Video Game Review – Red Dead Redemption for the PS3

Red_Dead_RedemptionRed Dead Redemption released May 2010:

I love playing video games, but at the same time a very picky gamer.  Other than the standard sports games I prefer my gaming experience to have a good story and plot.  Must be the writer and media producer in me.  I was very reluctant to get Red Dead Redemption though a Western did make me curious.  After one year of being released and almost 100% rating across the board I dropped my dollars and gave this game a chance.

Red Dead Redemption was made by the same company that created the controversial Grand Theft Auto series Rock Star Games, this was one of my biggest reasons for hesitation.  Sorry GTA fans, I just didnt see any reason to get this series.  One of the best aspects of the GTA series is the “open world” concept.  Even in Single Player mode you can move boxes, push characters around, or roam endlessly in a 3D real life environment.  The games are based also on perceived real time. You can watch a sunset and a full moon rise.  Red Dead Redemption brought this aspect to a new level.  The old West comes alive in this open world concept and Rock Star Games preserved an as authentic as possible Western environment that would make Clint Eastwood drool.  Words cannot describe the graphics, animations, and effects.  I felt like I was in Arizona all over again when I started this game.

Red Dead Redemption starts with the main character John Marston being led to the fading old west in 1911 by government officials.  The character is being taken away from his wife and kids to hunt down the last of a few cowboy gangs preventing the government to complete expanding into the desert region.  Marston a former cowboy turned good is forced to don the gun and spurs one more time.  Thus the adventure begins…..

After a hefty back story and great cut scenes you are free to roam the game.  Though the premise of the main character is a bad guy gone good, you can like in the GTA series do a lot of bad things.  You can kill just about anyone or anything living in this game.  But keep in mind, you will be hunted by the law if you choose to rob, kill and harass the innocent town folk.  The scoring is also driven by a Fame and Honor system so when given the chance if you do good things your score will go up.  This is the old west and there are lots to do to help the people during game play. Rescue kidnapped women, save lost farmers from hungry coyotes, save bar maids from getting murdered in the  street.  Side missions also offer a chance to become a hero while you work on the story and hunting down the cowboy gang.

Another way to get more fame is also much like in real life old west, you can accept duels from honory drunks. Duels start as being easy to do but increase in difficulty as your skills progress.

And this game does contain the standards of places to acquire supplies and medicines.  When roaming the open land hunt the animals and bring the goods back to sell to the local general stores.  As you progress through the story you access different locations and go through various shoot outs, treasure hunts, and even shooting the rope of an innocent about to be hanged. But be quick about it, the person will die if you don’t free them right away.  The story line is very plot driven.  From saving the McFarlane Ranch to helping an old gold miner find his treasure.  This game has everything the old west could offer.  Kick up the dust in the desert while fighting wolves, coyotes and cougars. Each town has a saloon where you can drink your fill, play at poker (if you purchase the formal suit you can cheat at the poker game), liars dice, or black jack. As mentioned before, the saloons do have bar maids but in contrast to the GTA games Rock Star cleaned up their act and you cannot interact with the bar maids in this game on the premise that Mr. Marston is a faithfull married man.  Another great aspect of this game is that rather than kill the bad guy you can hogtie them and deliver them alive to the closest jail. (You get more money on bounties this was as well).

The estimated game time duration for the single player story mode is 20 hours. BUT that would be if you just did the main story missions and would diminish the game greatly.  There’s a lot to the game and if you chip away at it a couple hours at a time you will appreciate the game a lot more.  Once established in the game, you can from time to time speed the game up by instantly traveling to a preset destination you need to go but I would not skip any side missions or requests for help from bystanders.  I am about 40% completed in the game and I give this an A+ rating. The story, graphics and gameplay are top notch.   I am eager to try the multiplayer mode so if anyone else has this game send me your PS3 id and we can shoot up the saloon together.  I am sorry that I let the reputation of Rock Star games preventing me from getting this game a year ago.  Other than the flashing red tones that get me sick sometimes this game is a must have for any gamer (over 18) NOTE: this is still a very adult game and not for kids. Since you are shooting, killing, drinking, and a heck of a lot of swearing.

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