Red Dead Redemption Reviews

AuthorReview
Richard Bastion
136,608 (87,157)
Richard Bastion
TA Score for this game: 806
Posted on 22 May 10 at 09:13, Edited on 23 August 10 at 19:18
This review has 127 positive votes and 22 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Red Dead Redemption is an open world action adventure western title set in 1911. You may be surprised to hear that Red Dead Redemption has absolutely no ties with Rockstar's previous western of a similar moniker, "Red Dead Revolver." The west might be on the brink of a new era, but it's no less wild than it ever was. To succeed in this world, you've gotta be tough.

The Story(Spoiler Free)

You play protagonist John Marston, a former outlaw turned law dog. Like it or not, you're working for the government now. Your assignment? Kill or capture your former brothers in arms. Marston isn't so quick to give up his old ways. He doesn't trust many people, and all he wants is to get out from under the government's thumb.

The people you'll meet are colorful and unique. Some are funny, some serious, some mean, some just plain insane. The missions are pretty varied. I honestly didn't notice any blatant repeats. This could be partially due to the superb voice acting and writing.

The story is a good length. It'll take you a good 20 - 30 hours to complete.

The Gameplay

The gameplay is similar to Grand Theft Auto, but don't think for a second it's just a rehashed GTA. The gunplay is fast and fun. As they say, there are the quick and the dead. If you're not quick, you'll certainly be the latter. Luckily for you slowpokes, there's the Dead eye aiming mechanic. Dead Eye allows you slow down time, paint a few targets, and then let the bullets fly. You can paint different parts of the enemies body to take out, and they will react accordingly. Shoot their legs, they'll fall, shoot their head, they'll die, shoot their groin, well.. just don't shoot their groin. You can even shoot their gun right outta their hand! And there are a lot of different guns to shoot out of people's hands! The cover system from GTA4 has been upgraded quite a bit, and added to Red Dead Redemption. Instead of feeling clunky and unnecessary, it's smooth and fun to use. It's now much more reminiscent of Uncharted's cover system.

You can customize Marston's appearance by wearing different outfits. You can't pick and choose specific pieces of equipment to wear, though. Outfits must be unlocked by completing their challenges, which can actually be quite fun. Some outfits will even give you some sort of perk.

Though you're working for the government, you can choose to be either a saint or a sinner. Unfortunately, it doesn't have much of an impact on the story. It's still a great addition, though. The more deeds you do - good or bad - earn you fame. Fame, as you might guess, determines how many people recognize you. Honor, on the other hand, determines how people react to you. Are you an honorable gunslinger who saves all the damsels in distress, and duels fairly? Or are you the scumbag who puts the damsel into distress, then takes a few steps and then shoots the person he's dueling in the back? The choice is yours. Additionally, different towns will react to you differently based on your honor.

Red Dead Redemption's world feels more alive than any other game's. It is a very large world. About the size of Grand Theft Auto 4's. Maybe a bit smaller. The environments are varied. You'll go from wastelands, to rocky mountains, to both grassy and snowy hilltops. A man is only as good as the horse behind him.. right? There are a lot of horses(And a donkey!) to choose from, some faster than others. You can either steal one, or break a wild one. If you choose the latter, you must chase down the horse, lasso it, and then initiate a fun little mini game. It's much more fun riding through the beautiful world on a horse rather than driving in a car. Horse combat is tons of fun, and it works well. I found that I formed a bond with the horse I had, and when it eventually died, it hurt, which is more than I can when I lose a car in GTA - Even if it's a red ferrari! The one gripe I have is that you're only allowed to save, or "Hitch" one horse at a time. In a game with so many neat horses, you'd think you'd be allowed more than one, or maybe be able to purchase a stable.

How you spend your time in Red Dead Redemption's wondifferous world can be quite varied. Obviously there's the fantastic story, but what else can you do? It's a free roam, after all, there should be something to do. Well there is! There's a ton to do, as a matter of fact. Challenges are special and difficult feats that you can do throughout the world. They range from killing a cougar with your knife, or shooting several birds out of the sky from a moving train, to finding a treasure using nothing but a crudely drawn map obtained from an insane treasure hunter. Oh, and you can.. Ahem.. Pick flowers-NOWTHENBACKTOTHEMANLYTHINGSLIKECOWBOYSANDHORSESANDGUNSANDWOMEN. If you've got an itchy trigger finger, and a penchant for pain, perhaps you'd like to tackle one of the various gang hideouts? Gang hideouts are small areas infested with bandits. You go in, kill 'em all, get the treasure. It's more fun than it sounds. Maybe your time is better spent hogtying women to railroad tracks and watching them get hit by trains?

Earning money can actually be a lot of fun in Red Dead Redemption, and there are quite a few ways to do it. You can be a bounty hunter, and hunt down ruthless gang leaders. You can then either kill the bandit leader, or bring him in alive for double the price. Perhaps you'd prefer a foe who doesn't shoot back? Well, feel free to kill rabbits, deer, skunks, and whatever other harmless, loving animals you feel like gunning down so that you may sell their hide. Or maybe you want a more elusive/dangerous prey? You're welcome to try your hand at hunting the cougars, bobcats, foxes, or grizzly bears. Hell, you can even gamble to get money! You can play poker, liar's dice, blackjack, arm wrestling, and you can even pretend you're Lance Henriksen from Aliens and do some awesome five finger fillet. Some will earn more than others..

Note: According to several people, there are numerous single player glitches. I never experienced a single one, however, so I can't say how annoying they are.

The multiplayer is fun. You can take part in team-based, or FFA games, as well as a Free Roam mode. There are really no unique game modes in the FFA/Team Based matchmaking area. You've got capture the flag, deathmatch and such, but each match starts off with a duel of sorts. You can also form a posse with a bunch of friends(Or people you've never met,) and enjoy the free roam multiplayer. In free roam, you're free to take down gang hideouts, enjoy the world, and you could even race, if you wanted to. The free roam multiplayer is, in my opinion, the superior mode. It is unique to Red Dead Redemption, and a lot of fun. It is truly makes Red Dead Redemption's multiplayer stand out from the crowd.

The Graphics

Red Dead Redemption sets the new standard for what a free roam game should look like. The world looks real. Plain and simple. The draw distance is amazing and the character and facial animations are some of the best I've seen. Characters and animals alike move realistically. I never noticed any texture popping, or frame rate drops.

The Sound

The sound, like the rest of the game, is top notch. The original soundtrack is good. So far, I've only heard one licensed track, and it actually went very well with the situation in which it was presented. For anyone curious, the song is "Far Away" by Jose Gonzalez. The gunfire and sounds of the weapons are all excellent and realistic. The sound of hooves galloping and bullets flying go well together.

The Achievements
*This has no bearing on my score*

The achievements in Red Dead Redemption are varied. There are a few multiplayer achievements, one of which requires you to go to the max level(50..) Ugh. The other multiplayer achievements are somewhat easier, but still a pain, as they require you to rack up some consecutive wins. The single player achievements are pretty striaghtforward. You've got a few silly achievements such as killing every single buffalo in the game, knocking someone out in fist fight in every saloon in the game, or watching a hogtied woman get run over by a train(Hahahaha!) And yes, you must watch her get run over, simply getting her run over is not enough. There are also a few story related achievements. The rest are your average "Not too hard, not too easy" types.

Luckily, the only grinding/collection achievement is the multiplayer one. Although, there is also "More Than a Fistful" which requires you to accumulate $10,000. You may or not get that by the end of the game. Depends on how many people you "Loot."

The Final Verdict

Red Dead Redemption is by far the best western I've ever played, and one of the best free roams I've played. Everything it does, it does so with nothing but pure excellence. If you like action games, or westerns, or free roams, or games in general, pick this one up. You will not regret it.

