Rockstar Games sends players back to the lawless days of the old west with the recent release of Red Dead Redemption.
Redemption allows players to enter the shoes of former outlaw John Martson on his quest to atone for his past sins. Marston is forced by the government to hunt down the members of his former gang, or face the consequences of never seeing his family again. Redemption plays much like previous Rockstar games, allowing players to explore an open world full of side quests to complete between the main story missions. The most significant of these are the “Stranger” missions, which involve Marston helping out random characters he runs across in his travels. The game also features various bounty hunter missions found on wanted posters hung up around the various towns. When hunting a bounty the player can choose to either kill or capture the bounty, the latter of which nets Marston more money.
The game also features a significant online portion, where players can run around the open world with friends and clear out gang hideouts, duel at high noon, or just attack each other. This mode has an extensive leveling system that unlocks new weapons and skins for multiplayer. Players can even create a posse with their friends and explore the world in a group together. This will most likely be expanded on with the free co-op expansion releasing soon.
One of the best parts of the game is the narrative itself. Marston is the typical quiet, lone cowboy when the player is first introduced to him. In fact, Marston does not talk at all during the opening cutscene. Through Marston the player is introduced to a wide variety of characters, including rancher Bonnie MacFarlane, traveling tonic salesman Nigel West Dickens, and Mexican revolutionary Abraham Reyes. All of which help Marston through his travels and his quest to hunt down his former brothers in arms. This all leads up to one of the best endings in game history.
Overall, Red Dead Redemption is by far the best old west game every made. The open world aspect allows the player to explore the game’s world at his or her leisure and meet the various characters that make the world even more realistic. The addition of a multiplayer element adds an almost unlimited amount of play time to the game, especially when one jumps on with a group of friends. The narrative will keep the player coming back for more, and it all ends with some of the best two hours this reviewer has ever played. For anyone looking for a great action game to play, this is a great choice.