VINE VOICEon 20 May 2010
I really like writing long, detailed reviews, but i know not everyone likes reading them. If this was tl:dr for you
here is a brief summary about what i thought of Red Dead Redemption. If you can, please do read the whole thing.
If your thinking about buying a new game, maybe getting bored with what you have now (e.g Modern Warfare 2 etc),
then this is the game to buy. If you liked the GTA series then this will be very familar to you. It has a great story,
looks stunning, and just like GTA will give you loads of hours of gameplay both offline and online. It's an open world
game set in the West and it is what games should always strive to be; FUN
A ROCKSTAR GAME
Why is Rockstar my favourite developer of all time? Because all of their games are fun. They make games just
like they should be, fun. Who can argue that GTA San Andreas was the best sandbox game of all time? The realism
of GTA IV was mindblowing. It's inevitable for one company to bring out brilliant games all of the time, but even
with mediocre releases like Midnight Club they still managed to make them fun and entertaining. That's why i love
Rockstar. Oh, and also because they aren't afraid to make games like Manhunt. That's why i love Rockstar.
The last Rockstar game i played was GTA IV, and it was amazing. The last western themed game i played was Red Dead
Revolver on PS2 about 6 years ago (also made by Rockstar). The former was one of the best games i've ever had the
pleasure of playing, and the latter was a pretty good 'cowboy' game for its time. In Red Dead Redemption, the combo
of GTA IV style play, and the western theme works pretty perfectly. Rockstar rides again.
The graphics are pretty amazing, as good as GTA IV in some places. The animations of the animals, especially the horses
is great. The cutscenes are impressive too, its one of the best looking games Rockstar have made. However, you need to keep
in mind that this is a huge, open world game. The landscape is vast, so of course it will never be able to look as good as
something like Uncharted 2. But considering the size, and the ability to free-roam, it looks absolutley fantastic.
When comparing games graphics you have to keep in mind the type of gameplay. Uncharted 2 was a linear game, you could
not free-roam or explore, there was a specific path layed out for you. For this, we were treated to the best graphics
on any console so far. In Red Dead, you have no path set for you. 100% freedom to go anywhere. For this, the graphics
and textures in some places are not up to scratch. Don't get me wrong though, this is a beautiful looking game.
I don't know if it was just me, but i could have fun in GTA by just driving around. Admiring the graphics, watching the
city and people go about their virtual lives. It was strange, GTA was fun even if i didn't do much. Red Dead is the same.
Riding through the west on your horse is a real spectacle. The landscape looks brilliant, and its so much fun.
There is a huge open world to explore, and you can do everything you could do in GTA IV. Walk and run, talk to people,
shoot, kill, ride on your horse and interact with the environment and enemies just like in GTA. The main form of travel
apart from walking, is horses. There a variety of them with different breeds which is nice. No swimming, your just like
the guy from GTA III because you drown straight away. You can walk in shallow water though.
There is a sort of karma system similar to Fallout games, but its known as Honor. You gain positive and negative honor
depending on your deeds. Along with the honor system is a fame element. Basically like GTA wanted status, it predicts how
people will react to you and your honor status, like a reputation in the Wild West.
Just like in GTA there are plenty of side missions that pop up. Some include public hangings, ambushes, people in need of
help, and wild animal attacks. You can also gamble, hunt and take part in standoffs. There is so much extra to do its crazy.
The shooting and cover system is very familar. You can take cover, target people, blindfire, aim freely and also target
specific bodyparts if you want to do a non-lethal take down. The Dead Eye system allows you to quickly mark multiple enemies
in slow motion, then you fire rapidly upon the targets.There are loads of weapons like revolvers, rifles, shotguns, knives,
dynamite, firebottles, lassos, gatling guns and cannons!
It's safe to say that most games will have online now, its such a vital part to many gamers. GTA IV did it extremley well,
it actually surprised a lot of people. Red Dead has online matches for 16 people per game. You can also do a free roam
mode like GTA IV's party mode, make clans or 'posses' of up to 8 people, and do missions like attacking AI gang hideouts
and other player posses. You can also hunt together. With some friends you can just go round & claim the Wild West as your own.
Each game starts with a Mexican Standoff, whoever is still alive will have the advantage of getting into a good position
waiting for the others to start respawning, its really fun actually. Reflexes and choosing who to shoot are key here.
