Review: Red Dead Redemption

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-_- come on. A Roman joke? btw, the cake is a lie.

also, $60 bounty? Wuss. I had $2,000 within my first half hour of freedom.

this game is brilliant

Russ Pitts:

Not G. Ivingname:

Russ Pitts:
Review: Red Dead Redemption

The Western genre has been won.

Read Full Article

Would you say Red Dead is better or worse then Rockstar's other games involving bad guys, sandboxes, and running from the law after murdering everybody in sight, or am I just missing the point asking that?

I don't know if you're missing the point, but it's an easy enough question for me to answer. To wit: I am enjoying Red Dead Redemption far more than I have enjoyed any other Rockstar game to date.

Wow... enjoyed more then all their games? Some serious praise from a company that invented the "shoot up the place while uncontrollably gigling" sandbox.

Of course I would imagine the lack of your cousin asking you to go look at big american... bowling balls... every five seconds helps :P

Pity about the not-for-PC (yet, hopefully) detail. Ah well, perhaps in future. And if I'm lucky my machine might even be able to run it if it comes out. >.>

It didn't feel like Grand Theft Equine until the first time I was forced to enter a race to progress. That kind of cheesed me off. But I got over it. I have such a man-crush on Marston.

Jaqen Hghar:
I play as a Rebeldes, so he yells a lot of stuff in Mexican. I can't understand a word, but fast-spoken Mexican is awesome, so I press B a lot...

Mexican... is not... A LANGUAGE!

RoBi3.0:

Marowit:
I bought this game on launch-day and am very happy I did. It was worth every penny.

I haven't had any problems with ganking yet in MP (for the most part people just clear out bandit hideouts), and have actually had several people - strangers - just come help out. I am on the PS3 though. So, I'm not sure if there is a demographic difference between Xbox and PS3.

Anyway, I've spent most of my time in single player so far and love it. I think one of the most fun times I had was killing a gang that tried to use a woman to ambush me. Then hog-tying the woman, and laying her on the train tracks and waiting for the train...

I have a PS3 as well. I honestly don't think for the most part it is people "trying" to be jerks. In one instants me and my gaming buddies where going to clean out a gang hideout when some random guy began to shadow us and eventually tried to take us out. Unfortunately my broke the same day my game came in the mail so I couldn't yell at the guy, but after one of my buddies explained that you get more xp by teaming up and doing missions rather then killing each other the guy joined our group and It was good.

I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and keep my gun holstered when I first meet them. If they kill me anyway, though, there's hell to pay. I've only attacked people without provocation a couple of times. Once, I was in a large posse that was doing nothing, so I got bored, left the posse, and killed four of its members before hightailing it out of there before they respawned. The other time I was just feeling bastardly.

I'm supposed to get this game today, so I'm all giddy, can't wait to experience this!

I'm already on my second playthrough, which I IMMEDIATELY started after finishing almost all of the side quests from my first playthrough.

And this is not just because I'm an open-world fan. Note that I returned GTAIV, unfinished, to buy RDR, and it truly is a FAR SUPERIOR game. Hopefully Rockstar will make their next GTA with the improvements they've made in this game.

Good review over all, Russ, except that you implied that the story is rather superfluous. I mean, it can be, depending on how you play the game. But seriously - RDR has a GREAT story, probably the best one Rockstar has ever presented, and this is coming from a hardcore, obnoxious "I want better video game writing!" jerk. John Marston is the first Rockstar character I can think of (and one of the few in gaming in general), who actually emotes and reacts to his world like a HUMAN BEING. And on top of that, he's one of the rare genuine family men gaming has for so long seemed to avoid like the plague.

Of course, if someone plays RDR by shooting everything that moves just because they can, I guess John is just Old West Niko Bellic. Which is alright, I suppose. If anyone liked Niko Bellic. ....Did anyone actually like Niko Bellic?

Now, a question: so is RDR set in the past of the GTA world? Because it would be great if in RDR 2 we saw Las Venturas as a filthy cow town and the bridges under construction in Liberty City.

