14
May
12

Red Dead Redemption Can Go to Hell

Marston takes careful aim at some crows.

Before you jump to the bottom of the page and post a comment about how I’m an ignorant twat, let me preface this entire post with a statement: I enjoyed Red Dead Redemption. But that doesn’t mean it’s immune from my rage for all its failings. And let me tell you, it had a lot of shit that pissed me off.

Video games where you get to play as a cowboy are few and far between. I’m not sure why the western genre for games never really took off, but they can be a lot of fun. I suppose the mouth-breathers feel it’s more important to buy a new version of Madden every year, so developers are constantly tied up copying last year’s football garbage into a new game. That precludes them from making new games with western motifs.

I’ve always enjoyed the western genre of film. The Good The Bad and The Ugly, True Grit, and Tombstone, just to name a few, are movies I can watch over and over again. There’s just something exciting about getting to live vicariously through those gunslingers. Besides, the whole genre boils down to just being a badass. And how could anyone not like a film genre dedicated to badasses?

So, playing a video game western, there’s a short list of stuff I want to do:

  • Kill people.
  • Quick-draw showdowns.
  • Rob people/banks.
  • Hijack trains.
  • Be a badass.

And here’s a list of stuff I don’t want to do:

  • Herd cattle.
  • Catch horses.
  • Take care of a farm/ranch.
  • Deliver corn.
  • Hang out with an annoying kid.
  • Scare away crows.
  • Watch boring cutscenes of talking.
  • Not have sex with prostitutes.
  • Be a law-abiding citizen.

After a few annoying tutorial missions at the beginning of the game, which show you how to herd cattle and catch horses, Red Dead Redemption lets you get on with the gunslinging and killing. Great, right? You betcha. After 30 or so hours of gunning down bad guys, John Marston (the main character) has a final climactic battle with his old mentor, Dutch. After that, you are “treated” to one of the most horrible songs ever recorded, and Marston rides home to be reunited with his wife and son.

The End.

Oh wait, it’s not?

This has nothing to do with my post, I just thought it was a funny picture.

Nope. You get to the really fun stuff now which includes: herding cattle, catching horses, delivering corn, scaring away crows, hanging out with an annoying kid, and taking care of the day-to-day business of a farm. This happens for mission after mission. It’s an endless assault of the most boring shit imaginable. All the crap that I couldn’t wait to get past in the tutorial is now being forced upon me after spending the last 28 hours of gameplay shooting people. What? The? Fuck?

A parallel would be Clint Eastwood’s stellar film Unforgiven. He plays an outlaw who reformed and settled down to have a family. He temporarily leaves said family to go kill bad guys. The movie ends after a final climactic battle. The movie does not subject us to another half an hour of him returning home to till soil and catch pigs. That would be a terrible. It would ruin the entire narrative. It would be pointless and anti-climactic. Guess what? The same shit holds true for Red Dead Redemption.

I didn’t go through all those missions just to end up playing a really fancy farm simulator. If I wanted to do that, I would just play Farmville on Facebook. Not that I would ever do such a thing. So why the fuck would I want to do it with shiny Xbox 360 graphics? It was a terrible idea that was ultimately pointless, anti-climactic, and ruined the entire narrative.

The story of Red Dead Redemption was basically that of John Marston, former outlaw who had reformed his evil ways and settled down with a family. His family gets kidnapped by the FBI (don’t ask, obviously this makes no sense), and he is extorted into killing the members of his former gang so he can get his family back. After doing all that and returning home, the story is over. There shouldn’t be any more. And if you’re going to do more, you shouldn’t have it be all the boring shit that no one cares about.

I guarantee that nobody who played this game ever did any of the side missions that involved herding cattle or catching horses. That shit was boring as fuck and irritating as hell. It shouldn’t be in the game at all, let alone exist as a series of required missions after the killing has finished.

My thoughts exactly.

Which brings me to my next point. You can choose to be good or bad, sort of. But you really are forced to be good. If you do bad shit like steal peoples’ horses or kill people indiscriminantly, you become a wanted man and it becomes impossible to do anything. That’s fine, I suppose, but it really just shoehorns you into being good. So, the things I want to do become difficult, like: robbing people/banks, hijacking trains, and killing people. Sure, you do get to kill people, but only during missions. Sometimes there are missions where you know who you have to kill, and if you go ahead and kill them before the scripted time you are supposed to, the mission fails. What the fuck is that bullshit? And what about all the prostitutes in the game? They are constantly after you to purchase their services, and sometimes when you save them they offer a freebie. John Marston always politely refuses, saying he’s married…to a former prostitute. Well, if you get to be amoral shooting people in the face, then why can’t you be amoral and go around cheating? Marston’s moral compass doesn’t offer much consistency. Besides, if you can pick up hookers in Grand Theft Auto IV, then why can’t you do it in this game, too? You could even catch a nasty case of Syphilis, just for an added touch of realism. And as an aside, the cutscenes that play before each mission are really fucking long. Way way way too long. By the time I reached the 300 farming missions, I didn’t have the patience to watch these insufferably long cutscenes any more. I just skipped them all. The game didn’t lose any enjoyability.

Of course, I kept on playing because I knew there had to be another real mission coming. They couldn’t just end the game with a bunch of farming bullshit. Finally, after a punishing 600 farming missions, the final mission comes. The FBI decides that for all your hard effort, they are going to betray you. They send in the Army, and you single-handedly gun everyone down. Your wife and kid escape, but you get trapped by a rather small contingent of bad guys. You are forced into a quick-draw and no matter what you do, you get killed.

