Red Dead Redemption is epic gaming at its best.
The story is as engaging as any you'll find on the market today and, honestly, has a better plot than those found in many novels. The characters are rich and detailed, from the main character of John Martson to the barman you spend only three minutes with and never see again. It's this depth of character development that typifies Rockstar's strong ability to create a world that can immerse you completely.
Martson is a former outlaw trying to become a family man, and - wouldn't you guess? - others are just dying to pull him back into crime. The game is essentially a massive open-world experience, much like GTA 4, Mass Effect 2 and Fallout 3. Side missions are bountiful, to say the least. Excursions for townspeople or explorers you meet traveling the deserts and mountains will keep you from the main quest for longer than you'd expect, and you can easily play 30 hours or more before finishing the game.
The depth of this game is unmatched. Your actions, big and small, affect your honor and whether people see you as hero or outlaw. This aspect is quite compelling.
RED DEAD REDEMPTION
RATING M for Mature
PLOT Sort of the Wild West version of Grand Theft Auto
DETAILS Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, $60
BOTTOM LINE Sets new standard