Red Dead Redemption Review

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Rockstar rules the West


Welcome to the Wild West; Rockstar’s Wild West, a peerless fusion of Grand Theft Auto’s astonishingly engrossing open-world sensibilities and Western-centric cinematic set-pieces. Unfurling at the turn of the 20th century, Red Dead casts you as John Marsden - a gunslinger with a score that needs settling.

Marsden inhabits an Old West in its dying embers, as you explore the gloriously realised expanses of the American frontier and Mexico badlands in search of ex-gang members and one-time friends at the behest of federal agents threatening the safety of his family.

Red Dead handles incredibly well, cribbing elements of past Rockstar titles that have stood the test of time from console generation to generation, fusing them with slick gunplay, enhanced cover mechanics and the series’ trademark Dead Eye slow-mo ability. Perfectly blending the civilised havens and sun-soaked wilderness, the game drip-feeds ambient missions, peppering the experience with random roadside encounters before building to a deafening and bloody crescendo.

If ever there was a console-bound adventure that defined the term ‘blockbuster gaming’, Red Dead Redemption is it. Coupled with polished multiplayer modes, including the nigh-on neverending brilliance of 'Free Roam' mode, Rockstar San Diego has delivered not just the game of the month, but quite possibly, the game of the year. Saddle up.

See how Red Dead Redemption did on our list of the 100 greatest games.