The End.

Fuck that shit!

Oh wait, it’s not?

You single-handedly won an entire revolutionary war, but this many guys kill you.

Nope. Remember that really fucking annoying kid from the 800 farming missions? Well, now you get to play as him. John Marston’s son Jack just turned 18 and he is out for revenge. Apparently, the legal age for revenge in the U.S. is 18. His voice is so shrill it’s ear-shattering. Every time he talked, I wanted to punch a hole in my TV. The true final mission of the game is to hunt down the FBI leader and kill him. It’s relatively short, so at this point I was just playing the game to get it over with. All enjoyment had been jettisoned long ago amidst the 1200 farming missions. Once you find the final bad guy and kill him, the game ends for the third time.

The End.

Sort of. Well, now you can free-roam around the game and complete side missions to your heart’s content. So, if you didn’t get enough cattle herding and horse catching the first time around, you can do that some more.

But you know what? I don’t want to fucking play as Jack Marston. He’s a whiny bitch. I couldn’t stand every second of the game you were forced to be alongside him, and I sure as hell don’t want to play as him now. I played the entire game as John Marston, I don’t want to finish it as Jack. That would be like playing through all of Super Mario Brothers as Mario, then dying when you face Bowser, and eventually returning to kill Bowser while playing as Toad. No one wants to play as Toad. Toad sucks.

The ending was typical bait-and-switch bullshit. It was a craptastic ending on par with anything Shyamy Shyamalan could dream up. No thanks, I don’t want to see the character I invested so much time in die at the very end. Fuck all that noise, Rockstar Games. After killing thousands of bad guys, single-handedly winning the Mexican Revolution, and absorbing millions of rounds of ammunition into his body, there’s no way a handful of dudes is going to kill John Marston. The game creators were going for something sad/profound like the ending of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but instead what they got was hokey shit like the ending of Buried. You know, a “twist” ending that is only there for shock value, does nothing to help the story, and just generally pisses off the audience.

Li’l Marston

Taking a look back at my two lists, the first list, of things I want to do in a western, I got to do 3 out of 5. The other list, stuff I don’t want to do in a western, I did 9 out of 9. That sucks. Listen up, video game industry. Next time you make a western genre game, make sure you can play through the entire game as an outlaw. And don’t make all the boring farming shit mandatory. No one wants to play through 3500 farming missions. Not even Farmville players could stomach that.

My recommendation for everyone who hasn’t played Red Dead Redemption is this: After you kill Dutch and return home, stop playing the game immediately and start playing the expansion pack, Undead Nightmare. That’s where you get to kill hoards of zombies. That was really fun.

Verdicts:

The Game Overall – Good

The Game’s Ending – Shitty

Undead Nightmare – Good

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113 Responses to “Red Dead Redemption Can Go to Hell”


  1. May 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I would have completely forgiven the last two hours of the game if the finale was a five minute scene of two guys staring each other down before a duel with Ennio Morricone blaring in the background. Alas, I was let down.

  2. May 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Gotta be the voice of reason dissention here.

    I loved this game, including the end. Especially the part where he was doing “Nothing” with his family. It lent the experience some genuine emotion instead of ending with a cut scene. I also loved the fact they gunned him down and Jack carried on…

    This is the only video game in my life I ever got 100% completion on… Loved every minute of it. And yes, that means I •Herd cattle.
    •Caught horses.
    •Took care of a farm/ranch.
    •Delivered corn.
    •Hung out with an annoying kid.
    •Scared away crows.
    •Watched boring cutscenes of talking.
    •Was a law-abiding citizen.

    Would have been nice if we could have banged the hookers though. LOL :D

  3. May 15, 2012 at 1:57 am

    The way you put it, it sounds like RDR has a Fallout 3 style of gameplay but with a ‘Family’ and herding cattle, delivering corn… I mean, okay, Fallout 3 doesn’t let you do it with prosititutes and it doesn’t have an expansion with zombies, but it does let you use nuclear ordance, beat people with robotic fists, and euthanise man-trees… and who doesn’t want to put a man-tree out of its misery?

    • May 15, 2012 at 2:00 am

      and by ‘it doesn’t let you do it with prositutes’ I mean as it doesn’t let you do it because there kind of are no prostitutes, or at least there aren’t any without some advanced form of radiation poisoning.
      And that’s another thing RDR doesn’t have: a radiation system based around the tick of a geiger counter. And who doesn’t love geiger counters?

      • May 15, 2012 at 7:13 am

        RDR is more like Grand Theft Auto IV: same company, same game engine, similar control setup. Getting it on with the prostitutes would make any game even better.

  4. May 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    As much as I love Red Dead Redemption, I do agree with many of your points. The cattle herding, horse wrangling and other mindless chores were very tedious, and it was annoying to have to go through them at the beginning of the game. Still, once the entire area is opened up, things get pretty damn awesome. I loved the freedom to do whatever I wanted, and the Undead Nightmare expansion was the icing on the cake. I would take this over GTA IV any day.

  5. 16 -Dre
    September 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    What A Fuckin Co-inky-dink.! Im Playing This Shit Right This Second….Im Just Riding My $750 Dollar Horse.!!! Nothing Fancy..Running From Random Cougars And Bears…….& Where The FUCK Did A Leapord Come From.?!

