Red Dead Redemption: Should I Buy it When I'm No Fan of Rockstar?

So recently (mostly due to the bombcast when they spent a little time gushing over how they loved Red Dead) I have been thinking about whether or not I should pick up this game. I'll be honest here and say I have not played the majority of the Rockstar catalogue, however, back in the good old PS2 era I played a decent portion of GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City. To me the story in games is very important and when I was playing these two games I found myself doing the typical GTA things (of blowing shit up, challenging the cops) and quickly getting bored and leaving the game. I did play a fair amount of the story missions and found them to be wanting. I just didn't find myself caring at all for (Claude?) in GTA 3 or Vercetti in Vice City. And beside the actual story missions I found the rest of the game not terribly interesting either, the shooting was poor as well as the driving and I really couldn't stand the look of people in these GTA games they just looked robotic and comical. So that's the end of my bitchy tirade feel free to put me in my place and say NO WAY GTA is the best!!!!! And my dislike for the GTA games put me off from all other GTA games and for some reason the rest of the Rockstar open world games.

However, I have been interested in the rest of Rockstar's catalogue and it is one of those weird situations where I want to like their games. So I asked my buddy if to get my foot in the door I should play L.A. Noire (I know it is not Rockstar developed and Team Bondi did it, but it has a similar style to other Rockstar games from what I hear) and he said I should. I bought and played L.A. Noire knowing that it was different from the typical Rockstar formula and on the whole I enjoyed it. So now I come to the meat of the matter and ask given my feelings should I get Red Dead? I was considering grabbing the GOTY edition because who doesn't like horror themed DLC? Also this might not be a this year thing as I have a significant backlog as well as the holiday coming up where friends and family might get me other games (c'mon XCOM). But I just watched the quick look and the game seems really varied, I think I like the setting WAY more than a GTA game the shooting seems improved etc. So I guess all I'm asking is to be talked into/ out of buying it. (And I bet i know which one you bastards will say, you hate my wallet lol) Alright that is enough blathering for now, later and thanks.

Oh and one more thing I play only on the PS3 so I can't play Bully in case that was your guys other suggestion.

43 Comments
44 Comments
Posted by D_Bones

So recently (mostly due to the bombcast when they spent a little time gushing over how they loved Red Dead) I have been thinking about whether or not I should pick up this game. I'll be honest here and say I have not played the majority of the Rockstar catalogue, however, back in the good old PS2 era I played a decent portion of GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City. To me the story in games is very important and when I was playing these two games I found myself doing the typical GTA things (of blowing shit up, challenging the cops) and quickly getting bored and leaving the game. I did play a fair amount of the story missions and found them to be wanting. I just didn't find myself caring at all for (Claude?) in GTA 3 or Vercetti in Vice City. And beside the actual story missions I found the rest of the game not terribly interesting either, the shooting was poor as well as the driving and I really couldn't stand the look of people in these GTA games they just looked robotic and comical. So that's the end of my bitchy tirade feel free to put me in my place and say NO WAY GTA is the best!!!!! And my dislike for the GTA games put me off from all other GTA games and for some reason the rest of the Rockstar open world games.

However, I have been interested in the rest of Rockstar's catalogue and it is one of those weird situations where I want to like their games. So I asked my buddy if to get my foot in the door I should play L.A. Noire (I know it is not Rockstar developed and Team Bondi did it, but it has a similar style to other Rockstar games from what I hear) and he said I should. I bought and played L.A. Noire knowing that it was different from the typical Rockstar formula and on the whole I enjoyed it. So now I come to the meat of the matter and ask given my feelings should I get Red Dead? I was considering grabbing the GOTY edition because who doesn't like horror themed DLC? Also this might not be a this year thing as I have a significant backlog as well as the holiday coming up where friends and family might get me other games (c'mon XCOM). But I just watched the quick look and the game seems really varied, I think I like the setting WAY more than a GTA game the shooting seems improved etc. So I guess all I'm asking is to be talked into/ out of buying it. (And I bet i know which one you bastards will say, you hate my wallet lol) Alright that is enough blathering for now, later and thanks.

Oh and one more thing I play only on the PS3 so I can't play Bully in case that was your guys other suggestion.

Posted by Rebel_Scum

Yeah get it. Its story is really good as well as the music. I went into it not expecting much since I didn't like GTA much but it blew me away.

