Red Dead Redemption (or RDR for short) was a highly awaited game at release. Created by the same company as the well known Grand Theft Auto series, Rockstar Games, a lot of people pretty much expected RDR to be GTA with horses instead of cars, which it pretty much is.
In Red Dead Redemption you play a man named John Marston. Marston is an ex-outlaw, forced to hunt down his old gang or the Old West's version of the FBI will kill his family. There is a fair amount of twists and turns as well as tons of sub-plots and side stories that you can either find engrossing or just something that gets in the way of shooting baddies.
The plot of RDR isn't exactly going to take your breath away, and although some of the side plots can be quite quirky and fun, I never really identified with any of the characters stories and so it's left to the gameplay to sell this game.
RDR's combat is probably its best and worst feature at the same time. At it's heart, despite the sandbox nature of the game and all the other feature's listed below, most of the time you'll be spending your time gunning down enemies.
Aiming depends a lot on whether or not you turn on the auto aim feature, which will basically always point your gun at an enemies head when you aim at them, there are no penalties to using this feature and unlike most games you don't feel like your taking the easy way out by using it.
When you are trying to move during combat, it's controls are fairly good, but despite the crouching, sticking to cover and ability to lean out of cover to shoot it still feels a little slow and syrupy. If you plan on surviving you'll usually end up popping out of cover, headshotting an enemy or two, then ducking back into cover.
One of the strongest elements of the combat is the Dead Eye targeting system, which is very similar to Max Payne or Fallout 3 in that you have a Dead Eye meter and using it basically freezes time, allowing you to simply click a button on each enemies head and then you kill them all in a second.
Besides the main game there are a number of other things you can do to wring out more gameplay from RDR. One of the main things that you can devote a lot of time to are the different challenges, such as hunting, herb gathering and sharpshooting where you complete a number of objectives throughout the game and are rewarded with money and items.
Another thing you can do is a host of different games of chance, including Poker, Arm-Wrestling, Five-Fingered Skillet and Blackjack. They can earn you some much needed money and also make a nice break from the combat and the challenges.
With the number of achievements for multiplayer there should always be a fair amount of people online. There are basically two different sides to the multiplayer, free roaming and competitive. In free roam you have the huge map of the whole RDR campaign to run about in, attacking gang hideouts, playing poker and other games with real players. Unfortunately what you'll often find is that the second you spawn, you'll wander around on your own for a while and the first person you meet will instantly gun you down, which tends to ruin your day and your enjoyment of the gametype.
In competitive you have the normal kind of multiplayer, deathmatches and team fighting and objective based gameplay. These are all well and good, there is nothing really that gripping here but it'll keep you entertained for a while. What you'll probably find yourself doing is swapping between the two multiplayer modes when you get exasperated with each type, and you'll have some good times and some bad.
This is a really good DLC that was released for RDR. It adds a massive new single player campaign, where you are fighting to save the world from the threat of the zombie horde! There are a host of new mythical creatures to hunt and you can get the horses of the four horseman of the apocalypse to ride! Undead Nightmares is a very fun DLC that adds a lot of worthwhile gameplay to the game.
RDR is a good game. It won't be the game to end all games, but there is a lot to do in it and you'll find a lot of little touches that keep you going to the end. The plot isn't amazing and the combat can be a little clunky at times, but overall you will enjoy playing this game Singleplayer. The multiplayer is very hit and miss depending on who you meet online, mostly you'll meet a load of trigger happy idiots, sometimes you'll meet a nice bunch of guys to posse up with and go for the gang hideouts together. It's worth getting, it's worth playing and the undead nightmares DLC is a must have.