Pros N' Cons
Pro = + //\\ Con = -

+ Engrossing and incredibly fun Storyline
- Honor system doesn't impact the story
+ Excellent cast of characters
+ Lots to do
+ Multiplayer is fun
+ Outfits add a bit of customization to single player
+ The world feels alive, and looks absolutely stunning
- Only allowed to hitch one horse at a time
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xxW0LFxx TFD
174,584 (119,519)
xxW0LFxx TFD
TA Score for this game: 718
Posted on 29 May 10 at 00:40
This review has 63 positive votes and 14 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
(taken from my site at www.wolfsgamingblog.com)

Release Date: Out now!
Developer: Rockstar North/San Diego
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Singleplayer: yes
Splitscreen: no
Multiplayer: 2-16
PEGI:18+

For years the Wild West has been a setting of amazement for people, its wide open world and simple life on the horse has captivated imaginations all over the world.

Sadly its ventures into gaming have been mostly poor, though one of the latest efforts (Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood) was a fairly good FPS game but it still never captured the spirit of the West.

But now it’s all changed with the release of Red Dead Redemption, Rockstars latest outing.
Straight from the intro you’ll know that you’re in for something different, the games lead character John Marston sits on a train, he’s one of the last of a dying breed as the Wild West is slowly dying as technology takes over the land that he loves so much and it’s made clear as he sits on the train and listens to conversations about the lawless natives.

It begins with Marston being forced to capture the men from his old gang, the Agency (part of the new Government that is slowly killing the West) has captured his wife and child and are forcing him to hunt them down.
In your first hour this leads you to Fort Mercer where your first target is located, but it quickly goes wrong and you’re left for dead in the dirt.
Thus begins the game proper as you’re picked up by the first major character in the game, Bonnie MacFarlane.

You wake up on her ranch and the games natural feeling tutorial begins as you learn how to herd cows, break in horses and fend off bandits.
It’s a slow start to the game, in fact much of Red Dead is slower paced so gamers without patience should be wary of entering the Wild West.

But it does feel much more natural than most game tutorials.

Red Dead is certainly driven by its story, a long sweeping tale of Marstons hunt takes you around 20-30 hours to complete and that’s without indulging in too many of the games other activities.
And what a tale it is, Marston is one of the most well thought out and interesting characters to grace the console, while he has his respectful and nicer sides he also makes no mistake on what he began life as, a killer.
And while he’s trying to reform it’s clear that he has no problem doing what it takes to get his family back.

Along the way you’ll encounter a varied and very impressive cast of characters that are almost as well thought out as Marston himself.
Seth the nervous grave robber and Irish (” an alcoholic arms dealer, is there a better kind) a drunk man who often pretends that he doesn’t have a clue who you are.
It’s a fantastic cast and while some of the later characters are not as interested they’re still fun to watch.
Combine that with some truly fine voice acting and you’re onto a winner.

But all of that is second only to the gameworld, the huge desert expanse that awaits you and your trust steed (or donkey if you feel like it) that is free for you to explore.
It’s big, that much is certain but it’s also very beautiful, even if a vast majority of it is brown.
Riding up to a cliff edge and watching the sun rise is a fantastic experience .
It’s an impressive technical feat, especially if you factor in the ecological system that is included, as you venture forth rabbits will run under foot, deer and wild horses will roam the lands and packs of wolves will become a thread to somebody looking at the pretty rabbits and not paying attention.
And they all react to the world, annoy a grizzly bear and you better start running, but leave it in peace and you’ll be ok.
Wolves can be seen hunting deer, cougars often attack random strangers and rattlesnakes have a nasty bite.

Throughout the world random events occur, these can include bandit attacks, strangers who need a ride, people being attacked etc and it’s entirely up to you whether you partake in these events or not.

Of course a large part of the West and of this game, and Rockstar have crafted their best combat system yet using a cover system.
Simply tap RB to take cover, but while it’s Rockstars best system yet it still feels a little clunky compared to many cover based shooters out there and moving from cover to cover can feel a little cumbersome.
It’s not a bad system but it’s far from great, however the guns all feel nice and meaty like they should.
Rifles go off with a satisfying bang and pistols feel fantastic to wield.
The game also includes an aim assist which provides alot of help, though it can often make it feel a little easy but for gunfights on horseback it’s great. Turn it off for a real challenge.

To go with the combat comes the Dead Eye mode, this allows you to slow down time for short periods and “paint” targets before unleashing a hail of deadly accurate bullets into their noggin.

Throughout the world you’ll encounter many things to do, you can hunt the wildlife, play poker or 5 finger fillet.
Taking part in Duels is excellent fun and helps relive those classic moments from the Films.
You can arm wrestle, rob banks etc
And along the way you’ll encounter “strangers” you give you side quests, these are usually entertaining but sadly the vast majority are not as fleshed out as they could of been.

While the land Rockstar have created is vast and alive it’s also pretty damn barren, venturing over yonder hill never nets you a massive sidequest which is a shame so exploration is not really encouraged leaving many people to just fast travel from place to place which is a shame as the world is a fantastic place to ride through, largely thanks to the games very lifelike horses.

As you progress through the story the missions are fairly varied and ranged, from basic shootouts to guarding trains, attacking forts and taking part in a revolution it’s a fun experience from beginning to end but by the end the missions do come down to plain shooting a little too often.
At the final quarter it also takes a big risk by changing pace to very slow again until it’s amazing finale.

Red Dead is certainly not for the impatient gamer, slow starting action and slower paced combat will put off a good few while the vast use of horse rides with AI will bore many others however these rides are often used to fill in story details.
However the slow start is one of the most enjoyable I’ve played, yes it’s not all out action but it’s a refreshing change and helps create the living, breathing atmosphere that brings the world to life.

It’s John Marston himself that captures the show, the man trying to change his life is one of the most real and interesting characters to play as.
While he may be trying to change he seems happy to accept what he is and what he was without argument, and its obvious that he’s feeling out of place as this new world forms around him.
At times he can be a caring man and at others he has no problem with shedding blood to save his family.
He’s perfectly voice acted throughout and you’ll find yourself feeling attached to him and his story like few video game characters manage.
The only complaint is his running and jogging animations look daft

Multiplayer also plays a part, when you join you’ll find yourself in a Free-roam world where you and many other players can venture around, either tackling gang hideouts or just shooting each other.
It’s a fun mode and you and your friends can form Posse’s as well, just riding around tackling the AI hideouts is great fun.
You can also take part in the fairly standard game modes such as Deathmatches etc which are all fun affairs.
Sadly at the time of writing the multiplayer is a bit of a mess, glitches are numerous and connection issue’s abound which is a great shame in an otherwise great multiplayer.

In Red Dead Redemption the Wild West has been brought to life, allowing you to finally experience the life of a man in those times, and it’s a stunning experience.
It has flaws but they’re mostly minor which is amazing in a game of this size, though you will encounter the occasional crash or bug.
And now it’s time… I have to score this game and what a hard time I’ve had of it. It’s not perfect. but it’s also very very good. the minor niggles hold it back a little but the gameworld and characters are some of the greatest seen. time to meet my destiny……DRAW!

The good;
+ Feeling like a proper gunslinger
+ Irish is one of the best characters yet
+The world is so real!
The bad;
- Big world, not so much to do in it though.
- that it had to end.
- ummmmmmm……

Score’s:

Graphics: 9.5
It’s a beautiful world with great animations, the horses like amazing and each town looks stunning. and there is tumbleweed!


Sound: 9
Fantastic voice acting backed up by a great soundtrack. Guns all sound nice and loud and all the little details are there.

Story: 10
Sweet god! the first 10 I’ve ever handed out! it’s hard to fault this story, the only complaint that I could think of was that it could be a little slow at times. But the ending will leave you amazed.

