Although there are loads of shops to visit across the world, we bust through the entire game without stopping at any that we weren’t forced into via a mission. It’s only on reflection that we realise that we managed to blast through the story without buying a single new weapon. You might think this is BS, but we honestly didn’t. Why? Well the refined Dead Eye mode (hold L2, LT and click right stick) makes even the weakest of weapons 20,000,000 times more potent because lining up headshots in slow-motion is a piece of piss. This doesn’t mean the action isn’t compelling. Not by a long-shot.
Above: Joining the Mexican army for a brief stint is pretty exciting
The siege on Fort Mercer, where you blow the doors off with a dynamite packed cart, assault the fools inside and finally man a cannon to protect your new base is amazing. A real rollercoaster of a mission that typifies the beautiful shooting mechanics of Red Dead Redemption, and puts it above GTAIV in terms of excitement during firefights.
It’s hard to put a finger on a single reason why Red Dead Redemption is so great. It doesn’t do one thing that will make you stand-up and applaud its uniqueness, but the whole package – the environment, the story, which we’re purposely not spoiling here, and the gunplay – all adds up to be a thing of beauty and an early and worthy contender for Game of the Year.
Is it better than...
Red Dead Revolver?
Yes. Obviously. Rockstar's initial attempt at Wild West fun still stands strong but the lack of open world freedom means that there's limited variety to proceedings in this last-gen classic.
Call of Juarez - Bound in Blood?
Yes. The sturdy FPS take on Western action provided a fairly decent run and gun affair but the story sucked a fat one as you were funnelled down one set-path after another.
No. But only just. It's highly subjective but personally we prefer pissing about in Banshees around Star Junction than riding a horse about. And the story of Niko is more involving and interesting than John Marston's.
Just for you Metacritic
Without a doubt, Red Dead Redemption has been worth the wait. The finesse of the final delivery and the richness of the world is awe-inspiring and will keep you thrilled from start to finish.