I was already late the the party when I first picked up Red Dead Redemption, and now over 3 years later, I’ve finally seen the credits roll, and what an experience.
For those who doesn’t know what Red Dead Redemption is, it’s essentially a open world game by the makers of Grand Thief Auto, set in the Old West. You play as a gunslinger by the name of John Marston, and it’s apparent at an early stage in the game that you’re seen a fight or two, and your out to find some old posse members. As for story, I’ll leave it there, however the story is told very well, leading you all over a huge game play area, with many gun fights on the way.
The story is gripping, and I was able to just doing the main story, which didn’t seem to get old or repetitive as there are loads to other missions/tasks to be done alone the way. If you feel you need a break from the story, you can goto the wanted board and go an hunt down some criminals. On the way out the wasteland, maybe you’ll want to do some hunting along the way, as there are most animals from rabbits to big grizzly bears out there, with precious fur and meat. Not really the hunting type (which may be understandable as the animation and sound of the skinning can be a little off-putting), then might as well pick up some herbs while you’re out and about as these can be sold at the shops in the town, and to the honest, money isn’t that easy to come by in the game.
As you can imagine with a Rockstar game, the game map is vast, however with it being set in the Old West, it’s very sparsely populated, meaning you can at time have a few minutes horse ride between the town. This strangely isn’t a bad thing, as the scenery is gorgeous and there is so much going on in the wasteland. I found myself spending literally hours just running around the wasteland hunting, skinning and collecting herbs and flowers. There are also a lot of random events that kick off, you can be in the middle of nowhere sat on the edge of a mountain enjoying the sunrise, when you’ll hear a scream or gunfire in the distance. If you go and investigate there’ll normally be an event which you can interact with, successfully completing the game with net you some fame, and normally a small amount of cash.
Once you’ve had enough of the wasteland, it’s time to head back to the nearest town, most of which will contain a purchasable home so you can save the game, a number of shops, and a handful of mini games. The shops, you can normally pick up medicines, ammo, occasional special items such as treasure maps and weapons, and also sell all your fur, meat and herbs you’ve picked up along the way. As for the mini games, if you walk into most bars, they’ll normally be a poker or blackjack table for you to attempt to win some cash. Card games not your thing, there’s alway the horse shoe throwing competition, arm wrestling, five fingers (stabbing a knife between your fingers getting fast and faster) or a game of Liars Dice. All can be played for as long as you want, and really add to the living breathing world that Rockstar have created. As with being out and about you can also get random encounters in the town, people steeling horses, taking from shops or even trying to have their own way with a not too happy lady of the night. As with the events in the wasteland you can choose to help the people out, or simply walk by.
It’s probably worth mentioning the combat system within the game, as it has an interesting time slowing mechanic. The game comes with the normal weapons, hand pistols, shotguns, rifles, and even snipers, however the most interesting feature is the targeting called Dead Eye. Once it’s unlocked early in the game, you can press the right thumb button making everything go in slow motion allowing you to set up a number of shots, once you’re ready or when the time is up you fire off the number of shots. I found that within the time I could line up around 5 head shots before the Dead Eye expired allowing me to take out a number of enemies at once. Another weapon worth mentioning is the lasso, this was used to take people in alive by hog tying them and throwing them on the back of your horse, or using the capture wild horses and tame them.
As well as all of the above, Red Dead Redemption also offers an online multiplayer mode, allowing you to posse with eight mates and play free roam. I only played this a couple of times but I believe it unlocked the entire vast map allowing you to take over safe house, go play poker, and just casually sit in a bar and have a few virtual beers with them. You as a posse could also live harmoniously with the rest of the online players, and take on other possess in gun fights. If you wanted something more structured, you there were a number of game modes like Gang Shootout, Grab the Bag and free for all, in which you’d be moved from the open game map to your own area.
Red Dead Redemption was an amazing experience, looked gorgeous and sounded even better. The voice acting made the game extremely enjoyable and only wish I’d have played this back a couple of years ago where there would have been a larger online community. If this is a game still sat on your pile, I highly recommend completing it, and the story payoff is well worth it, and if you’ve think you’ve completed it because you’ve stopped at the logic end of the game, you owe it to yourself to finish the remaining eight mission to see the actual end. I enjoyed the game so much, I’ve jumped straight into the Undead Nightmare DLC.
Approx Time taken to beat – 30 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:5/5]
Games TrailerTags: Game Map, Game Play, Grand Thief Auto, Grizzly Bears, Gun Fights, Gunfire, Gunslinger, Herbs, Honest Money, Horse Ride, Hunt Down, John Marston, Play Area, Posse Members, Rabbits, Random Events, Redemption, Rockstar Game, Scenery, Story Doesn, Sunri, Wasteland, World Game