Red Dead Redemption [Review]

When you talk of a western you usually speak about Clint Eastwood or John Wayne. Everybody has dreamed that they were Clint Eastwood, wearing the poncho and hat with the revolver in hand, ready to pull a quick one on some poor fellow. Rockstar has brought back Red Dead, and this time its fits these three elements; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

This chap here is John Marston. The man you will be spending time at the fire of you’re camp when stopping for a rest in your travels to get to a destination. The law hasn’t been kind to Marston. That’s because in Marston past, he was no do-gooder. He was in a gang. Killing people, robbing banks, hijacking trains you name it, Marston has probably done it all. Several years have past since Marston left the gang and now he has a wife and child. Hopeing to forget about his past and look to the future as a rancher. Everything was going to plan until the law showed up. Marston has to track down his fellow compadres and bring them to justice. He has got no choice since the law have taken his family until he fulfils the deed.

Redemption is no small-fry comparing to GTA Liberty City. Their are 2 huge sectors in Redemption; New Austin & Mexico. You start off in New Austin, hear you will come across some brilliant characters and the damn right strange. I got to give credit to Rockstar. The whole feel of the west in America is spot on. Aramdillo a town within the New Austin region is a tipical setting when imaging the west. The saloon activity like playing poker, someone playing the piano and the prostitutes trying to earn a buck or two. I just felt that I was finally playing a proper western game because of the atmosphere and setting.

The gameplay to Red Dead Redemption is like GTA IV, but more polished and doesn’t feel sluggish. You can have a selection of weapons from the Cattleman to the Volanic Pistol, Winchester rifle to the Evans Repeater and so much more. You have Dead Eye. This feature slows down time for you to tag your targets and perform execute finishes. When killing people and the acts you do, you will become more recognised. Honour & Fame. The more bad acts you do like kill innocent people, hijack a train and etc. People will recognise you as a bad person. You will gain bounty which bounty hunters will come after you and the law will try and attempt to catch you. It works vice versa when doing good acts. Getting around Red Dead isn’t by car like GTA. You are using the horse to get around from A to B. If you simply cannot be bothered to ride around on a horse, you could use a stagecoach which is the ingame taxi or set a waypoint on your map and travel at no expense via your campsite. The controls to steer your horse is quite niggly. You got to be careful of the horse’s stamina bar. If you don’t you’ll end up being on your back and it would serve you right for thrashing your horse too hard.

Apart from doing the main missions, you are able to do bounties. Here you can earn some money. You earn more by capturing the bounty alive than killing them. When your progress through the game, the bounty price will rise, so it’s really worth doing them if you want to buy new equipment and replenishing items. You have stranger missions as well. These are completely upto you on how these pan out. There is one scenario with this preacher. You can either warn him or kill him. The choice is entirely upto you. Its great that Rockstar have given you the choice on how your want to portray that stranger mission. Whatever the outcome it will effect your honour/fame, so its something to keep you’re eye on if you want to become a good guy or bad guy. Other means of gaining money is hunting. You can hunt from several animals from a bird to bear. Quite a bit of variety when hunting and its nice to go off and explore and lose track of time just hunting. You can also bet in games. Poker, Five Finger Fillet, Armwrestling. If you manage to get yourself a elegant suit, you can cheat in a game of poker. But beware. If another player spots you cheating, he will challenge you to a duel, so expect a bloody mess outside the saloon. The satisfying feeling is that the NPC’s is also very interactive. Challengeing you to a duel if cheating in a game of poker is like something which would most probably happen back in them days. The emphasis of a dog eat dog world within Red Dead Redemption is overwhelming. It may seem that Rockstar have given you a lot to do, if you decide that you fancy a break from doing the main missions. Besides from collecting bounties, hunting. You can go off and do challenges such as; Sharpshooter, Master Hunter, Herb collector, Treasure Hunter. Some challenges like the Sharpshooter challenge can be. Kill 5 birds, or disarm 6 enemies without reloading and changing weapon. There is a lot of replay value which brings a big smile to my face.

The multiplayer in Red Dead is really good but it does have its annoying little bits. Its upto 16 player, so you can ride the entire landscape of Red Dead with friends or do gang hideouts. You can play other game modes such as; free for all, grab the bag or gang matches, which are pretty much your team deathmatches. Red Dead is taking the same approach as GTA IV. Massive free-roam which you can kill each other or explore, get the law on you and kill poor innocent NPC’s. The only downside to the free-roam is the option of killing each other on the spot. Personally I’m sort of 50/50 with it. I don’t mind it if I’m playing alone and just running around, but when playing in a full posse which is upto 8 players. It can be annoying when other players decided to ruin your fun. Of course, people will say use private free-roam but maybe some people don’t want to and want to experience being able to play with friends online + with complete utter strangers.

If you fancy a in-depth game with plenty of twists and shocks. Then this is the game for you. Also to take into consideration that Rockstar are releasing DLC which is free and probably air out some bugs which have been encountered online and offline. There is a lot of replay value in Red Dead Redemption and don’t forget about the multiplayer plus the challenges to do, and collectables.

Score: 10/10

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Posted on June 4, 2010, in Reviews, Xbox 360 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. “Personally I’m sort of 50/50 with it. I don’t mind it if I’m playing alone and just running around, but when playing in a full posse which is upto 8 players. It can be annoying when other players decided to ruin your fun.”

    Exactly what I think Scott but another element does my head in, is when it freezes online and you have to restart the console.
    Good review btw Scott spot on mate.

  2. Scott Widdowson

    Cheers mate 🙂

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