In Red Dead Redemption, you play as John Marston, outlaw turned rancher trying to live a normal life. Well, it probably would have been normal if other people didn’t have a different idea on how John should be living his life. You begin your journey in a small town called Armadillo, set out to find one of your old friends, Bill Williamson, to bring him to justice and satisfy the men who have taken your family as collateral to ensure you complete your task.
One thing you’ll notice right away is the incredible landscapes and detail that Red Dead Redemption provides. Not since Oblivion, have I stopped so many times in the middle of the game to just watch sunsets and sunrises. The vibrant colors and incredible details in Red Dead Redemption are truly breathtaking, even the little details that have gone into Red Dead are amazing, everything from the muscles on your horse to the stripes on a skunk.
There is so much to do in Red Dead Redemption its almost overwhelming, not in a bad way either, I found myself many times getting side tracked, hunting down a huge variety of animals, rescuing damsels in distress and even helping fellow travelers on the road recover their stolen horses. Along with random encounters there are stranger missions scattered throughout the different areas, as well as bounties to claim, if that’s not enough then check out your journal and start tackling some of those challenges, everything from hunting down certain types of animals to collecting specific kinds of flowers. If you’re in the mood to try your luck and make some quick money, no need to worry, try your hand at some poker or blackjack. Not your thing? How about liar’s dice or 5 finger fillet? If that’s still not your cup of tea, then how about arm wrestling? Yes, those are all included in Red Dead, after all what would the Wild West be without a little gambling? The single player alone is enough to recommend Red Dead Redemption as a definite purchase, but there is so much more to it than that.
Free roam is one of the greatest things about Red Dead Redemption, you and up to 15 of your friends can all explore the Wild West any way you want to. Split up and take on gang hideouts, complete challenges, or just explore anything you want to. There is much freedom in Red Dead Redemption’s Free Roam its mind-blowing. On top of free roam you can also take on friends or foes online in multiplayer matches. From gang shootouts, to capture the bag to free for all matches there is something for everyone in Red Dead. With new co-op missions coming soon and I’m sure many other surprises coming from Rockstar, you really have an unlimited amount of entertainment opportunities.
Gunplay in Red Dead Redemption is top notch; you have 3 different choices of aiming difficulties, casual, normal and expert. Casual and normal provide you with a snap to aim that automatically target your enemies while expert does not. If you’re looking for more of a challenge then just automatically targeting your enemies then expert is definitely the choice for you. You’re also provided with dead eye in Red Dead, this allows you to go into a slow motion mode and target all of your enemies, when you decide you’ve targeted enough fire your gun and you’ll eliminate multiple enemies in you quick burst, quite handy especially while taking on a large group of enemies.
You are also given a nice variety of weapons to choose from, rifles, revolvers, dynamite, throwing knives and many others are available and unlockable throughout the game to provide with a nice edge over your enemy. One of my favorite things about Red Dead Redemption is definitely the Lasso; although only available in single player it is definitely one of your key resources available to you. Don’t feel like killing your enemies? Well, there is no need to, hit them with the lasso and hog tie them and be on your way, along with enemies and unsuspecting townsfolk you can also lasso horses then attempt to break them. If you’re able to break them then you just claimed yourself a new horse to ride.
I could really go one for hours writing about Red Dead Redemption, so instead I’m going to say this, if there is only one game that you play in life, make sure that one game is Red Dead Redemption. I guarantee you, you will not be disappointed. You can easily get a few hundred hours of gameplay out of it and it’s definitely one of the most amazing games I’ve ever had the chance to play. Besides, it’s Rockstar; you know you can guarantee some amazing add-ons in the near future.
Red Dead Redemption was provided for review by the publisher.
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360; Rated M
Developer: Rockstar San Diego, Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Release: May 18, 2010