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There’s no point having a sprawling landscape if you can't fill it with tons of shit to do in between the regular missions. GTAIV has the occasional stranger to help out in Liberty City. Just Cause 2 has a stack of things to blow up around Panau. And Far Cry 2 has, erm? <cough>. Anyway, Red Dead Redemption and its miles of dusty land between different towns and villages could’ve wound up a joyless trek to wander across. But, holy crap, there’s so much stuff to do here that you need never be bored.
Above: Just a sample of the madness you can cause here
Rockstar has not only delivered a kick-ass take on the Wild West era but they've done it with a finesse that satisfies every need of anyone who has ever fantasised about being a cowboy. Unless of course, your visions are based solely on Brokeback Mountain, in which case you may be disappointed. There’s cattle herding, duels, hunting, breaking in horses (not like that) and much, much more to keep you in the saddle for hours.
You play as John Marston - a former outlaw who’s being forced to hunt down his old gang members by shady government officials led by one Edgar Ross. How do you make a bad-ass do wet work for you? Kidnap his wife and kid. So he's fighting for the lives of his family, but let’s get a gripe out of the way early on; while Marston's cause is a worthy one, he doesn’t half go on about it. Every time he meets someone new he bangs on about his plight like a stuck record, which, in terms of story, leaves him fairly one-dimensional.
This might be unfair to say this as most lead characters these days are about as compelling as rock with a face painted on it. But when it comes to Rockstar and their previously soulful leads it’s worth a mention.
It all plays out like GTA except in 1911. You're sent on an initial, straightforward mission to get you used to the controls and how to move around the huge landscape. The story then branches off into separate areas and you'll soon find yourself working with/for various characters - like the Mexican army or simple ranchers - in the search for information regarding the whereabouts of your old chums. Red Dead Redemption takes you through superb little towns and villages that you can buy stuff from, play games in or simply shoot every one up.
Above: Donning a bandana around your face will keep you annonymous
There's a morale system in place for John too; perform good deeds, like preventing a break-in or saving a woman from being kidnapped, and you'll increase your hero status. Take this path and you’ll find cheaper items in stores and the police turning a blind eye to the odd stolen horse. Alternatively, you can take the bad boy route by robbing everyone at gunpoint and holding up shops like a Wild West mad man and get a rep as a feared outlaw.
May 18 2010 (Xbox 360, PS3)
|Expected release date:||
05/21/2010 (Xbox 360) 05/21/2010 (PS3)
|Available Platforms:||Xbox 360, PS3|
|Published by:||Rockstar Games|
|Developed by:||Rockstar San Diego|
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
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