“Red Dead Redemption” by Mr Riddler

Well first off let me explain what I shall endeavor to do over these next few centuries. My band of Merry Men and I will do our very best to deliver quality, insightful and partially biased opinions over Video Games, Movies, blah blah blah.

So… Riddle me this reader:


Who is a Western Interstellar form of measurement?

Answer: John Marston; The Main Character of Red Dead Redemption.


First Impressions
Red Dead Redemption is the Sequel to Red Dead Revolver which, in retrospect, makes Red Dead Revolver look like a Software test. A lot has been added the the game. For example, it’s on an entirely different game engine now. Red Dead Redemption now runs on the Grand Theft Auto 4 engine changing the whole game play experience from Linear shootout to shootout story of Red Dead Revolver into a Sandbox Shootout to Shootout story. Honestly, the only things to have traveled from Red Dead Revolver to Red Dead Redemption is the quick draw game mechanic which allows you to quickly draw your pistol to take aim and fire in a little timing mini-game. Some of the character design remains the same but for the most part Red Dead Redemption is an entirely different game from Red Dead Revolver with new red Dead Characters being added to the Red Dead Franchise.
Well it seems I’ve just finished my little history lesson and have already said “Red Dead” too many times. So, despite the sake of political correctness, I’m just going to refer to this game as Redemption seeing as it pretty much sums up the title any way in the sense that it was Redemption of Revolver from being such a cruddy game and John Marston in the story is searching for his own form of Redemption. We both agreed? Good. Moving on.
If you browsed the internet looking for info on video games, like I know you do because you’re the only one here reading this blog, then you’ve probably stumbled upon some of the ‘viral marketing’ for Red De… “Redemption”. A picture here. A rumor there. Supposedly “leaked” information from RockStar about their new little baby that the public isn’t supposed to hear but by one lone man in a mask that snuck into the head quarters armed only with a grappling hook and tranquilizer gun, you have heard of it in surprising detail, but we all know that RockStar really went as far as an elaborate plot to double trick you by putting it under your nose for you to find and feel a sense of accomplishment in knowing something that no one else does before the video game comes out. *gasp* The game had QUITE a bit of viral marketing to say the least. I’ve personally stumble across a full list of the information that described weapons, outfits, horses and even the basic controller set up. Needless to say, the scheme worked. Redemption had a good fan base before the game even came out. Congratulations RockStar. You live up to your name.

