Red Dead Redemption is the sequel to Rockstar’s Playstation 2 hit Red Dead Revolver. As I have gotten older my tastes have changed in video games. I no longer purchase games that merely sound good, nor do I have the money for it either. In my need to be selective I strive to purchase ones that are either going to be classics, high re-playability, or hold a spot in my past.
Ever since I was young I have been a huge fan of the spaghetti westerns. The famous background music the sights, the sparse environment, it all adds to another time in America’s past that is hard to capture digitally. Yet somehow Rockstar has done it, the masters of the sandbox style games of Grand Theft Auto, have been able to create a game where the environment will make you and sometimes break you. Most game environments after some time will show a level of program repeating, so far in my time with Red Dead Redemption, I have yet to see the noticeable repeat of AI. Everything is near dead on representations of the old west, even the pains of traveling.
While taking a carriage is a possibility to travel great distances, the best way is to grab a horse for yourself and start making your journey. This is where the true scope of Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption takes hold in your mind. This sandbox is not just large, it is mind numbingly open and near never ending. While the environment is rather sparse in places care must be taken visually and even audibly to not fall victim to the roaming AI. The AI I speak of here are not roaming humans for the most part, and of course by now you have heard of the large bears that can attack, but I am rather talking about the smaller unseen or to fast to really catch night predators of the old west. The shriek of a mountain cat will send you into a dead sprint and the quick rattle of a snake is enough to make you want to reload your game especially if you survive and your horse doesn’t. I always heard that the punishment if the old west for killing a man was less than when you stole a horse. Now I can say I get the theory behind this in that if you steal someones horse they are A) going to die because they are stranded, and B) you stole a horse, both of which levy’s a heavier punishment then one crime on it own. Now mind you that I am not justifying this criminal behavior. I am simply stating that the very basic things of the old west can be harsh lessons learned and usually they are learned the hard way.
In Red Dead Redemption there are many things done well. The duels are quick, nerve numbing, and beautiful. The graphics are nothing less than breath taking, and the sounds are straight out of the old west movies of Clint Eastwood. If there is one game to throw down the cash for the full price for, this is it. Even after the game story lines have been finished the experience of ruling the old west and making your name, either good or bad, takes on a life of its own. Much like it’s older GTA brothers the game does not end with the storyline completion. There are numerous side stories to fulfill, and numerous world events that will keep you playing. Once those side stories are finished up you can easily spend hours a day roaming the old west either making a good heroic name out of yourself or simply blast your way through town and lead a posse around while accruing higher bounties on your head.
Of the last 4-5 games that I have added to my very selective collection of games, I can honestly say that Red Dead Redemption will not be leaving my collection and barely be leaving my Playstation 3. If you enjoy the old spaghetti western movies you will absolutely love this addition to the Red Dead set.