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4.6 out of 5 stars
Red Dead Redemption (PS3)
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195 of 206 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2010
Let me just start by saying game is better than I first expected, simply because open world free-roam games are nothing new anymore, particularly from rockstar and personally I feel that the GTA series has really reached the end because there isn't really much scope left for another game. Rockstar possibly feel the same way, so they have been putting all their heart into their latest game - Red Dead Redemption.

We get to follow the life of John Marston, an ex-member of Bill Williamson's gang of outlaws. John is out to settle his differences with his ex partner in crime, Bill, to prevent bad things happening to his family. John discovers that Bill Williams has traveled to Mexican territory which is being fought over by the Mexicn army and insurgent rebels. John has many choices in this game, whether he sides with the outlaws, lawmen, rebels, or innocents is entirely up to you. The game has different paths for you to take so it isn't entirely a one direction storyline.

It is the same platform and layout that were used to all the way back from GTAIII only everything has changed for the better. We now have an epic open world western/horse riding/gun slinging game, which is such a refreshing change. If you are a fan of rockstar's previous games then you should really enjoy this even if you (like myself) aren't a big fan of westerns.

The controls are very similar to GTA and so is the camera so i needn't discuss them too deeply as you're already more than likely familiar with them. But they're the typical aim and shoot, tap x to sprint and hold x to accelerate your horse, the usual really.

The graphics are beautiful, rockstar have really hit the nail on the head with this game. The characters, clothing, environments, animals, buildings etc are all top notch, and some of the views in the game are simply stunning. When standing on a cliff edge looking into the sea whilst the sun sets is very picturesque. There are many nice little features like skinning animals, searching areas and completing small tasks to acquire scraps of clothing for new outfits. You can even herd and capture wild horses then break them in to become your own.

The online side is quite a nice touch, I haven't ventured too far into it but you have plenty of characters to choose from and basically there are loads of other players free roaming in the same area as you. Whether you choose to side together or blow each others heads off is entirely up to you, i felt that everybody was trying to kill me on sight though which was a little off putting. The single player is the main highlight of this game but when that is complete the online will be the next challenge for you no doubt.

Overall this game is so well thought out and it's nice to say it hasn't been over hyped. I think most players of this game will enjoy it thoroughly and really get into the whole storyline and characters, who, by the way have excellent voice talent capturing their personalities perfectly. There is SO much to do that it will keep you entertained for months, and it is a title that you will want to keep in your collection for as long as possible.

Graphics 9/10 - not many games look better than this
Sound 10/10 - perfect atmosphere, gun fire effects and voice talent.
Controls 9/10 - almost spot on, though i would have changed just a couple of things.
Game play 10/10 - as good as it's gonna get when it comes to free roam games.
Life span 10/10 0 tonnes and tonnes to do, with the added online. Endless hours of entertainment.

Thanks for reading.
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85 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2010
His family held captive till he captures or kills the members of a posse of outlaws he used to ride with - one thing's for sure John Marsten ain't exactly having a good time. Let's hope you can don his dusty boots and help him out...one way or another.
So begins the long - very, very long - road through what has to be one of the most awe inspiring open world adventures I have ever had the honour to be a part of. Now, fair enough, I've broken the cardinal rule of reviewing by blowing my beans too soon as far as my opinion of the game goes, but I'm sure after a few hours playing this you too will be entranced - also many, many, reviews have already waxed on over the merits of the game so I am merely here to back up these claims of grandeur, and hopefully push a few more people one step closer to this stunning recreation of the wild old west.

