Rocstar GamesDeveloped By:
Rockstar San DiegoGenre:
1 (2-16 online)Rated:
M for Mature (Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs)Release Date:
May 18, 2010Screenshots: LinkAmazon: Buy Now!Written By:
Marcus PruntyMarch 2, 2011
- “Welcome everybody to the Wild Wild West a place that’s untouchable like Elliot Ness”. The Wild West has always been a time period that I loved and when I was a kid, I watched a ton of Westerns. When it comes to merging the video game world with the Wild West, not that many titles have pulled it off perfectly. To date, the best representation of the Wild Wild West came in the form of Ubisoft’s Techland developed Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. While that was a great experience in its own write, it still lacked something to make it truly memorable. In steps Rockstar Games, the makers of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, to try their hand once more at the genre. While their 2004 release of Red Dead Revolver was met with mixed feelings, Rockstar looked to rectify that by incorporating the core mechanics that have made GTA the household name that it is today into their sequel Red Dead Redemption. I’m going to start out this review by stating that Red Dead Redemption is the best Western-themed game ever and all future games in this genre will be compared to this game.
In Red Dead Redemption, you play as John Marston a former murdering outlaw who has changed his life and is trying to live a more morally correct life with his family. Nevertheless, you cannot live the life he has lives and expect everything to be forgiven that easily. In order to be forgiven for his sins and to move on with his life, the U.S. government wants him to round up and take out his old gang members. Doing so on the behalf of the government leads Marston to be hated by his former gang members. As Marston, you will travel all over the southern countryside of the U.S.; as well as bouncing back and forth across the U.S./Mexico border in order to bring the hammer of justice upon your former allies.
As your doing the main storyline, you will come across several supporting cast members from Bonnie, to Irish and Uncle. Everyone in the game is colorful and very expressive. All of these characters drive the story forward, aiding John in his missions by providing him with information, weapons, a lasso to hog-tie criminals and to help break horses. For those wondering, the game is about more than Marston roaming the Wild West in order to find his old gang members. Running parallel to the main story, which will take around 20-25 hours to complete, are a plethora of side missions that you can partake in to extend your single-player experience. Factoring in the side missions and various people you can help along the way, you can get well over 50-60 hours of gaming out of the single-player campaign alone.
Some of the side missions that are available include the likes of herding cattle, which is easy in the beginning, however becoming ever more difficult as new wrinkles are added to the missions. You can do some bounty hunting missions to make some easy cash; though depending on if you eliminate the target are bring him to the sheriff, your bounty can go up and/or down. You are also able to do some treasure hunting, animal hunting and pick some flowers and herbs in order to complete certain challenges. Marston can wear several different outfits, though acquiring said threads will take a lot of searching and gameplay in order to acquire them all. There’s even a Social Club, which is an online community that is connected to the game and is comprised of leaderboards and other challenges that can add more replay value to an already full game.
Morality plays a huge part in the gameplay of Red Dead Redemption as the world in which you are playing will adjust to the way you play the game. If you want to be a killer and ruthless robber, it’s possible with Red Dead. If you want to gun down anyone who gets in your way, it’s possible with Red Dead. The only problem with leading this lifestyle is that you will constantly be on the radar of the authorities, making life a bit more difficult if caught in action. One trophy you can receive in the game is for tying up a woman and putting her on the train tracks to be run over… which is an example of how evil of a person you can be. The flipside to that is you can be the honorable gunslinger a la John Wayne, and help all the people you come across. In addition, with the honorable things you do the more respect you will receive from people and even the authorities who will be more flexible when it comes to the moments where you have to break the law. Rockstar included a meter that keeps tracks of your progress whether you are good or bad.
As you traverse the lands, you cannot help but notice the beauty and the intricacies that Rockstar threw into this game. There is always movement and motion; the world breathes and lives as if it is a life onto itself. There is wild life everywhere, especially on the roads you travel. You will come across various animals like rabbits, wolves, foxes, bears, and birds just to name a few. The occasional storm as your riding your horse covers the land in puddles and gives off a sense of dreariness. Various people running up to you asking for help, or pretending to need help so they can hijack your horse and kill and rob you. Seeing various prostitutes at the saloons proposition, you as you walk past. Alternatively, the occasional citizen who heard of your fame then wants to challenge you to a duel. This game is busy, with something always happening around you.
The immersive gameplay that gives you a glimpse of life in the Wild West from John Marston story is fully authentic. What I mean by that is the language is full and potent, where ethnic slurs and other crude language was the norm for the time period. I would not let that offend you and keep you from enjoying the game because it just helps paint an accurate portrait of the people of the time. Not all of them speak in such language, but it does add to the authenticity of the game. As Marston you can interact with people via the action button and hearing his quips when riding with other NPCs can be funny and entertaining especially his rides with Bonnie.
Many people like to call Red Dead Redemption “GTA 4 in the Wild West” and I honestly do not mind the comparison. Rockstar did a Grand Theft Auto like job with this game in that it’s a total sandbox game with great dialogue. The graphics and visual design of the game works very well and looks awesome. All the interactions with different animals and the landscape creates’ a world that is wild and intense at times. Rockstar gives you a character in John Marston that you love, even though he does bad things. Along his journey you will grow a fondness for Marston; through the highs and lows, in a similar fashion to Niko Bellic from GTA 4. If you like westerns and are fond of epic adventures, this game is a must have for your collection. From the open-world environments, to more than 20+ hours of gameplay and an epic multiplayer that will have you spending hours upon hours enjoying, Red Dead Redemption is clearly a title well worth the sticker price. 9.6/
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