Posted by Mister_V

Persoanlly I think everyone should play Red dead. I have said it before on here but it's my favourite game this generation. Everything from the setting to the story telling to the gameplay and that ending Wow. Even if you only have a passing interesting in it I would say you have to check it out.

Posted by kmdrkul

You should absolutely play Red Dead Redemption. I didn't find myself getting too caught up in the whole "cause GTA-style madness" scheme. The open world activities you can do in this game are fun, but overall I would say they are also less distracting than the open world shenanigans you can do in GTA.

Posted by jozzy

I loved Red Dead, and I am also not a GTA fan at all. So yeah, if you are not put off by the setting, go for it. You can probably find it for cheap now too?

Posted by D_Bones

@Mister_V: oh and i guess I should mention that I have had the ending (at least parts spoiled for me which I hate but I guess is inevitable for an older game.

The main spoilers I know are that John dies at the end (ha ha see what I did there) and you play as his son I think for the final mission.
Edited by kermoosh

well red dead is my favorite rockstar game. there are many memorable and awesome characters and the story is a nice ride too with a fantastic twist. I havn't played max payne 3 but as far as i know this game has the best shooting mechanics/gameplay (far superior to GTA 4) the wild west scenery is really well done with nice music and ambience in the background to support it. I'd get it for the campaign alone. oh and the zombie dlc is pretty fun too with some nice easter eggs.

and well for multiplayer, it's a lot of fun but don't expect to put too much time into this. if you have firends to play with its a blast otherwise you probably won'y pay it for long

but as i said i'd get this game alone for the campaign as i think its far superior to the GTA games

@D_Bones said:

@Mister_V: oh and i guess I should mention that I have had the ending (at least parts spoiled for me which I hate but I guess is inevitable for an older game.

The main spoilers I know are that John dies at the end (ha ha see what I did there) and you play as his son I think for the final mission.

if anything that will create a sense of tension while you're playing because you won't know when that will happen

Posted by Franstone

Yea... Red Dead is great.

Only thing I wanted out of Red Dead that I can remember is a 1st person mode for gunfights.

Other than that almost non-issue it's a must play game as far as I'm concerned.

Why no other game has copied their awesome design of random events (that I can think of right now) just blows my mind.

Posted by Barrock

Red Dead's one of the greatest games ever made. It has a fantastic story, and I don't think you'd get as side tracked as you did with something like GTA.

Buy it, love it. And then play Undead Nightmare.

Posted by gla55jAw

It does the same thing for me that all the GTA games do. It's fun for a little while, but eventually gets boring from being the same few types of missions over and over and I never finish them.

Posted by Nev

It's a great game, and no doubt you can find it for quite a cheap price at this point.

So sure, why not, give it a go!

Posted by believer258

It has its dissenters. Like me, for instance - I've played the game for seven or eight hours and found it fairly boring for a lot of that time. You spend a whole lot of it running between places for ten minutes, then doing a ten minute mission, then running to another place, etc.

That said, the game is gorgeous and when it's fun, it's pretty damn fun. The missions do have a bit of variety, though killing five guys while speeding away on a horse loses its luster after you've done it a billion times. I say try it.

Posted by Clonedzero

i lost my copy awhile back. (never letting people borrow games again, i never see them again lol). i bought a new copy for like 15 bucks on amazon using credit i had from there. so its cheap as dirt for an extremely good game.

Online
Edited by Pr1mus

The structure of the game in how it handles story progression and how you receive missions is very similar to GTA IV but the world, shooting, characters, story are all completely different.

In my opinion it is the best story Rockstar has told, Marston is the best lead and It's also the best world they created. I also liked all the side activities better than in GTA IV and more useful too.

Posted by GooieGreen

I come from a similar "I don't give a shit about Rockstar Games" background as I never could get into the GTA series at all. I own GTA 3 and Vice City, and I have played a fair amount of each game that has released, spin-offs and side-stories included. It also should be said that I own Bully and I think it is one of my favorite games. That said, aside from a good world or a fun story (Vice City and Bully being prime examples of that), I cannot stand their open world games.

My girlfriend and one of her brothers love Red Dead Redemption, so when she had the chance to buy it recently, she did. However, since she is a watcher and not so much a gamer, I've been put into the position to play this game for her. It hasn't changed my mind about GTA games or Rockstar, but it is certainly better than most of their past titles.

