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Red Dead Redemption review roundup

Red Dead Redemption review scores applaud the game's surprising sophistication, expansive freedom, and gritty depiction of the Wild West.

By / May 17, 2010

"Red Dead Redemption" review posts keep singing this game praises.

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"Red Dead Redemption" review scores galloped into town this weekend offering some simple advice before the game's Tuesday release: Gamers, mount up.

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According to most write-ups, this most recent take on the Wild West combines the best elements of Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, and "Grand Theft Auto."

Video game developer Rockstar holds a curious double honor in the industry. Adult gamers laud Rockstar for exploring intelligent, interactive storytelling with mature (not just bloody) plots, cultural criticism, and a freedom that movies can't deliver. Meanwhile, video game critics think Rockstar profits off everything that's wrong with the medium: a game structure that romanticizes violence and a plot that requires your character to perform illegal actions to progress.

To members of the latter group, know that "Red Dead Redemption" is for adults only. To members of the former, expect this game to deliver an immersive experience rivaled by few other titles.

The storytelling

"[The game's main character, John Marston,] stands between the Old West and modernity – between the celebration of the individual and the collective requirements of organized society – as he tries to salvage a family life from the smoldering legacy of his criminal past," says the New York Times in its glowing review. "Along the way, he and his creators conjure such a convincing, cohesive and enthralling reimagination of the real world that it sets a new standard for sophistication and ambition in electronic gaming. Like our own, the world of Red Dead Redemption – its cantinas, dusty arroyos, railway stations and cragged peaks – is one in which good does not always prevail and yet altruism rarely goes unrewarded."

The mechanics

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