Of course, maybe I just want a steampunk GTA: 1911. And why not, because it would be cool.

This review makes me want this game even more. Though I will have to wait for the PC version to come out, but I am getting inclined to just get a PS3 copy and go play it at my friend's. It tickles me that there are posses in this, but will there be a time when you get to be a part of one, as opposed to being chased by one? That's what I want. Everything else I'd want in a western game is already there.

Uncompetative:
....this game reminded me of...

Oblivion.

...only with guns and a far larger, multiplayer, environment.

image

Anyone who disputes this comparison on the basis that Red Dead Redemption doesn't have any magic in it hasn't seen the sunset.

You, sir, just win at being a cowboy. I'd like to shake your hand.

Dr Bob:
It's a shame that when you point your gun at the back of someone's head, they will always notice you.

Also, the lawmen are just as psychic as they were in GTA IV - they will always find your hiding spot and will always zone in on your position.

The cover system has improved a little but there are still some areas of cover where part of your head remains exposed, which was a major issue in GTA IV.

I feel your pain there. Maybe if there was like a random number generator for the lawmen and such on their psychic quotient, that would throw a bit into the game...wondering if they might just feel you out or wander blindly by.

It makes me happy to know that they finally used the last name Marston in a game :D

Well, I'm sold - I honestly wasn't that interested in the game; it just seemed like another sandbox game (made by the King of sandbox games), but with a Western theme.

While reading this article, I realised two profound truths - Western-themed things are awesome, and I love sandbox games. Why the hell don't I own this yet?

-Drifter-:

Mexican... is not... A LANGUAGE!

Oh boy... my face is red now. I new that! Why did I type that! I meant to say Spanish of course.

How much can you customize you appearance? I seem to remember Russ likes to make his characters look like him, but the guy in the video doesn't.

I said it the moment I put the controller down for the first time, 12 hours in, "GOTY. Period."

As for people's problems with being murdered in multiplayer, form a posse and murder them back or go to a new free roam. Same game, same place, different people.

And don't be too hard on them, because A: It's the Wild West. Believe it or not, random killings happened back then. It add to authenticity. And B: You'll be doing the same if you want to unlock and complete all the challenges, as a few require you to gun down multiple other players in a row, or what have you.

SonicKoala:
Well, I'm sold - I honestly wasn't that interested in the game; it just seemed like another sandbox game (made by the King of sandbox games), but with a Western theme.

While reading this article, I realised two profound truths - Western-themed things are awesome, and I love sandbox games. Why the hell don't I own this yet?

I made this game? Damn, I'm good. ^_^

King of the Sandbox:

SonicKoala:
Well, I'm sold - I honestly wasn't that interested in the game; it just seemed like another sandbox game (made by the King of sandbox games), but with a Western theme.

While reading this article, I realised two profound truths - Western-themed things are awesome, and I love sandbox games. Why the hell don't I own this yet?

I made this game? Damn, I'm good. ^_^

Wow, it's really you! Give yourself a pat on the back, your games are pretty awesome =D

Cool avatar, by the way. Did you draw it yourself?

SonicKoala:

King of the Sandbox:

SonicKoala:
Well, I'm sold - I honestly wasn't that interested in the game; it just seemed like another sandbox game (made by the King of sandbox games), but with a Western theme.

While reading this article, I realised two profound truths - Western-themed things are awesome, and I love sandbox games. Why the hell don't I own this yet?

I made this game? Damn, I'm good. ^_^

Wow, it's really you! Give yourself a pat on the back, your games are pretty awesome =D

Cool avatar, by the way. Did you draw it yourself?

Well, I try... well, no, wait, I guess I didn't! ^_^

And thanks. Yeah, I did it myself in MSPaint.

Shame its not out for PC, but rockstar always release a Pc version a few months later, though they better not repeat the GTA 4 situation where the game barely runs on the most powerfu of machines.

Moloboen:
I ordered a ps3 just so i could play this game:D can't wait!

You know it's on the 360 and the PC right?

Yeah, I really love this game. I had to put the console in its box last night to stop me from playing it when I should have been working.

