Game of the Month: Red Dead Redemption

I always enjoyed Sergio Leone‘s Italo western movies, in particular The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. My guess is that Rockstar Games like them as well as their latest game Red Dead Redemption feels like an interactive version of a Sergio Leone film.

The game’s story follows the adventures of John Marston, a former outlaw who became a farmer. His past catches up with him when ruthless government agents take his wife and son hostage and force him to hunt down the members of his former gang. Marston’s quest turns into a brutal fight for survival when he is caught between the fronts.

Red Dead Redemption is a third person shooter and adventure game set in the Wild West at the beginning of the last century. It features a vast beautifully animated landscape. There is so much to look at, so much to explore that just riding through the countryside will keep be you occupied for a long time. You can also pursue all the cliché activities you can imagine:

  • horse riding and driving horse carriages
  • shooting with historic weapons like a Winchester rifle
  • hunting all kinds of game including buffalos and grizzlies
  • herding cattle
  • catching and breaking wild horses
  • poker
  • bounty hunting
  • duelling

You can spend hours trying out all these things, becoming a famous hunter, improving your sharp shooter ranking or searching for treasures. There seems to be no limit to this fictional world.

Once you have satisfied your curiosity (at least temporarily) you can play one of the main missions. There are usually several missions available at any particular time, all linked to one of the characters featured in the game. Speaking about the characters: there are a lot of them, all excellently voiced and very well written. You meet a snake oil selling fraud, a hardened marshal, a drunk scoundrel, an old gunslinger, a mexican rebel and all the other stereotypes which belong into a good western. All encounters with them move the excellent plot of the game forward. It is a relentless tale of violence which none of the protagonists can escape. After many hours of excellent game play you finally reach the grand finale which is as merciless as the rest of the story.

Red Dead Redemption combines technology, story telling and entertainment into a gripping mix. If you like western movies this is definitely your game.