What we got:
What we got with Redemption is Grand Theft Auto with Horses. Everyone knows it. I’m just saying it. Redemption is a Sandbox game just like RockStar’s previous Grand theft Auto titles, it has a mini map leading you to missions marked by the first letter of the quest givers name, you lock on, fire, run and hijack horses the same way that you would in Grand Theft Auto, even the controller set up is the same. oh and also I think I mentioned it runs on the Grand Theft Auto 4 game engine. None-the-less, don’t let that off put you. Just because it’s the same engine doesn’t mean that it’s the same game.
Allow me to jump into a side note for a minute. Grand Theft Auto 4 was missing something that all the previous titles seemed to do well which was make me laugh from the mindless evil mayhem. I’m going to be a bit blunt with you, reader. I wasn’t a fan of Grand Theft Auto 4… You still there? Good. I was afraid I lost you for a second since I’m sure you’re a fan like 89% of the American public. Not just speaking from a psychotic point of view, but be honest with yourself. You play Grand Theft Auto or Just Cause 2 or Saints Row 2 (if you’re just that gangsta) because you want to have fun being bad. In Grand Theft Auto 4, however, I felt that maybe they had lost sight of this in an attempt to create a more realistic and serious setting. Nico was by far not a “good guy,” but he wasn’t insane or really crazy enough to be a “bat sh*t bonkers guy” like the player would behave in a rampaging situation. In this sense, he becomes far more relate-able and in a serious story this makes for good drama. Allows you to become involved in the story of the character and allows you to be emotionally attached and feel what he feels. For a game like Grand Theft Auto and Redemption, however, seriousness is more a concept that is played with bit in itself is not taken seriously. I don’t really want to feel for Nico. He’s more my tool for mindless violence. This goes into a concept that I wish the gaming industry would grasp a bit more; of being believable not realistic. Tommy Versetti from Vice City wasn’t realistic. He was psychotic, he was funny, he was rude and vulgar, but he was believable. And through being believable, yet not realistic, he was fun. Redemption doesn’t quite shoot for realistic. The graphics look beautiful and for the most part the characters behave and move rather human like, but what really allows the game to “work” or be enjoyable isn’t that it’s realistic or historically accurate (which it’s not; don’t kid yourself). What makes the game enjoyable is that it’s well designed in gameplay and it’s still believable. This could be attributed to the time difference. Instead of modern day realistic setting where you can say “that looks pretty close to where I live” or “it feels like I’m in New york City.” Now you’re in a place for your imagination to really run wild and for you to role play the kind of Cowboy you want to be. Again, going back to the idea that John is more a tool for your own violence he now becomes more of a character that you can put yourself into to be a bad guy or good guy of your choosing.
John is another great improvement over Nico. They tell you that John Marston used to be a bat sh*t bonkers outlaw who is attempting to go straight. Probably one of the most noticeable changes between the 2 games (aside from the whole being in the wild west thing) is the moral choice ladder. You don’t have to be a bad guy, even though it seems to be the more lucrative and popular career path, and if you do decide to go bad, after a few hours of Redemption we can go straight and everyone will love you. If that’s not freedom I don’t know what is.
The game itself is very pretty. The landscape rolls out in front of you like it does in a John Wayne movie. Open plans full of plants, animals and outlaw ready to be killed and sold for profit. Exploring the open desert and running into strangers here and there looking for aid or running from the cops that are hunting you for the bounty on your head is always fun. This can kill countless hours of just fooling around.
The story is another aspect of the game to be praised. You play though as John Marston ex-outlaw of the wild West whose Family has been captured by the American Government and now you must track down and kill you old posse if you ever want to see your family alive again. This is not as simple as it sounds, though. Your adventures take you though Gang Hideouts, The Mexican Revolutions and Snowy Mountain Tops to track down everyone and bring them to Justice. Truly touching. Truly… As with previous RockStar games you get to meet a crew of interesting gents and ladies, most of which are assholes. In Redemption though, they are all pretty well developed assholes. There’s a time in the game when a… Spoiler alert you may want to skip to the end of the paragraph… a girl you’re close with is gunned down in cold blood right in front of you. And when I say that you’ve become close to this girl, I mean CLOSE. Out of the entirety of Mexico she’s is the one good person. You get to know the leader of the Mexican army (Spoiler but honestly if you don’t see this coming then you’re not paying attention, backstabbing asshole) and the leader of the revolution (This may comes as a shock but it’s still a spoiler, cheating asshole) and his girlfriend, the dead young lady, is the one that is sacrificing her whole family for her boyfriends cause. What is the matter with people in these games? Don’t they have mothers that taught them that when a man comes to you asking for help and kills hundreds of men for you without taking a scratch that you don’t double cross him? Ever! I was trying to be a good guy in the game. (putting on a mask before I went on massive killing sprees) disarming men instead of killing them; bringing back bounties alive; etc. but after seeing all the crap that she had gone through I had become pretty emotionally involved in the character, and would not stand for her being murdered. Turned the gunman into swiss cheese. That’ll learn em. *ssholes aside would say that this is probably the most engaging story that RockStar has put together overall.

Multiplayer:

If you’ve played the Multiplayer in GTA4 then you’ve got the gist of what the deathmatches and team deathmatches are like in Red Dead Redemption. The best little feature of multiplayer is the new Free Roam mode that is now available. It’s just like playing the regular single player, free roaming except now all your friends are with you. You can still do the same gang hideouts or run a muck, but now you can kill your friends simultaneously. A great concept! I remember when a friend and I first found the Grand Theft Auto Franchise and used to play together, taking turns with the controller of course. The multiplayer free roam allowed me to relive the experience, except I don’t have to be in the same room with the bastard.

Conclusion
I loved this game. I thought it was great and an excellent note to kick off the blog on. It’s action packed, it’s using an engine that we’re all familiar with, and the controls handle great. But be mindful of the glitches; if you have a sense of humor, they really shouldn’t hinder gameplay too badly. One big thing to keep in mind as well is the rating. This game is a hard “M”. A lot of cursing, blood, and gore from literally blowing holes into people when you shoot them. One scene has a pretty graphically depicted sex sequence with full frontal nudity, as well. Parents Beware. Read the ESRB rating BEFORE buying games. Or don’t and call RockStar to complain after you buy the game. Either is good.

Overall Rating:

Buy

Buy it. What? You dont get the picture? Read the side panel. You’re going to be seeing these at the end of every review.

Feel Free to leave me a comment down below and let me know what you think, if you enjoyed the game or what you want me to review next. I’ll pay attention. After all, you are my only reader.

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