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Red Dead Redeption: A Review
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Old 07 Jun 2010, 17:47   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Red Dead Redeption: A Review

Red Dead Redemption
A Review

GTA: 1911?
Calling this game another Grand Theft Auto would not do this game justice and would not be fair to the GTA franchise, even though they've both share a few similarities. Anyone who's played one of the later Grand Theft Auto's will be familiar with the basics of the game: you've got a small minimap and by moving to the little letters on it, you can accept mission from various folk and said missions (more often than not) will involve some amount of violence. You play as a character with a shady past and has no small amount of skill with various weapons. But this is where the similarities end.

In Grand Theft Auto, the main draw of the game was always the violence and destruction you were able to dole out and the thrill of running form the cops. In Red Dead Redemption, while you may pick it up under the illusion that you're going to spend the next thirty-odd hours sticking it to the man Wild West style with a saloon girl in each arm and a gatling gun draped across your back, but you'll soon discover that this game is another beast entirely. Red Dead Redemption (RDR for short) is a captivating tale of set in the twilight years of the Old West, trading GTA's wanton destruction and rocket launchers for a deep story and a six-shooter.

Graphics: 10/10
As far as graphics are concerned, I could probably just stare at this game as much as play it. Rockstar has done an amazing job with their visuals. Character models are detailed and believable and the landscapes are like something from you'd find hanging in an art gallery. Where man-made building are concerned, for a time and place where every building was built of wood and covered in the ever-present dust, the textures are varied enough that each building has it's own feel.

Sound: 10/10
While I may be no expert of the neigh of a horse or the report of a Winchester, by my ears RDR sounds amazing. Half the time you'll find yourself ducking simply at the snap of the bullets passing by rather than actually seeing the shooter or spotting the dust kicked up by the rounds impact. The wildlife sounds amazing, especially the growl of a mountain lion. Any time you hear that, it's time to check your back.

Story: 10/10
To the point where I am in the story, which (by my own admission) ain't too far, it's been engrossing and engaging. The dialogue is brilliantly written and witty and I find myself caring for the characters, something that hasn't happened since... Well... I can't recall a video game that had me this enthralled this early. The story focuses around the player's character, John Marston, and his quest to bring to justice members of his former gang. Along the way you meet a wide cast of colorful characters, each who bring something unique and special to the game: from the pathologically lying drunken Irishman to the lovely and strong rancher woman Bonnie, almost every character it's possible to feel a connection with.

Gameplay: 10/10
As I said earlier, if you've played GTA III or later, you'll be familiar with the basics. And while these basics are tried a true, they aren't what make RDR a great game. It's that innovations on these mechanics and the introduction of the new that really catapult this game forward.

From the nearly the get-go of the game, you're free to do whatever you want. It's possible to wander off into the plains and spend hours hunting (and being hunted by) the local fauna, go off in search of buried treasure, aid a stranger in returning a stolen horse, save the town from marauding bandits, battle your way through a bandit camp, leap from your horse onto a speeding train, get into a brutal bar fight, play a hand or two of poker, take a shot at horseshoes, ad nauseum. Or you can just head over to that little letter on your minimap and continue the main story. The vast breadth of activities available is mind-boggling and to this point where I am in the game, I've tried but a few.

Hunting, in my opinion, deserves it's own paragraph here because I think it could almost be it's own game. Any time you're out and about, the world is alive with all sorts of critters, nearly all of which can be shot and skinned. The hides and fleshy bits collected while doing this can then be traded for cash or used to complete several quests. While hunting, though, especially while in the mountains and upper hills, something to keep in mind is that you're not always at the top of the food chain. Mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes all wouldn't mind taking a good bite out of you. Of course, if you manage to down a few of these predators before being turned into dinner, their hides/fangs/fleshy bits are worth quite the pretty penny.

Another thing that deserves mention, no doubt, are the horses. Where in other games featuring horses (Gun, Dynasty Warriors), they feel more like horse-shaped automobiles than anything alive. This changes in RDR. The horses here are live, breathing creatures that you just so happen to be sitting atop. Push a horse too hard and it'll throw you from it's saddle. Approach a wild horse and, unless you're handy with a lasso and ready to break her in, you're probably not getting a ride. Simple controls such as holding the X button to match the speed a party you're in or the horse "auto-piloting" while you're firing over your shoulder at pursuers, the horses of RDR (of which there are at least a dozen-odd breeds) are as much of a star as any character.