  6. 18 Brandon Kummer
    December 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    The ending is great what are you talking about. It all makes complete perfect sense. With all John did, there was NO way in hell the government of the time period would let him walk. Corrupt or not. With the ending of him surrendering in the manner he did was because all he would be doing is putting his family in more and more danger. The government would’ve taken Jack and his wife instead of a gang. He knew if they killed him, the government wouldn’t bother the son or wife. Uncle already was killed by the governmet’s action, he didn’t want his son or wife to have the same fate. The ending is completely clear and a terrific way to play it out. If John was still alive, he would basically have to live in the wild. The government would have any police officer shoot him on site. Would you like that ending better? Quit complaining about “WAHWAHWAH NO ME GUSTA JACK BLABBLALALA” suck it the fuck up and appreciate the awesome story and ending in the game.

    • December 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      Why yes, I would have liked that ending better.

      • 20 Brandon Kummer
        January 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm

        The only way that would happen is if they gave it as much realistic power as Saints Row 2. They wanted a realistic feel and they did a great job of it. I don’t understand what your problem is. Is killing the only thing you look for in a game? You don’t want to feel emotion? Have it feel realistic? Have it something that could’ve actually been done in real life. I would find it boring a story of one man who fucks up every person in site over and over again then says yay I win and goes home. It’s why I hate Call of Duty so much and why all practical people do. GTA IV was to an extent but again, there’s too much random killing for it to be realistic in a modern society. Could you explain to me a little bit why you feel it should only be killing in the game?

  7. 21 Brandon Kummer
    December 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    And the farming stuff is only like 15-20 minutes total gameplay, so quit fucking complaining. I beat from the gang leader to the end of the game in less then a few hours so that is more horse shit then horse shit itself.

    • January 2, 2013 at 10:17 am

      I don’t feel like it should only be killing in a game. But this game in particular is filled with tons and tons of killing. You mow down hundreds of people, and literally destroy an entire army, almost single-handedly. Right there the realism is thrown out the window. So, to give it a “realistic” ending betrays everything that has already come before in the game. It makes no sense that you could kill so many people, yet a small handful of guys is too much for the main character to take on.

      The thing I really don’t like about it is that it betrays the story arc of John. It begins with him trying to start a new life, only to be reeled back in to the business of death. He helps the government and brings his old gang to justice. If you played the game “good”, then by the end John will have redeemed himself. He will have earned a happy ending. Despite what you do in the game, the government betrays John and kills him. His character arc is therefore rendered meaningless. There was no point to his redemption if he ends up dead.

      To make matters worse, I don’t want to finish the game as his son. Narratively speaking, it makes little sense. Overall, the ending of “Red Dead Redemption” is far more frustrating than any “Call of Duty Game.” The reason is that of COD, there is no story and no character development. RDD had story and character development, and to piss it away how they did was incredibly frustrating.

  8. 23 Anonyomus
    February 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Oh thanks for ripping on the best game ever i only bought it for the horses westerns are popular due to horse lovers like yours truley so think before you post your crap

    • February 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      You’re welcome “for ripping on the best game ever.”

      I will promise to always “think before” I post my crap if you promise to READ THE FUCKING POST before you leave a moronic comment.

      If you had bothered to read it you would notice I gave the game a score of Good. That is the second highest score possible on this website.

  9. 27 Kyle
    February 7, 2013 at 1:36 am

    I hated the last few missions and I don’t like playing as jack because after John dies it all goes downhill because your playing as his gay and pointless son

  10. 28 raymond
    February 10, 2013 at 6:43 am

    FIRST OF ALL….however reviewed red dead redemption on this website is probally still a virgin(because all he wants to see is prostitutes getting banged on a GAME..c’mon!!) hates his life because he doesn’t have a taste in anything and will die a miserable idiot …..this game is by far the best game around and will maybe even stay the best 99 persent of people who played this game LOVES it and if games could win oscars this game would definitely receive it……..!!!!!!!!!!!

    • February 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      I wish I could decipher what you are trying to say.

      • 30 Ronin
        February 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm

        you say its not the game that’s faulty but rather the story and the way u play thru it. I’ve never played a game where u die as the father and then get to play on as the son, regardless of ur feelings about jack as a character u cant let something so epic be lost on you. also prior to becoming jack u only have to complete like 6 rancher missions hardly a tiresome task for someone whos just probably dumped atleast 15 hrs. into the most awesome cowboy experience ever. and not being able to shag pro’s in the early 1900’s is no curse

      • February 12, 2013 at 8:33 am

        OK, here’s the thing. I liked Red Dead Redemption. You can see that where I gave it a score of “Good” at the end of the review. This blog is meant to be sarcastic/satirical. You are taking it way too seriously. I usually find something that annoyed me, and write a big post around that one thing. Just read any of the other reviews on the site, and you’ll get the picture.

  11. 32 Ronin
    February 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    regardless of your opinion you still shouldn’t either a been able to a. give it an objective opinion or b. given a spoiler alert what fun would someone have playing the game regardless of how they feel about it when not only do you say how the game ends but you also tell how the epilogue ends is wellregardless of how you felt you still could have kept from telling every single mundane detail of how the game goes. wanting to be a badass is your perspective of a Western not everybody views it that way some people just want to do write and be noble and if you don’t like it thats your own opinion and it doesn’t take away from the game. ultimately Rockstar didnt cater to ur particular view point and u have something to say on the matter as if ur any authority on the wild west or people’s perception of it.

