Red Dead Redemption
Gameplay - 9
Presentation - 10
Story/Creativity - 10
Lifespan - 9
So much to do and see here in Red Dead Redemption, at first when you begin it might be just a whole lot of boring wasteland but venture further and you'll find a deep experience which by the end, make you upset because it's ended. This is better than any Grand Theft Auto in my opinion, I enjoyed it more because I was never more immersed in such a world, it's great to see the western world done right. And wow it's damn good.
Rockstar Games have proven themselves again with their latest instalment Red Dead Redemption, being their best in the west.
Most people know Rockstar North for their Grand Theft Auto games, but Rockstar San Diego, their smaller development studio had made other titles in the mix including a title during the Vice City-era with a lesser known title called Red Dead Revolver. While it had its small shine it didn’t live up to the standards everyone came to expect, so now with Red Dead Redemption, it does exactly as the title lays and re-adapts itself producing an incredible western civil world that draws you in, and one you won’t want to leave till the journeys done and dusted.
The story follows among a former renegade outlaw John Marsten, now trying to make amends, but first he must find his former gang and hunt them down so he can move on with his family. It’s an easy layered out setting which as with Rockstars games, have a long and enticing story for their main character that starts them off slow, then building a relationship in this massive engaging world where they’ll come across many people.
Marsten will make new friends and help them out as they with him, and also make plenty of enemies along the way. The structure is similarly the same as Grand Theft Auto games with the find the person, watch the cutscene and do the mission structure. It still works well and the quality hasn’t dropped a bit, in fact even this time around it’s got lots of variety in missions so it’s better. You’ll be travelling a lot all over the American and Mexican lands, and by the long end it all comes together in a huge climax ending that caps everything together exceedingly well. In my opinion this is their best developed character yet, who’s very likable from the word get go.
The western world has a huge open environment to explore as you come to expect, with beautiful scenery to adore with much to interact. Aside from the main storyline, you’ll be coming across random events at any given time while travelling. You can be suddenly ambushed by rebels while riding your horse in the wasteland, you might be walking through a town when a group of vigilantes start shooting up the place and kidnapping a local townsman, people ask for your assistance, you’ll be riding along the main road and notice a carriage parked on the side, until you stop and notice rebels have taken the people hostage and its your choice whether to pay them, kill them or totally ignore them and ride off. There are so many varieties and things you will come across that totally astound you, loving the whole experience even more than the main story.
There are more things to interact with such as minigames and accepting side tasks. The minigames include Horseshow throwing, gambling, standoffs and more. You can also visit the local sheriff’s station and accept bounty posters wanted by the law. There you chase down the culprit and have the option of killing him, or bringing them back alive for a double reward. That can be done by using your lasso that hogties people and submitting them to render them unmovable.
Of course if you decide you play the bad guy and shoot civilians up, you’re going to be wanted by the law. There’s a morality system placed where if you get caught doing a indecent act, or breaking the law then a wanted poster will be up for yourself. If you kill somebody and someone else sees you, they’ll try run to the nearest sheriff station to inform them, you can bribe them or yes, kill them before they make it then you’ll be spared but once you have a wanted level, the deputies will be after you. To evade you’ll need to escape their clutches in a similar GTA circular zone area style, but even if you do you’ll have a bounty on you head, which then bounty hunters will be after you. To wipe off the bounty you need to pay the debt off at a telegraph station or use a pardon letter.
A fame meter is also within the game, whenever you perform a heroic act, such as helping people through random events or tasks it will increase. People will recognise you through towns all over when it reaches high, also gaining you luxuries and benefits. Of course it can be the other way around if you’re unkind where people are scared by your presence if you enter a town, some may try to gun you down, and other random events.
Main core is combat and shooting here, beginning with a small variety that builds up to plenty as you progress further. Gunfights are done in a third person view with a cover system, specific target aimer, blind firing over cover and free aim which all work together brilliantly. The weapons you’ll acquire and use over time are pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles, knifes, explosives and even a stingy sniper rifle which all feel great to use. The other feature used in combat is the Deadeye, which is a slowdown bullet time effect used to aim at multiple targets to take down simultaneously. It can be built up by killing guys normally and then triggered at any moment long as you have some of the bar filled up. It’s seriously an awesome feature.
The visuals are stunning, with a beautiful western liveable world and while it may not cramp as much as a GTA city would, the land here has much detail that you can’t help but admire. John Marsten looks unique, with other characters you come across all having a unique look to them. Everything looks believable with realistic movement which really gives the western world a feeling of realism. You really do feel you’re in the western era being a western.
Voicework is always top notch at Rockstar and once again it does the same in Red Dead Redemption. John Marsten has a real American western sound to his voice, that makes him a memorable character because of how good and unique he sounds. Other characters you come across all sound great which totally convinces you that you’re in a western civilisation. The beautiful nature of the world comes together well with animals, the sound of winds, and just wildlife all blending beautifully together to immerse you into it’s gorgeous world. Weapons sound distinctly powerful and awesome as you fend off anyone in your wake; you can feel the force your guns doing to those poor souls going against you. The beautiful soundtrack adds to the engagement of the world, there’s nothing here you can’t love.
Multiplayer include solo and team modes within the whole western world as your playground, stand offs for those who think they have the quickest firing finger, and co-op missions to play with a group up to 4 players to successfully complete the set objectives within a certain amount of time.