You pickup weapons and ammo via crates scattered around the maps. You can level up just like in GTA IV, and do weapon
challenges to unlock new characters, golden weapons and new horse breeds. Although if you got the limited edition you
already have golden guns, and a horse that is on steroids!
The game modes are Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch known as SHOOTOUT.
Gold Rush is like Free for all where you try to grab and keep as many bags as possible.
A few Capture the Flag modes are available too
- Hold your own is standard CTF with a bag of gold instead of a flag
- Grab the bag is one team attacking, and one only defending.
It's a huge world to explore, even 3/4 into the story you'll find yourself discovering and being able to do new things.
Add in all the side quests you can do, the online mode and you have over a week of solid play without any signs of boredom or
repetitiveness. The value is most definitley there.
Also, in June 2010 there will be some free downloadable content (DLC) available for both 360 and PS3. This will have new co-op
missions as well new multiplayer rewards, and new trophies and achievements. There will also be 2 more Red Dead DLCs making a
total of 3. The second two will not be free.
LIMITED EDITION EXTRAS
This is whats included if you want to pay that little bit more:
* THE STANDARD RED DEAD REDEMPTION GAME
* DEADLY ASSASSIN OUTFIT (Dead Eye meter regenerates at 2x speed)
* WAR HORSE (fastest & strongest breed of horse available)
* RDR SOUNDTRACK (Available for download from XBL later on with voucher code)
* GOLDEN GUNS WEAPON PACK (Also available if you just pre-ordered from Amazon. They
provide more fame per kill. More fame you get, the more side missions you unlock)
It's simply GTA in the wild west. It's insanely fun just like GTA is. There is so much to explore, its visually beautiful, the
story is top notch as you'd come to expect from Rockstar, online play is super fun and it will easily give you hours of solid
playtime. If you loved GTA, or need a new game to play this is it, buy it now!
Playstation 3 Version vs Xbox 360 Version
First i am not a 'fanboy'. I despise these kind of people. I have no interest in being so attatched to a piece of
hardware that i go on the Internet and shout abuse at the opposition, and defend my machine with everything i have.
Secondly, on the majority of multiplatform games the 2 versions for PS3 and 360 are very similar. Comparisons usually show
a very similar game, or very minor differences with a couple of graphics. This is fine as its not noticeable, if it was a
good port. Unfortunately the PS3 port of RDR is quite poor. I don't have super sensitive eyes, nor do i play on a huge 60" TV.
I have a modest 24" HD screen which i hook my consoles and PC up to via HDMI. All my TV settings are well balanced for games,
and im at the max 1080p resolution. Everything is crystal clear.
Internally rendered at a sub-HD resolution, about 640p. Using software upscaling it is then upscaled to 720p. The PS3 version
also employs quincunx anti-aliasing to smooth things over. This elimates some detail, especially in character faces.
The overall world in RDR looks murkier, as if a guassian blur has been applied to everything. It has a slight warm and soft feel
to it, some may like this but it wont be for everyone. It's very similar to how GTA IV turned out on PS3 compared to the 360 version.
The 360 version runs natively at 1280x720 resolution or 720p HD. It's not being software upscaled, and employs 2x multisample
anti-aliasing. The 360 is much sharper and clearer, and you can easily see more detail where the PS3 version is blurred. The PS3
version looks a bit warmer and softer, while the 360 has the crisper edge. Its a more clinical look which i really do prefer,
as will the maJority of people.
WHICH ONE TO BUY?
Just buy it for the console you own. Its still a good looking game on the PS3 or 360. But keep in mind that there is a clear technical
difference between the two versions. And its apparent to all but the ignorant, that the 360 version Of RDR looks better than the PS3
version. If you own a 360 and a PS3, and buy games for the best experience they can provide, it would be silly not to go for the 360
version of RDR.
On a PS3 positive note, Rockstar has included some free exclusive stuff for only the PS3 version. Its Solomon's Folly Gang
Hideout and a Walton Gang Outfit, its included inside the case. I think this might be their way of saying 'we still love Sony' after
GTA IV went multi-platform and the 360 got the DLC first. Both versions have their pros and cons, you decide what is best for you.