Overall Score: 10/10
While time game is by no means 100% perfect, what Rockstar has achieved here deserves nothing less than being hailed as such. The game is marred by several bugs (freezing, disappearing textures, et cetera), but Rockstar has a decent track record for supporting their games and there's no doubt that many of these bugs will be handled by upcoming patches.

All in all, Red Dead Redemption is an instant classic, recreating the West that Was in such vivid detail that if feels as if you're there. My had is off to you, Rockstar.
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Old 09 Jun 2010, 00:54   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Dead Redeption: A Review

Thanks for the review GD. I have been wanting to get this one, but I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I didn't care for the first one much, (thought GUN was way better, though strange how it played like GTA and the Red Dead Revolver didn't...). It nice that Rockstar got ahold of the game and gave it their touch.

Quick question regarding the setting though. Is it a western version of the Rockstar Universe? You know how they have made up cities and states? Are there any references to cities from Max Payne, Manhunt, or the GTA series?
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Old 09 Jun 2010, 03:30   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Dead Redeption: A Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Scythican
Thanks for the review GD. I have been wanting to get this one, but I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I didn't care for the first one much, (thought GUN was way better, though strange how it played like GTA and the Red Dead Revolver didn't...). It nice that Rockstar got ahold of the game and gave it their touch.
While I never tried the first one, I did enjoy GUN quite a lot, playing through it a good three-odd times. It was a good, if flawed, game that could've definitely done with a little more polish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Scythican
Quick question regarding the setting though. Is it a western version of the Rockstar Universe? You know how they have made up cities and states? Are there any references to cities from Max Payne, Manhunt, or the GTA series?
I don't recall any Rockstar references at all up to where I am. I think they've set this one in it's own universe which, I think, makes sense; it's a good hundred years off from any other Rockstar's larger franchises. :P
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Old 09 Jun 2010, 03:32   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Dead Redeption: A Review

Gun was great, except you couldnt play through again will all the goodies you earn. I thought the Red Dead series was an extension of it when i first saw it, but im told its not.
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Old 09 Jun 2010, 16:07   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Dead Redeption: A Review

Gah, one thing that really bothers me with RDR - theres no character creation. It feels slightly hollow. If I want to play a game as open as this I want to Play Lee "Silk" Makinson, not character #13.

*sigh*

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Old 09 Jun 2010, 19:00   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Dead Redeption: A Review

Yahtzee reviews Green Spleen Submarine - http://www.escapistmagazine.com/vide...ead-Redemption


Don't completely agree with him, but funny as ever
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Old 09 Jun 2010, 20:03   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Dead Redeption: A Review

Any game by Rockstar that is given 10/10 is being reviewed by fanboys. I don't think they've ever made a game worth playing, and the fact you can merrily hand out 10/10 to a game and then bitch about how buggy it is pretty much destroys any value in your review.
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Old 09 Jun 2010, 20:14   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Dead Redeption: A Review

I would give this one a shot though, Wargamer. To be honest I haven't run across more than a handful of bugs in 30-odd hours of play (on the PS3), none of which resulted in any significant loss of time.

It doesn't feel much like Grand Theft Auto, at any rate. There aren't any of those odious "hidden package" lists, for one thing. There are "challenges", but they are better integrated into the structure of the game. The treasure hunting is actually very well done, since you are working off of actual maps and clues.

There are a ton of minigames, such as Poker, Blackjack, and Liar's Dice. They all behave the way they should and the AI is reasonably good.

The whole thing is just very well composed. You have your own horse at any given time, and you can whistle to have it approach you. It is easily possible to finish the entire game with the same horse. None of the disposable cars of GTA. The mechanics of individual weapons and the lasso are also very smooth and relatively intuitive.
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Old 09 Jun 2010, 22:20   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Dead Redeption: A Review

The thing about GUN is, there were only like 2 or 3 people on the development team. Pretty damn good game considering most games need hundreds of people to make them.

As for not enjoying GTA or other Rockstar games, I can only say that it is probably not your cup of tea. I could care less about playing a football or basketball game, but that doesn't mean they are not worth playing to someone else.

I hope I like RDR though, but the thing is I like running cars off of the roof's of buildings in GTA, so if I cannot do that with a horse in RDR, I am not sure if I will like it...
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Old 09 Jun 2010, 22:38   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Dead Redeption: A Review

I am actually a big fan of GTA... just not GTA 3, 4 or its bastard progeny. Whereas I've completed Liberty City in one sitting, I can't spend more than ten minutes on Liberty City without getting bored and finding something better to play on.
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