THE GOOD:
- Quality, people, quality: this game reeks of it from the second you step into your first dust bowl town to your 30th gun fight with some grizzly looking miscreant.
- Graphically this is where it's at. The draw distance and vistas that accompany it are worth the asking price alone. Every effect you could hope for is flying around in some form or another and the texture work is fantastic. All in all it goes to create one of the moST solid and cohesive feeling game worlds ever made.
- The music is minimalist and haunting. Whistles and other spaghetti western accompaniments are thrown around with style but are never overbearing.
- The other audio work is equally stunning. Townsfolk greet you in their old west drawl, animals call in the distance and your guns hammer the speakers as they hammer another head clean off its shoulders. Very nice stuff.
- Controls are tight and innovative. Holding down the run button when on horseback to keep a steady pace with your companions is a stroke of genius that should have been implemented in games long ago. The cover system is tight and aiming is niether too loose nor too stiff meaning you'll be spraying brains all over the dessert in no time at all.
- Missions are varied and interesting, plus there are tons of them, this is one immense game. Hunt bounties, follow the story, help townsfolk, hunt wild animals and find outfits by collecting their various parts all over the west - I could go on but I don't want to ruin any suprises. Plus if all that isn't already enough the Rockstar Social Club features new missions with the promise of more to come, now I wouldn't expect this stuff to stay free forever but right now this is the game that keeps on giving, and giving and giving!
- Characters are interesting and fill out what so far seems to be a great yarn (12 hours in - I got it early, don't judge me!)
- All the little extras really add atmosphere to the proceedings - stuff like being able to buy a newspaper and read stories with your antics in it (amongst the humorous adverts and clues to interesting places and quests), the little movies in the movie theatre, being able to camp in the wilds and being able to prop up the bar at your local saloon all go hand in hand in adding authenticity to an already great experience.
- I spent around 3 hours getting from one town to another - not because it's a pain to get thier because you can fast travel, but then you would miss my point and some of the finest things RDR has to offer. I met tons of strangers with requests, went hunting, partook in a hostage situation (that went badly for me) and even bought up some property. This is not a big old map of nothing but rock and cactus, there is tons to do and exploration is just plain fun.
- I am officially hooked on the horseshoes mini game and that is just one of many - i'm positive you'll find one (if not more) to whittle away the hours on!

THE BAD:
- It's massive, if you're looking for a quick blast this isn't it - this is a life drainer - prepare to draw the blinds and abandon those you love. I personally see this as a very good point, bang for your buck an all that, but this review is for everyone and if you where expecting a 10 hour jaunt through americas harsh lands like in the first Red Dead then think again.
- People with an extreme aversion to the wild west or cowboys best steer clear.

THE UGLY TRUTH:
This is the good stuff, boys and girls, I loved the original Red Dead but this kicks its mangy hide outta town, and then some. Fantastic on so many levels it just has to be experienced. I truly can't recommend this enough so saddle on up and nip out to your local games store right now (or buy it right here - - - oops!).
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2010
I wanted to write an honest review and this will be exactly what you get.

Ordered Friday and arrived on the Saturday next day as promised.

Weekend then gone. I have no idea what I did from about 11.30am...the wife went somewhere and returned and I can honestly say I can't remember eating. By the end of the Saturday ...(no idea what time this was, but I remember having familiar, but forgotten feelings of aching hands...) I checked the progress meter and saw I had completed 1% of the game, probably because I had become distracted by riding around the enormous visually beautiful landscape shooting things and gathering herbs which whilst important in some respects of the game, actually count very little towards the great scheme (the overall percentage of completeness.......)

There is sooo much to do in this game, its huge. I played single player as I knew I needed to give 100% attention to the control system whilst there was still a computer up against me, that I could be sure I could beat, before briefly attempting multi-player, which looks great but immediately intimidated me as I kept getting snipered by a 5 year old in Japan before I could get of my donkey (where the hell did all my ammo and horse go???)

Back to single player and whilst not playing every night ( i have a job and a wife and 2 very demanding children), almost 4 weeks later I am now killing bears and wiping out species of buffalo, that roamed majestically across the plains of the new world before I and other psychotic cowboys decimated the herds, just to skin them where they lay after shooting them 34 times (just to make sure as when you play and see the bloody mountain lions or cougars which pop from nowhere and kill you before you can PRESS DEAD EYE!!!!!!!!!!!

I now have to come up with excuses why I have moved the PS3 from the small 50" TV to the bigger 60" - this proved hard but I managed to blag it by telling the wife that we could watch "dvd's" on the PS3...

