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Red Dead Redemption Review

May 27, 2010

Howdy partners and ladies I think. Now there isn’t many games that are solely based in the western time, but thats what Red Dead Redemption pretty much is, a game set in that time, in that location. Rockstar is famous with developing sandbox games that are packed with numerous features to do in them and this game is no different.

So you’re Mr John Marston who is arriving by ferry to the location of the man you seek, Bill Williamson. Upon arriving and a little trash talk goes on, you get shot and get left for dead. A character then by coincidence is riding past you and notices you lying on the floor about to meet death. She takes you back and patches you up. So the main plot of the story is to get revenge on what happened to you, but as you progress and the story develops and you will realise things aren’t as simple as you think. So that pretty much summarises this game’s plot.

This game is loaded with things to do as you progress through the story you will unlock more features. There are towns and ranches scattered around your world map which you can fully explore. Now since this is based on the same game engine as GTAIV, you can evidently expect some similarities between the two games. Instead of riding cars, you ride horses and yes, just in case you’re wondering you can steal horses. You can also purchase horses and the more expensive, the faster the horse. Controls are pretty much the same as GTA. You start off with only a pistol but then as you progress you find new weaponary. You can also purchase new & rare weapons from the shops scattered around the game. The game’s missions can get quite repetitive as they are basically travel from point A to point B, kill person at point B. Not always do you kill, but most missions that’s what you do. Missions do vary, from herding cattle to helping sheriffs with wagons or horse races etc. Although most of the time you travel one spot to the next, kill target, mission accomplished. Yet because of this games gameplay elements, it is really fun going around killing people and cleaning gang hideouts. If you kill lawmen, you will have a bounty on your head. The more you kill the more you will have to pay to clear your name or just give a pardon letter for forgivness. You can travel around the map in various methods, with your own horse, by a wagon taxi or you can set a camp site and basically teleport to where you want to go, plus last but not least you can also walk to your destination if you’re the romantic type.

Clearing missions will get you a small amount of money, honour and fame. Honour allows the people around you to know if you’re a good person or an evil person that has joined the darkside. If you’re good enough, prices of items in shops will be halved while if you’re evil, they will stay the same although if you go to an outlaws location, items will be halved at their shop. Fame will basically allow you to become more famous as you get jobs done. Stories of you will be in newspapers which you can purchase different issues as you progress with the story missions.

There is a hefty amount of side missions and side tasks to do in this game. Sometimes as you’re travelling, random encounters will be intiated such as a woman being chased by a man and you’ve got to stop him or a thief who stole items from a shop or a thief that stole a horse. Yet this is only a small amount of the random encounters that you…..encounter. Then there is the actual side missions. To initiate a side missions, you will need to speak to a person that will be displayed with a question mark (?) on your map.

Moving onto the side tasks you can do in this game, there is a huge amount that will allow you to branch away from the main story missions. You can go hunting for animals and sell them for money at stores. Animals vary from deers, skunks, rabbits, cougars, horses, dogs, chickens, elks, grizzly bears, boars, coyote and more. This side task will get you really attached to it as their are challenges that you can try out. Such as kill 4 birds on a moving train or kill 5 coyotes without taking any damage from them. You can also participate in a classic game of Blackjack or Poker. Yet there is Liars Dice. Liars Dice can get pretty addicting once you understand the basic rules of the game. You can also unlock outfits through out the game and each outfit will have its own benefits, although to unlock each outfit you will have to complete a number of tasks on the outfit’s checklist. There is also nightwatch missions where you follow around a dog and where he smells trouble you’ve got to run and keep everything under control. Last but not least, you can also arm wrestle, pretty cool isn’t it?

Then after you’re done with single player, you have online mode. Here you can play a number of modes such as the usual team deathmatch or capture the enemies bag and return it to your crate. You can also create a posse in free roam and take out gang hideouts or just mess around with your friends and kill some townsfolk and let the lawmen chase you. A ranking system is introduced online as you kill people or do certain objectives you will earn experience points which will gradually allow you to rank up and at each rank you will unlock new characters, weapons and the like to help you get to rank 50.

The voice acting as you would expect from Rockstar is great and so is the soundtrack. The game’s visuals are impressive for a sandbox game without any loading times. The only time this game load’s is when you trigger a mission or when you teleport to a location. If you’ve enjoyed GTA, you will enjoy this game as much as I have but I only have one complaint and that  is again the missions can get repetitive from time to time but other than that, the game’s excellent.

Pros:

  • A great variety of side missions
  • Hunting
  • Great atmosphere and day and night cycle
  • Online is great

Cons:

  • Game is not challenging and can feel too casual for the hardcore
  • Repetitive missions
  • No radio stations on horses

9.5/10

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4 comments

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