  12. 36 jayson
    February 25, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Man I fully understand where youre coming for with this review. Just RDR and havent felt this let down from a game in ages. I guess the whole open world and have your own experience was a complete illusion. It real just came to a fairly uninteresting story with a bunch of mondane tasks and stupid mini games to amuse you momentarily which got old very fast.

    • February 25, 2013 at 8:42 am

      Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Great game, fun open world experience, which is completely ruined by a stupid ending. Sorry to hear you were let down like I was. But go on and play the Undead Nightmare version of the game, it’s really cool.

  13. 38 Sapple
    March 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Rockstar tends to forget sometimes that they make video games and not movies. Therefore while character development and story are both great, gameplay is the first and foremost important part of the game. And playing ‘Farm Simulator 2000′ just isn’t fun. Neither is swapping out your character for some random guy for post-game free roam.

    But the rest of the game is fun, for the most part. It just annoys me to hear people refer to this as one of the “greatest video game endings of all time”. Have you guys ever watched a western? It was pretty generic and cliche as far as western endings go and a bucket of bad ideas as far as video game endings are concerned.

  14. 41 Ronin
    March 16, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Not being able to have sex with prostitutes is nothing to complain about. it’s a 15 second animation where the camera shakes outside of some window, the fact that you will go to such lengths to bitch and moan about it is purile as is the rest of your long winded cynical gripe.

  15. March 18, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I would just like to say that I am incredibly happy that I still subscribe to the comments on this post. That is all.

  16. 45 Richard
    March 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I completely agree, this game sucks like a buck tooth prostitute, I still havnt completed it because it’s just a tedious chore travelling. from one town to another let alone actually doing any missions, you can’t build a camp here your too close to a road “grrrrrr..!!” why can’t I just effin fast travel simply??? Then there ate yhe show downs where you can’t just aim pick your shots and fire, no you have to have some weird red v blue gauge race which I have no idea if I’m gonna win or lose dispute having aimed placed my shots and frantically pulling the trigger to see nothing happen until my enemy guns me down time and again, so I get pissed off with it, put it back in it’s box for another couple of months then think ooh I should finish red dead then I play for 30 mins and realise why I hate this game, it’s slow, boring, laboursome and tedious, how rockstar can make a great sandbox like GTA and to some degree L.A noire and completely drop a bollock with red is proper baffling but in my opinion they did. I will never finish this game and an unfinished game is a game that clearly sucks.

  17. 49 AF
    April 14, 2013 at 1:38 am

    The “boring” stuff and the ending didn’t bother me, however having to play the post-game free roam as Jack held no appeal to me all. In open world games I usually spend a lot of time exploring and doing side-missions after the story is finished, but my desire to spend any more time playing as Jack is non-existent. Even though I realise it wouldn’t make logical sense, I wish there was some way to go back to playing as John. Undead Nightmare is cool and all but I enjoyed riding around in the “normal” world a lot more.

  18. 51 Rex
    April 24, 2013 at 4:29 am

    LOL…”And here’s a list of stuff I don’t want to do:

    •Herd cattle.
    •Catch horses.
    •Take care of a farm/ranch.
    •Deliver corn.
    •Hang out with an annoying kid.
    •Scare away crows.”

    Those are very minor, very brief things added to the game to give flavor and add something a little different. All epic games/RPGs (all games period with few exceptions) do this. The vast majority of players enjoyed these things.

    “Watch boring cutscenes of talking”….Skip past them…..DURR. Do you have to be told to wipe your butt as well? I’d hate to see your underwear.

    The other things that you DO want in the game ARE in the game with the exceptions robbing trains and screwing prostitutes.

    I do agree that it sucked major balls when John died though, I was not a happy camper when I realized I would have to play as Jack from now on

  19. 53 AWOL
    April 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Just found your review after a random Google of things I hated about RDR. I agree on so many points, but I wanted to add that even if they had lessened the amount of herding, it still would have sucked because the way herding works in the game is so finicky, it took too long for such a pointless side mission. And my GOD do I hate jacks voice! Playing as jack would have been at least bearable if he had a gruffer and more manly voice, but no, we got Terry Jones from life of Brian meets screech from saved by the southern fucking bell! I can live without banging prosti’s but at least let us become BAD, not “wanted but overall a nice guy” that strangers still trust, if our moral compass got too wicked it should have let us try and recruit strangers to help us rob trains/banks and once they helped us let us decide whether to kill them and take their share or let them live to acquire higher percentages of loot but run the risk of them becoming mutinous.. just sucks seeing a game with such potential be dragged down by poor planning/writing

    • May 2, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Hahaha, hilarious points! Yeah, the herding was just miserably. I couldn’t stand it at all. Thanks for dropping by, and I’m glad you are one of the few who agree with me.

  20. May 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I just bought the game of the year edition and skipped playing the normal game to play the undead nightmare version on disk 2. Sounds like a definitely made the right choice. This game rocks fighting zombies!

  21. 57 Jeff
    May 7, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    There is a huge problem with this review. IT DOESN’T MENTION HUNTING FUCKING BEAVERS.
    Oh, I just won the revolutionary war, now I can find beavers while random grizzly bears maul me from my Lind side.
    Then after I finally have the beaver skins, I get to watch a guy fall off a cliff, and I can’t even loot his camp and body.
    Bullshit.

