Red Dead Redemption Hero

John Marston, an ex-outlaw forced out of retirement to hunt down those he once knew as friends. The journey that plays out is bloody long and somewhat complex. As with most sand-box styled games – missions, side missions and small adventures are plenty. You’ll often find yourself engrossed with completing one task when all of a sudden a women who has just had her wagon hijacked comes running, begging for your help. I mostly ignored such asides. On the occasion that I was feeling overly nice to some AI I would gallop after that wagon thief and return it to her.

As for your surroundings, as with GTA they are expansive to say the least. There is no single route or method to attack a bandit’s hideout or rob a town’s safe. Between the extremely far spaced towns and ranches lie deserts, rivers and mountainous plains. Although at first you are spurred into awe by the sheer size and detail of it all, but you quickly realise the fastest way around is by stage coach or use of an “advanced camp site” which you purchase and it enables you to save and travel quickly.

Even with the “advanced camp site” you still spend a lot of time just trying to get to your next mission. Thus leading me to my next point…. DON’T DIE, not ever, do not do it, trust me, please don’t. I cannot stress it enough. Often missions involve riding to a destination &*$%ing far away. Not fun the fourth time round.

Besides needing at least a month of gameplay time to fully complete the game, many missions, well actually most missions are carbon copies of one another. The basic structure: get on horse, ride to a destination, have a chat (that can’t be skipped), get off your horse, choose a weapon, shoot some folk, get back on horse, ride away whilst being chased, shoot some more folk (off horses this time, yay), outrun pursuers, reach safety, get off horse and receive reward.

I do realise that I’m painting a rather bleak picture of this game. Red Dead Redemption does have many saving graces. The dead eye ability, which slows down time and allows you to pick out specific targets and points on their bodies is unbelievably awesome. Taking out six bandits with six bullets in one coordinated fluid movement makes anyone feel like a gunslinging machine.

Lassoing horses and then breaking them in to become your own is awesome. But what is more awesome is lassoing robbers and either dragging them back to the sheriff or hogtieing them and putting one on the back of your horse to take back. However, the most awesome, assuming you are a bit of a sadist, is lassoing and hogtieing them in the middle of the wilderness and waiting around to see what wildlife you attract. The auto-lock on feature is also a great idea as it would be extremely difficult to control your horse, aim at the enemy and pull off a great shot. There are an array of guns and weapons, all unique and enjoyable. Changing of apparel comes in the form of piecing together a full outfit through side missions.

The final and most important saving grace, well at least I think so, is the ability to play the game as either a good Samaritan or cunning bandit. Each with their positives and of course negatives. Red Dead Redemption covers all bases for each style and really does give you an interactive gaming experience.

Although repetitive, enduring and monotonous Red Dead Redemption is a fantastic game. Plenty to do, thousands of ways of doing it and a decent story line this game will definitely be pleasing many gamers.

Please just do me a solid and don’t DIE!

Rating : 6/10

Available On: PS3 & Xbox 360

Josh “Swift” Sack
Gaming Editor