on 24 May 2010
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!
on 22 March 2013
This game is so good that I literally don't know what to say..or even where to begin. You play as John Marston, an ex criminal who wants to go straight and enjoy the country lifestyle with his son and wife, only to be dragged back into his gunslinging ways by the Federal Bureau to hunt down his former gang members. Grand Theft Auto set in 1911 border states is a pretty good description of the game lay out in general, although the storytelling and characters run deeper than any Rockstar title to date.
This is the only game i've ever played where i've felt an emotional connection with the protagonist. I wanted him to do well, I wanted him to see his family and kill the bad guys, rarely do you even care in the slightest for these virtual beings, but in this case I did. For a game that was released 3 years ago, it could easily be a future release as the graphics are so high quality. The detail in this game is incredible, If you're a sadistic person in video games such as myself, tying people up with the rope, laying them on train tracks or shooting them will have you giggling for hours. Prepare to be blown away by what could quite possibly be, the greatest game thus far.
I might add that the Undead Nightmare expansion pack is like a whole new game and is definitely worth buying for such a cheap price. Imagine completing the story, running around for hours and hours messing around shooting stuff, getting bored (unlikely) and then turning on Undead Nightmare to experience it all again...with Zombies!!
on 18 January 2011
The only reason I decided I should purchase this game was because it was made by rockstar, and in my experience rockstar games fail to disappoint, and once again, they released a game, I thoroughly enjoyed. The missions were top notch onece again, the story was top notch, everything was really good in the game, maybamee except for the excessive amounts of horse riding, but once you get over that hurdle, you have a huge gaming world to experience, stumbling on people needing your help, finding gangs to kill, or just exploring. It was all there for you to do. This game still keeps me pre occupied everytime I play it and makes me want to get the Undead Nightmare Add on, especially the way they have tried to link that with this game.
Overall I think this game is definately worth a purchase, as long as you don't get fed up of riding horses. A good game.
on 13 January 2015
Smoking revolvers. A silhouetted cowboy on horseback. Drinking whiskey in a saloon. All evocative images etched into our minds from classic western films that until now have not been replicated in video games as thoroughly as Red Dead Redemption. Call of Juarez came close; Gun had the right ingredients but Red Dead Redemption is the complete western package.
But before that came 2004’s Red Dead Revolver. Primarily an arcade shooter in the third-person perspective, similar to Max Payne, Red Dead Revolver offered western escapades in a fantastical world inspired by quintessential western films such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and The Wild Bunch. Or rather, Red Dead Revolver remade the most famous scenes from those movies with a basic story connecting the various playable protagonists. Rockstar San Diego even licensed the great music from spaghetti westerns by composers such as Ennio Morricone and Luis Enríquez Bacalov. Red Dead Revolver had shown promise with its stylistic flair and glorified violence but didn’t deliver the grand western experience on the scale of Grand Theft Auto.
Rockstar San Diego has now developed a sequel, or spiritual successor, to shift the Red Dead franchise from an arcade arena shooter into an instant classic.
Red Dead Redemption begins as a steamboat and train ride through the civilisation of Blackwater to the savage lands of Cholla Springs. The year is 1911 and the old west is experiencing revolution. Railroads are cropping up everywhere with farming and Native American land being swallowed up by wealthy businessmen. John Marston is a former outlaw forced into despair as his wife and son are held as collateral by the FBI to spur Marston to hunt down and kill his former partners from Dutch’s gang. What follows is a story that fulfils its title and bears resemblance to western tales through an array of locales. From humble farming towns to sleazy, decadent towns, Red Dead Redemption offers a complete suite of classic western terrains.
The missions are varied and the characters are compelling, leading Marston on a journey to trail his targets, aid the needy and redeem his former life from the cold mountains of Tall Trees to the harsh deserts of Mexico. And on the way, there are many dead ends.
In keeping with Rockstar tradition, Red Dead Redemption is a third-person shooter. Set in a fictional representation of Western United States and Mexico in the early 20th century, the game is open-world with the player using horseback, trains and wagons to travel across the landscape. Marston uses an arsenal of vintage weapons from the time that feel powerful but realistically inaccurate and slow-firing. Marston can improve his shooting skills by completing ambient challenges such as sharpshooting a specific amount of targets in a specific fashion. The same can be done for hunting animals to increase Marston’s hunter/gatherer skills. Among the many animals are predators that pose a threat to Marston including bears, cougars and wolves that can attack with a one hit kill. Marston can also pick flowers to increase his survivalist skills but this neither offered a fun activity nor benefited the player in the long term.
One survivalist skill that would’ve been useful is the ability to swim seeing as this has been implemented in all Rockstar games since Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Marston has also inherited Red’s, from Red Dead Revolver, dead eye ability, which acts as a bullet time to take down enemies. This ability evolves from moving the reticule over the target, similar to Red Dead Revolver, to aiming and selecting specific targets on multiple enemies, a skill coached by Landon Ricketts, a former gunslinger turned civil protector. Horses help traversing the beautiful scenery more swiftly with detailed animations of the horse’s muscles flexing. The player manages a stamina bar to keep the horse at a steady pace but work the damn nag too hard and it’ll buck you off. Domesticated horses can be bought but wild horses can be broken by lassoing the horse and rodeo riding it until the horse calms down. The lasso can also be used to capture and hog-tie people, either to be used as a non-lethal way of catching criminals and bounties or, for the cynical, by placing the enemies on train tracks.
