Archive for Rockstar

One Week with Red Dead Redemption 2’s Great World and Flawed Gameplay

Posted in Hands On with tags , , , , , on November 3, 2018 by Rabidgames

We’ve been waiting a mighty long time for Red Dead Redemption 2, haven’t we? And sure enough, the wait was worth it. The world is breathtakingly amazing, supported by easily the most impressive graphics and lightning you can see on consoles. Many corners of the world hold sometimes dark, sometimes pretty bizarre secrets, and being in camp with the gang is pure magic. Play poker or joke around, get drunk and listen to obscene songs, get to know the quirks of each member and find the Reverend’s rather special bible, it’s those scenes together with the amazing voice overs that make Red Dead Redemption 2 stand out from the rest of the gaming world by miles. Many characters are fleshed out and feel almost properly human, everyone probably finds their favourite, and upgrading the camp makes folks happier (and contributing more to it) … and then you think “fuck, those are the guys I’ve killed in Red Dead Redemption” all those years ago …

And the world … fuck, the world is incredibly huge and diverse. From deep snow to arid deserts, from the wilderness to a big town heralding the end of the wilderness and the Wild West (though it is in the Eastern section of the map), Red Dead Redemption 2 is a master class in world building. You can go hunting wildlife all day if you feel like it, or just ride around the rolling hills of New Hanover and feel the virtual wind in your hair. Who knows what we’ll find – maybe even Bigfoot?

The greatest strength of Red Dead Redemption 2 is the underappreciated art of deceleration though. When relaxing in the camp or on horseback under the stars, it’s fine to just trot around slowly, or maybe to sit down and have a beer at the camp fire. There’s no rush to do the next mission, no immediate need to go anywhere in a hurry, it’s fine to just sit there for some minutes. Just like Life is Strange did so superbly, Red Dead Redemption 2 invites you to just waste time. Take in your surroundings, relax. Just ride into the sunset before making camp, because why on earth would an outlaw feel the need to be dictated by the fucking clock like modern men?

We’ve certainly heard all the praises in the last week. And it’s true, it’s all true. Well, most of it is. Because you see, Red Dead Redemption 2 is not perfect. In fact, when it comes to gameplay, there are quite some flaws. And no, we’re not talking about Arthur’s slow movement, that’s a design choice you may like or you may not like, but the game is suppsoed to be slower. But there are problems. The issues Red Dead Redemption 2 has are twofold: First, some mechanics are simply broken; some gang members, among them a certain John Marston and his family, will never(?) show up in your camp. At least you won’t see them for a mighty long time. that’s just wrong, but well, shit happens. A game of that scale is bound to have some technical hiccups.

But way worse, you can get wanted (and hunted) for some dumb idiot bumping into your horse. That’s called assault for whatever reason and you get shot to pieces if you’re unlucky. At other times, you have a bounty on your head but you talk to the sheriff who doesn’t care at all. It doesn’t even make sense. How on earth this fucking massive glitch could make it past QA is incredible. You see, the thing is not just that you’re hunted, the thing is you have to pay your fucking bounty at some point, and in the early stages of the game, even a rather meagre amount like $200 can break the bank easily.

And then, there are too many cumbersome and at times weirdly gameplay mechanics and systems that let Red Dead Redemption 2 down a bit; if you want to craft nice outfits, inventory upgrades or talismans, you need perfect pelts. Which means you need to find a certain animal and kill it with a headshot – with the appropriate weapon nonetheless. Problem is, if you’re in bad luck , a 3-star rated perfect animal simply won’t spawn. Tough luck, cowboy, keep on waiting.

