Review: Red Dead Redemption

By Mike Wheeler

Rockstar Game’s Red Dead Redemption is a first-person shooter set in the early 20th century American Wild West where old habits die hard as modernisation encroaches on those stuck in their ways.

By Mike Wheeler

Rockstar Game’s Red Dead Redemption is a first-person shooter set in the early 20th century American Wild West where old habits die hard as modernisation encroaches on those stuck in their ways.

You play John Marston, an outlaw who has seen his fair share of gunfights and murder, but has now settled down with his wife and kids hoping to make an honest living. His past comes back to haunt him in the form of government agents who kidnap him and will only let him go after he agrees to hunt down his old gang (gee, wonder where that plot line has been seen before – like, a million movies). Thus the premise is set.

First up, the graphics. Pretty good. Not quite in the same class as Assassin’s Creed and Darksiders, but pretty impressive nonetheless. The designers have captured the essence of what it would be like in townships in the mid and western states of America at a time when there was still plenty of land to be broken and outlaws roamed the dusty plains and arid deserts.

Playability is pretty good, although when riding a wagon, the controls sometimes seemed a little light, so you have to be careful that you don’t end up driving off a trail and in to a canyon.

You get to take on various bad guys and villains as you slowly start to hunt down your targets. There is plenty of interplay that is peripheral to the main game, including side missions of helping folks out. You earn money by robbing people you have killed or assaulting peopl. This money can be swapped for guns, ammunition and food at the local store.

If you get bored and start killing innocents, you get outlaw status and can be gunned down by citizens, but if you stay free long enough or kill those trying to end your life, then the you eventually return to normal.

There are many types of weaponry to choose from – including rifle, shotgun and pistols – as well as the ability to lasso horses and people. It took me quite a while to get used to the lassoing but once mastered, I wondered why it took so long to get the gist. Also available is a mounted gattling gun, which is a lot of fun given the circumstances.

Overall, this is a pretty good game that I enjoyed playing. It received the usual hype by its publisher before its released, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it live up to it.

Important Note: I have a 23-inch CRT television, which is usually fine for these games. However, unless I am standing about 50 cms away from the screen I couldn’t read any of the instructions .Even at that distance, on occasion, I had readability problems. I found this very annoying, but I guess they have taken for granted that you will be playing on an HD TV or computer screen.

4.5 Shacks out of 5

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