Repost: Red Dead Redemption Review

While I’m not a big fan of the Western genre in movies or games, Red Dead Redemption has shown that with a dedicated developer, the genre can shine beyond the spaghetti that some people push on the genre.

Focusing on a great story and highly addictive multiplayer, Red Dead Redemption is a title that everyone should play because it has too much content and fun not to be missed.

The Plot

While Red Dead Redemption is a sequel, playing the previous title isn’t necessary to really know what’s happening in the title because it does a great job explaining the back story to protagonist James Marsten. Hired by the government to capture his former gang partner, Marsten has to gain the trust of the people to get their help in finishing his mission so that he can live a peaceful life beyond his previously criminal past.

The Look

Red Dead Redemption is a beautiful title. While the landscape doesn’t sound like it would be appealing, the developers at Rockstar did a fantastic job recreating the tone and look of the historical Western period. Characters are developed and the immersion present is incredible.

Small nuances are everywhere from wild animals running around the desert to townspeople walking around. The animation of riding on horseback is among the best I’ve ever seen and for the lack of a better description, it just feels right. Cutscenes with characters are wildly realistic and mannerisms of each character show through each interaction. The amount of polish the title has is great.

The Sound

Prepare for some of the best voice acting in a title. Each character introduced is great and it never gets to a cheesy level. Marsten is given the most attention, but each NPC breathes a life of their own. Riding in a group and hearing the combination of horse hooves on the ground is a small treat. Even animals show up through the surround sound and the world feels realistic.

Function

With similar controls found in the Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead Redemption‘s feel more solid. Again, a similar mission structure is found by visiting NPC characters during specific times of the day, the title does feature a world clock, furthers the story or simple side-missions are all interesting and don’t feel tacked on.

Firing from horseback without using the Dead Eye mechanic (effectively bullet-time) is solid enough that hitting another rider while galloping toward each other is an accomplishment. The flow of the title is very organic and even riding around to find specific markers to complete tasks isn’t boring. I would have thought that riding around would get old, but there is so much to see and do, like skinning animals, that it remains fun.

The multplayer component is a plus as well. Forming a gang or posse in multiplayer with friends is lots of fun. Completing missions over voice-chat requires some strategy because most of the time, rushing in on horses will end up with a dead gang.

The story will take a lot of hours even without completing a lot of the side missions, but along with the multiplayer, prepare for a long haul.

Decisions

Rockstar has shown that the Western genre can be interesting. Red Dead Redemption may be a sandbox title, but there is so much going on that it actually goes beyond the genre it sits in. Players will enjoy the single player and find the multiplayer a solid, well developed addition to the title.

It’s not possible to go wrong with the title, except if players dislike the sandbox gameplay of the genre.

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

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