Another problem of Rockstar in pretty much all of their game has been the mission design: And as you might expect by now, Red Dead Redemption 2 has too many linear and tightly scripted missions, which is simply bad for an open world game. Remember that stupid subway bike chase mission in GTA IV with the invincible enemy? You have to follow one path, there is one way to do the mission, no options, no choices, that’s it. Now, if you disguise this type of missions cleverly, no problem. But … Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t even trying to sugar coat it; when you have some dude riding EXACTLY as fast as you are and you have to follow him on EXACTLY the same path for exactly 4 minutes (or about 4 minutes) with scripted events happening during the chase until yet another scripted scene happens – that’s just bad design. And lazy as fuck and boring as hell. And not fun at all.

And then we have fast travel. Yes, you can take a stage coach or a train in Red Dead Redemption 2, but that will leave your horse behind – and with that most of your weapons. So, you can do it for sightseeing, but gameplay-wise, meh. There is some fast travel hidden behind two pretty expensive camp updates, but this fast travel sucks big time, too. Why? Because you can only travel FROM your camp, but not back TO it. It’s beyond stupid. Sure, you can ride to a waypoint with the cinematic camera, which means you just watch, but come on!

And then there are the things that clash with Rockstar’s self-proclaimed sense of realism in the game (stuff like food, cleanliness, appropriate clothing and the like). Why the hell does Arthur have a Witcher/Assassin/Batman sense to highlight things around him or to follow tracks? No clue. Why does every vendor in Red Dead Redemption 2 sell you exactly the same stuff, no matter where? Not exactly realistic today, even less so for a game set in 1899. And worst of all, why the fuck do enemies spawn out of nowhere next to us? Come on, Rockstar, it’s 2018!

Now, that sure is a lot of complaints, ain’t it? Don’t get Rabidgames wrong though, Red Dead Redemption 2 is definitely an amazing game that nails some things like no other game out there does or ever has, but it’s not a perfect specimen. In fact, it is quite a problem when the major issues are basic gameplay mechanics or mundane things. Maybe it’s because of all the hype surrounding the game that we expected a perfect game, a master piece, gaming’s Citizen Kane, a step into the next generation. Anything less, just a good game, won’t cut it. We might be victims of our own expectations at times, true. Maybe the hype that makes reviewers hype certain games straight into the stratosphere is the thing that makes them overlook flaws and give virtually perfect scores to games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Skyrim (game-breaking bugs on the PS3, flat combat) or Breath of the Wild (glass weapons, empty world, no noteworthy narrative). Remember the amazingly good scores GTA IV got, a game that got ridiculed as bowling simulator for all the fucking times you had to meet your fucking cousin? Hype has the tendency to make us expect the best shit ever.

But when it comes to Red Dead Redemption 2, here’s the thing: Looking at the narrative, the characters, the world and all the interactions, Red Dead Redemption 2 might very well REALLY be gaming’s Citizen Kane, they might really be the best shit ever. The gameplay flaws might not even matter that much in the great scheme of things – when we talk about art, we talk about the vision after all. But that doesn’t mean we should fail to see the flaws in the execution. That doesn’t mean that Red Dead Redemption 2 should be seen as horrible or bad, but we should acknowledge that it can be great in some aspects and still lacking in others.

All of that being said, Red Dead Redemption 2 is still enjoyable, sure. But it is rather enjoyable when you minimise the gameplay experiences – if you just roam through the morning fog, if you sit down in camp, or if you’re exploring and find something, or someone very strange. The missions themselves are often rather a means to and end (progression) and ticking the boxes than something that feels as hand-crafted and detailed as the backdrop. It is still fun, but you always wonder what Red Dead Redemption 2 could have been with slicker gameplay and more creative missions.

Rabidgames appeases: Now hold on with the lynching, let’s make one thing clear: Red Dead Redemption 2 is an amazing game. It definitely is. There is a certain magic to many things in the game, including the organic way you receive quests and especially all the sick shit you find when just roaming and exploring the vast, beautiful world. If only the missions felt as organic …

Yes, Rockstar should be praised for the amazing effort to create a world that feels incredibly alive. But Rockstar also needs to be reminded that it’s one thing to nail the art aspect, but it still can make for an unsatisfying experience if the basic craftsmanship is lacking.

