544th played so far
Platform: Playstation 3/Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2010
Developer: Rockstar San Diego
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Even before it appeared on this list, Peter had played this wild west Grand Theft Auto. It won’t be the first Rockstar-penned or -influenced that takes from other sources. Bully went for a similar open approach, but with a smaller world.
So yeah, I know what I’m getting into with Red Dead Redemption, and I’m vaguely excited about it. I struggle a bit more with the controls – sitll a PC gamer at my core – but my more recent adventures in Grand Theft Auto have gone better and I hope that’s enough to carry me through.
We’ve played Red Dead Revolver before, by the way, a more area-based shooter. This is a sequel, in the same world, same style, but this time the gameplay will be somewhat different.
Red Dead Redemption was, indeed, enjoyable. There were certainly areas where I struggled, but that was more part of the game. From the experience I had, and Peter has before, random exploration is (at least initially) deadly. There are bandits around who want to take everything you’ve got and several dangerous animals who will kill you if you’re not careful.
The game still encourages you to explore, though. Early on, going a bit off track during a mission, I found a treasure map for an area nearby (based on some rocks I recognised from earlier scenery). Even though it’s not necessary so far, I followed it and started a side mission with, well, some neat loot. Others came even more natural – picking some herbs started a set of sidequests to learn to use them, skinning animals started another.
In the mean time, the early missions are the usual tutorial mixed with story exposition. Part of it takes you through the features – driving herds, taming your own herds – all the cowboy jobs you’d expect. You also start taking out a gang, setting that storyline in motion.
The world is big and interesting. While it might not have the ongoing street scenes of GTA, it has the different nature settings, people traveling between cities and doing their things in corners of the world. They trigger some interesting, varied mini quests and it makes for a still living setting, even when you’re out there in nature.
In a way, I’ve jumped ahead to a “better” open world game by skipping a bunch of GTA entries. So far, Red Dead Redemption has felt more refined than the Grand Theft Auto 3 follow ups – never mind its official previous game, Red Dead Revolver. Well crafted, well put together, in a setting where open world games don’t generally go. Sure, deceptively difficult in places, but I’ve managed – it’s fun enough for me.