November 28 2010

Red Dead Redemption Review

Who’s up for a review of a game months after it came out?  I know I am!

Released last May, Red Dead Redemption (affiliate link) held no interest for me.  Many people referred to it as “Grand Theft Auto in the old west”, and considering I haven’t played any GTA games, and I’m not a huge fan of cowboy stories, I saw no way this game would be to my tastes.

Boy was I wrong.

After numerous stellar reviews, I picked up a copy on sale figuring that the reviews couldn’t be that far off the mark, and I was growing weary of first person shooters any way.  So, a game that most people say takes 70 hours to complete sounded like a welcome diversion.  It took me a while to get around to starting it as my work schedule is so nuts, but now I can’t put the game down, and I’m only about a third of the way through it.

You play as John Marston, a former criminal who has been retained by the government to go after a former crime partner.  While this is the driving force of the game, there is so much to do in the world that you sometimes have to remind yourself to get back to the main story.  You can set off on “stranger missions” which are little side stories given to you by random characters you meet, hunt bounties, hunt wild game, play gambling games such as Texas Hold ‘Em, clear out gang hideouts and on and on and on.

The graphics are top notch, especially considering the size of the world, while the gameplay is responsive and easy to pick up.  And most importantly, the story is engaging.  You want to know where it’s going, and what will happen next.  Unfortunately, I stumbled into a major spoiler while looking up how to do something in the game, and I’ll leave it out of this post, but trust me, you have no clue what’s coming towards the end.

Is Red Dead Redemption for everyone?  No, of course not, no game is, but I think you may be surprised just how many people it is for.  As someone not into this style of game, or even the setting, I can say it won me over, so I imagine it could do the same for a good number of you out there.

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