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Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is a western action-adventure video game set in an open world environment. It is developed by Rockstar San Diego and published by Rockstar Games. It was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles on May 18, 2010. It is the second title in the Red Dead franchise, and is a spiritual successor to 2004's Red Dead Revolver. The game, set during the decline of the American Frontier in the year 1911, follows John Marston, a former outlaw whose wife and son are taken hostage by the government in ransom for his services as a bounty hunter. Having no other choice, Marston sets out to bring the three members of his former gang to justice.

Red Dead Redemption is played from a third-person perspective in an open world environment, allowing the player to interact with the game world at their leisure. The player can travel the virtual world, a fictionalized version of the Western United States and Mexico, primarily by horseback and on foot. Gunfights emphasize a gunslinger gameplay mechanic called "Dead Eye" that allows players to mark multiple shooting targets on enemies in slow motion. The game makes use of a morality system, by which the player's actions in the game affect their character's levels of honor and fame and how other characters respond to the player. An online multiplayer mode is included with the game, allowing up to 16 players to engage in both co-operative and competitive gameplay in a recreation of the single-player setting.

Upon its release, Red Dead Redemption was met with universal critical acclaim, averaging approximately 95/100, 94% and 9.3/10 on review aggregate websites Metacritic, GameRankings, and GameStats, respectively, making it one of the highest-rated video games of all time. Reviewers praised the game's visuals, dynamically-generated music, voice acting, gameplay, and story, and they gave it several Game of the Year awards. It has ranked highly on several "Best Games" lists by various publications. As of September 2011, the game has sold over 12.5 million copies. After the game's release, several downloadable content additions were released. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, which was also released as a standalone game, added a new single-player experience in which John Marston searches for a cure for an infectious zombie plague that has swept across the Old West. A Game of the Year Edition containing all additional content was released in October 2011.

Red Dead Redemption Plot

The game begins in 1911, where John Marston (Rob Wiethoff), a former outlaw, is taken from his family by the Bureau of Investigation. They state Marston will be granted amnesty if he brings the remaining members of his old gang to justice. Marston agrees and sets off to track Bill Williamson (Steve J. Palmer), who now runs his own gang. Marston confronts Williamson at his stronghold, Fort Mercer, only to be shot and left for dead. A local rancher, Bonnie MacFarlane (Kimberly Irion), finds him wounded and takes him to her ranch for recovery. Several days later, Marston begins repaying the MacFarlanes for their help in the form of odd-jobs around the ranch. During this time he works with a U.S. Marshal, Leigh Johnson (Anthony De Longis) and his deputies, the dim-witted Jonah and sarcastic Eli; Nigel West Dickens (Don Creech), a con artist selling patent medicines; Seth Briars (Kevin Gilkmann), a treasure hunter and grave robber who prefers the company of the dead to that of the living; and an unreliable and alcoholic arms dealer known only as Irish (K. Harrison Sweeney). Marston performs various tasks and favours in exchange for help with an attack on Fort Mercer. Marston and his group breach the fort and defeat Williamson's gang only to find that Williamson had already fled to Mexico to seek help from Javier Escuella (Antonio Jaramillo), another member of Marston's former gang.

In Mexico, Marston initially sides with Mexican Army Colonel Agustín Allende (Gary Carlos Cervantes) and his right-hand man Captain Vicente de Santa (Hector Luis Bustamante), to help put down a rebellion in return for Allende delivering Escuella and Williamson to him. However, Allende attempts to betray Marston, forcing him to side with the rebels. With the help of elderly gunslinger Landon Ricketts (Ross Hagen), rebel leader Abraham Reyes (Josh Segarra), and Luisa (Francesca Galeas), one of Reyes' many lovers, Marston leads an assault on the El Presidio fortress, where they discover Escuella, who attempts to bargain for his life by revealing Williamson has been under Allende's protection. Marston and Reyes storm Allende's palace, where they apprehend and execute both Williamson and Allende after a short chase. Reyes takes charge of the local government and plans to advance on the capital, while Marston leaves to return to his farm.

Much to his dismay, Bureau agents Edgar Ross (Jim Bentley) and Archer Fordham (David Wilson Barnes) refuse to let Marston return to his family until Dutch van der Linde (Benjamin Byron Davis), the leader of Marston's former gang, is killed. Discovering that Dutch has been building his own gang with sympathisers from the local Indian reservation, Marston joins Ross, Fordham and a group of soldiers in an attack on Dutch's hideout. Marston chases Dutch to a cliff overlooking the river and mountains. Dutch ultimately chooses to commit suicide, backing off a cliff to his death. Moments before he dies, he warns Marston that the government will just find another "monster" to justify their pay. Marston is released from his deal with the government and returns to his family at his farm. After some time Marston is forced to repel a surprise attack on his ranch from Ross and government agents. He manages to get his family to safety but stays behind to hold back the attackers. Despite a valiant last stand he is shot multiple times by Ross and his men. He is buried by his family on the hill overlooking the ranch.

The game then moves three years ahead to 1914, where Marston's son Jack (Josh Blaylock) stands over the graves of his parents, John and Abigail (Sophie Marzocchi). He leaves home to search for the now-retired Ross, and eventually finds the former agent hunting on a riverbank in Mexico. The two duel, with Jack emerging the victor. The fate of John Marston's companions are later summarized: Marshal Leigh Johnson retired from Armadillo to be replaced by Jonah, and then moved as far as possible from the town; Abraham Reyes, though promising to lead Mexico into an age of freedom, was consumed by power and became a tyrant; Bonnie MacFarlane eventually married; Irish shot himself dead in an outhouse when his gun accidentally discharged; Seth Briars eventually found the treasure he was looking for and became rich; and finally, Landon Ricketts passed away quietly in his sleep.