Gameplay: 9
While the combat can be a little fiddly it’s good fun and the world has plenty to do and see. But the exploration is a bit dull sadly


Lifespan: 9
It’s a big game with the story taking anywhere from 20-40 hours to complete, depending on how sidetracked you become with cheating at poker, taking on random missions and winning duels!


Overall: 9.5
It’s not a ten, it’s so dam close even I can’t believe it but the glitch Multiplayer and the minor irritations in the singleplayer keep it from scoring the first ever overall 10 on this site. If I’m honest, I’m tempted to chage it as I type. It’s been a hard review…. but I think the score is fair.
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xAchilles
1,273 (910)
xAchilles
Posted on 18 July 10 at 12:05, Edited on 11 October 10 at 14:50
This review has 42 positive votes and 6 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Red Dead Redemption is a wild west "Sanbox" third person shooter game developed by Rockstar Games,the makers of the blockbuster series "Grand Theft Auto".

Storyline:

-In the year of 1911,the questline features former outlaw "John Marston" and his quest to bring his former gang members to justice after the United States Government takes John's family away, and until John Marston can bring down him former brothers in arms,his family will be held in custody. John Marston,having no other choice,sets out to get his family back.

-This storyline,yet very simple succeeds very well in the vast variety of missions you would expect from a western video game such as train robberys,shootouts,raiding and destroying towns,hunting missions,chases,treasure hunting and much,much more to keep you entertained and is much satisfying for fans of the wild west.There are also many side missions where you can play poker,horeshoes,dice,arm wrestling,plus even more serious missions to stop attempted kidnappings,stolen horses,duels,and random gunfights or even hunt Grizzlies,Courgars,Wolves,Cows,Horses,Dogs,Bunnies,Snakes,Vultures and more animals as you are exploring RDR's beautiful and vast landscape

-I myself thoroughly enjoyed most of the missions and side missions AND distractions while not being a big,big western fan (movies and TV shows,love the games) but some of the missions seem to be "fillers" and seem to be there just to expand the games long length,and I know it has been mentioned before,but some of the characters in the game promise you information,if you run out and complete their dirty work,but when you come back to recieve your intel your "friends" fail to comply with their end of the bargain.

- All in all,I very much enjoyed Red Dead Redemptions storyline and missions,and the story is one of the main strengths of this fantasmal game (I think I made I word)smile

Gameplay:

-It is very easy to cast Red Dead Redemption as "Grand Theft Auto" in the wild west,and in a way that is true,but it is much more than that. The cover sytem from GTA 4 is back and is followed by a much more satisfying aiming sytem,but if You've played Grand Theft Auto 4,then you will be very familiar with the game's controls with X being to jump,A being to sprint,LT being to aim/lock on,etc,etc. The gameplay is very smooth,especially the horse's. The horses are also smooth,with them being able to sprint and jump aswell. And if you so need to you can also enter firefights from your horse and shoot on him/her which,again,handles with ease.

- Red Dead Redemption is also home to authentic wild west weapons with a vast variety or rifles,shotguns and revolvers,to throwing weapons such as Dynamite,Fire Bottles and Throwing Knives. Let's also not forget about the Lasso in which you can cath and break wild horses,or capture and hogtie,anyone you desire. In RDR,there are many shops in all of the games cities where you can buy bandanas to sheild your identity,camping supplies,horses,guns and also sell your meat and assorted other body parts that you have scavenged from RDR's wildlife.

Graphics and Presentation:

- Let me put it this way. This game is FREAKING GORGEOUS. The water,the canyons and even the grass and rocks were all crafted beautifully by the devious minds at Rockstar. To put it short:This game will make you feel like you are actually in the wild west,even if you are playing on a SD TV.

Voice Acting and Score:

- The voice acting is amazing also. From voice actors such as Rob Wiethoff,Stephen Snedden,Don Creech,Anthony De Longis and Kharrioson Sweeny who all pulled off their characters flawlessly.

- The score on the other hand,is definetly Wild West esque. It is composed by Bill Elm and Woody Jackson,who definetly felt the spirit of the wild west when making this soundtrack. It is simply breathtaking,Even some of the songs they did not compose such as "Far Away" by Jose Gonzalex or "Compass" by Jamie Lidell or "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie" by William Elliott Whitmore and finally "Deadman's Gun" by Asthar Command are all contributing to the epicness of the score.,and it's great to hear some of these tracks and sounds after completing a long and dramatic mission. But,if your not in the mood for some classic wild west tunes,then you can also just select some music from your Ipod and dashboard to play.

Downloadable content:

- As I am righting this review (Sometime in July) there is only one piece of DLC which is the "Outlaws to the End" Co Op mission pack which was released in June where you and your friends can take on 6 different missions from herding cows to saving a kidnapped girl.The DLC also offers new achievements and is available right now on XBL marketplace for the wonderful price of $0. These missions are very fun and varied with friends but it seems quite small,but for the price of FREE it is worth a grab for you and your buddies to spend a few hours on.

Multiplayer:

- RDR also has a variety of multiplayer modes where the game lobby is the single player world where up to 16 players can explore and create different posse's and hunt,take out gang hideouts together,kill eachother or different NPC's in the game world.

- In public matches though,there is standard free for alls which start out as a "Mexican Standoff" so to speak where all the players are in a circle and wait till the big DRAW sign pops out on your,screen where,you the player has to draw your revolver and kill everybody else before they kill you. After this is done you keep your score from the standoff (25 seconds at most) and then it just proceeds to be a standard free for all. (This all applies for TDM Also) "Hold Your Own" is a capture the flag variant and "Grab the Bag" is a game type where two teams are both attacking one bag,and finally "Gold Rush" is a FFA variant of CTF where tons of bags spawn all over tha map and you have to go and get the most before the other players do.

The Verdict:

-To put it easily,Red Dead Redemption is a game which has to be experienced by everyone. It's smooth gameplay,beatiful graphics,flawless voice acting,superb score,fantastic campaign,and fun multiplayer RDR is definetly a must buy for fans of the sandbox genre and fans of the wild west alike.

+Great Gameplay
+Wonderful campaign
+Great Voice Acting
+Great presentation
+Fun Multiplayer
+Superb Score

-Campaign has some "meh" missions.
-Needs more multiplayer modes.
-Some very minor bugs
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MW2 1995
296 (190)
MW2 1995
Posted on 08 October 10 at 10:18, Edited on 11 October 10 at 07:23
This review has 31 positive votes and 7 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The Old West never dies....

Red Dead Redemption of Rockstar is a great game set in the western world.

* Rockstar San Diego
* Historic Action Adventure
* Release: May 18, 2010
* ESRB: Mature

Like any self-respecting free roaming, Red Dead Redemption provides several mini-games for everyone, ready to distract the player from the main story, extend the hours of play, but also help to swell its portfolio in order to buy weapons and objects. Leading the lot we have in its Texas Hold'em poker, if it be a moment to spend several hours in the company, followed by Blackjack, Craps Liars where you declare the number of dice with the same face of all the contenders - with a lot of bluff and accurate statement of the five fingers-the game where you have to repeat to perfection the keys shown not to cut their fingers, throwing the horseshoe and the tug of war for a variety and quantity can satisfy all tastes.

Many challenges and tasks to be done to reach the 1000 GS.

Red Dead Redemption unable to fully maintain all the high expectations that have marked it since its announcement and as usual is a Rockstar game that offers a vast amount of unique things to do, seasoned with a history of non-trivial and ending on a high . Everything else to the atmosphere and an excellent technical sector, than ever this time unable to convincingly play a game set in the Wild West, where what "run" around the main character is alive and fascinating enough to merit even just a ride to enjoy the full freedom and that returns all he has to offer. In addition it should be noted a multiplayer component that represents a new evolution of the genre, and that longevity will increase exponentially. But you have the impression that such a step could have been made even more complete, and we are sure that some of these desires will be filled with additional content coming.

