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Them tender feet won't be so tender after life on the dusty trail, green horn.

  • Jul 29, 2010
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I've recently became a fan of Rockstar games.  They're Grand Theft Auto IV is a large and immersive game that allows a lot of flexability as far as what you want to do and live.  Red Dead Redemption ramps up all the "do all, live all" aspects of the sandbox genre in the colorful sunsets of the wild west.

In Red Dead Redemption, the year is 1911.  John Marston (you) have been strong armed by the feds to find your old gang and bring them to justice in order to be reuinited with your family who are in jail.  Going by train to find Bill Williamson-your old partner, you find he has holed up in Fort Mercer with his new gang members and leaves John for dead.  Nursed back to health, John must find help where he can starting in the dusty trails of New Austin's spaghetti western landscape complete with ranches, mines and dead wood towns, down south of the border to Nuevo Paraiso-a stand in for Mexico with red rocks to the east and white sands in the west, winding trails, and dangerous bandits while you end up fighting a civil war and finally to north to West Elizabeth where the "modern" world awaits in the middle of the woods and great plains.

What do you want to do in this game?  The best part is that you can live good or dirty.  Unlike similar games like The Godfather where you have to be bad (your in the mafia) or the Grand Theft Auto series where it is too easy to get pulled onto the "wrong side" and fight off cops.  RDR is solid in letting you go about your mission the way you see fit and stay on that path, and even better you get rewarded for your chivalry and braveness.  As your honor and fame rise, so does your reputation.  Getting to those high levels of fame can let you hear the townspeople talk about you like a living legend.  "I hear that John Marston's the fastest gun..."  The shopkeepers can cut you a break on prices of items and sheriff's can look the other way on minor crimes.  If you go evil, money isn't a problem since you can rob and shoot whoever you want.  Peeking into public drawers and trunks along with your robbing and rampaging will have people alerted to your activies and get the sheriff and his posse on you. 

What else do you want to do?  Most of the towns have some odd job to do like being a nightwatch man where you follow the dog around while he sniffs out some trouble.  Horsebreaking jobs include trying to tame new horses on the ranches and earn some money.  Wanna play poker?  A Texas Hold'em game is a table away in the nearest town.  Blackjack and Liars Dice (awesome fun) are nearby too as well as Horseshoes.  Wanna get drunk and get into a saloon fight?  Belly up to the bar and get some shots and stumble around in a fight.  Wanna meet some ladies of the evening?!  You can,... can't do anything though.  John will always rebuff the advances of the prostitutes.  He IS married.

That wild frontier has plenty of varmints and critters to shoot right?  Grab a rifle or your shotgun and shoot some deer, birds or coyotes.  Watch out for the wolf packs, they don't like they're dinner getting killed and God forbid if you run into the cougars-course they only growl when they leap at you to claw out your throat.  They are the ninjas of the wilderness.  Whatever you kill though you can skin and take to the general store and sell for some cash for more ammo or even a new gun.  Buying bait and splashing it on the ground will attract more animals to shoot.  Sometimes "legendary" animals can appear like Gordo the Wild Boar or Khan the Cougar.  Bring those wild animals down and you can talked about as the man who brought that wild bear to justice, the one that terrorized Tall Trees for all them years.  Also, killing animals and selling the remains in different territories gets you more money.  (Mexico for example doesn't have too many boars or rabbits so they'll give you more money for the parts if you take them there.)  Some hunting challenges have you killing the bears and cougars with your knife.  Have fun.

I hear there is gold in them thar hills!  Getting a hold of the treasure map can help you find lost and buried gold.  Start with one chest, then move on to the next with pictures on the map.  Some of these cases are in plain sight on the map and you might not have noticed them.  Some are off the beaten path where your friends, the animals are waiting for you.