Luckily she bought it and I was able to become a Cowboy (a dream since very early on in life) and its great...I am now thinking of ways to build a life on the homestead minus distractions of woman and kids and mortgages...

Bottom line?

Escape to your fantasy...its fun, its a great story and it will make you come back. I promise.

Bargain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2012
How often have you re-experienced a fondly remembered TV program, film or game from the past, only to be disapponted? Well I loaded this up again for the first time in a couple of years and if anything it feels even better than when it first came out. For me, the sheer escapism of roaming the open countryside with immersive scenery, weather and soundtrack is a great way to de-stress after the pressures of work. The journeys between settlements are perhaps a bit too eventful, but it's only a game after all. Homage is paid to a lot of great Western films, which I hope will bring a knowing smile to your face as it did mine.

Sadly, the TV networks in the UK don't bother organising a themed series of weekly films anymore. Sometimes I still find myself scanning the channel guide on Sunday nights, somehow hoping to find Moviedrome has returned to expand my mind again. Occasionally the genre or 10 minute introduction didn't interest me, but trusting the judgement of the creators, I was never disappointed. This is how I discovered many of my favourite films, which I would never otherwise have seen. But with more choice now available, we seem inclined only to choose things we already think we would like.

And so it is with Red Dead Redemption. Even if you're not drawn to the Western theme I dare you not to like this. It's an adults only affair with lots of shooting, women screaming, hanging, swearing, more shooting and lots of killing on all sides. Interested? The storyline wouldn't make the bestseller list as a standalone book, but that's really not the point with this one. You can almost feel the trail dust sticking to your clothes and getting in your eyes and mouth as you weave your horse along a cactus lined track on your way to some god forsaken town. You are the star of the film. At the current price, you really don't need to give it much thought - be decisive and just do it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2010
A friend of mine recommended this to me and I'm addicted! This game is more addictive than anything you can imagine. I have played an hour or so of the main story mode which is graphically amazing with great cut scenes and great voice-over acting (nothing hammy or over-acted like in some games).
The main story introduces you to key characters, the main story line and the controls. I'd love to write more about the main story but I can't as I am spending 4-5 hours a night playing the online mode.
The online mode is a massive free roam with up to 16 players in any session. You can play Friendly (you can't be shot or harmed by other players in the session), Normal or Hardcore.
Within any session, you can be an individual, join a posse or form a posse. I prefer to be part of a posse. The posse leader marks on the map where he wants everyone to go and everyone in the posse has a light blue 'route' appear that you can follow to the next objective/target. There are hideouts to clear out (for which you are rewarded with experience to level up), objectives to achieve to advance your character (these are numerous and in different categories such as Survivalist - collecting different plants, Sharpshooter - skills with guns, Hunter - killing different animals, Outlaw - achieving a specific bounty total on your head, Lawman - clearing out different combinations of hideouts).
Personally, I like to clear a few hideouts with a posse and then storm into the nearest town and shoot the place up. Your bounty rises with each lawman/citizen you kill. The lawmen are never ending so it's only a matter of time before you a brought to justice but it's great fun being able to be both good and bad within the game.
There is some stunning scenery and the hideouts are very varied from Hacienda's in Mexico, to ranches and fort's in the US.
I'm not a master with game controls but found these easy to pick up so would highly recommend this game to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's hard to add any more superlatives to this brilliant game which im sure will be on most peoples top 5 games of the year list (though this should be a shoe in for the top 3 given what a poor yr its been for games so far!!)

This isn't a game you'll knock off in a weekend,even if your a hardcore gamer and sit on your PS3 all day you still won't do this game in a couple of days..it's that long ! This is a real value for money game, not like those lame C.O.D games that take you about 5 hrs to complete..this is the real deal! Now im not a hardcore gamer and can leave my PS3 alone for a few days at a time but this still took me the best part of 4 months to complete! but i did do virtually everything this game had to offer,all missions,side missions,extras etc.

