Review by neal8929

"More Quantity Less Quality"

Unless the game's wild west theme specifically interests you, most likely you will walk away wondering what the big deal is. The game is huge and has the potential for lots of gaming hours to be put into it. Unfortunately, you may find that most of the content is very monotonous and only serves the purpose of spreading out the duration of the game. The story alone is what makes the game acceptable, but some people expect more from a $60 game then just a story.

The gameplay is pretty fun, especially when you are new to the game and don't realize that doing the same thing for hours in the middle of a desert gets boring. Shooting is exactly like Grand Theft Auto 4 and now you can execute people by pressing the shoot button at point blank range. This means the camera changes angles while you shoot an enemy vertically through the jaw with your rifle, or right in the gut with your revolver. Gun play is very easy and you will not die unless you don't even try to use cover. There is a way to go behind someone and cut their throat, but this is strange because stealth is practically non existent. Horses are like cars in GTA4, except you have to hammer the run button repeatedly and they can get tired. In this game's alternate universe horses only come in three levels of speeds, buying a horse means every time it dies an identical one comes running to you from the horizon, and not a single person in the world can swim. John Marston lacks Niko Belics super special secret military training allowing him to propel himself through water by paddling his hands, therefore he does not even pretend to know how to swim and will die when water reaches his chin. My guess is that swimming will be added in a sequel.

The environment is what you would expect to see in a wild west film. In this game everything is included, even the endless miles of desert you have to manually ride across on your horse that does get tired unless you feed it mysterious horse pills every minute. The cities are very nice to look at and you can enter into most buildings and look at all the furniture inside them. There are saloons that you can drink brandy, get in bar fights, reject a prostitute's offers, cheat at poker and get caught, go outside and duel whoever caught you, take their money, then buy more brandy with that money. Entering into a bank and cracking a safe will reward you with a nice chunk of change if you manage to not get caught. There are other mini games like horseshoes, and finger fillet just in case the main game gets too exciting for you. You can make money from doing these games, but you don't need money in this game because you get about 6 times as many bullets from a dead enemy as you put into them. There are also random events that keep things interesting, however after you save a prostitute from a knife wielding mad man 20 times you will most likely stop and wonder what they are doing in there to make everyone want to kill them.

There are numerous collections and challenges such as hunting certain animals, finding flowers, etc. These all reward fame, which... well it means you are more famous. You will be recognized for doing amazing things like killing 5 dears, or shooting a bird, or killing a bear with a knife. Actually the challenges are just there to give you something to do while riding across the desert to the next story mission. The secret is that there is actually no reason to do the challenges other than personal satisfaction. There are costumes that you can unlock by searching for all the pieces. Some are easy to find, some are a bit harder. The consumes can give bonuses like allowing you to cheat at poker, or allowing you to not be noticed by certain gang members. I think some people forget that it is pretty darn easy to just shoot anyone who gets in your way so there is no need for the costumes.

The multilayer is very chaotic. You can roam around the game world in a free roam mode. This sounds great and it is, except for the fact that everyone knows where you are thanks to the mini map and when you shoot a player they respawn at a very close distance to where you last shot them. This means you will do more shooting and defending yourself from attackers then what you would think free roam is meant for. The other game modes are very simple. It throws a bunch of players into a location and lets them shoot at each other for a few minutes.

So now you should have an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the game. The major strengths are...

• Great Story
• Lots of Content
• Stuff to do in cities

Some of the drawbacks of the game are...

• Lots of repetitive game play
• Riding long distances across desert can get boring
• Useless features or lack of

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 07/21/10

Game Release: Red Dead Redemption (US, 05/18/10)

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