Game Review: Red Dead Redemption

Jared Wuest, Writer

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On May 18th, 2010, Rockstar Games (most notable for their Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne games) released a new game in the open world genre, known as Red Dead Redemption.

Essentially described as “Grand Theft Horse,” the game is GTA but in the dying West, in the year 1911, when the rise of technology was slowly creeping across the frontiers of America.

The story follows a man known as John Marston, a former outlaw who gave up his life of crime to raise his family in safety. His hopes for an idyllic life on a farmstead were ruined when government man Edgar Ross forces him to use his skills to track down his old gang friends and bring them to the law, as a form of “redemption.” (Get the title, now?)

For the whole game, you go around the provinces of New Austin, Mexico, and West Elizabeth, tracking down gang leaders, Bill Williamson, Javier Escuella, and the former gang kingpin Dutch van der Linde.

Throughout his journey, John Marston meets an eccentric cast of characters ranging from farmstead owner Bonnie McFarlane, to snake-oil salesman Nigel West Dickens, grave robber Seth, and the Marshal of small town Armadillo, Leigh Johnson, and his deputies.

The game has been praised by the media for being a nice love letter to old Western movies, taking inspiration from Clint Eastwood movies most notably, as well as having beautiful landscapes, visuals, voice acting, and story.

Many expected the game to be be a flop, as western settings don’t hold much appeal to the general Rockstar game audience as compared to the more contemporary setting of Grand Theft Auto, but the game quickly shot into cult status, garnering tons of fans and support.

In October of 2016, Rockstar teased the sequel to RDR, which was quickly met with critical acclaim, being nominated for many “acclaimed game of 2016-2017” awards (because that’s a thing, apparently.)

The sequel (actually technically a prequel, taking place during John Marston’s time in Dutch’s outlaw gang, but marketed as a sequel) is set to release in October 26th of this year, and it will be a major improvement over the original, being the first game Rockstar developed on purely new current-gen technology.

I would strongly recommend the game, as it is one of the best games of the Xbox 360/PS3 generation. It can be played with backwards compatibility on Xbox One, and using the PSNow service on PS4, or can just be played on a 360 or PS3. Really worth all the time you may put in to it.

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Game Review: Red Dead Redemption