Rockstar has laid down the gauntlet Neversoft, it's time for your awesomely better reposte

-Drifter-:
-snip-

I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and keep my gun holstered when I first meet them. If they kill me anyway, though, there's hell to pay. I've only attacked people without provocation a couple of times. Once, I was in a large posse that was doing nothing, so I got bored, left the posse, and killed four of its members before hightailing it out of there before they respawned. The other time I was just feeling bastardly.

I used to gank people, but then I realised the profit in working together.
Right now I just ride up to new people, gun holstered, and circle them for a bit, just to see what they do.

If they don't open fire I ride up to them and stop (shame Circle is just insults and not greetings), if they respond by killing, or trying to kill me, I just circle faster, ride off into the distance... then return full tilt and rape their face with a Double-Action revolver.

After that I repeat until the guilty player has lost all will to live, and then I ride off to go about my business.

This has so far net me a bunch of gankers who won't touch me, and an invite to a posse (he figured cooperation was in his best interests).
This tactic obviously won't work with any horse (or donkey) worse than the Turkmen.

I'm apparently a natural in competitive modes as well, since I repeatedly get great killstreaks, and, as my name reveals, likes to be sneaky as all hell (I snuck into the enemy base, stole their gold, and rushed back to make the only cap that round)... but when we played Shootout (FFA) everyone wanted to shoot me during the standoff.

I love this game

Cool review, unforgettable game. Here's a brilliant Youtube mix that someone made with scenes from the game set to the immortal Ennio Morricone's music, that should give you the feeling of the game pretty well in case you're investigating for a purchase.

Rubbish, there have been many successful Western games. Like Mad Dog McCree, and euh, Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist! And... Outlaws! Yes, many, many of them.

Cowabungaa:

Casual Shinji:
John Marsden never seems to change as a character, he's constantly going on about "finding and killing a guy in order to return to his family" like he's a broken record.

Not seeing what's so bad about character consistency. A man of few words and direct actions. Plus it shows that he does care for his family a whole damned lot. Wouldn't it seem rather weird if at like 50% of the game he went all "Ahhh fuck it" and pretty much ignored the reason why he cáme to New Austin.

Oh and don't try to spoil stuff about the actual story, as I only júst made it into New Mexico.

The problem I have with it is that you never get to see his family, though, I haven't finished the game yet so maybe at the end you will see them. But if I as the audience never get to see the family for wich he is willing to turn government-stooge, then I just don't feel emotionally invested in his plight. A few flashbacks would've been enough for me to get a feeling for his personnel sitiation.

I've just thought of 1 very important question someone may be able to help me with.

Can you hijack a train?

My only criticism of Red Dead Redemption is that the controls are clumsy. Not only is it too hard to get your character to walk through a door without looking like a drunken idiot, but the cover system is far too sticky. I would prefer it if you automatically vaulted over low cover, slid under obstructions and swerved to avoid the edge of a door frame, etc. Here is my idea of how the controls should have been:

LT draw weapon / target / (melee & block with LB)
LB hold:magnetic cover / tap: slow horse / hold: stop horse
RT punch / (push without gun equipped) / (use equipped weapon with LT)
RB tap:sprint / hold:run / tap:gallop / hold:trot / hold: match speed of nearby companion

(Y) mount/dismount horse or vehicle / interact with vehicle
(B) insult / focus on important event / reload weapon if drawn
(A) tap:jump / hold:climb / (tap:roll with LT) / tap:hitch / hold:rear
(X) tap:draw/holster / hold:weapon wheel

LS movement
RS rotate camera (select weapon from wheel with (X))
(LS) tap:crouch / hold:go prone / hold:stand up
(RS) look behind (dead eye with LT)

(Up) zoom in - ultimately to an over the shoulder camera view
(Right) right shoulder aim / (next weapon of a selected type within weapon wheel with (X))
(Down) zoom out - ultimately to scenic view without mini map or reticule
(Left) left shoulder aim / (previous weapon of a selected type within weapon wheel with (X))

(BACK) tap:whistle for horse / hold:show "named HUD waypoints" for your team in multiplayer matches.*
(START) satchel (includes pause menu on one of it "tabs")

Swapping the controls around like this makes it far easier to move fast on horse, or on foot. It is stupid to make Sprint / Gallop be (A) as it forces you to take your thumb off RS which is used to influence direction just as much as LS. Far better to make drawing your weapon be unergonomic as then those players who are more dextrous at shifting from RS to (X) and back again will end up "quicker on the draw". Selecting the weapons with (X), LS, (Left) and (Right) will discourage you from examining your inventory whilst exposed.

