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Liars & Cheats DLC Rustling Up a Posse for “Red Dead Redemption”

Liars & Cheats DLC Rustling Up a Posse for “Red Dead Redemption” (photo)

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Earlier this summer, Rockstar Games announced that they’d be rolling out four DLC packs for “Red Dead Redemption,” their hit game released in May. John Marston’s saga has already racked up significant numbers–an estimated $5 million by June alone–and, even if only a fraction of the cowpokes who grabbed the game at launch log onto Xbox Live or Playstation Network, “RDR” will be earning its keep over a long stretch of time. The rundown from the initial press release:

Legends and Killers Pack New active map locations, characters and more:
New active map locations, characters and more:
• 9 new multiplayer map locations — more than doubling the amount of territories in the multiplayer competitive modes;
• 8 new multiplayer characters — play as characters from Red Dead Revolver;
• Introducing a new projectile weapon: the Tomahawk, with corresponding challenges for single-player and multiplayer gameplay;
• New achievements and trophies;
• Pricing: $9.99 (PlayStation Network), 800 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE).

Liars and Cheats Pack
New competitive modes, multiplayer mini-games in Free Roam, and more:
• Attack and Defend multiplayer competitive mode and challenges;
• New multiplayer horse races, complete with mounted combat;
• Play as the heroes and villains of Red Dead Redemption, as well as 8 additional multiplayer characters;
• Multiplayer versions of Liars Dice and Poker from the single-player game;
• Introducing a new weapon: the Explosive Rifle, with associated challenges available in single-player and multiplayer gameplay;
• New achievements and trophies;
• Pricing: $9.99 (PlayStation Network), 800 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE).

Free Roam Pack
Delve deeper into the world of Red Dead Redemption with new modes, challenges and gang hideouts to discover:
• Additional Free Roam challenges;
• New action areas and defensive placements;
• Posse scoring and leaderboards;
• New anti-griefing measures in Free Roam;
• Pricing: TBC.

Undead Nightmare Pack
Ghost towns and cemeteries come alive in a West gone horribly wrong:
• Release date: TBD;
• Brand new single-player adventure, challenges and quests;
• 8 new multiplayer zombie characters;
• Additional animals unleashed in the world;
• New dynamic events and more;
• Pricing: $9.99 (PlayStation Network), 800 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE).

The GTA publisher’s using DLC in a different way than most other major game publishers. The four content packs interlock in a way to make the already-huge gameworld even more filled with possibilities. Want to play as characters from “Red Dead Revolver,” the odd-bird precursor that Rockstar bought halfway through development? Legends and Killers has you covered. Itching to blaze new trails into virgin territory? Saddle up in Free Roam. And if you want to play a couple of rounds of poker, this week’s Liars & Cheats will have you covered.

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The cost of each pack individually is about $9.99. Some packs adds a new weapon–a tomahawk in Legends and Killers, for example–that bring with them specific challenges. Others expand the playable territory of the game. And, of course, the Undead Nightmare pack upends the whole experience completely, throwing in outré horror elements into a game that’s inherently plainspoken and no-nonsense.

Aside from the secondary revenue stream provided by the DLC packs, Rockstar could possibly get something even more valuable than the cash: a steady stream of information about how users are playing the game. Lots of recent games send data back to servers; when you see a long stat sheet in a game about how many people you’ve killed with such-and-such weapon, those metrics are likely being beamed back to developers, too. Who uses cover, which areas see the most traffic, which weapons are the most popular… it basically amounts to free, surreptitious focus testing. BioWare recently revealed some of its findings from “Mass Effect 2” and gleaned, for example, that only 15% of conversations were skipped past by players. Now, “Mass Effect 2” is a talk-heavy game and that the bulk of players would sit through most of it is a testament to how compelled they must be by the dialogue.

I’ve written a bit about the way BioWare’s using DLC for “Mass Effect 2” to extend the fictional universe and sense of characters. Rockstar’s doing something a bit different: seeding the multiplayer world with lots of different ingredients for emergent, unscripted experiences. And then, I suspect, the House of Houser will sit back, take a look at how players are improvising and use it to make their next offering even more spot-on. Or, tantalizingly, even more divergent.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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