dimsey's Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360) review

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The West has never been this Wicki-Wicki-Wild.

 Pros

  • Tells a good story with plenty of likable characters.
  • Shooting feels good.
  • Good use of music.
  • Plenty of activities to pursue outside the main storyline.
Cons

  • It only happened once so I won't hold it against the game, but the first time I loaded it up I experienced all manner of physics bugs. Especially in relation to carts and wagons. It didn't bother me until I actually needed to use a cart to proceed and the bug stood in the way of my progress.
  • It's hard to be bad.

I'm not a big fan of Westerns.
Not to say I'm against them, just that I've never gone out of my way to watch, read or play any.
If you were to ask me what my favorite Western was I'd probably say Back to the Future 3. Yeaaah...
Now perhaps I could say Red Dead Redemption.

The game puts you in the boots of one John Marston as he sets out to kill or capture members of his former game for some Government agents who have his family held captive as leverage.
This'll involve a lot of shooting folk and this game does that well.

I'd tell folk not to worry about this being Grand Theft Auto with horses.
Not that it's a totally inaccurate comparison, but to me it feels a lot better than GTA IV did.
John moves about more smoothly than Niko did and in combat he handles a lot better.
In GTA IV I did my best to avoid gun fights when possible because they just weren't especially fun. It's quite the opposite in Red Dead.

Perhaps my favorite change to the gunplay comes not in feel but in the way it sounds.
Pretty much all the guns in GTA IV sounded like toys with their POPOPOP.
Red Dead's guns are appropriately loud. They sound like they make as much of an impact as it looks like they do and again the Euphoria physics engine is in play to make people fall over and stumble in amusing, if not realistic ways as they are shot.

Outside the story there are plenty of things to do.

Random events aside there are Strangers who need help - basically taking the role of giving side quests.

There is Poker to be played, Black Jack, Horse Shoes, Arm Wrestling and Five Finger Fillet.
There are night watch jobs, bounties to collect, treasures to hunt - not to mention animals. They do a good job of making you feel apart of the world by providing a myriad of activities to do.

I hear a lot of these activities don't transfer over to multiplayer, which is something of a shame.
After playing Saints Row 2 in which all the singleplayer content is accessible in co-op Red Dead's multiplayer might wind up feeling a tad empty. I've not played it yet though, so I'll reserve judgement on that slice of the pie.

Last thing I'll mention is the music.
Generally the game is pretty silent. The score only crops up when it's needed.
But the game makes good use of it's licensed music.
Jose Gonzalez's "Far Away" playing upon entering Mexico is of particular note.
Just feels oh so right.

Anyhow if you dig sandbox games, Westerns or hell even if you're like me and don't really know a damned thing about them I recommend giving this a look.


 

Other reviews for Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)

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