The game's development stalled for some time when it was dropped by Capcom. In 2002, Rockstar Games purchased the game and expanded on it. Changing from an American western to a Spaghetti Western allowed the developers to add more blood, over the top characters and well designed character models. The lead character seems to be an amalgamation of various Clint Eastwood-inspired characters from assorted movies. The game reproduces a grainy "film" effect and even borrows incidental music and soundtracks that are highly reminiscent of – if not taken directly from – the movies of famous Spaghetti Western directors, including Sergio Leone.
The main character is Red Harlow. As a child his parents were murdered by bandits; he survived the encounter but grew up swearing to find whoever killed his family. Red grew up over the years and became a bounty hunter collecting bounties wherever his travels took him. However, after a series of unexpected trials and tribulations, Red soon finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy involving political corruption and greed. But most of all, Red may finally be able to find the person responsible for the death of his parents.