Dear Rockstar: A Friendly Intervention

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2018 by Rabidgames

We have been good friends for a long time, haven’t we?

Remember how our good times started? Remember the fun we had with the original Grand Theft Auto, GTA London, GTA 2 … Oh yes, we’ve had good times on the PS1. Although back then, it was still well-behaved and tame, wasn’t it?

But then we became best buddies, man. And times got wilder. You know how GTA III happened? Boom, that open 3-D world, us getting lost there, getting drunk, crashing cars? Man, we loved that shit back then! But you gave us even more with Vice City and the awesome 80s feeling, and EVEN MORE with the massive world of San Andreas. Holy crap, it felt like re-inventing the rules! But we share more fond PS2 memories, don’t we? The Warriors, Red Dead Revolver, Max motherfucking Payne, and of course the very awesome yet underrated memory of the amazing Bully (man, what a nice small world!). Sure, you were a bit weird with manhunt but still, good times, buddy, good times.

Sure, GTA IV was a bit of a drag because of the annoying relatives and the return to only a single city, and oh, Max Payne 3, well, we all mistakes, so you’re forgiven. But hey, we had fun with simply the best Western game ever, Red Dead Redemption, with the detective novel L.A. Noire and with the sprawling world and of course Trevor’s erratic behaviours in GTA V.

And man, we’ve loooved your stories. Your caricatures, your satire, your humour, you have made these things work on quite some levels. From the Wild West to urban centres, from small towns to Brazilian favelas, storytelling was your damn strength, dude! You’ve mixed fiction and the real world like no other, and you managed to simply piss everyone off! Like South Park, just more interactive.

But then, something happened … Let’s be honest here, okay? Let’s talk straight! You lost sight of our goals, buddy. In recent years, you’ve lost it, bud. Was it the money? The fame? The temptation of another quick fix? Whatever it was, how to put this, but man, you need to get a grip. We really miss your stories! Recently, you went AWOL on us to spend time in that modern online world. But dude, we’re still here. We’ve thought you’d care more about us than the fucking jocks from EA and Activision, you know. But lately, and please, don’t get this the wrong way, but lately you’ve behaved just like those dorks!

See, let me give you some examples here. We’re not dissing you, we’re telling you. You know, making GTA Online a grind, luring us in there with free money (come on, half a million is fuck nothing in your overpriced economy and you know it), ditching all plans for any campaign story add-ons after making promises … man, that one has hurt the most! Have you really forgotten your roots, man? Your roots, and the good times we’ve shared?

And now, man, we want to play Red Dead Redemption 2, we really, really, really want to buy the game. And we want to like it and look forward to it. Really, really! But DUDE! What the fuck are you doing? Why does it have to be shitloads of different editions? Even with “exclusive” missions? Fuck that shit, man! Why should we pre-order to get some fucking online cash for another fucking game? Come on man, stop partying with the frat boys from EA!!! Stop believing the sweet yet treacherous words from that Activision dude!

But let’s calm down for now, okay? After all, we’ve been friends for a long, long time. Shit, you could say decades! So see, because it’s you, we want to give you a last chance. Please, please prove you still care. Please show us you still can tell great stories, and you still have it in you to tell a long, meaningful story. But hey, look away from your phone! No exclusive crap! No more DLC shit! No fucking micro-transactions! Can you try to do that for us pretty please? Can you?

And make no mistake, Rockstar. This is your last chance. If you disappoint us again and you feel like treating the story just as a tutorial for your oh-so-beloved new online hobby, we’re done. Because frankly, right now, we don’t believe you and your talks anymore. It’s time for action. So comes October, we’ll see. So please, old friend, please don’t disappoint us! Or it’s farewell. Forever.

The One Important Thing In GTA V Still Unheard Of!