If you look at it purely from a gameplay perspective, you might be disappointed. There isn't a whole lot of action, although when there is action it can get quite good. Still, it controls like most of their games, which is to say that everything is clunky. Sticking to cover works sometimes, the lock-on helps but can't save the otherwise sluggish shooting, and you can ride forever without finding something fun to do. When you stick to the missions, the character interactions are pretty good, but I don't think a story can make up for poor gameplay.

When it comes to the online component, I suggest you get a new copy with the DLC. My girlfriend got the regular edition and I have been SOL many times when looking for gang hideouts online. I'll ride all the way to a spot just to find out that I need the DLC for enemies to spawn there. There goes 10 minutes of nothingness. There are still people online to play with, granted not that many, but you can do some missions with people and piss of the local armed forces.

I think Volition did sandbox games best with Red Faction Guerrilla. An open world game that encouraged you to screw around while handling better than any GTA game I've played. Sure, it wasn't as deep thematically as what Rockstar puts out, but it was certainly something I eagerly played beginning to end. Maybe there is more to RDR than the combat quirks and wastelands of content, but that remains to be seen by me.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Red Dead is far better than any GTA game IMO

Posted by Grissefar

@D_Bones said:

So recently (mostly due to the bombcast when they spent a little time gushing over how they loved Red Dead) I have been thinking about whether or not I should pick up this game. I'll be honest here and say I have not played the majority of the Rockstar catalogue, however, back in the good old PS2 era I played a decent portion of GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City. To me the story in games is very important and when I was playing these two games I found myself doing the typical GTA things (of blowing shit up, challenging the cops) and quickly getting bored and leaving the game. I did play a fair amount of the story missions and found them to be wanting. I just didn't find myself caring at all for (Claude?) in GTA 3 or Vercetti in Vice City. And beside the actual story missions I found the rest of the game not terribly interesting either, the shooting was poor as well as the driving and I really couldn't stand the look of people in these GTA games they just looked robotic and comical. So that's the end of my bitchy tirade feel free to put me in my place and say NO WAY GTA is the best!!!!! And my dislike for the GTA games put me off from all other GTA games and for some reason the rest of the Rockstar open world games.

However, I have been interested in the rest of Rockstar's catalogue and it is one of those weird situations where I want to like their games. So I asked my buddy if to get my foot in the door I should play L.A. Noire (I know it is not Rockstar developed and Team Bondi did it, but it has a similar style to other Rockstar games from what I hear) and he said I should. I bought and played L.A. Noire knowing that it was different from the typical Rockstar formula and on the whole I enjoyed it. So now I come to the meat of the matter and ask given my feelings should I get Red Dead? I was considering grabbing the GOTY edition because who doesn't like horror themed DLC? Also this might not be a this year thing as I have a significant backlog as well as the holiday coming up where friends and family might get me other games (c'mon XCOM). But I just watched the quick look and the game seems really varied, I think I like the setting WAY more than a GTA game the shooting seems improved etc. So I guess all I'm asking is to be talked into/ out of buying it. (And I bet i know which one you bastards will say, you hate my wallet lol) Alright that is enough blathering for now, later and thanks.

Oh and one more thing I play only on the PS3 so I can't play Bully in case that was your guys other suggestion.

No! The story is starts and ends well but the middle 80% is just errand missions.

Posted by dankempster

I'll add my voice to the crowd and say you should definitely check out Red Dead Redemption. It's a brilliant adventure that addresses a lot of the problems you quote yourself having with the PS2-era GTA games - vastly improved gunplay, a beautifully detailed world to explore, and a story that will knock your socks off. It's also reasonably cheap to pick up at this point, so you have little to lose in checking it out.

Posted by GunGunW

Pretty good game, Rockstar's best in my own opinion. I honestly prefer Saints Row over Grand Theft Auto by a long shot, but I equally enjoy Red Dead Redemption and Saints Row: The Third.

Posted by StarvingGamer

I tried to play GTA3 and found it incredibly boring. Then the internet exploded when GTA4 came out so I thought I'd give it another go. 12 miserable hours later I finally gave up on it. Then Red Dead came out and everyone went crazy again so I figured maybe the change in setting would do it for me. I only managed to suffer through about 10 hours before I simply couldn't take any more.

So as someone who is NO fan of Rockstar, I feel very strongly that you should NOT play RDR. Also, for the record, I greatly enjoyed LA Noire as well.