Branded by someone fairly quickly as the "Grand Theft Auto with horses"-statement that among other things, in theory would also be very positive-the title developed by Rock Star San Diego has a structure that bases obviously shares much of that created by big brother Rockstar North, but also has several characteristics that delineate their identity and a multiplayer that in some ways represents a new evolutionary step for the genre.

It 's time to get on horseback with John Martson, with no hesitation and relive the legend of the Old West.

Good Fun
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Toast gravy
100,844 (66,793)
Toast gravy
TA Score for this game: 1,707
Posted on 11 August 10 at 16:59
This review has 30 positive votes and 8 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Our Gladriel Review of Red Dead Redemption featuring Katalin Koller. Excluding a few very noticeable glitches it turns out that it is quite a wondeful game; Katalin thinks so too.

Check out the review below.





I'm going to mention something not entirely related to the review:
For anyone that is interested, as far as I'm aware the "sky jump" glitch mentioned (and demonstrated) is still in the game in multiple locations. That is, as far as I'm aware. I never did try it myself in multiplayer but if you want to mess with your friends it's worth getting them to do it until they fly. Should be fun for everyone.
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Bizarro13
335,737 (194,655)
Bizarro13
TA Score for this game: 3,100
Posted on 06 October 10 at 02:07, Edited on 10 October 10 at 01:47
This review has 26 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Better Late Than Never Review: Red Dead Redemption

I was dreading the day I would start working on this review. It meant I had finally completed the single player game and spent some time in multiplayer. Red Dead Redemption was like my favorite movie, show or book. You fear that something great is coming to an end and look for something to fill that void.

Let's get it out of the way right now.

This game is 5 out of 5 stars

No doubt about it. This is my Game of the Year, and easily one of my all time favorites.

Unless you were living under a rock, RDR was an eagerly anticipated game. We just knew Rockstar (San Diego and North) would give us a western epic along the lines of their Grand Theft Auto series. GTA IV is an outstanding game, no doubt. The stories have all been top notch, especially with the superstar voice actors. The gameplay and relative freedom to do what you like in a sandbox world is fascinating. But, for some reason, the GTA games have never really held my interest beyond just running around performing random acts of violence. RDR has alleviated that disinterest 100%. There is so much to do in this game, it will keep you busy for a long time if you're the completionist, missions, challenges, random encounters, and of course, the plethora of multiplayer modes and options.

I must tell you, I love westerns. Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns, Unforgiven, Tombstone, 3:10 to Yuma, and of course, Deadwood (R.I.P.) This game was right up my alley and it doesn’t disappoint in the least. The story won’t break any new ground, but I’ve always believed that if a story is done right, it doesn’t need to be the most innovative if it’s entertaining. The story is broken up into four distinct chapters. It is 1911 and the Wild West is coming to its end. The government and its bureau agents want to tame the frontier. The time for lawlessness is over and they will do whatever it takes to ensure it stays that way. John Marston is a tool used by government agents to hunt down his old gang and to make sure that happens, they’ve taken his wife and son. He will go to hell and back in both the US (New Austin) and Mexico. He will do whatever it takes to get back the retired life he really wants with his family. And that’s where you come in. Good or evil, honorable or dastardly, maybe somewhere in the middle, you can save every helpless soul that approaches you or you can shoot who or what you want, drive up your bounty and hope the marshals don’t catch you. Though your decisions don’t affect the main storyline, you are free to do practically anything you like. All of this takes place while the extinction of the New Frontier ominously looms in the shadows.

I’ll admit there’s times where you are being forced to do missions that are there to move the story along. Certain missions I thought to myself, why are you taking this shit from this guy and running his errands when you could just give him a dirt nap and move on? But I loved the bizarre and insane individuals who help or hinder you through your quest to get revenge on the “friends” who wronged you and without those colorful individuals; you’d have a cowboy story just going through the motions. They are brought to life so brilliantly that you’ll love or hate them. I’m of the opinion that an actor has done their job if you can love or hate their character. My personal favorite has to be Nigel West Dickens. The man is the ultimate American salesman, and early drug dealer. He speaks and dresses affluently. He is a fast talker and he manages to find himself trouble at every turn. Good thing he’s bailed out by John Marston, who eventually becomes a begrudging friend.

Rockstar did a fantastic job of putting together voice acting and cut scenes that aid in telling John Marston’s epic tale. Just seeing the “magnificent” seven you put together sent chills down my spine. As I got into the last chapter, my fears of the end were becoming a reality. It was all winding down for the storybook happy ending. You’re no longer doing missions fighting bandits (or banditos). You’re spending time with your wife and son. You’re trying to be the loving husband and father that you’ve wanted to be for so long. Then the betrayal happens. If the end doesn’t get you, then you are a ruthless, cold hearted, son of a bitch.

I can’t help but be impressed at out how well paced the entire game is. I mean, especially considering you could just go off the main storyline and complete side missions, challenges, hunt, do jobs, play minigames, gamble, or just ride through the countryside causing a ruckus. There is no shortage of things to do and no shortage of places to do them. The landscape of this game is massive. If you don’t take the stagecoach quick travel shortcuts, you can literally travel from one corner of New Austin to the opposite corner of Mexico in just short of an in game day. And I can tell you, I rarely took the quick travel shortcuts because I just loved riding through the countryside. I never felt overwhelmed or lost and it seemed like I would see something new every day for the first couple of weeks. In fact, most impressive to me was the details, the little things.

Soak it all in, seriously. The art direction is kick ass. Graphically, this game is breathtaking. The landscapes are populated with plants and animals of all sorts. I’ll never forget staring in awe at the river up in north in the Tall Trees region. I’ve never, EVER, seen water affects look that good. On a sunny day, you can see the heat waves on the horizon. On a rainy day, mud puddles dot the landscape. NPC’s can be seen riding horses or wagons to various destinations or you’ll come across them at a campsite and they’ll invite you to sit down and share stories. The towns aren’t very big, but the differences in each are significant. Armadillo is your typical dusty western town. Blackwater is the modern city with brick buildings and paved streets.

Don’t take your eyes off those wolves, bears, or cougars. They’ll take down you and your horse down if you aren’t paying attention. And they’ll look fantastic doing it. If you get the best of them, or any other animal, including horses and dogs, you can skin them and sell their hides and meat. Hell, one day I was gathering some flowers in the desert and a rattlesnake bit me, knocking me to the ground. I jumped up wondering who the hell shot me then heard that distinct rattling sound. The best moment in the game though, hands down? I watched a cowboy jump off his horse, run over to a rock, and take a piss. You see the arc and everything. I laughed for a good long time, again, details.

If you’re into soundtracks of games, hell if you just like good music, I would advise either paying attention to the in game music or getting the soundtrack. This has to be my new favorite soundtrack. Far Away, the song playing as you enter Mexico at the beginning of the second chapter is eerie and unforgettable. The sound of galloping horses will become second nature. Coyotes and wolves will alert you to their presence. Cougars will too, but when you hear their growl, it might be too late.

Does it play as good as it looks? 99% yes. I have a few quibbles that are so minor in the grand scheme of the RDR experience. If you’ve played GTAIV, you should be familiar with the play style. That floaty momentum is still present. The controls could just be a tad more responsive. I promise you, this is such a minor grievance. I’d be inclined the controls are the way they are by design. I understand the physics of say, riding a horse, controlling a stagecoach, or even sprinting around corners, but there are times where you have issues with getting through a door or past an obstacle because of the floatiness.

You might wear out your A button also. Your character doesn’t run unless you constantly mash A. Your horse will not sprint unless you continuously mash A. You can’t overwork the horse, especially if it’s a horse you recently acquired as their endurance builds the longer you have it. You can hold A down for your horse to maintain a constant pace, but if you time your mashing with your meter regeneration, you can keep it sprinting at a pretty good pace the whole time. I thought Star Ocean: The Last Hope would destroy my A button, but it has nothing on RDR.

