Most fans know Rock Star Games for its hit Grand Theft Auto series. But the developer ventured well off the beaten path into the world of the Wild West in the recently released Red Dead Redemption.
Even though Rock Star is the only production company to really take on the Wild West theme, it would be difficult to imagine that anyone could do a better job.
The player is dropped into a dusty border town at a time when the Old West is beginning to confront the modern era. Your character, John Marston, is an ex-outlaw forced to hunt down former members of his old gang. You have the ability to make your own moral decisions throughout the game, becoming either a hated outlaw or a folk hero in the process.
Those familiar with the open-world concept of the Grand Theft Auto series will feel right at home with Red Dead Redemption. The main storyline of the game should take an average player about 20 hours to complete. But if you want to roam around the very realistic and excellently rendered world of the hinterlands straddling the U.S.-Mexico border, then this game can literally stretch on and on.
Countless side missions are available. You can collect bounties, help damsels in distress, play some blackjack or poker at the saloon, bet some of your hard-earned money on a game of horseshoes, or collect hides by hunting an ever-expanding number of wild creatures in the back country.
These are just a few of the many ways a player can dig deeper into the game, adding days of replay time that will never seem to get old or repetitive.
A cast of seedy characters with great voice acting drives the plot to an ending fit for the best of any Clint Eastwood western.
Beyond that, the world created for Red Dead Redemption is phenomenal. Gone is the ever-present "fog" that obscures the player's view in the Grand Theft Auto series. In Red Dead Redemption, the player can see to the horizon and fully enjoy the views of the long-gone Wild West.
In all, it's an excellent game that features an outstanding story, epic ending and a great deal of replay value because of the open world that pulls players into the game.