Posted by Grissefar

@StarvingGamer said:

I tried to play GTA3 and found it incredibly boring. Then the internet exploded when GTA4 came out so I thought I'd give it another go. 12 miserable hours later I finally gave up on it. Then Red Dead came out and everyone went crazy again so I figured maybe the change in setting would do it for me. I only managed to suffer through about 10 hours before I simply couldn't take any more.

Fool me once. Ha ! Ha !

Posted by MariachiMacabre

It's the best Thing Rockstar has released. Play it.

Posted by StarvingGamer

@Grissefar: I know, you'd think I'd learn. Then again, you'd think Rockstar would be able to finally make a game that didn't play like shit.

Posted by Ghostiet

RDR is IMO one of the greatest games of this generation and one of the best ever made, but it's pretty much GTA in the dying Wild West. However, the formula is mixed-up enough and more focused, so you'll probably enjoy it. Especially since the game provides enough activities in between missions, so you won't have to run around stirring random chaos to have fun.

Posted by SargeGulp

@gla55jAw said:

It does the same thing for me that all the GTA games do. It's fun for a little while, but eventually gets boring from being the same few types of missions over and over and I never finish them.

This.

Same transparent/broken mechanics, redundant missions etc. Do you want to wrangle some cattle? How about we race our horses around the farm? Yeah it's about as fun as car races in GTA were.

Posted by kgb0515

Meh...I tend to get bored with it, but then I always come back. It isn't for everyone, but once you get past the first half of the game and finish some of the Mexico missions, things get pretty cool. I mostly like the writing, and the characters give me a good chuckle. Plus, John Marston is my favorite character since CJ in San Andreas. His morality is inconsistent, but the same could be said for most real people.

Posted by Jimbo

You should play it if you enjoy open worlds. If you don't like Rockstar you probably won't get much out of the story, because it's pretty typical Rockstar fare: 'help me with this random thing which has nothing to do with anything and I might be able to help you', rinse / repeat until they throw an edgy 'everything is bad all the time' ending at you, like they always do.

I don't think Rockstar are actually good at crafting stories at all, it's just that the rest of the industry are so terrible that they are made to look good by comparison.

Posted by upwarDBound

If you don't like open world gameplay there is absolutely no point in playing this game. The story's pretty good but not really worth 25-30 hours of not having fun actually playing the game.

I really liked Red Dead Redemption, but then again I place open world style games as one of my favorite kinds of games. I loved riding my horse around the large wild west wilderness, hunting animals and treasure and running across intriguing strangers by the side of the road. I loved meeting some of the despicable yet oddly endearing characters the game has and rooting for one of the best game protagonists of this generation.

Posted by JasonR86

@D_Bones:

Buy it if you like Western settings and open-world games. Watch gameplay online to see if you like how it looks like it controls so you get a better idea if you would like it.

Online
Posted by Little_Socrates

@D_Bones: Well, so, you're in luck! Rockstar has pretty much stopped making the kind of game you didn't find much to like in the PS2 era. GTA IV was a drastic change in terms of story, and the gameplay was significantly improved; you should read Jeff's review of the game for more details.

So, yes, you should definitely check out Red Dead Redemption. And while you didn't like GTA III or Vice City all that much, you should actually also check out GTA IV.

Posted by Phatmac

It's an important game for sure. It's still flawed as the Mexico stuff was almost useless to the main story thread.

Posted by Hizang

Red Dead is not really like a GTA game, sure the basic structure is similar, but the way you play is just so different.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

RDR isn't perfect but it's among the best games of the gen I think. It's hard to over-emphasize how amazing the world in that game is. Also, the Zombie expansion and the multiplayer is pretty sweet. As someone who hates Zombie tropes and multiplayer, that should say a lot.

Posted by csl316
@GooieGreen Red Faction: Guerilla's my favorite open world game. Screwing around was fun and actually had benefits, and the shooting was tighter than any GTA game. I do wish Armageddon didn't screw things up.
Posted by MrT

No I hate rockstar their games are junk, but every one said that red dead was great and it was the worst rockstar game I've ever played.

Posted by Quarters

Take this for what you will, but I played the first few hours of it and was utterly bored. Not to mention, I didn't like the story much at all. Having to hear those long horse conversations where they continually repeat their conversation about whether Marsden is with the government or not nearly drove me crazy. Don't get all the love for the game. I should state that I'm not a fan of Rockstar much at all(though Max Payne 3 was okay), and Red Dead was no exception.

