Red Dead Redemption  PS3 (Reviewed) Xbox 360  9.5/10

Spending a few moments with Red Dead Redemption, you would be right to make a comparison with GTAIV.The controls are roughly the same and the same type of routine "Go here, kill them & return" missions we're used to from it's liberty city counterpart.Tho at first it may feel like Grand Theft Stagecoach, Red Dead Redemption is brimming full of it's own unique personality, that you completely forget GTA even Existed. 

As the game starts you're greeted with a cinematic train ride across the countryside with Mr.John Marston, the Protaganist of this tale.With his wife and child being held against their will by Federal agents.John is tasked, or more like Blackmailed, into killing Bill Williamson.A murderous outlaw.An outlaw John once called a brother back when they rode in a gang together. 

Skipping ahead a few hours through the game, you find yourself leaving Macfarlen Ranch, a cozy dream farm tucked away on top of a cliff.Headed towards the town of Armadillo in search of the sheriff, i got to experience some of the random encounters of the game.In this case, a seemingly stranded women stood idle by her broken down stagecoach.. 

As i slowly walked closer, fully expecting an ambush, she screamed out "I'm sorry, they made me do it!" And sure enough, all hell broke loose.In a hail of bullets and blood flying everywhere, All five of the men, the women and even my horse were dead.It happened so fast i didn't even understand how i survived. 
Mostly because the wonky auto-aim targeted a bird flying above, instead of the men shooting me. 

In any case, after looting the dead bodies and saying a prayer for my fallen horse, i set off on foot.It was getting dark in the area and the sound of coyotes was unpleasant, to say the least. 

I took shelter in what i though would be a simple cave.Turned out, it was a massive canyon of sorts.i run through, shooting and skinning animals along the way until i seen it. 

And by "it" i mean the absolute gorgeous view.As i emerged from the far side of the canyon, i seen a beautiful sunset.I watched as the light poured in an all around me and glistened off the rock-walled canyon.I looked out in the distance and could see for miles & miles.Massive plains of land dotted with trees, cactus, small towns & settlements all of which seemed so calm and peaceful. 

It was then that i truly appreciated the graphical prowess of the game.Every thing in the game has such great detail.From the muscles flexing when a horse jumps, to a highly textured tree leaf in the middle of nowhere.It's all done with some attention to detail.I applaud you for that Rockstar. 

Over the course of the game you will make many friends, some more sane than others.But all in all it's a great cast of characters with great acting and voice work. 

Skipping ahead countless hours into the game, you'll find yourself in Mexico amidst a revolution against the power hungry president.It's all out war between the Mexican Army & The rebels.It's the man-whore rebel leader vs the rapist president and his right hand man De Santa, a cross between Fabio and Tony Montana.Yep, it's all good times in Mexico. 

And thats as much as i'll talk about the story.There's many side missions or other activities to do.Such as poker, five finger fillet, arm wrestling, blackjack, liars dice and many more. Or, if you're more of a sadistic person, why not lasso some poor shmuck, drag him behind your horse a few miles, tie'em up and leave him on the train tracks to meet his maker? Perhaps, if you`re more of lawman that i, take up a few bounties from the posters and get to work hunting down those lowlifes?
The vast, sprawling landscape offers endless possibilities.You could have just as much fun traveling from one end of the map to the other, as doing even the most action packed missions.

My favorite would have to be hunting.Everything from snakes, skunks, armadillos, rabbits, wolves, cows, chickens, elk, buffalo and everything in between can be hunted, skinned, and sold. 
Word to the wise.If you find yourself up north near the mountains and Tall trees, keep a lookout for bears.And never, ever bring your favorite horse with you. 

All in all it's an incredible game with a small amount of flaws, all of which are over-shadowed by the sheer scope of the experience. 

It is by far the best Western game you will ever play. 
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