Dead-Eye


The Dead Eye, Dead-Eye, Deadeye or Dead Eye Targeting mechanic is one of the signature gameplay mechanics of the Red Dead series, having appeared in all entries in the series, starting from Red Dead Revolver. The mechanic was upgraded for Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2, allowing John Marston and Arthur Morgan to do much more than what was possible in the first entry in the series by Red Harlow and Jack Swift.

Overview

Dead Eye, appearing in all Red Dead games, allows the protagonist to gain an advantage over opponents during gunfights in a way similar to bullet time. Traditionally, time is slowed and players can mark targets which, once Dead Eye is disengaged, the player character will automatically aim at and fire. Some differences to the mechanic can be noted game to game, and in some instances, the ability can be upgraded.

Dead Eye functions fundamentally differently in Red Dead Online than it does in the other games. Namely, it loses its time dilation feature.

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Red Dead Redemption 2

Function

Dead Eye has been revamped considerably in Red Dead Redemption 2 over Red Dead Redemption. The mechanic's basics haven't changed much, but they received some significant additions. Dead Eye is activated by aiming with the left trigger (LT/L2) and then pressing the right analog stick in.

The Dead Eye Core determines the amount of time you can use the ability. When the bar is emptied you will automatically exit Dead Eye mode, otherwise, you can disengage it by pressing the right analog stick again. The Dead Eye meter is replenished by killing enemies or by using certain consumables like Chewing Tobacco or Miracle Tonic.

Stages

Dead Eye in Red Dead Redemption 2 progresses in stages. A total of five levels exist and Dead Eye is upgraded through use. This is a hidden stat and cannot be viewed, only the available features indicate what stage the ability is currently at. When Dead Eye is used to kill enemies small amounts of specific experience points are gained that contribute to upgrading the ability. A relatively rare consumable, Valerian Root, also contributes to the Dead Eye upgrade. The stages evolve as follows:

  1. Activating Dead Eye slows down time.
  2. Activating Dead Eye slows down time and targets are automatically marked.
  3. Activating Dead Eye slows down time and targets can be manually marked.
  4. Activating Dead Eye slows down time and indicates critical hit locations on enemies, and targets can be manually marked.
  5. Identical to level 4, however more critical locations are indicated, making one-shot kills easier.

Red Dead Online

Red Dead Online Ability Cards

Dead Eye in Red Dead Online is different from the single player version in that it does not slow down time. Instead of the bullet-time mechanic, Dead Eye is repurposed as the interface used to activate Ability Cards. Active abilities or Dead Eye abilities augment the effects of using Dead Eye. These include increased damage while in the targeting mode, regenerating health, giving Posse members damage reduction buffs or, in keeping with the original mechanic, the marking of targets for the character to then automatically aim at and shoot.

Red Dead Redemption

Function

Dead Eye Targeting in Red Dead Redemption

Dead Eye in Red Dead Redemption forms the basis upon which the Red Dead Redemption 2 mechanic is based. At any point during Dead Eye usage, John Marston and Jack Marston are fully invincible. Of all the weapon types available in the game, Sniper Rifles don't allow target marking, for obvious reasons, rendering level two and three useless.

Dead Eye works slightly differently in the Red Dead Redemption online multiplayer mode, as it only allows automatic marking, similar to Red Dead Online's Paint It Black ability card. Without time slowdown and manual marking, the Red Dead Redemption online multiplayer Dead Eye only has a single level.

Two outfits affect Dead Eye's performance and regeneration in Red Dead Redemption. Obtaining the Legend of the West outfit increases Dead Eye duration, while the DLC outfit Dead Assassin doubles Dead Eye regeneration.

Stages

Dead Eye in Red Dead Redemption has three levels, and these are unlocked as the player progresses through the storyline. The stages evolve as follows:

  1. Activating Dead Eye slows down time.
  2. Activating Dead Eye slows down time and targets are automatically marked.
  3. Activating Dead Eye slows down time and targets can be manually marked.

Red Dead Revolver

Deadeye icon in Red Dead Revolver

The Dead Eye mechanic works significantly differently than in following Red Dead games. Of the six playable characters, only protagonist Red Harlow and Jack Swift can use it as their signature special skill, although in a different capacity, which was later used to differentiate the Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2 Dead Eye levels.

The Dead Eye meter is initially divided into three different parts, each one representing a single, possible use. During the course of the game, it's possible to improve the Dead Eye meter, unlocking additional uses.

Using Dead Eye with Red Harlow changes the weapon crosshair cyclically between three types, red cross, small red cross, and wider yellow cross, allowing for different types of shot, such as critical ones which deal increased damage.

Jack Swift's Dead Eye works slightly differently. Using it allows him to automatically mark and shoot enemies up to maximum ammo capacity. The player has no control over it whatsoever.


Matt Stone

Ever since the original Red Dead Redemption was released back in 2010 and swiftly completed by Matt he has been eagerly anticipating another return to the Wild West. In Matt's totally non-biased opinion the story told in the sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, is one of the best ever (at least as far as games go). And while some story DLC would be great, Matt isn't counting on it! Matt is on Twitter (but not really active).