Bounty hunting jobs are also available.  Go see the mug on the wanted poster to see where the bum might be hanging around, go find him and shoot down his gang and finally the leader and go back to town to get your money.  If you have the lasso you can hogtie and haul the mark back to town for more money but in either case, some other hombres aren't too happy about taking the boss away (or for killing him) and will try and gun you down on your way home.  You might have to take short cuts through the brush, but careful you don't run into any animals that will kill your horse (or the bounty, or you for that matter)  Damn!  All this for a measily $60!  Money does add up though.

Going through the game you will always run into people who need help.  Be it people who's wagon got stolen and you need to get it back for the owner, or someone robbing the general store.  Like with bounty hunting, you don't need to bring the perpetrator back alive, but you will get more money if you do.  Sometimes roving gangs on horseback race through town shooting their guns and causing a rumpuss, so you can put them down if you want, never mind they outnumber you.  Other times you can sit down by the campfire and listen to the tales being told.  Oh, and of course, theres always those townfolk who have heard about what a tough guy you are and will want to challenge you to a duel.

Don't be too fooled, not all the people who need help really need it.  A broken down wagon might be an ambush, and that lone woman in the stockings out in the wilderness may not really need help at all and will try and rob you.  True story, someone who needed help got far with my horse before me and the trusty Winchester shot his horse stealing ass down, course the passers by saw me shooting a man on a horse and of course the sheriffs went after me.  Careful what you do out there. 

Some missions are done by strangers you meet with the ? on the map.  Going out into the hills to find missing people, helping a stranger find his families treasure and even a man with his love or a particular horse and even gathering flowers and other materials for people.  Some of the people you encounter are nice enough, some are con men and others just plain aren't right, I tell ya whut.

Getting around the map can be done of foot if you want, but your horse can get you there much faster.  Horses range from stubborn mules and dying nags that are lucky to go a mile before getting winded to elegant and beautiful mustangs and mares that can ride like the wind.  Stagecoaches can get you from one pace to another for a fee and then there are those things called trains that you can hitch a ride on.  Course if you ask Charlie Moon, the owner of the Armadillo General Store, "this land was much better before the trains came.  It's all a front for the Jews!"  I'm not kidding, play poker with him in Armadillo or try buying something from him at his store and NOT have him bring up his conspiracy theory crap.  Even better, try and play in the Thieves Landing saloon for five minutes without Frances, the top hat wearing blackjack player about "That old man who sheet himself again!" or the train that got robbed on Butter Bridge.  Even the NPC's have their own personalities. 

Firepower?  You got it.  Throwing knives, repeaters, revolvers, dynamite and even newer inventions like the bolt action rifle for some nasty stopping power and Mauser automatic pistols.  Your dead eye aim ability allows you to enter a "Matrix mode" and paint your targets to help you.  I found this gimmicky at first but found some missions where it really comes in handy.  Some plot missions have you take the handles of Gatling guns and Maxims to make your enemies just chew lead.

The plot can be picked up and played whenever you need to.  People you run into come from all shapes and sizes.  Mexican Army leaders, the Local crusty Sheriff, a snake oil salesman and even some who are taken from stereotypes, the biggest one is a tall tale telling boozefiend.  His name?  Irish.  WITH an irish accent no less!  Professor MacDougal up north is a Yale Alum with a cocaine habit.  The woman who helps you after your shot by Bill at the begining is a pretty and strong young spinster named Bonnie who reminded me of Angelica Huston from Lonesome Dove.  A retired gunslinger down in Mexico bears an uncanny resemblance to Sam Elliot.  One particular stranger, a treasure hunter named Seth is guarenteed to give nightmares.  Try not to do his missions at nighttime.

Whats better is multiplayer.  Take on gang hideouts to raise your level and unlock new guns and horses and even looks for your character.  Get a message from another player on the server and you can join the posse and go all together to kill other posses, shoot gangs, the cops, or even each other!  Commit enough crimes and you too can be public enemy number 1!