The story is fantastic and the game has so much to offer,you can easily just immerse yourself here like it was a real place,you can do anything,become a killer or take the right path and do good. The side missions are just as good a lot of the time as the main story one's so id recommend you do those too.

The game is hugely expansive with a massive map to explore,the map is based in 3 sections which open up as the story progress's, the graphics are superb and the voice work is excellent,especially the actor who voices john marsden. Its a wonder why dubbed films cant get people of this calibre!

There are some annoyances here and there, bumping into people either on foot or by horse can end badly for you..i was just about to complete a mission when i accidentally bumped into someone in the street and i suddenly became a wanted fugitive!..really annoying !. That said all these are nitpicks really.

Red dead redemption is one of the best games i think i have ever played on any console or format. The story is great with some nice twists and turns along the way,especially towards the end,superb graphics,gameplay..the list is endless. BUYTHIS GAME NOW !!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2010
Firstly, I decided to write this in case there were Red Dead Revolver players out there who won't touch this because of it's predecessor. I found Revolver to be a pleasant enough diversion, but not a serious game. In fact I never finished it because the last gunfight was ridiculously difficult. But Red Dead Redemption is a totally different game; infinitely better.

I won't go into the mechanics of the game, enough reviewers have done that. I've compared this to GTA4 (because the game mechanics are so similar), a game which was in my opinion, a total letdown. There was nothing to like about the hero or any of the other game characters, which made it difficult to get enthusiastic about 'helping' him. In fact most of us would probably cheer when Nico dies if it wasn't a game. Red Dead Redemption has John Marston, a pseudonym I think for 'The Man With No Name' of the spaghetti westerns of the 70's (starring who else but Clint). When you get to Mexico you even pick up a poncho so you end up looking just like Clint in 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'.

My only criticism is that the scenery can be so stunning that you miss things on your 'radar'. I've even stopped during the game just to take in the view. You start off in a 'Bonanza' style farmland, moving on to Arizona desert. The 'Monument Valley' area is wonderful and the view over the river in parts resembles the Grand Canyon. Strange that this bit is in Mexico. The other problem with having such beautiful scenery is that it distracts you away from the abundant wildlife that is always ready to take a chunk out of you.

Excellent story (I'm about two thirds through) with some extremely amusing bits. I told my wife that I was collecting flowers for a chap who wanted them for his darling wife (I know - Clint Eastwood collecting flowers?). She thought this was really romantic but... I'm not going to spoil it, wait and see.

As a one time horse owner, I'm very impressed with the movement and 'intelligence' of the horses in the game. If you stop to admire the view, your horse takes the opportunity for a grass break. If you dismount without hitching, your steed may occasionally decide to give you a hard time and make you chase him (very true to life that).

The storms are very atmospheric, especially if you have surround sound. The first time I got into a storm it scared my young son (who loves watching this game), but with 5.1 blaring out the thunder you almost feel like you're getting wet too.

I have to say that I started playing computer games on the good old Spectrum so I've played a few games before, but this is without doubt the best game I've ever played.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I'm not usually a fan of wild west games, purely because the wild west doesn't particularly interest me. I bought this game, partially on impulse and partially because of the good reviews.

I can thankfully say that this game is a LOT better than I expected, I got it on saturday morning and then spent almost the entire day playing it. It's one of those games where time really does get sucked into a black hole and before you know it, hours have passed!

I like to split my reviews into pros and cons so here goes:

Pros:

1. There is an unbelievable amount to do in this game, from free roaming , random side missions, requests for help, mini games, main missions and just generally causing havoc.
2. The mini games are not just useless fillers, they are actually quite good fun in their own right. I particularly enjoy horseshoe throwing and liar's dice.
3. The graphics are outstanding. The in game graphics are very good but where the graphics shine is when you look at the scenary in the distance. Especially when it rains, the sky and clouds look just like they do in real life, you could almost be watching a film rather than playing a game.
4. The dialogue is very well done. You can sometimes have to travel a long distance while on missions and you are usually travelling with another character. During these sequences, there is a lot of dialogue but again this does not seem like filler, it is entertaining and usually gives more detail as to the story.
5. The gameplay is brilliant, with lots of variety. You can be shooting bad guys in one mission, racing in the next and hearding cattle in the next.
6. The cover system is very well implemented and the variety of weapons means that you do need to choose carefully i.e. some weapons are slow but great for power and long range whereas other guns are quick but not as powerful so very good for dealing with multiple enemies at close range.
7. The deadeye system is great fun and the introduction of the lasso gives you the option of non-fatally shooting a bad guy then capturing him alive for a bigger reward.
8. The horse riding system is very well done, especially the addition of a system where you can keep pace with your companion simply by pressing and holding X

Cons:

1. The aiming system is a little inconsistent. In order to lock onto a bad guy, you need to press the aim button when pointing in his general direction, this may or may not lock onto him. In order to lock onto another bad guy, you have to release the button and press it again, which is slow and a bit cumbersome, especially when on horseback.
2. The horses are very hard to control, they always want to turn the wrong way and sometimes walk right off cliffs! They also run a mile away as soon as you get off them, meaning you have to whistle and then wait for them to run back to you. This is not only annoying but if you are in the middle of a gun fight it can get you killed!
3. It is difficult to control the horse at low speeds.
4. The missions along the general story path all seem a bit pointless until you get to certain ones like obtaining weapons etc. A lot of them are obvious excuses to meet new characters which then become useful later down the line. While necessary to further the story later on, at the time the missions feel a bit out of place.
5. While not necessarily a con depending on your point of view, the game is obviously based on grand theft auto 4, with the same controls, similar graphics/character design etc. That being said, it is a lot smoother than grand theft auto 4 and each of the obviously copies mechanics have been polished.

So, all in all, a very good game even if you don't particularly like westerns! If you liked grand theft auto and aren't adverse to riding horses rather than driving cars, give this one a go!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2011
This is easily the best game I have played (and am still playing three months on). Though there is a mission - to hunt down your former gang in order to protect your family from the law (!) - this almost an aside. There is so much to do in the vast expanses of the Wild West and Mexico that it is easy to forget the mission. The fun is in the day to day living. Making a bit of money from hunting, gambling, rescuing damsels in distress, returning stolen horses, bounty hunting, looting bodies if desperate and even picking flowers. You have to avoid dangerous wild animals, snakes and ambushes. There are plenty of side games mostly involving ridding towns or areas of different gangs but you build up a vast array of weapons to achieve this and these goals are relatively easy to achieve (which I like). You do your buying and selling in town stores and can buy accommodation in various locations in which to bed up, or you have your handy tent for nights in the wild. You have limitless horses but can buy better ones -and they do get attacked by wolves or shot or crash into rocks quite often.

The game has everything. The graphics are so good that I can spend sessions just exploring the country finding the highest points and taking in the views which are stunning by day and often more so under a starry night sky. I have spent sessions just taking train or stagecoach journeys to view the scenery and perhaps try to pot the odd rabbit. In short the game is very theraputic and will accomodate all moods - take a bounty challenge if you feel like a bit of action, have a few drinks in a saloon and then try and make it to your room - very tricky. I am sure I will have to finish the game at sometime but have no desire to do so at present preferring to live day to day in this stunning environment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2010
This is an open world experiance not to be missed. Ive always been a fan of Rockstar id even go as far as saying they are my favourite games developer. Ive always loved there attention to detail, brilliant gameplay and witty humour. This game delivers on all them levels. Lets talk about the detail. Every square inch of this game is packed with it. Wether your crossing the desert plains or riding through a busy old town theres always something to look at or something to do. The world around you is alive. Theres always something happening which keeps the player from getting bored, you could be minding your own business then suddenly hear a screem coming from some poor victem needing help, you can either stop and interveen or just walk on by. The choices in this game are endless which gives the player a huge sense of freedom. Theres plenty of side missions to keep you entertained if you dont fancy playing the campaign at times. Plenty of animals to hunt and places to visit to keep you playing for hours. Overall this is a brilliant game i could write about it for hours but i suggest you try it for yourselves.
5/5
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