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News with tags , , , , on May 2, 2013 by Rabidgames

Rockstar has been showing us a lot about the three different characters we’ll be playing in GTA V by now, including the latest trailer. If you missed it for whatever strange reason, you can watch it here:

Speculation about details in the videos aside, there’s one thing, one potential gamebreaker, we know nothing about yet: The sandbox affinity of Grand Theft Auto V. Mind you, GTA IV wasn’t exactly a bad game, but compared to San Andreas (and its only true successor, the Saints Row series), the lack of freedom to do what you want wherever you want, the lack of possibilities to collect useful stuff (no, shooting fucking pigeons as an activity that does nothing but give you an achievement stating you really have no life at all still qualifies as absolutely useless), the lack of proper exploration (the heart of the statue aside, what do you remember), the lack of insane vehicles, the appalling lack of customisation (the biggest issue) … let’s face it, GTA IV simply was a terrible sandbox game.

In GTA V, it should be rewarding to explore the city and the countryside (Bigfoot included this time, please), to have use for your money, especially tons of customisation options, we need more diversity in missions – and please, no badly scripted ones anymore, and of course, Rabidgames wants to go on a killing spree in a tank again! In a nutshell: GTA V needs fun things to do.

Now is not the time to be worried about the emphasis on story related trailers (especially since Rockstar can pull of great stories), and let’s be honest, everyone will pick up GTA V anyway. It’s just, a subtle unease nagging at times that GTA V might be able to disappoint.

Rabidgames has hope: Yes, as soon as the hype died down, GTA IV ended up as a disappointment. Apart from the story and the hilarious in-game internet, there was nothing to do. But let’s not forget Rockstar was able to prove their sandbox mastery in Red Dead Redemption. So there is hope for those who prefer exploration and mayhem in the streets of Los Santos to going to virtual dates with your cousin …

GTA V and The Epsilon Program

Posted in News with tags , , on April 23, 2013 by Rabidgames

Fuck knows if the latest video about the upcoming open world blockbuster GTA V has been released by anyone from Rockstar, but that’s not important. What we have is an interesting video which shows two things: There will be groundbreaking day and night cycles in GTA V! But even more important, we get to know more about the GTA universe sect “The Epsilon Program“:

Fuck you, creationists! 6.000 years? Hell no, the world is only 157 years old – and that’s a fact! For some reason, the video forgets to mention that any similarities to an existing sect in our universe are not intended.

Rabidgames signs up: Comes GTA V, comes salvation in form of the Epsilon Program! All hail KIFFLOM!

Is Django Unchained a Future Rockstar Title?

Posted in News with tags , , on January 18, 2013 by Rabidgames

Mind you, this is pure speculation. Or telepathy, who knows …

But Tarantino and Rockstar would be a match made in heaven. Both share the satirical over-the-top humour, a soft spot for gore and tongue-in-cheek violence and they can tell great stories. Django Unchained would be perfect (admittedly, Rabidgames hasn’t watched the movie yet but what can go wrong with a Tarantino movie?); not only has Rockstar already told a great Western narrative with Red Dead Redemption, but the story about the revenge of a slave would perfectly suit Rockstar’s satirical socio-critical attitude!

Check out this Django Unchained trailer and see for yourself if this theme wouldn’t suit Rockstar:

Rabidgames hopes: After thousands of rather abysmal movies turned into games, it’s time for another good one. Come on Rockstar, you can pull it off!

Max Payne and Rabidgames: Friends no more

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , on May 29, 2012 by Rabidgames

Attention. [SPOILER ALERT] Big ones in there.

