Rockstar Wrangles The Best Video Game Western Of All Time - Red Dead Redemption - PlayStation 3 - www.GameInformer.com
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Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar Wrangles The Best Video Game Western Of All Time

With high noon duels, lawless frontiers, and gruff leading men, the Western genre seemingly has all the essential pieces to make a smooth transition into video games. But as past six-shooters like Dead Man’s Hand, Call of Juarez, Gun, and Red Dead Revolver found out, dressing your scruffy hero in a duster and giving him a revolver isn’t enough to captivate audiences accustomed to firing rocket-propelled grenades and light machine guns. For Rockstar’s first full-fledged effort in the genre (the company purchased Red Dead Revolver from Capcom), it decided to do what it does best – explore the topic at hand with an immersive open world.

Red Dead Redemption is set during the birth of the 20th century, where the expansion-minded federal government is moving swiftly to domesticate the untamed frontier. With railroads and telegram lines connecting previously isolated communities, the new cowboys are exploitative businessmen and aggressive legislators aiming to expand their power bases. To keep this development moving along unabated, the feds have created the Agency, a new branch of law enforcement determined to rid the outer territories of the violent gangs running rampant.

John Marston used to be one of those outlaws; he’s got the scars and practiced trigger finger to prove it. But after his gang left him for dead during a robbery gone awry, Marston embraced the quiet life, settling on a ranch, taking a wife, and having his first child. Like his spiritual predecessor, Grand Theft Auto IV protagonist Niko Bellic, Marston eventually discovers that running from his past doesn’t mean he can escape it. Using evidence of his past transgressions against him, the Agency makes a persuasive proposition: Hunt down the last living members his former gang, or kiss family life goodbye. Marston begrudgingly grabs his six-shooter and heads out in search of his long-lost brothers in arms.

While Red Dead Redemption’s setup reads like a Clint Eastwood script, the gameplay construct is pulled straight from Grand Theft Auto. In order to track down and confront his wayward outlaw friends, Marston has to consort with an unsavory cast of snake oil salesmen, drunks, grave robbers, washed up gunslingers, dissidents, and corrupt politicians. Assistance doesn’t come easy, as Marston must complete fetch quests and rack up kill counts to earn their trust before they divulge any useful information. Those who tired of the errand boy mission structure of Grand Theft Auto IV won’t find any solace in Red Dead – to get what he needs, Marston helps peddle cure-all tonics, aids in finding a lost treasure, puts in time herding cattle on the ranch, and rescues kidnapped citizens. The game is at its best when it embraces gunpowder-centric missions that only a Western era game can deliver; my favorites include assaulting a gang stronghold with a posse of regulators, protecting a supply train on horseback, and fighting up a treacherous mountainside to locate an enemy camp.

Given the limitations of the era’s weaponry, Red Dead’s gunplay is surprisingly exciting. Each weapon – from six-shooters and repeaters to sniper rifles and Gatling guns – has a distinct feel, and the hit detection system couples with Natural Motion’s Euphoria animation technology to create visceral shootouts. Shotgun blasts blow enemies violently backward, sniper shots to the shoulder spin bandits around, and if you nail a fleeing enemy in the leg, he’ll feebly crawl toward the nearest cover. When large groups of bandits descend on your position, you can activate the slow-motion Dead Eye ability to paint a large swath of enemies and watch in awe as Marston effortlessly puts them all in an early grave. Less practiced gunslingers can stick with the friendly snap-to auto-aim mechanic borrowed from GTA IV, but if you want to up the challenge, I suggest turning it off.

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  • 10.00
    For fun this reviews chapters are western songs or taken from cowboy movies. Preview: The 1890's was a time in America where crime was rampant, gangs roamed across their lands stealing peoples mode of transport, the invent of the car was revolutionising the way we lived and we were going towards...
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  • 9.50
    Red Dead may first seem like a silly cowboy game if you look at the box. But in reality, its much more than you think. The graphics are simply great for 2010 and the animation is very cool looking, especially the scenery around is breathtaking. The sound track goes very well with the game and scenes...
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  • 9.50
    Rockstar is no stranger to exploring iconic time periods and locations, having used the Grand Theft Auto series to explore the 80’s, 90’s and modern day in recreations of Miami, New York and California, and having helped Team Bondi on the creation of LA Noire, which explored late 1940’s...
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  • 9.50
    Red Dead Redemption is a game I recently bought. I heard a lot of things about it, but I never had the time to pick it up. I am simply amazed at my own stupidity; why did I not buy this game months ago!? The year is some number in the early 20th-century; probably 1910 or 1911. Well, that doesn't...
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  • 10.00
    Red dead redemption was my first Rockstar game. I didn't know if I wanted to get it at first, the when I saw the reviews, I just wanted it immediately. I finally got it, and was blown away. Red dead redemption is a really good game. Graphics are pretty good. A few times iffy, but overall they were...
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  • 10.00
    I'll be honest, though I did like GTA 4 it wasn't a game that stuck to m heart. I'm not saying it's bad, it's a great game, but I just never really felt connected to it. Red Dead Redemption changes everything there. This game is an amazing experience from start to finish.btw: I OWN...
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