In multiplayer, your character is always running. Because of your momentum, you might have a hell of a time getting through doors or up a small set of steps, especially if you are diving for cover from someone trying to give you a dirt nap. Too many times I’m stuck up against a wall trying to dash into a building or room only to be gunned down.

So that’s about all the bad I have on the core game. How much bad can there be in my vote for Game of the Year anyway?

There are no difficulty settings per se. You can choose between normal and expert aiming. The difference being, with a tap of the aim button, your reticule will snap to the nearest enemy within reason. On expert, you’re on your own buddy. I played through mostly on normal on my initial playthrough. I will admit, at times I felt like I was almost cheating and it was too easy. Then I recall the cougar that leaps out at me while I’m picking flowers or riding on a stagecoach on certain missions and having to pick moving targets and realizing its damn hard to hit anything on expert! If you ever really find yourself in a bind, you’ve got Dead Eye. A red meter that fills up as you get kills. Tap your Dead Eye button and you go into slow mo that allows you to select targets anywhere on the body of man or beast up to however many bullets your gun carries. It's great for disarming and duels, tough to employ in multiplayer because it’s you or them first.

However you choose to play your character; your decisions affect your Fame and Honor. Again, this has no bearing on the main storyline whatsoever. What it does affect is how the inhabitants of New Austin and Mexico will treat you. If your honor is high, they will respect you. If your fame is high, they will know you. I can walk around the town of Armadillo and my name rings out. I haven’t exactly done an “evil” playthrough at this time, but no doubt, I can guess how they’ll fear me when I’m the baddest outlaw west of the Mississippi.

In between being the pillar of society, I worked on challenges. This is a fantastic idea for beefing up the content in a single player game. Challenges run in numerous categories including hunting, survivalist, sharpshooting, and treasure hunting. The challenges start out easy enough, but become progressively more difficult. If you do them, you unlock special outfits and weapons. Get yourself a Buffalo Rifle and you can take out grizzly bears in one shot. The outfits serve varying purposes such as getting the elegant suit that allows you to cheat at poker or the Bollard Gang outfit that will prevent you from being attacked by members of the Bollard Gang. One interesting mode they implemented is the Social Club. By registering at the Rockstar Games website, you can complete special social club challenges that are updated and give various rewards.

As you’re riding along you may run into random encounters with someone who’s had their wagon or horse stolen, or is being held up by a gang of thieves, or my personal favorite, a man rides up to you begging for help rescuing his kidnapped wife. As you approach the scene, his wife is strung up to a tree and the honorable thing to do would be to shoot the kidnappers and the rope she is hanging from before she dies. Dead eye is your friend. If you’re successful, you’ll earn Fame, and of course, cash. Money is used to buy your essentials; you should accumulate a lot by the end of the game, so it isn’t something that you should fret over. If you really want, you can even go work some Night watch or Horse breaking jobs in certain towns.

Tired of the open road? Want to kick back and play some minigames? Try your hand at Texas Hold Em, Liars Dice, Five Finger Fillet, or even Arm wrestling. With the Liars and Cheats DLC, you can even play some of the mini games online with other people via Free Roam or Matchmaking.

When you’re done in for the night, you simply go to one of your purchased or rented room to save which turns your clock ahead six hours you can even change your outfits in your room to suit your needs or look. You can also use a camping kit from your inventory if you are out in the open, which provides some convenience while attempting aspects of the game that do not auto save.

So I’ve covered how massive and fantastic the single player is, what about the multiplayer? I’ve already touched on a couple points, I can assure you, if you like playing online, RDR has a solid multiplayer going for it. When entering multiplayer, you join a Free Roam game. Essentially you can go where you want on the map. You will not be able to do story mode but you can kill other players, earn a bounty on your head by killing NPC’s, and do quick missions on your own or with other players. If getting into some Free For All or team based games is your thing, there are plenty of options. You can join Normal or Expert games (referring to the aiming style). There are Capture the Bag (IE flag) games or deathmatch style Shootout. I love the Shootout games because they’ll start you in a circle or a line if you’re playing teams and you have a shootout that leads right into the beginning of the game.

The games can be fun, but because of the nature of the controls as mentioned earlier, I prefer to do the co-op missions or posse up and do gang hideout missions. Outlaws to the End added co-op missions to the game. You’ll need a decent team for even the basic co-op missions. Running in blindly will get you and your teammates in trouble if they try to revive you. There are advanced missions that open up once you’re a high enough rank. They’re much more difficult and lame teammates need not apply. As of this writing, I believe I got it for free even though I bought the game used, so I’m not entirely sure why that is. Sure, there are times when I just want to ride around and kill folks, but unfortunately, like many multiplayer games, that can be tough to do when people are higher level and have much better weapons than you start out with. Either way, missions seem like the best way to rank up as you’ll get loads of XP.

Everything results in XP which levels up your ranks, which open up more character skins, mounts, weapons, and titles. You’ll need those weapons if you plan on Free Roam killing. There are numerous skins in the game ranging from the different gangs in the game to lawmen to the main characters. Yes, I get to run around as Nigel West Dickens, stove pipe hat and all. The different multiplayer modes typically assign you a skin and certain weapons related to the game type, so your character settings from Free Roam won’t carry over to FFA or Shootout games. When it comes to the mounts, you start out on a donkey. You’ll want to upgrade to a better horse quick. Eventually you can even ride bulls or buffaloes. There are plenty of weapons to choose from, but once you get your hands on semi automatic weapons, you’ll not likely drop those any time soon.

Similar to the Modern Warfare games, multiplayer has challenges that will give you XP as reward for completing them. Everything from hunting and gathering flowers to various guns and kills challenges in the FFA and Shootout games. More stuff to keep the game interesting, but not necessary.

Again, if you can find people to play with, you can play poker, Liar’s Dice, or even race with the Liars and Cheats DLC.

I haven’t even spoken of the achievements yet. Don’t worry. As lists go, I think the achievement hunter will find this game a solid challenge. It’s not a pushover and it will take some time to get the 100% completion needed for the full Gamerscore. My first playthrough had me sitting at about 92%. You can continue to play once you complete the single player campaign. RDR also gave me my new all time favorite achievement, Dastardly. Hogtie a woman, place her on train tracks, and watch a train run her over. That is just too damn cool. Don’t worry; I rescued some damsels in distress to make up for being an evil bastard for just a moment.

So I wind this review down, ready to take on a second playthrough and more multiplayer. It is the first game I’ve truly had fun with in a long time. It’s the total package, looks, sounds, plays near perfectly. It has an engaging story with sensational atmosphere featuring memorable characters brought to life by first-class voice acting (except maybe Bonnie MacFarlane...) I’m not sure I’ll tire of all it has to offer any time soon, if ever. It is extremely well supported by Rockstar with new content. Three DLC’s are available with a fourth, Undead Nightmare, coming soon. I’m not into the whole zombie thing, but with a game as good as this, how can I turn my nose up to that?
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GatorSixCharlie
172,013 (110,035)
GatorSixCharlie
TA Score for this game: 1,195
Posted on 02 November 10 at 09:46
This review has 24 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Rockstar Riders in the Sky . . . by GatorSixCharlie

Red Dead Redemption is Rockstar’s newest entry to the open world genre of gaming. Set in a fictional western world, you play as John Marston . . . a man with a troubled past trying to hunt down some fugitives who used to be his friends. Who couldn’t identify with that? Of course, the story isn’t as important as the characters that you meet along the way. So—as in the best open world games--you find yourself making decisions that actually affect your game. Things like, do you help random strangers who are in need of some muscle to stop a thief? How about aiding the poor saps who are being attacked by some of the local wild animals?

The scenery will take you to a rich western world where the sun rises and sets on a Western landscape so cinema-ready that you can almost hear Ennio Morricone tuning up the soundtrack. Riding around night, you even have to worry about hungry packs of wolves trying to eat you for dinner. These ain’t no cute, friendly Disney animals. While in town you can go have a drink at the local saloon, and maybe take a seat at a local poker game. You can even cheat, but don’t get caught or you will be settling the dispute in the street via a gun duel.

This game is the new bench mark for all future western games. Rockstar has really made a fantastic game in Red Dead Redemption. If you are familiar with the open worlds of the Grand Theft Auto series, then just imagine that same openness applied to a spaghetti western world. And the most impressive thing about bringing a new theme and style to an already popular genre is that Rockstar didn’t just strip away the streets of Liberty City and throw in some cacti and Indians. Instead, they actually introduced some new things in the way open worlds are played. The changes may be subtle, but they make this game feel like its own original world and not a GTA engine wearing a cowboy hat. It may seem like a small thing, but this is actually where most of the open world copycats fail. Red Dead Redemption is not simply GTA set in the American West, but instead acts as its own game—only with a comfortably familiar interface and control scheme.

A key part of making an open world game that draws you in is creating a unique, believable, and appealing world. So it says something that the first thing I fell in love with about RDR was simply riding around on a horse and taking in the impressive scenery. The story of this game holds your attention, but Rockstar includes tons of distractions from the main story. Since a big part of the appeal of this engine and genre is the freedom to wander away from the rigid march of the main storyline, the extras must be first rate, and RDR doesn’t disappoint. Wanna be an outlaw? A maverick? Do you prefer a white hat to a black one? This game will allow you to do it.

Now as impressive as the main game may be, the replay factor almost demands a solid online component, and Rockstar has outdone themselves with the multiplayer modes included in this game. RDR introduces their Free Roam mode, which lets up to 16 online players play in the full game world. This means that it’s actually possible to experience the entire world with your friends, which is an awesome option. Of course, there’s also the traditional Free-for-All shoot-out mode, and basic competition modes, but Free Roam is the jewel of the online RDR experience.

Please see my rating below and look for my video review for a more personal comment on this great game.

Summary and Rating

If you buy a game in the next 30 days this should be the one you buy. Simply put, there are hours of game play. The story will take 20-30 hours if you stay focused on just the main story—which, happily, is hard to do with hours and hours of distractions in the main game. The game world is huge and you can spend some time just riding across the landscape. In addition, the multiplayer adds hours of game play, and this multiplayer is a nice break from the Call of Duty/Battlefields out there.

I honesty can stay Rockstar has set the mark for all western theme games with this one.

Production - *****

Rockstar is a company that usually doesn’t cut corners, but I felt that there were some things that could have been done to polish this one a little more. The in-game music was ok, but I recognized some of the music from past games (such as Bully) when walking around Blackwater (later town in the game). In other words, the music choices seemed lazy. I will admit that some of the soundtrack is great, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that it could have been so much more. I think adding a real country/western soundtrack from someone like Ennio Morricone would have gave it a nice Clint Eastwood feel, and made seem more epic.

Of course, there are some rare graphic glitches/lockups, but let me stress that even taking this into account, it is overall a solid production, with very nice menus and decent quick load times.

Graphics - *****

There were times when I would just sit there in-game and take in the scene. A+ job on the sky and water . . . to the extent that, while playing, I actually sat and wished that these guys would make a MMO using this graphic engine. And the Euphoria technology just blows you away…

Sound - ****

I already touched on the problems of the soundtrack, which I found disappointing given the rich possibilities of the theme. If this grade was only about soundtrack, it would earn a B-, but the true saving grace is the voice acting. Which, by the way, is perfect. Rockstar does this better than anyone with the possible exception of Bioware.

Play Control - *****

Grand Theft Auto IV was impressive, and Red Dead Redemption is improvement over GTA IV. With that said, it should be clear that anyone, from beginners to game pros, will have no problem playing this game. The in-game missions teach the mechanics well, and the Dead Eye feature is fun and exciting.

Replay Value - *****

I see myself playing the story a couple of times (each is about 25 hours, and replay lets you try out a different moral alignment), and I expect to spend hours online. You will get your money’s worth in this one.

Overall - *****

This game will set the bar for western theme games in the future. While I don’t see this being the game of the year, it should be in the top ten and maybe even top five for 2010. If you buy 5-10 games a year this should definitely be one of them. If you’re like me and have more games than you can shake a stick at, then you’re probably reading this while taking a break from playing your special edition copy.
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dancrozier
230,551 (133,304)
dancrozier
TA Score for this game: 3,100
Posted on 21 April 11 at 18:57
This review has 22 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Red Dead Redemption is a stunning Western sandbox game. It is set towards the end of the wild west era (1910) when the West is succumbing to industrial modernisation and changes are a foot. The story focuses on one man and his forced duty to act for the government to track down his old gang of outlaws and bring them to justice, while the authorities hold his family as hostage until his work is done.

I am struggling to think where I should start with this review.I will try to keep it subjective but the truth is that I loved so many aspects of this game and make no apology about the praise I am about to heap on it. It is not perfect and I will try and cover what areas could be improved though I think Rockstar has absolutely nailed this master piece.

Characters & Story

I love so many Rockstar characters, they way they build up your empathy for the character you are playing and how nothing, like in life, is black and white. On first reflection, John Marston is a bad guy. A murderer, a robber an outlaw who used to run with a brutal gang of similar minded individuals. As you progress through the game, you're bound to build empathy with Marston. The game has superb dialog and interaction between characters, the best I have come across gfrom any game. they have done their research and really tried to view the world from the characters point of view at the time, and shows great understand of how views are often formed based on experiences he;ld. Marston knows his previous actions are bad but he runs by his own code of conduct. Although he cannot read or write, he has great intelligence and analysis of situations. He understands that it is the harshness of the land that creates the men within it, that people have to make difficult choices to get by in a life like this or end up dead. A kind of Robin Hood ethos if you like, he steals from the rich to help the poor that the government should have been helping anyway. He doesn't kill innocent men, only those who deserved it. He is a family man, loyal to his wife and would do anything for his child. The kind of characteristics we can all be drawn to and recognise with good quality. He is often challenged by his belief "There aint nothing worse than a killer who thinks he is noble" but he has been redeemed and that redemption must now pass to his old gang. A twisting epic story of love, honour and redemption follows and quickly engrosses you as you ride around this wonderfully crafted land that has gone to every effort to be as authentic to the wide west as possible.

Graphics and Gameplay

The graphics are simply stunning for a sandbox game of this size. the horses are the best I have ever seen in terms of authentic movement and detail. Many times I would spin the camera round to take in the view of my horse and the sun setting in the back ground. One moan about the horse is that the dam thing would often run away from you, it had beauty but no brains! Some of us like that but would have liked my horse to have a bit more nous and not run off a cliff just because I am at the bottom or not get out the way of a train just because I am near the tracks! The stars at night and the moon add to the atmosphere. I just loved slowing down the horse as I rode into a town in the morning, just as it was waking. This is why I play games! To replicate experiences that I cannot really experience. Saying that I have been to the 'wild west' (Like James Town in california) and know that rockstar has done an awesome job of remaking the land marks and the terrain of the west. I have heard some moan that the land was a whole lot of nothing, with the odd town scattered around. .But this surely is what the wild west was like. One man and his horse and a beautifully crafted detailed environment to play out the forementioned story. With Rockstar it is often the little things that so add to the game. And riding thorugh the desert at night you're hear the cry of Coyote's and wildlife, all that can be hunted and sold. I often had great fund riding up to the mountainous regions (which I assumed would be Yosemite) to hunt for bears, boars and elks. One error rockstar made was to make every harmful animal to also be possessed and try and kill you as soon as they see you which didn't feel realistic but a small oversight in a otherwise great feature. Yes, it's not GTA in the West, it's not really about random killing and chaos. It is much better to follow the story as play as Marston's character would have. To me that gives you the true red dead experience. The draw distance was fantastic. It was wonderful being able to see distant mountain and towns and know you can actually get to them with a few minutes ride. Scenary was delicately crafted and audio was amazing, from the sound of a steam train passing to the gallop of the horses, wrapped up in occasionally 'western' style guitar picking. I have to give special mention to the train at this stage. It leaves on time and can be used as good tool early in the game to travel further a field quicker without using coaches. I just loved to catch the train and watch as it took me around the game. Occasionally climbing to the roof and causing a bit of havok but it really was a great experience that added to the game authenticity. There were a few glitches in the game, occasionally I would ride through the floor but this was solved by me installing the game.