    • May 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

      You must be thinking of another game. But I laughed pretty hard at your comment, anyway.

      • 59 jeff
        May 8, 2013 at 10:08 am

        sorry…. i posted the comment from my phone. which sucks. let me clarify:

        Finding 5 beaver pelts to complete the flying moron story was nearly impossible for me. I figured I had to beat some part of the story to get across the bridges at the “thieves” area. So i did. (which is helping the rebels win the kinda revolutionary war)… so then i cross the bridge, go up to the mountains where there are trees and water (what beavers love) AND THERE ARE NO BEAVERS.
        when there ARE beavers…. they disappear after you shoot them.. or then five apear, AND SO DOES A MOUNTAIN LION THAT MAULS YOU.

        finally i get my beaver pelts…. travel back to meheeko for the abysmal flying moron story line… then return the the plains area….
        AND NOW THERE ARE BEAVERS EVERY FUCKING WHERE…….

        finished the game this morning. bad ending. can’t agree more with your review.

        Red Dead “breaking in a horse” Redemption

      • May 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

        Oh OK, gotcha. I never finished that side mission. I hate those kinds of things where you have to go around collecting shit. I’m also glad you agree on the ending. Based on the comments above, it clearly seems to go 50-50.

  22. 61 Hunter
    May 8, 2013 at 2:04 am

    I might be late to the party but you sir are a complete and sensless idiot, if all you wan’t to do is kill people like a badass then go play COD you whiny bitch.

  23. 63 Lake Effekt Kid
    May 18, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I think we all know who the real whiney bitch is here.

    Your trying to play a game full of story and immersion but you don’t want/like story or being immersed. Red Dead Redemption is a fantastic game you just choose your games poorly. If all you want to do is be an outlaw and kill people then playing a game with redemption is probably the stupidest thing you could do. So well done for wasting all that time.

    • May 18, 2013 at 11:58 am

      Clearly, you didn’t waste your time reading the entire post.

    • 65 Pepe Silvia
      July 31, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      Yeah, clearly you missed the point. Rockstar’s games, particularly this one, offers, at best, a questionable sense of immersion and choice. Part of what brikhaus is arguing is that there is no choice whatsoever about which side of the law you are on, who you side with, etc, which is contradictory to the moral ambiguity that the game tries to establish. You play exactly the character that Rockstar allows you to play. It’s very interesting because GTA made its name by allowing, actually by encouraging the player to be as bad as the want, whereas RDR offers far more incentives for good behavior, in a setting that is infamous for its outlaws. Most of the game, in fact the main narrative, is based around capturing and killing outlaws and brining justice to those who were wronged. Many players, including myself and brikhaus, would have liked the choice to be one of those outlaws.

      Those arguing that that choice exists in the game show a pretty clear misunderstanding of it. There is a little wiggle room (ooooh, you can kill an innocent woman or save her! not exactly a revolutionary game mechanic). But ultimately, through the linear story line (although you can choose which order you complete quests in, the game is still VERY linear) the game shoehorns you into doing good deeds because it serves the narrative. Honorable deeds are required to progress in the game. Bad deeds are punished, through things like bounties or, for example, if you kill someone rather than capture them, a reduced reward. Though punishment for bad deeds is expected, it’s poorly balanced with the rewards of good deeds. The ability to sleep with prostitutes is actually a glaring point of inconsistency for this game, both in how it disrupts the player’s ability to define their own morals (which means the player has even less choice) and in the game’s immersion, since the prostitutes are essentially decorations that cannot be interacted with.

      So the conclusion that I think a lot of players, who didn’t think this was the greatest thing of all time come to, is this: Similar to the Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead Redemption offers an enjoyable experience who’s open world elements betray the linear progression and lack of player’s choice inherent to the game. In other words, while the game looks world looks free, its not. Sure you can go kill a cougar or a bear or ride on a trail during morning, afternoon or night, but you aren’t allowed to make a single meaningful choice in the story. The problem is that the John Marston that I WANT to be in between missions during free roam and side quests, where I want to rob trains, banks, people, whatever, is the opposite of the John Marston I HAVE to be during missions, the benevolent, reformed baddie. I think it was an overall bad idea to force the player to be an outlaw trying to reform, since a lot of us just want to be the outlaw. It often seems that John got to have fun in some previous life and I, the player, am stuck paying the bill and having to make up for it by being good.

      That’s the difference between open world immersion and choice and it will continue to hold Rockstar’s games back until they give player’s more freedom. Not more freedom of where my pixelated character exists geographically within the game world, but freedom to define my own experience.

  24. 66 Idiot-Pill
    May 24, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Brikhaus, first of all, excellent choice of name.

    Secondly, people don’t seem to understand that you can enjoy playing a game but at the same time, hate it! The flaws in this game are absolutely enormous, but the good points are just as mammoth sized.

    Cattle herding – I HATED so much i actually laughed when i had to do another mission of it… except for the one in the storm when they kept running off, i nearly climbed a clock tower opposite an orphanage with a suspiscious looking case, but instead, settled for hollowing out a hobo with a sharpened saucepan and riding his corpse like a Kayak into the sea of fire.

