A former outlaw is forced by the federal government to hunt down the members of his old gang.A former outlaw is forced by the federal government to hunt down the members of his old gang.A former outlaw is forced by the federal government to hunt down the members of his old gang.
The story missions are great. Very enjoyable, fun to play – difficult enough to avoid being a dull doddle but easy enough to get even the hardest ones after a few tries. There are a lot of cut scenes but they are well done and, if you don't rush from one story mission to the next then they don't seem crowded. The difficulty is not too bad and the options in aiming modes makes it possible to make it harder without changing the content of the game but, more importantly, the game is long. Some people prefer the games where you spent a lot of time battling one "bit" or one level to get passed it – I don't, I don't enjoy frustration, so having a game that is reasonably easy to progress is good for me – but the key thing is then that there is lots to do, since I'll do most things in one or two tries. Red Dead is awesome for this – hunting, random encounters on the roadside, missions for strangers, gambling in saloons, all of it is fun and easy to waste hours.
When I had been told of this game, the idea of riding from one point to another worried me because a lesser game would use this to "fill time" and make missions feel longer by virtue of having you spent 10 minutes crossing the map to get to a 3 minute mission. Not so here – firstly the missions are not short but also there are things to do even as you travel around – distractions that you can do or ignore whether it is a trap set by robbers or a man who needs help with wolves etc. The fast-travel is good but to be honest it is often more fun to just ride for 5 minutes and enjoy it.
Part of enjoying the ride is how simply stunning this game is technically. OK there are some minor glitches such as horses getting trapped in rocks but these are easily addressed by the player, but otherwise this is impressive. Sunsets are stunning and the vistas are as great as anything John Ford brought us – the difference being that every rock and plant and mountain here has been created – not just filmed. You can ride from one end of the world to the other without any loading screens or stuttering (which, as other Fable 3 players will appreciated, is a joy), you can see for miles and the weather effects of wind or rain are as unobtrusive and natural as they are impressive. So many games set challenges to explore and find things and often they are a chore just included to add time rather than enjoyment to the game (again, Fable 3 comes to mind) – but with RDR it is honestly just plain fun to ride round without any specific mission or story going on.
A lot of the reviews on this site are quite gushing and I was determined to be as objective as possible – but it is hard when the game is this good and this enjoyable. It is not that the game is like being in a western – it is like being in a brilliant western.
- bob the moo
- Dec 3, 2010