Rabidgames was really, really disappointed with Max Payne 3. There are several things wrong with the game:

Atmosphere: If a game says Max Payne, it should feel like Max Payne, it should breathe Max Payne it should contain Max Payne, not Die Hard in Brazil. Yet that’s what Max Payne 3 is all about: An old fat bald man on a mission to blow up all the baddies in shiny yet gritty Brazil. The boat scene, the bus scene … is this really Max Payne? Actually, Max Payne even wears a bloodied shirt when he takes down the bosses at the end … and what about blowing up a plane? Yep, check. To Rabidgames, this game is generic shooter stuff, made in 2012. Also, instead of stylish comics we have an over-abundance of annoying cutscenes and blurry vision (well, that one makes sense since it depicts Max Payne‘s addictions), which hardly stand out nowadays.

For the record, watch the dream sequence and some gameplay from the original Max Payne to really realise how much the tone has changed:

Rabidgames dares anyone to show him where Max Payne 3 can create as atmosphere similar to this one.

Story: It’s bland. And while bland can be fun, this one is not. Worst of all, it is plain obvious early on who the evil mastermind of Max Payne 3 is. Of course, it’s a right wing politician. Of course, he sells his brothers for wealth and glory. Of course, everyone else is corrupt, too. At least, there are a couple of things Rabidgames has not seen coming: Just to make Max a morally upright guy, Rockstar threw in a ridiculous illegal organ dealing plot – out of nowhere.

Gameplay: Actually, gameplay is rather fine. Rockstar’s Euphoria engine is a blast, and the destructible environments are great. However, it does not really feel like Max Payne. Sure, you have bullet time and slow-dodging – but Max runs, shoots and takes cover just like John Marston from Red Dead Redemption did. Yes, it’s the same engine, but come on! Max Payne 3 also took a couple of shots at the most crappy bullshit games have ever seen: QTE. Admittedly, it’s not often and mostly disguised as slow-mo aiming reaction tests you possibly can’t fail but it is shit anyway except for one annoying proper QTE clusterfuck which did not make any sense.

The shoot-outs are definitely fun, but there’s one problem: More often than not, your only option is to take cover and pick off one enemy after another. You can do it in bullet time, yes … but somehow, there are too many enemies at the same time so there’s no use in doing anything else like dodging or jumping in the middle of them and going crazy. And one more thing – why does Max Payne 3 bring you always back to your standard weapon after each fucking cutscene? That’s just lazy.

Level design: Here, we have one giant flaw, the most blatant flaw of Max Payne 3: Linear levels are fine, but small sections which doors that just close randomly? Come on, Rockstar! Magical doors? And then the cutscenes … if Rabidgames is in a room how is he supposed to know where he should turn in order to find collectibles – instead of triggering a cutscene, and all is lost? Even worse are the occasions where you kill dozens of bad guys, you’re almost out of ammo – and then there’s a cutscene and all of a sudden, you’re somewhere else without ammo, of course. Oh and those cutscenes … do we really need one each and every goddamn time when Max enters a new fucking room? No, we fucking don’t. But then again, it’s part of the magical level design …

And that’s not all the awful level design: One step forward, two enemies appear from out of nowhere. Next step, same thing happens. Rinse and repeat. Gladly, this does not happen all the time, but when it does, it’s stupid and feels like a relict of the past. It’s 2012 after all.

Characters: Remember playing Max Payne 1 and 2? Remember Mona? Alfred? Lem? But Max Payne 3 … there are only stereotypes around (wealthy mob boss, his greedy wife, corrupt politicians, corrupt cops and so on), and they are boring. Who will we remember Passos? The guy who Passos rescues Max once probably to atone for leaving him twice before. Does this make any sense to anybody? Giovanna? Oh, she’s pregnant. Should that make us care? Becker? Victor? Fabiana? None? And our dear hero himself? After his boss is killed, he shaves is head and swears abstinence (which doesn’t work out, he still takes painkillers and drinks a beer in the epilogue). But the shaving is in the middle of the game, and that’s where his character progressions completely stops. Afterwards, the legendary Max Payne handles everything just like any other videogame hero would have.

