In: Reviews by Dave "Holy Goalie" Gardner19 Jul 2010
There aren’t many perfect video games. Okay, there really is no such animal, but sometimes a game gets as close to perfect as possible. It’s ironic that Red Dead Redemption was one of the only games I did not stand in line to see at PAX East, and it turns out to be the best and most enthralling game that I’ve played in years. Even better than the original Left 4 Dead, which was Holy Goalie’s most addicting Xbox 360 game to date.
RDR did all the little things that push a game from good to great, from regular chips to Pringles, from “ooh” to “ahh.” But though I really love this game, I give it a 9.7, with three simple things costing it a perfect HG rating.
First: It needs a better fast-travel system. In the game you have to leave a town or settlement to find a flat place to pitch a camp site (with a cut scene), then call up the map, then pick a place to travel, then another cut scene — just to leave the camp site. Now, you are finally ready for fast-travel. Just simply cut it and give me the fast-travel option from the pause menu wherever I am. I wasted so much time trying to use the RDR fast-travel system. Making me wait over a minute every time to get from A to B? Minus o.1 points.
Second: Don’t make me ride on my horse for two or three minutes as part of the mission. Though there were many times that RDR gave you the option to skip to the destination, there were many times that it forced you to take the long ride on the horse so you could hear some of the story dialog. Yeah, it may have been neat to further engulf yourself into the story line, but most of the time I just wanted to get on with the mission. I’ve done plenty of horse riding, I don’t need any more practice at that. Let me skip to the excitement if I choose to. Making me needlessly ride to the action for minutes on end? Minus o.1 points.
Third, it needs a “save” system, not a “checkpoint” system. Like most games now, RDR relies on a checkpoint system to save the game. But how many times did I have to ride for minutes on end only to die and have to take the entire ride all over again? Too many! How many times did I fall off the rocky cliff and have to climb all they way to the top for no apparent reason other than I couldn’t save when I got to the top? Again, too many! Ghost Recon is my favorite game ever, and it’s probably because I could save the game at any time. I used to save all the time right before a big battle, so if I died, I could pick it up from a point just before the battle, and not have to muck my way through less exciting parts of the game over and over and over because of the checkpoint system. Making me swear because I had to needlessly climb rocks over and over again and ride my horse down the same paths without a save system? Minus o.1 points.
So what I could have given a perfect 10, falls to a 9.7 for three simple things. All of which involve me wasting my time doing mundane things that I didn’t need to repeatedly do to enjoy this game. Rockstar made a great game, and got it near perfect in my eyes. Hopefully if there is a a third Red Dead game, they will fix some of the little things and keep all the big things that made it a winner in the first place.
Red Dead Redemption
Reviewed on Xbox 360 (Also available on PlayStation 3)