Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Red Dead Redemption puts you in the shoes of a reformed criminal named James Marston, who is trying to get his life back on track. Unfortunately, his former allies have different ideas, threatening his family and forcing him to take on his former gang members and their leader, Bill Williamson. You’ll meet many people on your journey, some of which will help or hinder your pursuits. Your quest will take you all around the vast state of New Austin, which is as expansive as they come.

The game gives you a choice on how to build your character’s standing in the community. You can choose to go the good path, building up a positive honor rating by helping out innocent people who are in need of your services, or opt to go the bad route by becoming an infamous criminal to get what you want. Depending on your chosen path, you will receive different missions to complete, opening up the replayability of the game immensely.

Earning honor is done in a variety of different ways. One way to earn positive honor points is by taking down your bounties and your enemies non-lethally, be it by using your lasso to take them down and hogtie them, or even by shooting the gun out of their hand so they’re no longer a threat to you. Additionally, you can help out random people that you meet throughout the game, rescuing them from an attack and earning a small amount of money as thanks and some honor. Aside from the honor gauge, performing missions and tasks will grant you a fame rating as well, as more people throughout New Austin will begin to hear your name and of your exploits.

If the single-player doesn’t keep you entertained (and it will), Red Dead Redemption offers an epic multiplayer element that will keep you coming back time and time again. There are online free-for-alls and team-based game modes as well, each beginning with a Mexican stand-off. However, the real meat of the online component comes from the Free Roam mode, which could be a separate game in its own right. In Free Roam, you’re able to hop online with some friends and form a posse, taking on other gangs in online skirmishes, busting into their hideouts and taking them out. The scope of the multiplayer element is fantastic, and a great way to eat up time if you’re a multiplayer fanatic.

Graphically, Red Dead Redemption looks phenomenal. The environment is astoundingly created, and the character models are very impressive. While there are some graphical quirks and bugs here and there, including framerate hiccups, they do little to detract from how great this game looks. The sound is also very impressive. Rockstar’s industry-defining production values come into full form here, with a tightly written script and fantastically performed dialogue. The music, while sparse, does an excellent job of setting the pace and overall theme for the action.