Rockstar Games has released the cover art for its upcoming Western adventure game Red Dead Redemption. The cover art features reformed outlaw John Marston drawing a sawn-off shotgun and scowling in an uncouth manner. His cowboy hat is curiously absent.
We find this omission bold and slightly baffling. To our knowledge, it's the first Western-themed video game in history to feature 'hat-free' box art. It would seem Rockstar is drawing a line in the sand. A line without hats.
To put this into perspective, it would be like seeing Mario on the front cover of Super Mario Galaxy II sans his infamous dirty moustache. Or a Final Fantasy game without a sexually ambiguous protagonist preening on the cover. Or an Evony ad without a gaggle of gigantic ballon-boobs slapping you in the face. [Stop this now -- Ed.]
It also begs the question: just what happened to John Marston's hat? Perhaps he has some yet-to-be-divulged hat projectile attacks, like Kung Lao from Mortal Kombat II? Or maybe a mischievous street urchin nicked off with it, which would explain his scowl and upraised boomstick. In any event, we can assure you that Marston dons a hat in-game. Phew.
Red Dead Redemption will be releasing for Xbox 360 and PS3 in May, 2010.