There are welcome distractions all over the place in Red Dead Redemption. Finish a mission and your end location will often be packed with stuff to do. Talk to a stranger for example and they’ll ask you to do them a favour. In one saloon we were asked to convince a guy’s wife to go back to him. You meet her at the station preparing to leave town and instead of talking things through you can either a) put a gun to her head and force her back or b) hog-tie and return her kicking and screaming. Nice.
There are also Wanted missions to take part in. Treasure hunts, which you'll be given maps and clues to find specific locations. And a wealth of specific games to gamble in. Like what? Like this...
If you're not arsed about being caught up in these affairs you can always move between different areas of the map by setting up a campsite out in the wilderness and teleporting from one location to another.
Above: The only way to travel in the Wild West
You can even take a stagecoach, which acts in the same way as the cab in GTAIV, as you can make the driver go faster, slower, or skip to destination. But while this is handy for getting about you’re going to miss out on a whole host of visual treats in Red Dead Redemption.
Hop on a horse – or a donkey, if you like – and head out across the wilderness to be treated to one of the richest gaming worlds you’ve ever seen. It’s packed full of beautiful mountains, rivers, forests and a fully-functioning ecosystem.
Above: Surely the gun on his back would be better used in this situation
There are plants to pick that can be sold in towns and a zoo’s worth of wild animals including armadillos, wolves, goats and big ol’ grizzly bears. All of which can be shot, killed and skinned. We skinned more cadavers than Buffalo Bill and Dr Gunther von Hagens combined. One other sticky wicket is that John can’t swim, so don’t expect to swim the river across to Mexico.