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Red Dead Redemption super review

Saddle up for a breathtaking Wild West romp as Rockstar deliver another classic


  • An exceptionally detailed world
  • Shooting mechanics that are a joy
  • Loads of side-missions to keep you going


  • Horse racing missions are a drag
  • The shops are sort of pointless
  • John can't swim

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 solelyon 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.

Howdy, stranger

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.

GTA: Wild West

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.

More info

DescriptionThis sequel to PS2's excellent Wild West outing looks like being a superb open-world experience in the beautiful expanses of the western frontier.
Platform"Xbox 360","PS3"
US censor rating"Mature","Mature"
UK censor rating"",""
Alternative names"Undead Nightmare"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Hi, I’m Nathan. You may remember me from such websites as, erm, this one circa 2011. Been hustling in games for over a decade and write for Official PlayStation, Official Xbox, Gamesmaster and more.