This game is BEAUTIFUL!  When the budget is somewhere between 70 and 100 million, EVERY PENNY shows up on screen.  The landscapes are beautiful, the graphics are sharp, the sounds are beautiful and sing in your ear.  From the ambient background music to the wind whipping through the air as your bullets shoot by your ear or out of your gun.  Even better is the voice acting is good too.  Controlling your character is easy (you get used to the horse controls right away) and this game is ADDICTING.  I can come home at 5 and play till 2 in the morning.  There is THAT MUCH TO DO!!  This game, even at full price is one of the greatest out there and will be the standard to which all similar games will be made, and there IS room for improvement!!  New costumes and weapons, ability to customize your characters looks (the way you can in Godfather) ability to have your posse play saloon games in multiplayer.  More towns.  More interaction with the NPC townsfolk.  Damn, a game so great and there is already room to improve.  I'm not even a big fan of westerns and I found this game addicting and fun.  If your out for a new game at the general store, and this game comes calling-join the posse.  You won't be sorry as you clear out the Bollard Gang from Pike's Basin.  Or, you could be laying bleeding and tearful on the ground feeling like you just got robbed.....
Them tender feet won't be so tender after life on the dusty trail, green horn.

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August 01, 2010
whoa. I have no idea why I haven't heard of this but you wowed me! I need to take a look at this. I do like shooters as long as it isn't the first-person shooter variety--but there were some titles that I liked such as "Doom" and "Quake"...Nice review!
August 01, 2010
If you like other sandbox games it's great and if you like or love westerns it's even better. If you can imagine doing it in the old west then it can probably be done in this game. Just about any store carries this, if they didn't sell out of them anyway. A few stores have had this problem.
More Red Dead Redemption reviews
review by . March 11, 2011
Red Dead Redemption Review: How The West Was Won
Red Dead Redemption is Rockstar Games follow-up to 2004′s Red Dead Revolver which was set in the mid-1800s and focused much more broadly on the classic myths of the Old West. Red Dead Redemption focuses much more on a specific time in American history, the story takes place during a time that some refer to as the death of the Wild West. This was a heck of a time in history as industrialization and the expanding reach of the federal government slowly crushed the last remnants of a way of life …
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
If you saw it in a western, then chances are good it's in this game. Play Poker, quickdraw, steal horses and more adds up to fantastic game play.
review by . August 07, 2010
In 1911 what we think of as the Old West was rapidly dying. It hadn't really ever existed in the form we think of for quite some time, with cowboys and Indians and gunslingers and the like. That era lasted only for a couple years and was largely gone by the late 1800's. By 1911 we had movies, telephones, electricity, cars and, despite what the intro to this game would have you believe, airplanes. It was the tail end of the Gilded Age, and only three years from the start of World war One.    This …
Quick Tip by . July 29, 2010
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About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this video game


Red Dead Redemption is an open-world, third-person, action-adventure game set at the tail end of the American West West era. Action takes place in the first few years of the twentieth century and revolves around the choices that the protagonist, former outlaw John Marston, is forced to make due to his blemished past. The game features a morality system assigning honor and fame points generated through the player's choices. It also features Wild West themed mini-games, new targeting and cover systems, extensive horse riding abilities, a wealth of period specific weapons and more than 40 huntable animals.

Red Dead Redemption game logo Story
Red Dead Redemption is a Western epic, set at the turn of the 20th century when the lawless and chaotic badlands began to give way to the expanding reach of government and the spread of the Industrial Age. A follow up to the 2004 hit Red Dead Revolver, this game tells the story of former outlaw John Marston, taking players on a great adventure across the American frontier.


John Marston packing heat in Red Dead Redemption
Choose to fight for honor or fame as former outlaw John Marston.
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Red Dead Redemption is a third-person action-adventure game set a fictional open-world American Wild West environment for players to explore. Gameplay area types include frontier towns, rolling prairies teaming with wildlife, and perilous mountain passes - each packed with an endless flow of varied distractions. Along the way, players will experience the heat of gunfights and battles, meet a host of ...
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Number of Players: Single-player, multi-player
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar San Diego, Rockstar North
Console: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Shooter
Release Date: May 18, 2010 (NA)
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