Red Dead Redemption game box needs more hat

Rockstar Games unveils hatless cover art for Red Dead Redemption

You can leave your hat on. Unless you're John Marston.

You can leave your hat on. Unless you're John Marston.

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.

Related articles:

Red Dead Redemption in-depth preview

Movember Special: We pay lip service to the best 'taches in gaming

Hands-on with Red Dead Redemption

In Pictures: Red Dead Redemption

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Chris Jager

GamePro Australia

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