Red Dead Redemption, says Alex, is right on target
"CityFun" is our weekend category that delves into lifestyle topics like food & beverage, music, live performance and electronic entertainment. Here's another contribution by videogame fan Alex Lamoureux...
Two cowboys face off at either end of a dusty alley, fingers twitching over pistols in their holsters. The villain tries to draw his gun, but the hero whips out his six-shooter and shoots the gun out of the villain's hands. It's a scene that plays out many times in Westerns, and it's executed very well in Red Dead Redemption.
Red Dead Redemption feels like a perfect breakdown of the entire Wild West genre. You can win Mexican standoffs, cheat at poker in seedy bars, steal horses, rob trains, shoot nooses to save lynching victims, and tie women to railroad tracks. Everything is executed rather well; familiar scenes play out, often from Westerns as diverse as The Searchers or Blazing Saddles. Despite these cliches, Red Dead Redemption is an original and surprising game. The story is engaging and interesting, and you're rarely forced into cliche scenes. When these scenes do happen, they happen in fun ways.
The controls are very good in Red Dead Redemption. The “Dead Eye” system lets you make impressive trick shots, such as shooting the hat off a bandit's head or shooting 6 flying birds out of the air. Unfortunately, it has a tendency to become repetitive; while it is possible to shoot the gun out of an opponent's hand, or to shoot a rider's horse, only certain strategies feel worthwhile. The variety of guns all feel much the same, with the exception of the excellent Gatling gun. However, gunfights are hardly the only aspect of Red Dead Redemption.
Various minigames exist in almost every town, such as horseshoes and Texas Hold-em. The best part of these is that they take place within the world; while playing poker, you can watch the rest of the world turn around your character. These games have a slow pace, but the dead time is filled with
interesting dialogue. Gambling is a sure way to lose money, but it's a fun way to pass time while waiting for someone else to wake up.
Unfortunately, to progress the plot, you have to wait for certain vital characters to be available. Waiting normally isn't a problem, but you can't simply press a “wait” button. Instead, you must leave town, find a suitable camping spot, sleep, and return to town. The same applies to travelling around, and unless you buy a house in every town, it's a recurring problem.
The story itself is excellent, though you can spend time performing odd jobs instead. The story takes you to various locations, doing a wide variety of missions. Everything that takes place in Mexico is a lot of fun, thanks to the language barrier and clash of cultures. The story feels surprisingly fresh and original, despite being a revenge story in a rather typical Wild West setting. Red Dead Redemption's story certainly has the qualities of a good western.
If you're a fan of the western genre, Red Dead Redemption is a perfect game. It features Wild West cliches in a good way, and doesn't force players to do any specific tasks. One can become a classic hero or a bandanna-wearing bandit. If you don't like Westerns, it's not the game for you, as Red Dead Redemption is a very well-condensed version of classic Western themes.
- Constant scenes of Wild West fun
- Smooth controls
- Interesting plot
- Very good graphics
- Long and varied gameplay
- Repetitive gunfights
- Unnecessary travel
- The constant, annoying sound of galloping
- post by Alex Lamoureux