    I think the one thing that caused me Pecker Rot over anything else was the mission structure. “Escort mission on a wagon. Escort mission on a train with a machine gun. Escort mission on a horse protecting a train or a wagon.” And Holy Pacman, Batman! The racing missions nearly sent me raging. So, those, chuck in a few gang clearouts and those ranching missions and you have RDR.

    Don’t get me wrong, i LOVE this game. But the little things like:

    – John/Jack and Horse sliding down a steep slope to save a good chunk of time often resulting in death.
    – Wagons.
    – ALL of that story area around Seth and West-Dickens’ missions.
    – Louisa’s sister (Hurry Mr Marston!! NO NOT THAT WAY!!!! THEY’RE GAINING ON US!!! FASTER!!!!) “I tell you what, why don’t you show some gratitude you noisy little bastard before I run you through with a broken bottle”

    Well, i guess they just make the game as frustrating as it is wonderful.

    Tatty-Bye!

    • May 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

      I agree. It is possible to simultaneously like a game, and dislike certain aspects of it. Many people have left comments on here, which reveals they are incapable of doing that.

      • 68 Idiot-Pill
        May 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

        I did notice the hate, not too dissimilar as if you went on to The Beatles’ fan site and said “You know what?…. i’ve just never ‘Got them’….”

        and yeah, what’s all this shit today with people hurling names and abuse at someone for having their own point of view? I see people calling perfect strangers stuff they wouldn’t even call their enemies… so much for ‘love thy neighbour.’

  25. 69 Josh
    June 29, 2013 at 7:26 am

    This game is the only game that I have 100% loved! Every aspect of it is just great. The freedom of the open world including; being able to run around and hunt, meet strangers, kill bad guys ect.. You are able to make this game as realistic as you want you can interact with the AI’s and choose whether to uphold the law or become the most notorious outlaw in the west!
    The story was great and emotionally involving, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next during my first run through(and yes… I’ve played this more than once all the way). Johns story and motivation became part of me as I played, and I felt as relieved as I know he was when he finally had his family back and got to run his ranch with his dearly missed family. I loved every second of the scaring away crows and flirting with his wife and spending time with his son because I know how badly he wanted it and how hard I worked for it.
    Leading up to the end when the Army attacked his home. I was kinduv panicked during it and damn near cried during that whole death scene followed by his wife and son finding him dead on the ground. Even more how his Son carried on his legacy and took revenge on his fathers killer.
    The ride into mexico music was great and all the music like it was just fantastic, my only wish is that once you “beat” the game that you would be able to go into the options and select one of the “special” songs to play anytime you wish as you make your way through the world.
    It’s 2013 and this game is still on top. good job.

  26. 70 Jallis
    July 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Just did the last misson………… I am mad!!! ……….. Want to play some “dead eye” in real life right now….

  27. 72 Grimstone
    July 13, 2013 at 3:19 am

    I’d love to sit here and bitch about how you “missed the point” or whatever but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Honestly, I loved this game. So much so that I’ve played it through multiple times. Are there things that pissed me off about the game? Absolutely. What actually irritates me more than anything isn’t your review of the game. It’s your perogative and sitting here bashing on you because you “didn’t get it” is pointless. Personally I thought your views were pretty damn funny. Your points were logical and I agreed with some of them. Did I want to bang AI whores and rob the hell out of people and be a bad ass? Ummm, you bet your sweet ass I did. However the title itself proclaims redemption so you aren’t really trying to be a bad ass in that sense. But I digress… What annoys me is that everybody just feels the need to bash on you incessantly because of your perogative. So you didn’t like every aspect of the game. BFD. Here we are creeping up on 3 years of this game being out and people are still talking about it. If that isn’t a statement on how good the game is I don’t know what is. Most games get kicked around for about 6 months before people stop giving a shit and forget about it altogether. This game is a rarity in the fact that it stands up over such a length of time. Like you said there are aspect of the game that suck. Like herding cattle and what not. I felt it was part of the game and actually added relevancy to the plot. It’s like when you’re watching a movie or reading a book and not a single character ever has to take a dump. The tedious missions kind of brought that aspect into play. Why is John herding cattle? Because the woman that owns the cattle saved his life and he’s doing these things because he’s in her debt. It’s not like some stories where someone gets saved by someone and their just like “thanks that was real generous of you. You take care now and have a good day” and then the story continues without skipping a beat. These little tedious things just added a depth to the story that I enjoyed. But as is clear from your review, it isn’t for everyone.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your review whether I agreed with it or not. Lets see if you get anymore people on here spouting idiocy in the name of this game. 😃

    • July 15, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      I appreciate your honest opinion. Obviously, all this amounts to is a matter of opinion. You understand that. A lot of people don’t. They tend to be the ones who comment the most on the Internet. Thanks for stopping by.

  28. 74 FrankNbeans89
    July 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Why not just play the game a second time around, speed run through the campaign up until the farm missions and stop? This way you can still do all your side quests and be badasstastic John Marston. Works for me but perhaps I’m just crazy…

  29. 76 Robbie
    July 18, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Mate I’ve got to say to rubbish the ending is unreasonable. The ability to play as an evil-natured character could have been catered for more, I’ll give you that. However, you completely misunderstand the heart of the game. Duke Nukem seems like it would be more your game based on your eclectic game criteria. The entire point of the ending is that John Marston is not running away anymore, and surrenders to a final bout against the government cronies to save his family. In the side mission I Know You the stranger foreshadows that he will be responsible for his actions, and he is. The game is designed to fulfill a specific narrative purpose. You should say that Rockstar dropped the ball, rather the game’s not for you.

  30. 78 Mykal
    July 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I may be a little late to the party, but I would like to my opinion on the matter. I have played the game when it first came out, I greatly enjoyed it. I have just recently found myself missing the game so, I decided to save some money to get the game again. I will say that the cattle herding, horse breaking, and crow scaring after not tedious in any manor. I personally feel they add some life and simplicity to a game full of death and blood. I mean don’t get me wrong, I do love killing a bitch for giving me a dirty look. I just gel the tedious tasks aren’t to bad in all. I also want to add, that Jack is one of the most useless characters to ever step foot on my tv screen. Just ugh, I completely stopped playing when his shrill voice came cracking upon my speakers… I do love red dead just not Jackie”

  31. 80 g
    July 31, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I think you are now my favorite person ever. The only semi good thing about this game was the story which is a stretch but yeah. Most of the game is just la noire meets gta with a dash of fable.

  32. 81 harleyoatth
    September 14, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    the game rocked the story was somewhat solid, he being gunned at the end …ok hated it but real none the less good story telling to be honest… having to play as Jack .. FUCK NO! big fucking let down.

  33. November 15, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Late to the party as I rarely buy new and when I do I tend to be disappointed. I hate Jack, same reason, his whiy voice ad the way he talks to his horse [[Joh’s horse[s] ]. I never got 100% because of the kid. I am replaying and doing it all as John except for the one of two I *have* to do as Jack. Didnn’t mind the farming/horse breaking ad such too much tho I really got tired of the fucking storms rolling in at the most inopportune times or having to do missions at night-I have some vision issues so for me it’s “Run around, run into shit in the dark, fall of a cliff, get shot in the ass by someone I caot possibly see, that sort of shit.

    Yeah, I wanted to bang the hookers too-especially the blonde in Thieves Landing/Blackwater and the Mexican Muchacha who played with her tits. The ones in Armadillo looked worn out, one reminded me of an ex for some reason. Ad what’s with them all having sweaty skank crotch? Be afraid I’d have to use my Bowie to pry the gummed-up, crusty whore lips open annd who knows what would crawl out?

    Have to use auto-aim because of my vision but I *really* get tired of having a critter run out, aiming at it and shooting to hit some dumbass who was behind the fucking bush nearby or some shithead on a horse that rides right into view as I drop the hammer. Like WTF? Dude can’t see? I see someone pointing a rifle near me but not at me and my first impulse is *not* to walk in front of them.

    And yeah, the ‘Honor’ system is ok but being forced to be a good guy takes choice out of it.

    • November 16, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      Don’t feel bad about being late to the party. I never buy new games. I always wait for them to get to $20 before buying. That’s why my game reviews are always so outdated. But, honestly, who cares? There’s no reason to play the newest game right out of the gate when a year later it will be substantially cheaper.

  34. 85 AT
    November 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I love tragedy-revenge stories so I thought this was on of the best endings imaginable. Yes, farm missions were a bit boring but the point was to invest player more in the family relationship. Jack was waiting until his mother passed away before going for revenge. Yes, he sounds young (not whiny) in the epilogue but it would be weird if he sounded 38 right?

  35. 87 Ryan Calcagni
    January 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Best game ive ever played. All the little things such as the so called boring missions by this moron are all part of the cowboy experience. The dialogue in the little missions all lead up to the sad end such as when john tells his son im not going anywhere for a long time. The strangest hint to his death though was in the stranger mission “i know you” when at the end of it he says “isnt this a fine spot john” and hes standing right where john is buried. Everything about this game is amazing. The voice acting, graphics, storyline, online playing, everything is just so amazing especially if u actually pay close attention to the character john marston and follow through with him through his amazing story instead of just thinking to urself ” ah im playing as a cowboy i want to just screw prostitutes, get drunk, and shoot people and do nothing else. Fucking idiots.

    • January 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Farming is not a part of the cowboy experience I’m interested in. Which cowboy films have you seen where they spend any time farming. In Unforgiven, he starts out as a farmer but goes back to killing. That’s what people want, they don’t give a shit about farming. When people think about cowboys they think about outlaws, not farmers. That’s where the game got it wrong.

  36. 89 fukr
    January 30, 2014 at 2:02 am

    firstly its about time you said this. red dead is so awesome but its not a master piece. a masterpiece does not contain 69450 farming missions. rock star was trying to make you care about your family and hate ross. but it would have been better if it was one mission at the start. instead i thought i had made a terrible mistake buying it (who is this guy on the train and his wall street friends?) i just thought that jacks quest for vengeance would be like johns hunt for dutch. a long odessy that made you savour his defeat, instead of a tacked on side mission in fact fuck jack let the fbi kill your family and go after them anything but shooting at crows and driving around my bitch wife

  37. 91 james grider
    February 4, 2014 at 11:59 am

    you are a weekminded twat this game was amazing. The story line was excellent, and the end ( including the farm stuff ) all tied into the main story line. The cutscenes explained why they kidnapped his family. And you can freedom anytime between missions during the game.

  38. 92 Charles
    February 11, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    You sir, may go fuck youself.

  39. 94 bob
    March 20, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Just finished the game, literally nothing this guy says is true.

    The farming missions w Jack took like 30 minutes, TOTAL, this guy either sucks at life or didn’t really play the game.

  40. 95 Flobbles
    April 5, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Omg all of you people calling this guy names need to get a life! Seriously it’s sad how offended you are getting over a game! He is right in everything he is saying the game was good but it’s a let down at the end and you almost forget how good the game was because of the stupid farm missions. No1 cares about his family life seriously it’s a game it’s meant to be fun not realistic if you want realistic put your controller down and actually go into the real world instead of playing video games. Agree you should have been able to choose whether your good or bad but it didn’t bother me so much however I did get fucking annoyed with doing missions for people and not getting any gratitude just abuse. Downloaded this game because I was bored and heard it was this spectacular game but it’s not it’s just a good game with many faults. Seriously tho all you saddos going off over this review go out get a life and stop being so pathetic, it’s a bloody game for christ sake!

  41. 97 Flobbles
    April 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Hahahaha how old are you? Wipe your butt? Hilarious! They arnt minor as you have to do many missions on them

  42. 99 g
    May 11, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Too many quests. The only game I could stand that had quests was skyrim and nier. And I didnt even do most of the quests in either of them

  43. 100 The Incredible Mr. Octopus
    May 29, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    I know this post is old as dirt by now, but I just beat the game today and you matched my feelings about the ending perfectly, so I thought I’d let you know just to balance out all the “Fuck off you whiny bitch” posts that people are throwing around.

    I’d probably give this game a 7.5/10.

    Things I liked:

    – The character. John Marston was exactly what Western characters should be like. Tough, but fights for a purpose. He stuck to his guns the entire game and though he was kind of made to be everybody’s lackey, it was only because he was sworn to protect his family.

    – The gunplay mechanics. The Dead Eye mode was an awesome addition, made me feel really badass.

    – The story, for the most part. Typical Western revenge story that has you teaming up with all sorts of crazy characters. 90% of the story was awesome, but like yourself, I wasn’t a fan of the ending.

    – The characters. I loved nearly all of them. Crazy graverobber Seth, the “scientist” West Dickens, and the cocaine-crazy anthropologist all stuck out really well.

    Things I didn’t like:

    – Movement controls. Rockstar games in general don’t really do it for me in this department. My character feels like a boat and can’t turn to save his life. Horses are way worse. And please for the love of God, Rockstar, enough with the mashing A/X to sprint! God it’s annoying to have to keep tapping A to ride your horse fast all while trying to control the camera AND shoot people around you. Jesus, the horse controls really pissed me off, even if I did, begrudgingly, get used to them.

    – The glitches/bugs. Some of them just annoying, others broke entire missions for me. Certain things like a hat magically appearing on someone’s head midway through a cutscene kinda broke the immersion but it wasn’t really a big deal. Sometimes the AI just fucked up and wouldn’t do specific tasks (namely, getting on my horse, JACK) that broke a mission for me. I also missed out on one of the game’s iconic scenes (the ride to Mexico) because I decided to trade out Irish’s shitty horse for my awesome Kentucky Saddler. On a side note, one glitch that happened to me was hilarious. It was in one of the last missions, where John is in the barn with Abi and Jack and he loads them on the horse and says his final goodbyes. He slaps the horse’s ass, it rides off, John sheds a singl- hold the fucking phone, who’s that? Because of a glitch, Jack was standing frozen in the corner of the barn staring at me with wide eyes, like he fell of the horse that I just sent him off on and it paralyzed him or something.

    – The ending. I really, REALLY hated how I had become the biggest badass in the West, only to go back to herding cows and delivering corn. I get what they were trying to do by showing John returning to a normal life, but gameplay-wise, it was so fucking boring. Plus, you could immediately tell that something was going to happen because if you really would have had a happy life with your family, the credits would have rolled and the farmwork missions would have been optional. Jack’s voice also pissed me off as well.

  44. 102 The Incredible Mr. Octopus
    May 29, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Also, one more comment, for a lot of posters here that keep insulting you personally.

    What the fuck is wrong with you? The guy said he didn’t like certain parts of a video game that he found good, and that makes him a “fucking retard,” a “whiny bitch,” and all that other shit? Let the poor guy have his opinion. Is that how you act in the real world? You take your coffee black and call someone a fucking idiot the second that they put sugar in their’s?

    Even if you disagree with him completely, there’s still a better way to say it than going for cheap personal attacks. Goddamn, with all the insults in this thread, you would have thought that the author said that he was going to try to revive Hitler.

  45. June 25, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I have to disagree on many parts of what you said, just like someone else who commented, this is the only game i got a 100% completion on and honestly I enjoyed the farming missions and LOVED the cutscenes. Also I’m not a pervert who jacks off to video game whores.

  46. 107 Jake
    July 6, 2014 at 1:19 am

    I know this game came out 4 years ago but this article made me laugh so many times. The amazing ability of rockstar to add ridiculous things to a potentially great video game never ever fails.

  47. 109 Javier
    October 10, 2014 at 9:56 am

    “The End.

    Sort of. Well, now you can free-roam around the game and complete side missions to your heart’s content. So, if you didn’t get enough cattle herding and horse catching the first time around, you can do that some more.”
    So how do you get some more cattle herding?

  48. 111 Bdog
    October 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Rockstar games seems to like killing the main character they did it in L.A.Noire to


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