Red Dead Redemption Gameplay

Red Dead Redemption is an open world game. As protagonist John Marston, players can interact with the environment and engage in combat with enemies, using various firearms. Different breeds of horses are the main forms of transportation, each with different attributes. These horses must be tamed in order to use them. Marston can utilize trains to get from place to place quickly, but he can also stop the train by threatening or killing the passengers or driver.

In addition to following the main storyline, the player character will witness and can take part in random events they encounter as they explore the game world. These include public hangings, ambushes, pleas for assistance, encounters with strangers, ride-by shootings, and dangerous animal attacks. For example, if a group of people ride into town firing guns in the air, Marston can kill them, and will receive a bonus of honor and fame for protecting the town. The player character can also take part in optional side activities, most of which give the player money. There are various stores to buy supplies with the earned money such as weapons, medicine, and horses. These side activities include dueling, in which the player character must be a faster draw than their opponent; bounty hunting, where Marston can hunt down bounties on wanted posters; herb collecting, which involves gathering exotic plants from around the game map for town medics; and gambling, where people can be found playing games such as poker and Five Finger Fillet; and hunting, in which the player can kill wild animals and skin their hides.

Red Dead Redemption makes use of a morality system where players have the ability to gain positive or negative honor. Honor can be gained by making morally positive choices, such as taking in an outlaw alive, or saving a woman from a kidnapping. The player character's overall honor standard is lowered for committing crimes or other negative choices. This works in conjunction with another system, fame, which affects how people react based on Marston's honor status. If Marston has little honor, non-player characters feel insecure around him. If he has a high amount of honor, other characters will usually greet him and feel safe around him. He will also receive discounts in some stores, more pay for jobs and other bonuses. A very low honor rating can result in a town's establishments closing their doors when Marston arrives. To combat this he can disguise himself by wearing a bandana when performing criminal acts.

Reception
Red Dead Redemption received universal critical acclaim, with much praise given to the presentation of the open world, story, and soundtrack. Aggregate scores were high, with a score of 95/100 on both platforms at Metacritic. On GameRankings, it is the eighth best rated Xbox 360 game of all time, having an aggregate of 94.12% based on 73 reviews and also the eighth best rated PlayStation 3 game of all time with a score of 94.66% based on 50 reviews. Commercially, the game has also been very successful. According to an August 2011 report, the game had shipped over 11 million copies, 2 million of which were retail units of Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare. By September 2011, Red Dead Redemption had sold over 12.5 million units. As of February 2012, the Red Dead franchise (including Red Dead Revolver, Red Dead Redemption, and Undead Nightmare) has sold over 13 million units worldwide.

Many critics praised the landscape, environment and graphics of Red Dead Redemption. Erik Brudvig of IGN lauded the environmental details, noting the player can even scare a flock of birds from the bushes as they ride past. He also noted that the game's dynamic events, weather and ambient sounds provide a rich experience for players. He summarized by stating "you can also expect a fantastic game that offers the Western experience we've all been waiting for." Game Informer called the scenery "breathtaking", and the cinematic cutscenes "vastly improved" over Grand Theft Auto IV, and named it the "best-looking Rockstar game to date".

The music, sound and voice acting in the game was also widely praised and spoken about. It won the Best Original Music and Best Voice Acting awards from GameSpot. When talking about the sound design of Red Dead Redemption, Game Informer said "From pitch-perfect gunshots to the daunting rumble of prairie thunderstorms, the remarkable attention to audio detail brings the world to life".

Critics and reviewers spoke about the successful use of the game engine, and made similarities of the controls and physics to the Grand Theft Auto series. Game Informer said that Rockstar " the Grand Theft Auto gameplay template onto a Wild West setting". Good Game reviewer Stephanie Bendixsen said that " really looked at what people liked and didn't like in their game design from , and included it here". Eurogamer's Simon Parkin felt Red Dead Redemption successfully "re-clothes" the Grand Theft Auto framework in an "exciting, distinct and expertly realised scenario".

The multiplayer aspect of Red Dead Redemption received mixed commentary from critics. GamePro's Will Herring praised the variety of multiplayer modes and the open gameplay, but noted that it put more responsibility on the players for keeping the game interesting. Justin Calvert of GameSpot also gave high marks for the game's variety of multiplayer modes, but felt that there was a lack in customization options for players. In a more critical view of multiplayer, Scott Sharkey of 1UP.com noted that games can suffer from griefing due to the open nature of multiplayer gameplay. He also criticized the leveling and unlocking aspects, noting that "The first few minutes spent as a toothless miner riding a balky mule can be pretty humiliating". G4TV's Jake Gaskill echoed this sentiment. He noted that the game often respawns players in a similar location to their death, which allows the killing player to repeatedly grief the other player.

Red Dead Redemption has appeared on several Best Games lists by various video-gaming publications. IGN ranked it third on its 2011 list of the top modern video games. In February 2013, GamesRadar listed Red Dead Redemption at second on its list of the best games of all time. GamesRadar later placed the game sixth on its list of the best video game stories ever, in July 2013. On September 3, 2013, Red Dead Redemption was ranked thirteenth on IGN's list of the top PlayStation 3 games. IGN later ranked the game seventeenth on its list of top Xbox 360 games, on September 20, 2013. In November 2013, the game was ranked at fourth and eighth place on Eurogamer and Hardcore Gamer's list of the best games of the generation.


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