Review: Red Dead Redemption

Jul 6, 2010

Red Dead Redemption follows the recent trend of video games growing as a true next step in the evolution of entertainment.  Throughout history, man has endeavored to be more than what he or she is.  Red Dead Redemption has shown, like Uncharted and Gran Turismo, that immersion into an alternate persona will one day be best in the video game format than in today’s opportunity: film and television.

Without going into the details of the story, you essentially play as a man who seeking redemption.  In a world familiar to other Rockstar games, his redemption is not easily met.  The world is huge and full of several animals, distinguishing terrain, and exception attention to detail.  There is much to keep you going in the form of side-quests, challenges, and a world-balancing system where your actions dictate how NPCs treat you.  What makes Red Dead similar to games such as Uncharted is its engrossing gameplay. It’s easy to pick up for a few minutes or a few hours, and at no point in my 30+ hours did I ever feel that I was playing a video game.  In fact, I always felt like I was John Marsden – former criminal turned reluctant hero.

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Technically, the game is well designed and was produced with quality in mind.  Compared to other “sandbox” games, Red Dead stands tall and challenges Fallout 3 in terms of quality.  The sound and voice acting are some of the best you’ll experience.  While the story does lack what I call “for damn good reason” logic.  For example, while it would have hurt the game if I could put a gun to an NPC’s head and say “do X now or I will blow your head off,” it strikes me as odd that Marsden allowed himself to be volleyed back and forth for the benefit of certain NPCs.  Then again, the volleying did allow for some great entertainment.  In the end, like most games, there has to be a sacrifice.  In this case, story suffered to allow for a longer writer-controlled experience.

In the end, I highly recommend this game to anyone seeking a getaway from reality for anywhere from 15-50 hours.  The multiplayer will peak your interest, but if you are a heavy online user, you won’t find it enjoyable for long.  For review purposes, I played the PS3 version. Red Dead Redemption is also available on XBOX 360.

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