As civilization begins to encroach on the Wild West reformed outlaw John Martson is threatened by federal Marshalls and forced to pick up his guns in order hunt down the gang of criminals he once called friends.
In terms of open world settings Rockstar have outdone even GTA IV for epic scale with the breathtaking, expansive and diverse landscape providing the perfect background for the games story to take place. Despite some slightly overly long journeys between destinations the players interest in the games narrative is easily maintained thanks to a set of characters that are also amongst Rockstars best.
In terms of gameplay Red Dead Redemption sticks pretty close to the now familiar template. Characters with missions that need completing can be seen on the in game map and once accessed further instructions are provided. While the primary focus is obviously on shooting there is a far greater variety in these missions than in the latest in the GTA series. The run, gun and cover system is virtually lifted straight from GTA IV including an auto-aim that can be switched off for those after a real challenge. This, along with a limited bullet time mechanic, is largely successful at allowing the player to feel like a hot shot gunslinger without making the game too easy.
On top of the single-player campaign a generous number of co-op and competitive multi-player modes are also available. After all the pre-launch hype it is disappointing to realise that these don't really compete with the best online shooters but they certainly provide an entertaining distraction from John Martsons story.
With a charismatic lead character and hours of gameplay Red Dead Redemption is amongst Rockstars greatest achievements.