Random encounters occur regularly whilst travelling that help flesh out the world into something that is living and breathing. This is all accompanied by a dynamically playing soundtrack, which crescendos in combat and mellows when exploring. Composed by Woody Jackson, the score uses period instruments that reflect not only the player’s action but also emulate the current location of the player. Red Dead Redemption has a gorgeous day and night cycle with dynamically changing weather although there seems to be less daylight hours than there should be. Duals return from Red Dead Revolver and are almost a carbon copy. The player raises their pistol from their holster when the bell rings, targets specific areas on the enemy before gunning them down or disarming them. The mechanic is exactly the same as it was in Revolver, down to the music, sound effects and camera angles. The only difference being the ability to disarm certain opponents.
The player can stop off in several saloons and theatres to unwind by playing cards, drinking and gambling his fingers away with mini-games such as five finger fillet or arm wrestling. Marston is a faithful man however and cannot engage with the whores of the west but is happy to loot a dead body here and there.
The graphics are exquisite with great lighting, detailed textures and smooth and realistic animations. The voice acting is captivating, the guns sound antique but punchy and the soundtrack is deeply resonant. Rockstar seal of quality again. No hope for it to come to PC unfortunately but surely the third game addresses this and also sets the time period earlier in American history. Maybe during the Civil War with Landon Ricketts as the protagonist. ‘Red Dead Rifle’ perhaps?
Red Dead Redemption is the best western game of all time. It conjures up all the charm and beauty of a classic western film but innovates and puts its own stamp on the genre.
on 14 July 2013
Red Dead Redemption. By now most people will be familiar with this open-world, sandbox Western from Rockstar. The only word to describe the experience of playing this game is "sublime". Playing the character of John Marston, a former outlaw, you will take in an epic story set in 1911, at the time when the old west was coming to an end, and the new world was beginning. The game could just have been filled with all the usual Western clichés, and it is, but the story is engaging, and ultimately brave at the conclusion. What is most satisfying though is how immersive an experience it is. The open world map is vast, and really gives the feel of the old west, with different landscapes depicting the great plains, ravines, brittle brush, then north into Colorado's snowy mountains and icy lakes, before coming south to the white heat of the Mexican deserts. Filled with things to do such as bounty hunting, side missions, challenges, treasure hunts, saloon games, people to help at the roadside etc, the game is so much more than the story mission. Then there's the frontiersman side-quests, where you have to become a trapper and hunter of racoons, coyote, wolves, bears and other typical western fauna. Or become a ranch-owner and patrol your home, break in new horses and herd cattle. There is an honour system, so your good deeds get you noticed, and your bad deeds will make you an outlaw, with a price on your head. The gameplay is great, and really fluid. Riding horses is a joy, and trotting them across the wilderness leaves you really feeling you're in a western. Gunfights are superb, and the "dead-eye" mode is pretty good, where time slows down so you can take down your foe in glorious sepia.
This is the definitive Western game, and there won't be one along to beat it for a long, long time.
on 27 November 2012
Gameplay: Okay, this game. THIS GAME, can keep you entertained for hours on end, the game simulates real help situations, there is poker, liar's dice, shoot-outs, gang wars, bounties, train robberies, think of anything in the old west, this game has got it. It's just awesome. The massive map is of course no surprise coming from Rockstar, when have you seen anything of theirs done small?
Display: I've seen better sunsets on here, sitting on my old stead upon Pike's Basin, then I have in real life. That's how amazing this display is. The sky and the dirt and just.. everything is amazing. If you suddenly stop your horse, or if you go extremely fast, there'll be a cloud of dust behind you, that's how detailed it is. The shadows in this game are some of the best also, by far a stunning show of what Rockstar can do with just an Old West setting.
Sound: The voice acting is stunning too, eispecially John Marston. He explains what's happened to him throughout the story, not in cutscenes, but while you're riding next to someone, or in a bar, it's just great. Listening to everyone else too like Bonnie Macfarlane, or just the local drunks is amusing. The amount of conversation you can overhear that's so funny is endless. There's just so much sound and music and it's just flat out stunning.
Multiplayer: Multiplayer, as you can expect, is also awesome. There's shootouts, free-roam, gang-wars with your posse and other posses, you can form alliances, do anything! Have a horse race, play Poker, share a drink, kill another player. The choice is yours! Multiplayer really is one of the best things Rockstar can do, and it does it in this so perfectly.
