2.13.2011

Red Dead Redemption Review

Red Dead Redemption (XBOX 2010)

Sometimes, you just gotta make sure, you know?

So I just finished this game over the weekend, and Red Dead Redemption is one of those games that you really should finish before you write a review. I say that because if the rest of the game was as awesome as the epilogue, then I would have enjoyed it ten times as much I did for the first 98% of the game. As is, I think Red Dead Redemption is an amazing American Western sandbox, but it suffers from a rather non-engaging story throughout much the game.

You are John Marston, ex. gangster turned family man and coerced by the government in to doing their dirty work. It's a pretty straightforward formula that provides sufficient motivation to move from mission to mission as you hunt down some dangerous fellows, but that's almost all there is. Most of the missions are of a repetitive nature that we've unfortunately all played before in the GTA series.

*semi-spoiler alert*

What's worse is that the feel of the game promotes somewhat chivalrous behaviour from the character, so you actually feel obligated to play a lawfully good character. That is, until you reach the end. Then all I have to say is that the fellow in the picture above, and all the other people involved with him, were unfortunate to have been in one man's path of vengeance. In this aspect, I've never played a game like this: where in one clear moment, you see the futility of this character's struggles and then you just snap ... like Batman or something. So awesome. Too bad it takes nearly ~30 some hours of semi monotonous gaming to get there.

*end spoiler alert*

Back to the sandbox aspect of the game though. There are some pretty neat things to do that are unique to the whole western theme though. Cheating at card games, gunslinging duels at sundown, *attempting* to shoot hats off of passer-byers are the usual expected fair, but there's some real fun to be had with the lasso. My favorite thing by far was tying up a guy who picked a fight with my character, putting him on the back on my horse, and then laying him on the train tracks. It's a bit of a hassle to look up the train schedules and to locate the train though, so I only did it twice. Finally, in lieu of the GTA radio system which doesn't exist on these horses, I took to lasso'ing random folks as I exited towns and dragging them around and watching them bounce around as I got from place to place.

All in all, Red Dead Redemption is about what I expected from a game like this; it's a good game, but as I saw towards the end, there was some definite unrealized potential here. What was presented was probably what the writers and producers wanted, but I would have liked more of the end. Fallout 3 suffered from the exact same problem. The best was saved for last, but I really wish they fashioned more parts of the game in the same mold.

kenholic.com rating: 8.0 out of 10.0.
Repetitive tasks, but still fun and an ultimately rewarding experience.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great review! Red Dead Redemption definitely looks like an amazing game. I think the Grand Theft Autos would have been better if the game play was similar to Red Dead. I will be moving this game to the top of my Blockbuster queue list as soon as possible. I like Blockbuster the best, since I can also get movies and blu-rays all for the same price. As a DISH Network customer/employee, it’s easy to get tired of TV, so Blockbuster is great to change thing up. If you make the switch to DISH, you can get 3 months of Blockbuster for free. If anyone has an interest, there is more information available here. If you like Netflix, you will love Blockbuster.

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