenty of side missions to complete, treasures to collect, and corners of the map to explore, it is a far more approachable game, cutting most of the friction that turned off players from the sequel.

And of course, with a PC port comes mod support. Red Dead Redemption 2’s has one of the best mod communities in gaming today, with players adding an extra layer of silliness or simulation to the sprawling cowboy adventure. With the advent of texture packs, cool, weird weapons, or even entire expansions, the future of this 14-year-old game could be brighter than ever if Rockstar hands over the keys to the American West.

Red Dead Redemption’s PC port may have been more than a decade in the making. But the potential for porting such a beloved game to an open platform could make it well worth the wait for players who’ve held out for this long.

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