Red Dead Redemption was exactly what I wanted after Grand Theft Auto IV which dropped two years earlier in 2008, I was done with Grand Theft Auto IV’s unique look at the American Dream and it’s tighter, darker storyline. The sequel to Red Dead Revolver restored the scale of San Andreas, and showed everybody what Rockstar could do within a period setting before 2011’s L.A Noire which was published by Rockstar. Nothing that has come since Red Dead Redemption’s release six years ago has surpassed it in terms of open world, or setting. GTA V has a bigger and a more impressive world but Red Dead has everything else that stretches from characters, gunplay, and an immersive world.
Playing as a character that isn’t like Franklin, Michael, Trevor, or even Niko Bellic from Grand Theft Auto IV has to do alot with that. John Marston was a reformed outlaw in the final days of the West and when the Sun was setting in the West, and he’s oppressed by the US Marshalls and the US Government to apprehend Bill Williamson, one of his friends from Marston’s outlaw days. Marston’s fantasy is too leave behind the Outlaw days and settle down to run a farm out west and live a civilized life out on the final frontier, I think it adds a special connection that adds a framework to the game itself and adds a special connection to you, the player or that’s what I thought of it.
Marston could hunt for animals, get pelts and also Red Dead overhauled Grand Theft Auto IV’s gunplay which was loose in terms of gameplay of 2008, and I thought that the gunplay was very wonky and uncomfortable unlike Gears 2 where it was extremely tight. Red Dead had the Deadeye command which returned from Revolver, you can activate it and kill three or four people in one shot or two shots like a duel. I haven’t played Red Dead Redemption since Undead Nightmare released in 2010, so it’s been roughly six to seven years since I last played it but I remember how loud the guns were which fitted the era and I remember that you don’t have to spend the entire game in cover like The Division or Gears, like almost every third person shooter since the Original Gears in 2006.
The best part for me was the setting as I’m a sucker for the American West and find the era to be fascinating and I love how Rockstar shown the Wild West here in it’s dying form, Redemption’s world that spans from Texas to Mexico has it’s own color palette, dry and empty landscapes dotted by cougars and strangers and freaks but when the night blossomed in-game, it was beautiful the landscape was beautiful to ride across.
The three acts takes you and Marston from New Austin, to the dry landscape of Nuevo Paraiso in Mexico, and before closing in West Elizabeth, Texas which has become more civilized and a more modern locale that underlines when Marston arrived in the beginning of the game and underlines and pinpoints that the the idea of the final frontier has finally ended.
Red Dead Redemption is a modern masterpiece and is equally on the level of a Western movie like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and does away with the Spaghetti Western that Revolver had in 2004 in favor of a more serious storytelling, Red Dead Redemption still remains Rockstar’s most heartfelt game and most beautiful game.