The combat system is very good for a 3rd person game, you can adjust it to your ability so can play with an auto lock for your targets or expert targeting mode for the more hardcore fans. It also has a good cover systme, clunky and cumberson at times but more than adequate. An area that can be improved though. One problem I did have often was actually walking through doors. It is hard to turn on a pin head and when you turnaround you sort of do it in an arc which can lead to mild frustration

Multiplayer

The one area to disappoint me a little, but still a great experience. the Jewell of multiplayer is the free roam. This gives you the whole map of the game as your playground, where you can hook up with other posses memebers, clear gang hideouts, hunt other posses or do whatever you want. A few times I got a good large posses together with friends, usually to bang out a few acheivements but another great experience as you all go ridning off on horseback. Maybe it is my desire for a simpler life that made my love for this game grow but there was something magical about this western expeerince.

On top of the free roam, you have usual gang shoot outs (team deatmacth style) but also multiplayer versions of the games inhouse mini games such as poker, liars dice and horse racing if you get the DLC. There are also excellent coop missions that is free DLC with achievements and they are great fun as up to 4 of you tackle set scenarios.

Achievements

There are hell of a lot of them if you included all DLC, 95 in fact. Now I have completed every one of them. I am not really a completionist and generally only complete games that I love or that are easy. This ones falls into the love category. I love the many achievements as they just kept me coming back to the game. They are not hard, some oare time consuming but they are quite nicely balanced in the way you keep getting them throughout the game at fairly regular intervals. Some are very fun, Dastardly is an achievement for abducting a woman, hogtie and palce them on the tracks for the forthcoming game. A great way to install an old western legend into the modern game.

A fun game to 100% but I reckon it took me over 100 hours. However someone who plays and just goes for achievements in the fastest method would be able to do it a lot faster, 50 hours I would say if you go for it but you'll miss so many of the elegant little details that make up this game.

I will end this review by saying that pound for pound, hour for hour, this is the best experience on the 360. I haven't even gone into the awesome DLC that is the undead nightmare, that is fitting for another review but is a great extension.

If you haven't played it then I suggest you go saddle up and ride off into the sunset.clap
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Wildboy Wiley
392,268 392,268 GamerScore
Wildboy Wiley
TA Score for this game: 1,958
Posted on 15 August 10 at 03:18, Edited on 23 August 10 at 18:02
This review has 27 positive votes and 9 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Red Dead Redemption, the newest game from Rockstar Games, the company that created the all-but-famous Grand Theft Auto series....How does this game compare and differ to its succeeding game? Let's take a walk on the wild side and find out.

Story:The story is like this. The game takes place on the bordering states of Texas and Mexico. You are John Marston, being forced to work for the government to catch a gang of bandits who you used to role with, but no longer. You need to bring them to justice, as the government is holding your family hostage. Will you betray your gang and defend your family or go back to your old ways of the life of crime?

Gameplay (Singleplayer): Gameplay in Red Dead Redemption's Singleplayer is very comparable to that of Grand Theft Auto IV. You travel from person to person getting a mission, completing it, and moving to the next mission. Aside from the main story, there are four optional challenge side quests you can complete, different outfits to collect, and 5 different mini-games you can play.

The gameplay of Red Dead Redemption is solid. Occasionally you will be met with the random chop-up, but at most times, it is absent, and you are left with a beautiful world and a smooth solid frame rate. Some problems also mess with gameplay, such as terrible horse A.I., a clunky lock-on targeting system, and a cover system that looks like it could help, but at most times doesn't.

Sound: Not much to say about this category. Sound has everything you would want, a spectacular soundtrack, phenomenal voice acting, and some spectacular weapon sounds. Not much else you could say or want.

Multiplayer: The Multiplayer in Red Dead Redemption in my opinion is a falling spiral for the game. Everything else being almost perfect, the multi-player experience has to many problems.

The first problem is the radar. You can run when playing by holding the [A] button down, as cool as this is for the big maps, it's actually a punishing offense. if you choose to run around the map, you're revealed to your enemies as a dot on their radar. This in my opinion is very idiotic, if anything, the thing that should be shown on radar is people that are CAMPING, not people who are moving around.

The second problem with multi-player is the spawns. A lot of the maps are rather large, with that being said, why are the spawns so...bad? Countless times (literally) I've been spawned right next to an enemy who immediately kills me again, due to a lack of spawn protection. How can I expect to stay alive when all I do when I spawn is just die again?

The final problem is easily solvable, but is still a problem for newbies. That is the low level weapons. The pistol you get to start with is so underpowered and slow that the only way you could possibly kill an enemy is by stealing a teammates or another enemies kill. What's even worse, is even when aiming for the head, it takes 4 - 5 shots of that pistol to kill an enemy.....

Other than that, the "Free Roam" in multi-player is somewhat fun, and can be very entertaining if you have friends to experience it with. Completing gang hideouts together or just completing challenges, it's up to you.

Achievements: The achievements in Red Dead Redemption are very balanced. You have a well amount of Single and Multi player achievements. Not only that, you have continued DLC releasing that expands gameplay with new features and NEW ACHIEVEMENTS!

Overall, Red Dead Redemption is better than it's long living rival Grand Theft Auto 4. I say rival, as both games are made by Rockstar, so they both rival to see who will keep getting sequels.

Had the multi player not had the problems it has, it'd probably be a more enjoyable experience. Defintely dishing out $60.00 for this game is preposterous, buy the game used, play the single player, try the multi player, and if you don't like it, then return it.

4 Stars.

EDIT (Revision on 8/18/2010): Okay, so the Multiplayer isn't THAT bad, it's just my impatience that makes it seem that way. So I'm not used to playing a game where I can't run everywhere at anytime, like most Call of Duty games have made me into....

After playing the multiplayer for a couple days on the "Hold Your Own" "Gold Rush" "Capture the Bag" "Shootout and Gang shootout" game modes, I've decided to indict this revision, to boost up the score to 5 stars.

The multiplayer isn't bad, you just need to fight the urge to run, which is what a LOT of people are used to, running around constantly. It took me a while to overcome it, but once I did, I found getting killstreaks was not hard at all, and the overall basis of the multi player was fun.

I even got so into playing the multi player, I was able to finish the multi player achievements (Not including DLC) and finish Red Dead Redemption....

So I hereby change my original score of 4, to a 5.

5 Stars.
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LessrOf2Weevils
80,982 (46,695)
LessrOf2Weevils
TA Score for this game: 3,031
Posted on 17 October 10 at 18:29
This review has 20 positive votes and 6 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Okay, calling it Grand Theft Horse isn't entirely inaccurate, but is that really a bad thing? My answer would be, no.

You play John Marston, a simple rancher with a mysterious past just trying to eek out a living in what's left of the old West during the early part of the 20th century. For reasons to be revealed, you are compelled to help federal marshals hunt down an elusive criminal that you have had some dealings with. This is a very classic western tale set in a classic western environment, and Rockstar does its utmost to make the player feel like you feel like you've just walked into a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western. And guess what, they succeeded.

