By Sam Coles:
Westerns have to be one of my favourite film genres, but that wasn’t always the case because before this game came out I had no interest in them. It wasn’t until I picked this game up on day one back in 2010 and burned most of my summer away on it, I fell in love with the genre. After finishing the game I went through my parent’s film collection and started watching the Dollars Trilogy which are fantastic with good action and tension which you can tell Red Dead Redemption took a lot of inspiration from.
You play as John Marston a former outlaw who is being blackmailed by the Federal government to take down his former gang members in exchange for his wife and son. You’re sent to New Austin as you’ve got word that one of you former gang members is held up in an abandon fort. This turns out to be true and Marston confronts Bill Williamson one of his former fellow gang members and he is then shot and left for dead in the wilderness. He’s then rescue and nursed backed to health by a female farmer named Bonnie, he then repays her by helping out on her homestead. After that he is back on the hunt for Williamson with the help of a US Marshall named Johnson. The story goes through many twists and turns with engaging characters especially John as you see him transition from outlaw, mercenary and loving father.
This is an open world game where you can explore small towns interact with the residence or shoot them if you get bored like me. There are huge wide open plains that you can explore on your horse where you can find treasure or strangers you can help or kill and rob them. The game does sprinkle a bit morality because it almost tests you as a person because you could help this person and get a reward, but you also need money and supplies it puts you in a tough situation. You can partake in many activities such as throwing horse shoes, getting drunk, braking in horses, hunting down bounties and main story quests there is so much content that this game offers.
The visuals what can I say about the graphics? Considering that this game came out six years ago it still holds up visually with dust drifting under your feet to horse shoe prints left in the sand when your horse treads in it. The detail is outstanding with fantastic animation especially with the horses, I haven’t seen great animations with horses since this game I do believe that they did motion capture horses in order to make them look believable with their movement. The sound and music are superb with eerie music tracks that play as you explore empty deserts and ghosts towns it really makes you feel isolated as the hot sun shines down on you as you watch your back when you journey through the wilderness. The sound design with the weapons is fantastic they really have grunt to them and echo when you fire into the empty wastes from the sharp and short revolvers to the meaty shotguns which tears enemies apart.
The only annoyance I have with this game is that the physics can be a pain when you’re in tight spaces because John has a habit of getting stuck in door frames or starts mating with a wall.
Red Dead Redemption is a beautiful game utilising a genre that isn’t used often in video games and I don’t understand why. You can pick this game up for cheap these days and I would recommend getting the Game of the Year edition as it comes with the Undead Nightmare expansion.