Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption is arguably RockStar's best effort to date
- Enormous and engaging world, expertly captures the look and feel of the Wild West, likeable protagonist
- You feel compelled to do the honourable thing (well, we did anyway)
Arguably Rockstar's finest effort to date, Red Dead Redemption does an exquisite job of capturing the iconic essence of the Wild West, presenting one of the most engaging and enjoyable open-world climates in recent memory with the dusty plains of New Austin.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
Morin' on the desert, and the wind is blowin’ free,
And it’s ours, jest for the breathin’, so let’s fill up, you and me.
Mornin’ on the desert, and the air is like a wine,
And it seems like all creation has been made for me and mine.
You will miss him on the round-up; it’s gone, his merry shout,--
The cowboy has left the country, and the camp-fire has gone out.
-- Songs of the Cowboys, 1921
Ahem. It's not often that a video game inspires journalists to recite hoary old poetry, but Red Dead Redemption does strange things to a man. Instead of beating around the sage bush, we’ll just come right out and say it: Rockstar Games' ode to the West That Was is in prime position to be our Game of the Year. To date, no other title in 2010 has offered the same level of scope for freedom and adventure, nor a story so deftly told. What’s more, you don’t even have to be a GTA fan to enjoy it. If you’ve ever wanted to be a cowboy (and what red-blooded male hasn’t?), Red Dead Redemption is fantasy wish-fulfilment on an extravagant scale. It leaves previous Western games like Gun and Call of Juarez for dead.
Red Dead Redemption is the long-awaited sequel to Rockstar Games’ veteran PS2 shooter; Red Dead Revolver. Famously, it has been in development since the original game burst through saloon doors in 2004, and was the genesis of Grand Theft Auto IV’s RAGE engine. Often when a game is in production for this long, it spells a troubled conception (just look at Duke Nukem Forever or Too Human for proof). Red Dead Redemption’s birthing process may well have been painful, but the blood, sweat and tears are right up there on the screen for all to see: Every facet of the game, from the graphics to the multiplayer, has been meticulously crafted from the ground up. It’s obvious a lot of love has gone into the production, and it shows in spades.
Billed as an open-world Western adventure game, Red Dead Redemption will be immediately familiar to fans of GTA IV — but only on a purely surface level. To dismiss the game as Grand Theft Horse would be to sell it woefully short. While the game mechanics are unquestionably similar (particularly when it comes to combat), Red Dead Redemption is a lot more varied than its crime-caper daddy. Indeed, it feels more like a full blown Cowboy Sim than a third-person shooter, and the game world is invariably richer for it. Even if GTA IV left you cold, there’s a good chance you’ll love Red Dead Redemption. The overall experience is completely different, and quite unlike any other game on the market.
Red Dead Redemption tells the tale of one man’s quest for salvation amidst the fading twilight of the Old West. This man is John Marston: an ex-outlaw turned family man who has become ensnared by the misdeeds of his past. In a plot partly inspired by Australian Western The Proposition, Marston finds himself working on the ‘right’ side of the law — blackmailed into hunting down his former bandit buddies via an ultimatum he cannot refuse.
Needless to say, the line between good and evil is continually blurred, with Marston’s Bureau paymasters proving no less nefarious than the gang members he is forced to hunt. Honour and morality play a big part in the game, with every good turn and misdeed affecting Marston’s chances at redemption. This is represented via an ‘honour metre’ which rises and falls depending on the actions you take over the course of his adventures. Unlike GTA, your crimes have consequences, which ties into the mythic code of the West.
Set at the turn of the 20th century when the cowboy was beginning to fade from existence, the game is a grimmer and far more realistic affair than its cartoony predecessor. This is the era of locomotives and the emerging automobile, of government bureaucracy and dwindling frontier life. It is a fascinating time period to set a game in, with the rise of ‘new’ technology playing a key part in some missions. We won’t spoil the plot further, but rest assured it is every bit as gripping, varied and fulfilling as the rest of Rockstar’s celebrated oeuvre.
Red Dead Redemption begins at a deliberate slow burn, with Marston helping the local townsfolk eke out a living as he recovers from a gunshot wound. (e.g. herding cattle, lassoing wild horses, shooting vermin, etc.) In most third-person shooters, these missions would probably feel like tedious tutorials, with the player impatient to get to the ‘real’ action. It is to Red Dead Redemption’s credit that you never feel anxious to nudge the storyline along — instead, the game’s incredible world swallows you whole from the very beginning.
Indeed, we spent untold hours wandering off the game’s beaten track before the plot had even kicked into full gear. Red Dead Redemption is a game to be savoured at a languid pace — a game that rewards thorough exploration.
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Sport AT
Apple iMac Pro
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Toys for Boys
Tivoli PAL BT
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Smart Security Premium
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Internet Security
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Technology is revolutionising the way we do things and that includes in the kitchen where a wealth of must-have gadgets and appliances are the making life easier for home cooks.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Fortnite and PUBG could be banned in China
- Epic Games cuts the once-loved 'Infinity Blade' series from the App Store
- Resident Evil 2 Hands On Preview
- Support for AUD finally comes to Steam (with a catch)
- Intel Extreme Masters Sydney returns for the third consecutive year in 2019
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies