First and foremost, this post is well overdue. If you look at my achievements you can see that I beat this game over the summer. With the ever-expanding duties I have at work it becomes a little tougher to write on a regular basis. Be that as it may, this is not a review of the game. It is simply my experiences with the aforementioned game, and how I enjoyed playing this title.
Leading up to playing this game I had the pleasure of playing several titles from Rockstar Games, and their parent company, Take 2. For the most part, I enjoy the games that come from this company. The most fun I have had with games from Rockstar has been from the Grand Theft Auto series as it provides vast open worlds for the player to wreak havoc on. Though the formula remained virtually the same, the story telling, in my honest opinion, got better with every title that succeeded Grand Theft Auto III. I imagine that like me, this was many gamers’ first experience with the work of Rockstar and open-world games. At this point, I fell in love with this game play style as it was completely different from any other offerings being presented by other developers at the time. Although some have soured on the genre, I feel like it is still a very relevant genre with a lot of room to grow, and in the case of Red Dead Redemption, it did.
At the time that I heard about Red Dead Redemption, the idea of mixing GTA with a western seemed strange, yet very intriguing to me. After taking some time to read reviews about the game and seeing many on my friends list playing this game I decided to take the plunge and buy this game. When I first loaded the game, the game felt really familiar and playing it came so naturally to me, even if it was a brand new setting for this style of game. The differences between this game and other games in the genre quickly began to become obvious to me. Of these differences, the most notable one, and also the most obvious was the western story and setting that is involved with this game. I do not consider myself a fan of westerns, but for some unfamiliar reason I was immediately sucked into the game.
Typically, I get tired of travelling from one part of the map to the other, but the way travel was implemented with skills challenges allowed for even the most tedious part in open world games to be very enjoyable. The skills challenges in this game make travelling in the world very enjoyable because it keeps you on the lookout for wild flowers, animals and other things that, normally, you would ignore or simply skip in fast travel. It truly is an intuitive way to keep the gamer involved in all aspects of the game, and, in turn, makes the gamer appreciate all of the hard work and dedication that went into making this world that we get to play in. Too me, this is a great attention to detail from the developer, and it is also a token of appreciation to the gamer for supporting the developer.
Of all of the Rockstar games I have played, John Marston has been my favorite protagonist. This is mainly due to his story being one of redemption. Early on we get some background of Marston’s history and it is shown that he has not always been a person that has been involved in legal proceedings. This really works for me because throughout the course of the game, the only thing you want to do is get back to your family, clear your name, and live a quite life. You go about this by taking up tasks that will help clear your name and establish a new reputation for you in the process. You are simply trying to redeem yourself in order to live a simple life with your family. To me, a redemption story is a perfect narrative for a western game. It simply works for this type of game. Let me just say that if Rockstar decided to make this game into a movie, I would not be opposed to having them make it. I would love to see Rockstar take a stab at it instead of having a movie studio do it. They did such a great job at creating a world with a very detailed atmosphere that giving someone else a chance to do it would almost be detrimental to this brand.
When it comes to game mechanics, the one I enjoyed the most was the implementation of Dead Eye, aka, bullet time. The implementation and execution of this mechanic is done in such a way that you feel rewarded for using this. I found myself trying to get the most bang for my buck with the time you get to use it and the gun I elected to use. It is extremely satisfying to be able to take out a gang of enemies all at once. I really don’t need to elaborate much on this, I just urge you to go out and try it for yourself.
So there you have it. I have given you my thoughts on the things that worked for me with this game. I really enjoyed working my way through this game and was very satisfied spending several hours on this game. It also didn’t hurt that this is the first game I have ever earned 100% completion on. Once I achieved that, I truly felt like there was nothing more for me to do with this game.