Many people have been looking for a good westren style game for a long time. Call of Juarez was heading in the right direction, but still didn't live up to what people had hoped for a westren genre game. Red Dead Redemption looked to change this with an open world style westren game and implemented a story line to go along with it. This IS the westren game people have been waiting for.
Story: Red Dead Redemption takes place throught the early 1900s with the colonization of the westren America. John Marston the main character of the game is an outlaw who took part in gang related actions until they betrayed him and left him for dead. I won't spoil any of the story for you, but if your looking for an emotional story with twists and turns, many characters to meet and a lot of action this is the game for you. The story itself took me around a total of 12 hours to beat as i took time to do other side quests etc. The story explains itself well and certain choices you make will affect how the rest of the story will play out. The voice acting in the game is great. All the characters have their own personality to their voices and don't sound like people just picked off the street. John Marston is especially a character you will remember.
Graphics: This game is absolutley gorgeuos. The landscapes, towns, sky, just everythihng looks great and realistic. There are actually quite a few different landscapes to explore including forest, snowy mountains and dry dusty deserts. There is also a good amount of animals within the game to give it a more realistic feeling to it. These animals looks great as well and have good animation. Character models look great and cutscenes use the game engine so no CGI cutscenes here, but they still look great. Every character has a great amount of detail. One of my only complaints to the graphics is that there isn't a great variety of trees in forests or cacti in the desert. Not a big deal, but it can be noticeable if your paying any attention. The weapons in the game could also look maybe a tad bit better because they basically look like sticks that shoot, but most people wont really notice things like that. The weather effects in the game are also superb. Thunderstorms on a good sound system will have the thunder booming through your house. Rain starts puddles on the ground, snow storms occur in the mountains and the sun sets and sun rises look great.
Gameplay: This one of the highest points of Red Dead Redemption. The game is so much fun to play. Tons of things to do and basically you'll never get bored. Hunting animals, finding criminals, playing poker, drinking its all there to make this feel like a true westren experience. The guns feel powerful like they should and with the engine allows basically real physics of the human body. Depending where you shoot your victim they will react to where they are shot and actually fall over by the impact of the bullet. Just an example if you shoot a guy in the hand you will literally disarm him and he will clench his hand in pain. If you shoot someones knees out they will fall to the ground and try to continue fighting back. The horses in this game are also the best horses i've ever used in a game. They are very easy to control and have amazing animation. You will literally see the muscles in their legs contracting whle running. The game almost feels too realistic at times which is really saying something. Red Dead does have its fair shair of glitches though as any open world game does. None of them are game breakers, but at times your horse may get stuck in the ground, people float in mid air, teleport to random places somehow etc. None of these will ruin the great experience this game gives you though so no need to wory. Red Dead also uses and easy to use cover system that is defanitley handy in bigger firefights. One of my biggest complaints about the gameplay though is that you can't swim. If you touch the water you die which really takes away from the realism.
Multiplayer: Red Dead almost seems to have two full games in one package and multiplayer is just a great as single player. You can go online into the open world with your friends and take on gangs, try to get a huge bounty on your head etc. Basically anything you want to do. If you've played GTA 4 you'll feel right at home here. Red Dead offers quite a few game modes that vary from team death match to playing poker. Online you get your own character with tons of skins, guns and horses to unlock. Leveling up can take a while though if you only play in the open world so i'd recommend playing TDM etc to earn XP faster. Since im writing this review now I have to mention the Undead Add On that just recently came out in October. Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare offers a brand new 6 hr campaign that features zombies. The DLC is priced at 10.00 and honestly I would have paid a full 60.00 for this add on thats how great its is. It even comes with a new multiplayer mode called UnDead Horde where you basically hold out against increasing waves of zombies for as long as you can. Its very fun to play with friends.
Undead Nightmare Campaign: The DLC campaign in my opinion is all right. You basically are tasked with running around cleansing towns and graveyards. It would have been nice though for a little more variety in side missions and maybe allowing the zombies to be able to climb up to the higher areas because once your up on a roof the zombies can't get you so it's basically free headshot time. The zombies do have different varieties though and they do move fast so be worried when your out in the country because they can pop up anywhere anytime. The story is again very good with emotion if you've come to know the characters etc. The story is around 6 hours long and features Zombies, Zombie animals and few mystical creatures I wont spoil for you. When you find them you'll be pleasntly suprised. They also changed the atmosphere and music to make it feel more haunting. The sky is a little greener and thunderstorms happen more often to make you feel like the world is obviously in a depressing time.
Overall: Red Dead Redemption in my opinion has a very good chance at recieving game of the year this year and I think everyone should have this game in their collection. Its just that good. Gameplay, graphics story and everything is just outstanding. The multiplayer adds so much more to a game that would have been worth the 60.00 for just the campaign itself.
Undead Nightmare DLC 9/10