*I'd enjoy multiplayer more if the mini map only showed your team mates and those enemies that had been targeted by your team in the last 3 seconds, rather than those eager to respawn / sprinting / firing weapons. This would make it less important to have well-organised team chat that described the location of threats and is something that works well in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The waypoint notion is obviously inspired by Halo 3 and serves to overcome a mini map in which blips always seem to be around the circumference in a way that doesn't tell you much about where the bulk of your team is when you respawn.

Finally, taking five shots to the chest to kill an enemy seems rather excessive. Making it more 'lethal' is ok if the cover system never irritates and sprinting isn't awkward to activate and penalised by putting a blip on the mini map - it should be up to the other team to spot you.

P.S. It may seem churlish to nit-pick one of the most innovative, technically astounding, games in recent years, but I am dismayed that all this effort has gone into recreating the flavour of a Wild West adventure so well only to be slap-dash about the ergonomics. Control schemes matter immensely to ensure an immersive experience is not ruined by the "disability" imposed on the player by having to mediate all of their actions via an inherently disabling gamepad.

Nevrmore:

GonzoGamer:
Glad I'm not the only one.
Don't get me wrong the game is fun and it's a really nice looking open world but it aint no San Andreas. It just seems like there's more they could've done to make you feel like You won the west; like at the end of Vice City when you feel like you own the place.
Good game but not a perfect 10. I'm just saying I'm glad I only spent $35 on it.

Why should you feel like you won the West?

The entire point of Vice City was that Tommy wanted to take over the town. He succeeded, that's why at the end you feel like you own the place.

Red Dead Redemption is about the death throes of the Western lifestyle as the Industrial age came into its infancy. John never wanted to "Win" it back, he was actively trying to move on from the part of his life where he reveled in it. The entire game is about shutting the door on his past and progressing forward. It'd go against the entire message of the plot if in the end he "won the West."

But that's exactly my point. You play through the story of Vice City then you keep playing until you own everything. It's just more compelling.
The story and characters in RDR are cool and everything but that's what you're playing it for: to see it all play out. It's like gta4 in that way: so yes, if you preferred gta4 to the older ones, it's a must buy game; but I'm more of a Vice City/San Andreas kind of guy.
Don't get me wrong, I actually really like this game but I'm not sure I'd feel the same way if I had paid $60 for it.

Carnagath:
Cool review, unforgettable game. Here's a brilliant Youtube mix that someone made with scenes from the game set to the immortal Ennio Morricone's music, that should give you the feeling of the game pretty well in case you're investigating for a purchase.

That's an awesome video. Thanks for sharing!

I feel like this will be GTA 4 for me.
Everyone loves it and sings it praises then when I play it I despise the game and never finish.

I just finished this after buying it at launch. It is awesome. Most definitely one of my favourite games of all time. I can't get over how good it is. That's just my opinion on the single-player.

I haven't played much multiplayer but if you get a posse of people whom you know won't play like arseholes I am sure it would be fun. At least they tried to bring something new to the table with the MP. But again, Rockstar don't have that much experience with multiplayer considering GTA IV was their first proper exploit so I forgive them for the minor problems.

Bring on the DLC!

AC10:
I feel like this will be GTA 4 for me.
Everyone loves it and sings it praises then when I play it I despise the game and never finish.

I just want to add that I didn't like GTA4 at all. But this.. is a whole different beast.

