Red Dead Redemption - Recap Review

What's good

- Perfect recreation of the wild west.
- Amazingly detailed graphics. By far the best looking sandbox game to date.
- Different types of landscapes with smooth transitions. Additionally, each landscape has specific wildlife and specific vegetation.
- The entire world feels alive: wildlife, bandits, people just riding around, people camping, etc.. You always find people and animals in the loneliest corners of the map.
- Being able to teleport from one side of the map to the other by setting up a campfire -- not being forced to ride the entire way to missions.
- Fun and interesting characters. Each with a unique personality (some clicheed but that's ok).
- Aside from the main story missions, there's loads of stuff to do: many side missions and several mini games like poker, liar's dice, horse breaking, nightwatch jobs, etc. will keep you busy.
- Great dialogue between the characters that succeeds in creating tension and emotions.
- Great score.
- As expected from Rockstar Games, awesome voice acting performances.

What's bad
- The Story is not as good as the ones from the GTA series. Many main missions feel like little side missions that don't influence the main story all that much. It's a typical revenge story that should've expanded more. Still it's very entertaining but just could've been better.
- Winning a duel is way too easy.
- Aiming in general can be pretty hard considering that you are very often shooting while riding -- on the other hand: the dead eye mechanic is a bit overpowered and therefore balances it.
- Horse-riding controls are either appealing or a pain in the ass (especially when driving a carriage).
- Some parts of the game turn out to be incredibly dry and boring. Especially the farm-related missions at the beginning and the end of the game.-- hard to get into the flow of the game because of boring first missions.
- The story should have dug deeper into John Marston's past, emotions and character in general. In suspensful moments he most of the time just stands around and refuses to do anything despite being the good guy. You get the feel that John Marston keeps most of his thoughts to himself than saying them out loud in dialogue (-- notice the dialogues during the rides to locations in missions).
- Most of the missions are just riding to a location and shooting everybody. A little bit more variety would've been welcome.


- That out of nowhere ending! (Don't forget to play the "epilogue side mission"!)

The Verdict

Overall, "Red Dead Redemption" is a no brainer to pick up for wild west fans. Regarding the rarity of wild west games out there, it's a great achievement of Rockstar Games having developed such a well designed and polished game. You can easily see Rockstar Games handwriting all over this game. Especially due to its many many parallels to the GTA series, it would be absolutely legit to call this game "a wild west version of GTA", because it basically is. With that said, that doesn't mean that GTA fans will automatically like "Red Dead Redemption". The parallels aside, the game has a distinct feel and character that might not appeal to anybody, although it's fairly easy to get into. And while the story and some elements in the game might not be as well polished and developed as the ones from GTA, those are all just minor nitpicks. With an incredibly believable wild west world, Rockstar Games again shows that they are the masters of sandbox games...and they managed to make the wild west theme cool again.

Final Verdict: 9 out of 10

Status: Amazing!


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