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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
Platform: PlayStation 3|Change
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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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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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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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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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on 12 July 2010
Waht to say this game is fantastic ! So many different type of games included, so many different choices, open world is fantastic, multiplayer modes are incredible!!! gangs fights, posse creation, etc......a must to have !
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on 14 July 2010
I have been playing this game for a few weeks now and the single player was enthralling let alone the multiplayer.

Single player, yeah it is really good, nice story, very clever dialogue that echoes similarities between the Wild West governance and emergence of capitalism and the current state of the US. Vast expanse of land to explore with lots of mini side quests in order to get that famous Rockstar 100% completion trophy.

Now let's discuss the best bit ... multiplayer. This multiplayer experience is unlike any multiplayer game I have played before. It takes what was good about GTA4 multiplayer and then strips anything that was bad (i.e. pretty much everything). Creating posses of people is fun and then taking on other posses or taking on the AI criminals.
This is all done in the "free roam" mode but there are also lots of dedicated game types such as gang shootout (team deathmatch) etc.

A great touch for multiplayer is that whenever a gang shootout begins you are all lined at in a duel position. One team facing the other. Then, in typical Wild West fashion, you have the DRAW and you all gun each other down. Fantastic touch, so much fun.

Buy this.
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on 11 July 2010
I would recommend this game to anybody.... it is like a GTA but 100 times better, the graphics are amazing, the "campaign" is massive and alternates constantly, there are millions of weapons to choose from on multiplayer and on the campaign, many different characters to be in multiplayer and generally the multiplayer is mind blasting!!!!!

You dont have to like western films to enjoy Red Dead Redemption...
10/10, never played a better game.
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on 30 January 2015
There are many ways in which one could describe Red Dead Redemption in a single word; Breathtaking, spectacular, genius, brilliant, etc. They would all be right as well, as this game has to be one of the finest pieces of work to come from the Rockstar camp, even with the might of the GTA games. To describe RDR as simply GTA in the west would be an insult and quite honestly a lie as the developers have worked their socks off to bring gamers an effort worthy of the Wild West. Yes certain mechanics are similar to those found in Rockstar's cash cow project, yet RDR isn't just some cheap imitation with the R logo attached to it. This game is vast, beautiful, plays like and absolute dream, has a fantastic story line, memorable characters, great dialogue, a moving and powerful soundtrack.... I could go on and on about how this game excels, but you would need a few days to finish reading.
The simple premise of the game sets the player in a fictional west, during the back end of the civil war, in the boots of ex-outlaw John Marston. Marston is a reformed man, with a wife and son, trying to make ends as a farmer and as the game's intro kicks in we see him being involuntary persuaded into tracking down his former gang, by the American government, who have now taken Marston's family hostage. From here on in we meet many varied and colourful outlaws, bandits, sheriffs, farmers, gunmen, Indians, bar girls that help bring the story of RDR together. And it is a fine story, which would make some Hollywood block busters blush.
As Marston you will live the life of the cowboy that you always imagined; Duels, bar-fights, gambling, shoot-outs, hunting, horse riding, bounty hunting, horse racing, treasure hunting. There really is so much to do in this game to keep everyone's inner Clint Eastwood happy. You also have the choice of how you play the role of Marston. Do you stay reformed, or do you partake it the path of criminality again. If a stage coach gets is being chased by bandits, do you come to the rescue, or choose to aid the plunder. For every good/bad deed your notoriety changes for better or for worse, thus how people will respond to you, perks you may receive, etc. For example being a trouble maker will result in more civilians offering Marston to duel.
As for the world itself, the fictional towns of America matched with deserts of Mexico are just a sight to behold. The landscape is vast and beautiful. There is something almost romantic about horse riding across a long stretch of open plain, with the sun setting in the back ground. The graphics are fantastic, even by today's next generation consoles. Many people many grumble that it is not as intense or as populated as the world of GTA, however that is where the beauty lies. You can ride horse back for lonely short periods, and all of a sudden encounter a stage coach robbery or a bandit trying to high jack your horse. It never gets boring nor dull. There is always something happening, even if it isn't quite so in-your-face like GTA.
Another great feature is the sound. Voice acting is superbly done. I haven't found a lead so engrossing since David Hayter voiced Solid Snake in the original Metal Gear Solid on PS1. Marston, ultimately is a great character of bad guy-gone-good and you really do feel for his family and situation as he is out to kill his former friends for a corrupt government official. The rest of the voice overs are equally as brilliant and really add to fabulous cut-scenes.
One final thought has to be for the soundtrack. It is unbelievable. If you didn't feel as though you were playing out your favourite Wild West film, then when your ears start burning to the music, then you will know that you are well on your way to being there. The entire game is just packed with beautifully orchestrated pieces that could easily belong in a Oscar winning production, yet here they are to en-sweep the gamer from the clutches of reality. Add in some very eerie and haunting vocal performances and believe me, you have brilliance.
So does it stand up to GTA? Yes it does. Is it better then GTA? Yes, I believe it is, however my opinion is subjective. Will you enjoy? Without a shadow of a doubt.
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VINE VOICEon 14 July 2010
GTA with horses may seem like a lazy description, but it's pretty accurate for the opening hours of Red Dead Redemption. Missions are located by markers on the map, saving advances time 6 hours. Personally, it took a while to get going, and has a more languorous pace than Rockstar's flagship series. However, John Marston's story is epic, with a dark, bleak tone that few developers can achieve, and culminates in one of the greatest endings in recent memory.
Redemptions true depth isn't immediately obvious; the map is huge but seemingly empty. This is because many events are experienced firsthand, meaning the location has to be visited and explored. This gives a fantastic sense of discovery; stranger missions are a fine example of this. Random world events do suffer from repetition, but overall it's well varied.