Posted by D_Bones

@csl316: actually yeah I had a lot of fun in Red Faction Guerilla probably because of the awesome destructible aspect of that game...also mars!

And wow did not expect to see this much response....and differing opinions. I think the majority of people are saying to play Red Dead but people with similar tastes as me are saying don't get it...what to do?

Posted by theGrowingDarkness

Yes!

Posted by csl316
@D_Bones said:

@csl316: actually yeah I had a lot of fun in Red Faction Guerilla probably because of the awesome destructible aspect of that game...also mars!

And wow did not expect to see this much response....and differing opinions. I think the majority of people are saying to play Red Dead but people with similar tastes as me are saying don't get it...what to do?

I'm in the same boat as you, lol.  I bought the game for $10 a while ago but have yet to play it.  Not a fan of the gameplay in most Rockstar games so I've been hesitant to jump in and dedicate so much time.  I like the idea of Red Dead, as I loved westerns as a kid and Marston seems like a cool character, but if the combat is crap and Marston does the usual Rockstar thing of guy-trying-to-be-noble-but-doing-terrible-things it might sully my thoughts on why we need more games like it.
Posted by captain_clayman

Yes and get the game of the year edition! Undead nightmare is awesome.

Posted by tarvis

I think the story is awful. The entire game is John telling someone that they need to help him, but instead being that person's errand boy. Every time John completes the errand and returns, he'll once again angrily demand help; or else. To which the person will reply, ok, they will, but first do this little thing for me. And then John does the new errand and complains so more. You never witness the, "or else." And the amazing event that is oft mentioned only works because they rip control from you and make it a cutscene. And it occurs after a ridiculous event that you do control. Making it even more absurd.

I'd rather just watch For a Few Dollars More.

On the other hand, you might think the game is great!

Posted by CaptainTightPants

@Grissefar said:

@D_Bones said:

So recently (mostly due to the bombcast when they spent a little time gushing over how they loved Red Dead) I have been thinking about whether or not I should pick up this game. I'll be honest here and say I have not played the majority of the Rockstar catalogue, however, back in the good old PS2 era I played a decent portion of GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City. To me the story in games is very important and when I was playing these two games I found myself doing the typical GTA things (of blowing shit up, challenging the cops) and quickly getting bored and leaving the game. I did play a fair amount of the story missions and found them to be wanting. I just didn't find myself caring at all for (Claude?) in GTA 3 or Vercetti in Vice City. And beside the actual story missions I found the rest of the game not terribly interesting either, the shooting was poor as well as the driving and I really couldn't stand the look of people in these GTA games they just looked robotic and comical. So that's the end of my bitchy tirade feel free to put me in my place and say NO WAY GTA is the best!!!!! And my dislike for the GTA games put me off from all other GTA games and for some reason the rest of the Rockstar open world games.

However, I have been interested in the rest of Rockstar's catalogue and it is one of those weird situations where I want to like their games. So I asked my buddy if to get my foot in the door I should play L.A. Noire (I know it is not Rockstar developed and Team Bondi did it, but it has a similar style to other Rockstar games from what I hear) and he said I should. I bought and played L.A. Noire knowing that it was different from the typical Rockstar formula and on the whole I enjoyed it. So now I come to the meat of the matter and ask given my feelings should I get Red Dead? I was considering grabbing the GOTY edition because who doesn't like horror themed DLC? Also this might not be a this year thing as I have a significant backlog as well as the holiday coming up where friends and family might get me other games (c'mon XCOM). But I just watched the quick look and the game seems really varied, I think I like the setting WAY more than a GTA game the shooting seems improved etc. So I guess all I'm asking is to be talked into/ out of buying it. (And I bet i know which one you bastards will say, you hate my wallet lol) Alright that is enough blathering for now, later and thanks.

Oh and one more thing I play only on the PS3 so I can't play Bully in case that was your guys other suggestion.

No! The story is starts and ends well but the middle 80% is just errand missions.

This. I love Red Dead Redemption because I adore westerns, and the gameplay is solid; however, the story is unfulfilled potential through and through.

Posted by probablytuna

I think it's one of the best Rockstar games yet. So yes, play that shit!

Posted by mordukai

@D_Bones: I'm not a Rockstar fan in the least but I enjoyed RDR. I didn't finish it because the second act goes on FOREVER so by the time I got to the third act I was burnt out, but the time I did spend with it was enjoyable.