Uncompetative:
My only criticism of Red Dead Redemption is that the controls are clumsy. Not only is it too hard to get your character to walk through a door without looking like a drunken idiot, but the cover system is far too sticky. I would prefer it if you automatically vaulted over low cover, slid under obstructions and swerved to avoid the edge of a door frame, etc. Here is my idea of how the controls should have been:

LT draw weapon / target / (melee & block with LB)
LB hold:magnetic cover / tap: slow horse / hold: stop horse
RT punch / (push without gun equipped) / (use equipped weapon with LT)
RB tap:sprint / hold:run / tap:gallop / hold:trot / hold: match speed of nearby companion

(Y) mount/dismount horse or vehicle / interact with vehicle
(B) insult / focus on important event / reload weapon if drawn
(A) tap:jump / hold:climb / (tap:roll with LT) / tap:hitch / hold:rear
(X) tap:draw/holster / hold:weapon wheel

LS movement
RS rotate camera (select weapon from wheel with (X))
(LS) tap:crouch / hold:go prone / hold:stand up
(RS) look behind (dead eye with LT)

(Up) zoom in - ultimately to an over the shoulder camera view
(Right) right shoulder aim / (next weapon of a selected type within weapon wheel with (X))
(Down) zoom out - ultimately to scenic view without mini map or reticule
(Left) left shoulder aim / (previous weapon of a selected type within weapon wheel with (X))

(BACK) tap:whistle for horse / hold:show "named HUD waypoints" for your team in multiplayer matches.*
(START) satchel (includes pause menu on one of it "tabs")

Swapping the controls around like this makes it far easier to move fast on horse, or on foot. It is stupid to make Sprint / Gallop be (A) as it forces you to take your thumb off RS which is used to influence direction just as much as LS. Far better to make drawing your weapon be unergonomic as then those players who are more dextrous at shifting from RS to (X) and back again will end up "quicker on the draw". Selecting the weapons with (X), LS, (Left) and (Right) will discourage you from examining your inventory whilst exposed.

*I'd enjoy multiplayer more if the mini map only showed your team mates and those enemies that had been targeted by your team in the last 3 seconds, rather than those eager to respawn / sprinting / firing weapons. This would make it less important to have well-organised team chat that described the location of threats and is something that works well in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The waypoint notion is obviously inspired by Halo 3 and serves to overcome a mini map in which blips always seem to be around the circumference in a way that doesn't tell you much about where the bulk of your team is when you respawn.

Finally, taking five shots to the chest to kill an enemy seems rather excessive. Making it more 'lethal' is ok if the cover system never irritates and sprinting isn't awkward to activate and penalised by putting a blip on the mini map - it should be up to the other team to spot you.

P.S. It may seem churlish to nit-pick one of the most innovative, technically astounding, games in recent years, but I am dismayed that all this effort has gone into recreating the flavour of a Wild West adventure so well only to be slap-dash about the ergonomics. Control schemes matter immensely to ensure an immersive experience is not ruined by the "disability" imposed on the player by having to mediate all of their actions via an inherently disabling gamepad.

It really didn't cross my mind. The controls felt natural to me, but then again, I'm used to third person shooters, so... /shrugs

I really love red dead redemption but don't have a platform for it, kinda sad actually.

I hates multiplayer, so I don't care. But I gotta say, for this game I have to break my tradition of being as much a good guy as possible in these kinds of games. Why? Because if I get caught killing a lot, there'll be a huge price on my head. Nothing says Western badass like a great big bounty on my head.

"Leeroy Jones, $100... Roy Brown, $500... PrototypeC, $50,000?! He must be a devil amongst men!"

Then of course the man who kills me will get a song written about him.

Red Dead Redemption stands as a shining example of why Rockstar is, and has always been one of my favorite developers. The amount of effort they put into each and every one of their games is undeniable.

I am proud to say they have outdone themselves once more. The West may be dying, but you'll hear no complaints from me.

duchaked:
okay yeah I'm definitely wanting to try this game out

Same here, but then I remember that it costs over 100 dollars here. Import taxes can suck it. They're preventing me from enjoying this game.

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