132 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Immersion Taken To A New Level, 24 May 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars
To put this review in context, I've been looking forward to Red Dead Redemption for a long time: it's the only game I've ever pre-ordered. And I am glad I did, because not only is this one of the strongest contenders for Game Of The Year, but it may even be one of (that's 'one of', for the Ocarina fans) the greatest games ever made.
Graphics - Incredible, simply incredible. To call this game beautiful is a disgraceful understatement. Besides Final Fantasy XIII, I can't think of many games which better RDR's graphics, and considering the sheer size of the map and the possible number of enemies duelling onscreen at one time that's a huge achievement. From everything to cacti in the desert to the muscles of the horses you ride, everything looks exactly as you'd imagine it to. This is life in the old west brought to life. Besides camera angles, the cut-scenes and gameplay are almost indistinguishable, and the characters look pretty damn realistic (like a great film, you can tell what the characters are thinking just by looking at their facial expressions and body language). In short, this a beautiful, beautiful game.
Sound - Perfect. Graphics may improve, gameplay may improve, but I honestly couldn't see how the soundtrack to this game could be any better. You really become immersed in the game when you have the traditional Spaghetti Western style music playing as you ride after outlaws in the desert. I was worried that having that kind of music in the game would make it seem cheesy or fake, but it really does add a sense of atmosphere. The voice-acting is also superb, as is now standard for Rockstar games. The greatest moment so far was a flash and the sound of thunder during a storm, causing all the horses outside the saloon to whinny and struggle against their hitchings in fright.
Length - This is a long game. Besides the main story mode, which is a good 20 hours by itself, there is a huge number of side activities to engage in. Hunting, breaking in horses, poker, duelling, horseshoes, blackjack, Liar's Dice, bounty hunting, stagecoach-robbing (or saving, if you come across one being attacked), challenges, collecting outfits... The list really does go on, and you'll be entertained by this for a long time.
Gameplay - The meat of any game, and I've saved the best till last. From riding horses to hunting outlaws, there really is a vast number of things to do. This variation ensures the experience never gets repetitive, and it really is just mind-blowing. The controls are great, and although the horse riding takes a little getting used to, you come to realise that there is no better way to ride a horse and shoot outlaws at the same time. And the attention to detail is awesome, in the true sense of the word. It's satisfying to blow someone off horseback with a shotgun, only to find that their foot becomes stuck in the stirrups as their horse rides away in fright, or when you lasso a wanted criminal and drag them to the Sheriff's office at high speed on your horse. There are a few glitches in the game, and occasional slowdown, but this really doesn't detract from the experience and happens so infrequently that it's barely worth mentioning.
Without a doubt MY now favourite game, I'm sure this will be many people's opinion in the coming weeks. I cannot stress enough how much you need to buy it. Happy trails!