Like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption is a sprawling sandbox game giving you a large world in which to explore. Though not as teaming with detail and life as Liberty City, the south-west US and norther Mexico are still rendered with stunning fidelity. Weather and atmospheric effects are second only to Far Cry 2 from a couple of years ago. Yes, this is a game where you will stop to admire the sunsets.

The missions give you a lot do: from capturing banditos to herding cattle to playing poker. Though perhaps not quite as diverse as GTA4, the missions in the single player do start to grind a bit towards the end, and the characters don't shine quite like they do in GTA either. That said, it's still a rich and rewarding ride.

It's in the multiplayer that this game really shines. I don't think the multiplayer in GTA ever worked as well as it could have, but RDR makes up for that. The multiplayer experience starts in a 16 player Free Roam. From there you can posse up and participate in a variety of multiplayer activities: attacking NPC gang hideouts, working through coop missions, are participating in the usual fair of player versus player type games in both free for all and team modes. It's the shear variety that makes this work. Bored with PVP, then do a gang hideout or coop mission. Tired of that, maybe go hunting in Free Roam either for wild game or other players. The Free Roam also acts as a lobby of sorts, allowing players to feel each other out before deciding to play together. When you form posses, you can carry that posse with you as a team into the other multiplayer modes. It works exceedingly well.

All and all, Red Dead Redemption is the full package that everyone should check out. Easily, it is one of the best games of 2010.

Immersion: 4
Interface: 4
Game Play: 5
Challenge: 5
Fun: 5

Overall: 9.5/10
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Fiendish5022
101,544 (63,639)
Fiendish5022
TA Score for this game: 3,100
Posted on 05 October 12 at 21:11
This review has 8 positive votes and 8 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Red Dead Redemption is a wonderful video game. Rockstar has created a wonderfully realized western game with some borrowed GTA game mechanics. An excellent story, huge world and awesome voice acting and sound make this game a total package.

The game play of the game does borrow heavily from GTA. Instead of driving cars, horses are the transportation device. By the way, Red Dead has the best horse mechanics of any video game ever. Instead of shooting AK47s and other modern day guns, the Evans Repeater or a bowie knife are utilized. Where the game differentiates itself are the shootouts and Dead Eye mode. Players are able to slow down the world and take down enemies before they even know what's happening. This is a neat mechanic and, while it sort-of takes away from the realism of the world, it is still great fun.

Where Red Dead really shines is within the settings and characters. Any fans of the western genre will absolutely love this game. The animations are wonderful, the graphics are great. The characters seem ripped straight out of a Clint Eastwood or John Wayne film. Every major character has a great voice behind them.

On top of being a great looking game and a great playing game, this game has a whole lot of replay ability. Players can always play through the single player story again. But, there is also Undead Nightmare, a humorous and horrific DLC pack. In addition, the Red Dead multiplayer is extensive, allowing players to unlock new characters, mounts and level up.
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Paradigm42
31,871 (20,235)
Paradigm42
TA Score for this game: 2,120
Posted on 30 August 13 at 02:05
This review has 8 positive votes and 8 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Single-Player Campaign:
Red Dead Redemption is a lot like every other Rockstar game with its open-world sand-box and stellar mechanics. It is a little different in the aspect that there are no cars (horses instead) and the weapons are reasonable (not insane). Also, the allowance for ‘bad-behavior’ is very limited, which brings me to the critique of the story.
I did not think the story was particularly interesting or compelling. I really didn’t like John Marston (the protagonist). The game forces you to be a redemption-seeking do-gooder and fails to allow you the moral decisions that have been so prominent in other Rockstar entries. For instance, from the beginning you are aware that you are a married man.
*** Spoiler - click to reveal ***
. It would have been nice to, at least, face a decision that was player-driven regarding the fidelity of your character. This would not even be an issue, except the designers included tons of scenarios where temptation abounds and give you no discretion. All-in-all this is typical of the storyline, which is summarily linear and gives the player zero opportunity for alternative outcomes.
Like I said the mechanics are seamless in this entry, which is redeeming. However, the story-line is flat and given the lack of other interesting gaming motifs like puzzle-solving, RDR becomes a pretty average open-world 3rd person shooter.

Multiplayer:
The free-for-all and gang matches are boring in this game. There is a lack of depth that exists in other multiplayer shooters like weapon customization and perks. The free-roam, which is the fastest way to obtain experience, is so glitchy it’s virtually broken. Many times I went through gang-hideouts only to find that my last enemy was magically stuck in a rock. Unfortunately, if you don’t completely clear the hideout you get zip experience. Sometimes my horse would disappear and not come when called. Whether or not enemies showed up on the map was really hit or miss. Besides the programming issues there are also serious design flaws. There are many opportunities for trolls to run rampant (and they do).
I will say I enjoyed the co-op mode quite a bit. It was actually my favorite part of the whole game. It was a lot of fun and really took strategy and skill to get it right.

Achievements:

Most of the achievements were unlocked along the progression of normal gameplay, if you played to completion. However, being a huge game they do take a while to complete. So, if you are looking for a quick completion, this is definitely not the right game. I found the multiplayer achievements were much more difficult, but this may be exacerbated by the fact that I played this game 3 years after it came out and the online player base was dry at times.
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This review has 13 positive votes and 16 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
This game is so awesomly good.

How rockstar combined GTA style combat with the wild west, is be beyond fantastic. The graphics are the best a game can get. Of course i have had a few glitches but graphics wise you cant get much better than this.

Game Play wise you will get tons of game play out of this with the leveling on the online multiplayer, to acheiving 100% on the single player campaign.

The acheivements are not to difficult, and then again not to hard, so anyone looking for a easy 1000G, might not want this game just for points.

The storyline is superb, as it sees you play as John Marston, an ex gang member seeking his former gang members and leader to catch them for the law. You take part in many missions for various characters. Some weird and some brilliant.

Even after the story is finished, you have loads left to do including the mini games, online, jobs, gang hideouts, propertys, aquiring costumes, starngers.

Overall a brilliant game even for people who might not normally be interested in wild west.
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enosjr123
87,992 (49,443)
enosjr123
TA Score for this game: 3,100
Posted on 06 August 11 at 05:58
This review has 4 positive votes and 10 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Red Dead Redemption is the Western gun shooting game of all time. This game is amazing both in-game action, story and soundtrack. This is a must have for anyone who loves western games and thinks that all western games are the same. Here we are with Red Dead Redemption.

This game has it all, challenging single player and as well a rich multiplayer experience that will have any normal or hardcore player coming back for more.

Lots of achievements to get and work on with your friends and even meet new ones.

If you dont have this game yet too bad, you need to go out and buy it. For those of use who have the game and love it, send me a message and would love to join any game and help anyone get an achievement.

95-95 achievements I have and loved every minute that I played the game. I bought the game when it first came out and have played it the whole time. Buy this game and I promise you wont be sorry for such a lush enviornment and a game that will blow you away.

Enosjr123 Hit me up!!!!!!
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Brasshande
698,640 (454,745)
Brasshande
TA Score for this game: 1,885
Posted on 08 January 11 at 23:52
This review has 11 positive votes and 17 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
A short but sweet RDR review from me, take Grand Theft Auto IV, reskin it to the period at the end of the wild west and add an excellent, well thought out storyline. Bounty hunting, animal hunting, shoot outs, gambling side games, horse riding, all of your childhood cowboy dreams can be played out in Red Dead Redemption. Believe the hype about his one, it is without a doubt one of the best games ever made. An absolutely superb game, and the finest release of 2010 in my opinion, and in a year where Assassins Creed: Brotherhood was also released, that's no faint praise. And that's before you add on the excellent Undead Nightmare DLC pack which adds a whole new level of zombie killing fun on to an already amazing game. If you don't own this then you are really missing out.
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