Red Dead Redemption (2010)

So I’m currently in the post-game and sitting on sixty one percent of the trophies available in this Rockstar classic, RED DEAD REDEMPTION (RDR). Will I platinum it? Probably not. Could I if I really wanted to? No chance. Is it getting me fired up for Red Dead Redemption 2? Yee-haw it is!

After sinking time into my PS4 Pro, the terrible frame rates of PS3 version RDR were the first thing I noticed. I must admit, it almost made me turn the game off. Coming from a PC gaming background, this bordered on unplayable. The Xbox One X is currently the best way to experience RDR in 4K at 60FPS. However, I made a commitment and I had to see it through to the end.

After an hour or so of playing, I was so absorbed into the wilderness of New Austin and the instantly likeable John Marston, I totally forgave the choppy frame-rate, screen-tearing and eye-stinging 720p resolution.

Being a fan of the wild-west and cowboy movies, I relished every moment of RDR. Nothing comes close to playing as a lone gun-for-hire partaking in duels at high noon; riding across the desert in pursuit of bandits; to overturning corrupt governments alongside Mexican Revolutionaries.

On the surface, RDR falls in line with Grand Theft Auto tradition of adult content and graphic violence. The characters you meet are generally, racists, bigots, sexists, murderers, thieves, prostitutes, bandits, corrupt law enforcement or innocent townsfolk that are simply biding their time until they get caught in a violent crossfire. But beneath the surface, are some real home truths about the world we live in. So deep and meaningful that it’s almost terrifying, because it’s still relevant today more than ever:

One example, Abraham Reyes, a Mexican man of nobility looking to overthrow the corrupt Mexican government. He is a charismatic freedom fighter that represents the common folk of Mexico. However, he has very little love for his supporters and is simply one selfish man looking to overthrow another selfish man. I couldn’t help but see the parallels to the Trump presidential campaign: Say what the people want to hear, in a language they can understand, and then throw them to the wolves once you’ve got what you want. wotevz.

The music of RDR is phenomenal. It twists and turns and morphs at a moment’s notice depending on any given situation Marston encounters. Never once do I remember any abrupt transitions. The music satisfied my desire for a Ennio Morricone style soundtrack as opposed to an Elmer Bernstein styled one.

Alongside the main story of the game, which is better than most of the GTA offerings (not GTA5 – that was awesome) RDR had some excellent Zelda style ‘side quests’. Riding across the desert repeatedly to complete these side-quests can get tedious, but thank goodness for the ‘fast travel’ stagecoaches. Each one of these side quests offers a quirky character with strange and twisted ambition. These pad out the story nicely and allow you to get better at the game and give you a chance to perfect your head-shot skills.

Yes the game is 8 years old. There is plenty to complain about, but you owe it to yourself to fire up your Sony PlayStation 3 or Microsoft X-Box 360 and Clint Eastwood your way through this romp!

Time to skin some grizzlies. I only have 10 more to go to get the #BearlyLegal trophy!

5/5 in 2010

4/5 in 2018

In desperate need of a high definition remaster.

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