The ecosystem is another subtle addition. Around 30 species of animal are located throughout the map, wolves are the most common, but bears, ducks and even boars can be hunted at the right locations. Animals can be skinned for meat and pelt, which in turn can be sold at stores. Flowers and herbs can also be picked and sold. Ambient challenges include Hunting and Survivalist (in addition to Sharpshooter and Treasure Hunter), which exploits these aspects into rewards. Mini-games also include Horseshoes, Five Finger Fillet, Arm Wrestling, Liars Dice, Blackjack and Poker. Story missions can be replayed in a similar style to Episodes from Liberty City. Rankings are also achieved, but replacing the brutally difficult % scoring is a medal system, which is more forgiving. Whilst not essential for anything, it is nice to be able to replay favourite missions. There are some wonderfully eccentric trophies. One for exterminating a species and another for tying a woman to the train tracks. Some of the trophy titles illustrate Rockstar's brilliantly twisted sense of humour. E.g. `Heading south on a white bronco' seems like a reference to O.J. Simpsons infamous car chase.

The online aspect is very tight. Finding a decent match is a chore sometimes, but friends can be located with ease and the whole experience is lag free. The wealth of game types is impressive. Free roam allows the player to wander the landscape, just like single player. Posses can be created with friends and encountered players, who can then fight together in the different game modes. Lobbies have been created with care and attention; the avatars all congregate at a specific area of the map. The tendency is to start a mass brawl whilst waiting for the game to load, which is infinitely more fun than cold, clinical menu screens. The free to download co-op pack, `Outlaws to the End' has just been released, adding 6 online missions. A further 4 DLC packs are set for release this year, and will ensure Red Dead remains a massive online presence for the foreseeable future.
The western setting has rarely been attempted (and never successfully) before, which makes Redemption such a unique experience. Absolutely essential.
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on 2 June 2010
I find this an awesome game set a mere 48 years before I was born - were things really that rough out west then? So I'm an older gamer and here's my take on this bit of history. Plenty of reviewers have mentioned the story and the intricacy of this game so I won't repeat them.

The highlights I've enjoyed 15 hours in so far (in no particular order): walking through a downpour to a poker game and hearing the rain drumming on the metal roof of the shack during the game. Rescuing cattle in the onset of a huge thunderstorm - what a great piece of theatre. Classic western shoot-outs complete with ricochets, taunts and - yup actually blowing a branch off a classic desert cactus by mistake (I'm a rotten shot despite the nice "Dead Eye" feature). Rescuing ladies about to be murdered and blowing away the bad guys (immensely satisfying for old codgers like me in these politically correct days). Good ol' western duels. Accidentally chasing a bit part character into the path of a train - had only myself to blame for busting that storyline! And riding through that immense and lovingly crafted landscape knowing I can go just about anywhere I want. There are times I just pause and take in the huge views (gorgeous on 1080p HDMI). To me, this is all really good stuff.

I often game using earphones with TV-attached hi-fi (Dolby etc) to avoid disturbing others. So I can say the sound environment is as well crafted as the visual. Outdoors: wind rustling brush and blowing tumbleweed, cicadas chirping in bushes in baking sunlight, rattlesnakes rattling (and they do bite as I discovered). Indoors: the wonderful ambience of the saloon bars where alongside the honky-tonk piano, chairs scrape on wood floors and conversation in the large room has the echo the room size would truly give it. Good voice lines and ambience for NPCs. Game music - not too intrusive and reacts to action, in the earlier stages reminiscent of that curious sci-fi / western TV series "Firefly", as well as Ennio Morricone.

I find John Marston a likeable character to play. His conversation is well rounded, full of character and consistent. I can see myself coming out with "much obliged" instead of "thank you", in a pub before long. Riding to places with company, and no GTA radio to listen to, means that a lot of conversation fills the game. It rounds the story out well. Conversation with other plot characters is equally well crafted, natural and consistent.

If I had to toss any criticism at this game, well all I can say is sometimes character faces look a little oddly shadowed in places. Some NPC characters occasionally do weird things like glide without walking, or a horse will race up a cliff. I also wonder if the game could get a bit same-ish after a while. Saving can be a hassle - nearly completing a mission only for some silly sideline incident to kill you (a duel, a coyote chewing you up), meaning you have to repeat the mission or checkpoint. I would have preferred easier saves. I sometimes use the "campsite" save as a quick-save strategy. I have had one crash - maybe my fault for accidentally button-mashing at the wrong moment; seems stable otherwise.

Previously I played the largely linear Juarez games and enjoyed them greatly. If you like westerns and want the sandbox freedom to play the plotlines or to relax and roam and lose yourself in a beautifully crafted environment, then this is a really top notch piece of work.
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