Plot: Only problem is with the plot, don't expect to finish it quickly. Like Rockstar always do, they make a good and long story. I won't give any of it away, nor the ending, but I must say I was glad to finish it and play all of it through, learning about John and feeling for him.
on 10 March 2012
well had the game a while and as a casual gamer I like a game that I can complete in my own time not rush through it. red dead redemption is perfect for this. not only does it have a vast amount of main story missions, there are plenty of side missions, activities and places to explore to keep even the tiniest attention span constantly occupied. From quests to help others to poker, blackjack and of course the obligatory getting drunk (which is hugely entertaining). In all honesty I wasnt sure I was going to get on with the game before I bought it but now I dont know what I'd do without it.
Music is extremely well chosen, particularly the Jose Fernandez song "far, far away" about halfway through the game which makes the journey to a new area quite emotional. But not as emotional as the ending and if you haven't heard about what happens I wont spoil the surprise but there is a twist.
With the music and surroundings and constant interaction with other characters, you really will feel as if you are part of the game. you can truly get attached to the characters.
The whole story line is executed excellently in a very believable and plausible manner. You will meet many new characters along the way, each crazier and more interesting than the last. There's plenty of humour to go along with the tragedy and you'll never know whats around the corner guaranteed.
If you havent got this game already, get it. you will not be disappointed. I have only one complaint and that was that it ended. Although you never can end truly as once the main storyline is complete you're free to roam the vast surroundings gambling and drinking your life away (on the game of course)
Of course thats only the single player, I havent even tried the multiplayer yet.
on 27 October 2011
Ok, so it's Red Dead Redemption- everyone's heard of it and it's classed as one of the games of the last 5 years that must be played. There are reviews out there that say this is not for everyone, but I challenge that, and believe that it really is.
This game is free roaming at its best, story mode missions at there best and characterisation at its ABSOLUTE best. Without spoiling the phenomenal plot, you play through the main story mission until completion and then any stranger missions/ outfit unlocks/ area missions or general roaming are free for you to complete in your own time, when, where and how you want to.
Interracting with characters in your spare time will unlock new weapons, cash or achievements which can be used throughout your travels. Money will buy you food, clothes, guns, maps and horses which can enhance your performance as a western icon.
Nothing in Red Dead Redemption is there just for looks. Everything from a passer- by in the field to the animals running around as you ride can be used to your advantage, or just to have a little fun. I can't stress enough that this game is truly exeptional, and should go down as the one of the best console creations in history. It's historically acurate, fast moving, stunning to look at and the gameplay is without so many usual niggles that there are many out there, including me, who call it perfect.
And, on top of all its perfection, Rockstar have created a varied level of difficulty that isn't overly frustrating but still gives gamers enough to keep them interested. The campaign is a joy to play, with just the right amount of challenge to excite us for ten or so hours, but the real challenge is getting to the games 100% completion mark. The campaign itself gets the figure to about 55%, the stranger missions around 20%, and little things like mini-game and outfit completion will finish the job. But it's not an easy ride!
So, overall, as you can tell if you've been good enough to read this far, I LOVE this game. Many pleasant nights have been spent (not wasted) playing this glorious creation as best I can, and for under £20 its an ABSOLUTE STEAL! Buy this, now!
on 12 May 2011
Red Dead Redemption is a sandbox style game in more ways than one. Set in 1911, you are John Marston, an old-fashioned cowboy and former outlaw in the dying days of the wild west. The government has kidnapped your wife and son, holding them ransom until you help them capture your former friend, Bill Williamson in order for you to be able get back to your family.
The gameplay is excellent. While I struggled with the vehicle handling in GTA 4, the handling of your horse is much easier and way more fun, even if some of the horses can be a little temperamental by not coming to you when you call them.
The majority of the main missions do consist of a particular formula: ride to a location and shoot a load of people. In that respect, the criticism of it being a bit repetitive is not unfounded. However, I found it immense fun and at no point did it get boring. Some of the side missions can be quite frustrating and did prompt me to throw the controller across the room on a few occasions.
The progress through the 3 different areas is well-paced, and at no point is the central story lost. I felt a certain sadness when I saw the title of one mission called "The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed" as I knew it would mean the end of the game. 100% completion is extremely difficult, though worth the effort.
I'd played Gun, I'd played Call of Juarez, but nothing compares to Red Dead Redemption for the sheer thrill of the Wild Wild West. Some will say this game is GTA on horses (it's not, it's REALLY not). Yes it uses similar mechanics and has a comparable mission objective style but it's completely new.
The main story is really engaging, as you progress through the game uncovering why it is you're there, and has some very unique fun characters. Voice acting is top notch (delve deep enough and you'll hear some funny one-liners). The ending is very memorable indeed but I won't spoil it. The main campaign is quite lengthy but there's also side missions; hunting (with a ton of different animals, deer, bears, cougars, buffalo) or just messing around shooting people.
The graphics are awesome. The landscapes cover the old tumbleweed blowin' western towns, the "modern" towns with cobbled streets, dusty mexican villages and rough snowy mountains. The landscapes change from sunset to sunrise, it's quite something.
Combat is a lot of fun. The dead-eye meter is nothing new if you've played other western games but it's always fun to slow things down and pick off guys in the distance. You get a lot of different weapons (hand guns, rifles, dynamite, fire bottles etc).
Can't recommend it enough.