(http://www.rockstargames.com/reddeadredemption/)  Rated Mature by ESRB.  Rockstar Games is back at it again with this year’s highly anticipated title Red Dead Redemption based in the Wild West.  With the success of their world famous open world sandbox formula that they have applied with their Grand Theft Auto game series, some will argue that this is perhaps another Grand Theft Auto game skinned with a Wild West look and feel?  However, we can assure you that Red Dead Redemption is far from that.  You assume the role of John Marston, former outlaw gone good that has found out the hard way that history has a way of catching up with you, so choose your friends wisely.  You will find yourself traveling the vast of borderlands between what we know today as the US and Mexico.  No Wild West adventure would be complete without a supporting cast that will be sure to make your adventure an unforgettable one!

(http://www.rockstargames.com/reddeadredemption/)  Rated Mature by ESRB.  Rockstar Games is back at it again with this year’s highly anticipated title Red Dead Redemption based in the Wild West.  With the success of their world famous open world sandbox formula that they have applied with their Grand Theft Auto game series, some will argue that this is perhaps another Grand Theft Auto game skinned with a Wild West look and feel?  However, we can assure you that Red Dead Redemption is far from that.  You assume the role of John Marston, former outlaw gone good that has found out the hard way that history has a way of catching up with you, so choose your friends wisely.  You will find yourself traveling the vast of borderlands between what we know today as the US and Mexico.  No Wild West adventure would be complete without a supporting cast that will be sure to make your adventure an unforgettable one!

**WARNING** The following video may contain content inappropriate for children**

Presentation:

Out of the box the presentation of game is top notch.  As noted earlier this isn’t just a redo of a Grand Theft Auto title with a new skin added.  It is apparent that a good amount of time was put into getting the look and feel of how this story is portrayed just right.  The landscapes and scenery are beautiful as are they endless with many corners of the desert open for exploration.  The atmosphere and dialogue is set just right to really have that authentic feeling that most titles lack today.  

 

Graphics:

The graphics and art direction taken in Red Dead Redemption is extremely remarkable!  What many of us fail to see and understand is the hours and amount of work put into developing the look and feel of this game will look and feel upon launch.  From walking into the local pub at Armadillo to riding your trusty steed off into the sunset is nothing less than superb and accurate.  The details on the character models are well crafted and portray their personalities.  The main character is a prime example with his scarred appearance and rough exterior tells the tale of a hardened man from the “Old West” Along with the well designed clothing and accessories on every character, this helps in making this game believable. 

 

Moreover, the physics of the game is quite realistic.  Both the animals and people within the game react differently to the location they are shot.  If a person was shot in the game in the leg, his legs will crumble as he falls and he will crawl to get back up.   Similarly, the dust kicked up by the horse or animals will linger in the air and react to characters moving through them or blown by the winds.  All these factors make the game believable. 

       

To further enhance the experience, the dynamic environment and the weather effects add to the credibility.   As far as eyes can see it, the game will draw each and every abandoned outskirts or primitive saloons in the horizon.  This gives a great sense of the vast and desolation of the untamed landscape.  From the dry desert to the dense forest mountains, all the vegetations and animals are placed correctly in each environment.  As you venture from one scenery to the next, the progression is subtle and natural.  The weather effects are phenomenal.  The sunrise of the game is spectacular as the first light of dawn lights up the starry sky to the east.  As the rain sets in, you will see storm clouds slowly forming in the distance and build above you.  These rain clouds will cast shadow on the ground and great puddles on ground and drop on the camera as it starts to rain.  Nothing falls short of being a true next generation console game in Red Dead Redemption. 

 

Sound:

The sound is a big attributor to the realism and immersive experience delivered in Red Dead Redemption.  All the sound effects are very apparent.  From the call of singing birds as the sun rises in the early morning, you can literally smell the morning desert winds and sand grazing on your skin.  As you venture into hidden canyons, you can hear the distinct sounds of the horseshoes on the desert floor or the ricocheting gunshots echoing against the rocky walls.    The experience is truly remarkable.  Adding to the experience, there is an incredible array of weather and environmental effects like the varying thunder sounds during a storm and the serene resonance of the waterfall echoing off the mountains.  All these effects combined as a powerful medium that will have you in awe. 

 

The game’s soundtrack is beautifully composed.  The familiar western cliché’ music will remind you of old John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies.  As you progress into a gunfight, the music intensifies to add a sense of danger and urgency of the stake at hand. 

 

No Wild West adventure would be complete without your wide array of unique folk that you meet along the way!  The voice acting with the all the characters is truly amazing and very enjoyable to see in action.  Unlike many open world games, none of the dialogs in the game ever seems redundant.  This makes every mission a new experience.

       

 

Gameplay:

Red Dead Redemption is a third person shooter that plays similar to Grand Theft Auto IV with added features like dead eye shoot system to lasso ropes for capturing horses or escaping criminals.  The movements and controls are very intuitive and fluid for most part.  Along with the newly added “Dead Eye” system to slow down time while you line up your shots will help you greatly in hunting down your foes.  Paired with a large array of weapons from Cattleman Revolver to Winchester Repeater Rifle to match you play style, you will feel like a real gunfighter from the old west.  The AI is also very well developed as they will seek cover during gunfights and shoot at all threats including wild animals and allies. The horseback riding can a bit tricky a first.  Once you have fallen off your horse a few times playing with the controls, riding your steed will become second nature. Still the core of the game revolves around a vast game world that has a life of its own.  Aside from the twenty hours it will take you to navigate your way through the single player story about John Marston, you can try your luck at blackjack at the local saloon, test your reflexes in the five finger fillet game, hunt animals, pick up a bounty and challenge outlaw to a duel, buy and sell properties, rob a bank, tie hostages to train tracks, hunt for treasures and maps, or take out gang hideouts just to name a few.  All this are just a few of the activities possible in Red Dead Redemption!  To top it all off, there is an endless supply of random encounters and events that happens all the time like a man being chased by wolves or prospectors being raided by thieves.  In any given situation, you can choose to good or evil.

       

 

Longevity:

Once you have completed the single player story in Red Dead Redemption there is still plenty to do!  Your adventure continues online whether you will play cooperatively or competitively, the online mode supports up to sixteen players where you can play the traditional online favorites such as capture the bag or death match shootouts! If that isn’t enough for you take on the Online Free Roam mode where you and fifteen of your friends can roam the single player maps partaking in skirmishes, assaulting bandit hideouts, or explore and hunt throughout the Wild West.  This alone could be a separate title in its own with plenty to do and many unlockable rewards!

 

Conclusion:

Red Dead Redemption has really lived up to its hype setting new standards in the open sandbox game genre as well as properly demonstrating how a Wild West Game should be made.  With a limitless amount of activities possible both on and offline, Red Dead Redemption is sure to be a hit on all consoles this summer.  If you’re looking for a an immersive adventure that is set to take you back to the Wild West Red Dead Redemption is for you!

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