Game Reviews


 Red Dead Redemption
 Playstation 2, Gamecube, & X-Box

I’m only about 4 or 5 hours into the whole thing, but I was anxiously awaiting the chance to play it for a long time. I found GTA IV kind of disappointing in a lot of ways, and this game blows GTA out of the water thus far. It’s not just that it’s GTA on horseback with a vibe right out of a great Western (although there’s that too), but the gameplay mechanics are much better here. Specifically, I finally feel like I have the freedom to define the main character however I want. GTA was really quite punishing to you as a player if you chose to be a decent person in that gameplay world, and it made for a more boring game as well. RDR offers up either option, and both are perfectly valid ways to play. Like yeah, I could rob and steal a bunch of money from random people, but I LIKE earning the money through jobs and then blowing it on poker games. I like breaking horses and herding cattle and all the other millions of distractions and sidejobs that this game offers you without even pushing that hard towards the main story again. If you want to mess around and earn your living playing horseshoes and exploring the countryside while doing random Clint Eastwood badass tasks, that’s a totally valid way to enjoy the experience. Grand Theft Auto actually felt quite limited to me in that regard, as the game would get boring quickly if you strayed outside of the main missions for long. Yeah, you could play darts and pool, but you had to call your annoying cousin or pick up someone for a date and there was lots of legwork involved for what should be a simple distraction. Not to mention that stupid cell phone. Plus RDR has a far easier aiming mechanic (too easy, some might say, but that’s part of the charm, I say) and it’s just so much more satisfying to ride a horse around the badlands for some reason. And finally, John Marsdon is way cooler than Niko Bellic, hands down.

Another thing about GTA that bugged was the money. As in, the missions are so ridiculously inflated in terms of the cash you get as compared to what you can with it. You make $5000 for a job, and what can you spend it on? Clothes and guns, sure, but that's like $500. After a while you've got $100,000 in the bank and literally nothing to use it on. It feels like they wanted to do a real estate system like San Andreas and then just forgot about it.

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10/10/11 Red Dead Redemption
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