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About The Comic

Once again, massive thanks and all credit to hatebreeder for supplying the awesome art.

Red Dead Redemption has four sets of Challenges for the player to complete. They’re fun but sometimes they can become a hassle and sometimes they can lead to some bizarre situations.
The Sharpshooter ranks that require you to shoot off hats ended with me walking into a town, shooting hats off passers-by and cheerfully walking away, leaving panicked and hatless folk behind.

Given that the challenges appear only in your menu, aren’t given to you by characters and seem to have no in-game basis, you do sometimes have to wonder what’s going on in John Marston’s head when he feels he has to “Disarm any 6 enemies without reloading or changing weapons” just to get a new outfit.

About The Game

Pictured: John Marston, horses and a desert. Get used to them. But don't worry, they're all pretty cool.

…It’s kind of impossible to review.

A summary won’t do, I can’t just describe the experience because experience can differ. It’s just too big, too dense and too complex. Much like Grand Theft Auto IV.  It took me over a year and multiple playthroughs to get a full grasp and see everything that game had to offer. To fully review either, I would have to go through the game mission-by-mission, challenge-by-challenge, line-by-line and explain what’s good and what’s bad. Essays could be written about the nitpicks in these 30 hour games with their side missions and alternate dialogue.

What I can tell you is that – overall – Red Dead Redemption is a very good game, and I wholeheartedly recommend buying it. Based on single-player alone.

The sky and the lighting effects look uniquely terrific.

So, here’s a list of random notes and comments instead of a full review:

  • The story is great, the writing is too. In place of any huge twists or turns, the plot has that GTA-esque offbeat, anti-cliché, anti-formula plotting. Despite all its inspirations, it tells an original story. One that deserves more discussion than it does review – especially with regard to the ending.
  • Exploring the environment is a joy, they look incredible, they feel alive, they’re varied and they’re designed well.
  • The subtitles should translate all the Spanish in Mexico. We could learn from it!
  • The game does all the stuff I complained about here.

Characters get to be more distinct away from homogenous modern environments.

For a western game, revolvers are surprisingly neglected. Other handguns are always better, but more to the point your repeaters and rifles are always more powerful, more accurate and have better range. You get a repeater on your first shooting mission! Even shotguns are more useful. I had presumed that since I think a .45 round has more stopping power than a .22, that revolvers would pack a punch, but noooo.

The game is not user friendly. It starts off steadily teaching you how to play the game, then suddenly goes into overdrive and throws way too much at you way too fast. Don’t miss a single box in the top left of the screen! Hell, I didn’t even figure out how to play those duels I was winning until the last third of the game! (Not to mention the manual is no help whatsoever.)

Did I mention the skies look really good? They look REALLY good.

I also want to mention that I think Red Dead Redemption was a bit of a PR dream with the amount of hype that it fairly built.

Bungie PR:
“Shall we go with the steady drip of weird ARGs and developer diary videos?”
“In HD, of course.  For the sake of boring guy #3 talking about the ‘definitive Halo experience’ with a few seconds of in-game footage sprinkled throughout.”

Square-Enix PR:
“Get the CG guys to whip up something pretty.”
“Fine, but that’ll only carry us for three years of hype.”

Activision PR:
“New Call of Duty…Uh…Imperceptibly quick-cut millisecond screenshots for a minute of dark randomness?”

Rockstar San Diego:
“We haven’t got a proven franchise here yet and we’re not a console exclusive, how the hell do we market it?!”
“Uh, gee. This might sound crazy, guys. But I think we’re making a pretty good game. What if we just have trailers telling people what’s in it?”

And with that, they rode that hype train to moneyville.


One Comment

  1. Best game of the year so far, bar none. I’m glad you finally got your article on it published =D
    Also, the comic was pretty awesome. You should see if the guy who does them is gonna do them for every article you do. It could become your thing.

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] controls is pretty important for the player getting used to them. ArmA II is similar to Red Dead Redemption in terms of being really bad at this. Not only are you trying to play the game, managing […]

  2. […] Hopefully more comical (if less pretty) than the last Red Dead Redemption comic. […]

  3. By Environmental emotions « Grimly Enthusiastic on 01 Oct 2010 at 5:15 am

    […] to the tune of Far Away by Jose Gonzalez, or that ending. I’ve talked about the game pretty often […]

  4. […] mention: Red Dead Redemption It probably would’ve won any other year. You could even argue that the basic story of John […]

  5. By The End? « Grimly Enthusiastic on 01 Nov 2011 at 6:59 am

    […] Red Dead Redemption […]

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