At the end of the day, Max Payne 3 is not as bad as it may sound. It’s still an enjoyable, challenging shooter with pretty amazing graphics and the realistic Euphoria phyiscs engine with cool destructible surroundings. You might need 10 to 15 hours to complete the campaign – way more than the industry shooter standard of about 5 hours.

And maybe Rockstar wanted to get arty with Max Payne 3: The journey from the well-known and dark New Jersey to the lively Sao Paolo as a wake-up call. Our protagonist in a foreign country with a foreign language as a fresh start. And the new atmosphere might be supposed to reveal Max Payne for what he has become … after all, he realises his habit of wasting his life away in booze and pills and tries to change, even it is not “for redemption, but for despair”. And yes, the New Jersey levels have at least contained some of the old feeling while Sao Paolo is a strange new world and Max tries to reinvent himself (by growing a beard and shaving his head). There is even closure at the end for once. So yes, maybe Rockstar tried to bring art into games once more after excelling in Red Dead Redemption … so let’s just give them credit for it.

However, story and characters are bland, and the gameplay relies too much on Call of Duty-like scripted events at virtually all times. And Max Payne 3 is alright but not that much fun to play: It’s simply cutscene after wave of enemies after cutscene after wave of enemies all over the place. The pace is simply not right. Look at Bulletstorm, Crysis 2, hell, even Duke Nukem forever was more fun to play (the latter at least until halfway through): The gameplay had a diverse feeling – one game was over the top, the other had an open world, the last one was retro … in contrast, Max Payne 3 simply does not stand out in any way. If it wasn’t for the name.

Rabidgames did actually give one fuck about the multiplayer of Max Payne 3. But after just a couple of matches, Rabidgames was bored to death. As the rest of Max Payne 3, it is just bloody generic.

Rabidgames’ hangover: Oh boy, Max Payne has become old. He turned in his individuality to change into one of the mainstream guys. Still, it’s not that he turned into a patriotic asshole or a dumb, obeying soldier. He’s still an alright buddy … but he lost his noir magic. He’s just one of the many faces who make a living saving the world nowadays, just worth paying a visit a once in a while but not worth hanging out with on a regular basis. At least, he hasn’t become a senile turd just like his old pay Duke has.

In Love with the Dying West

Posted in Blast from the past with tags , , on May 15, 2012 by Rabidgames

Two years ago, Rockstar set new standards with Red Dead Redemption:

The open world game combined a huge, immersive world with a gruel ecosystem, amazing weather effects and amazingly crafted horse riding with a compelling story about the slow demise of the frontier, the old Wild West American way of life, clever and diverse missions – and let’s not forget our tragic protagonist, Mr. John Marston.

And the intriguing gameplay set an incredibly high bar for any games ever trying to follow Red Dead Redemption into the Wild West – while horse riding and gunslinging could have been expected (but were well done nonetheless), who would have ever thought you could implement classic Western themes such as lassoing, breaking in horses and herding cattle into a game?

Red Dead Redemption certainly is Rockstar’s best sandbox game in this generation – which is not really an achievement that great considering L.A. Noire was hardly an open world game and GTA IV failed to offer more than a compelling story in its open world. However, Rabidgames argues Red Dead Redemption outclasses GTA IV in all aspects: The gameplay feels less clunky, the shooting is tighter, the story is more original and makes more sense; and above all, it is the world itself which excels. You can enjoy the concrete jungles in GTA IV, yes, but you simply cannot immerse in Liberty City like this:

Rabidgames can spend hours wandering the plains of New Austin, the deserts of Nuevo Paraiso, or the forests near Blackwater. You can ride cross-country to hunt wild game – or get hunted by those vicious cougars, follow roads, meet friendly and hostile strangers at camp fires … or you just slowly ride into a thunderstorm, watching the virtual displays of nature in awe. And it’s all the small things which add so much, too – a flag, a cable or the grass waving in the wind, dust and tumbleweed, the sounds of animals close to you, flashes of guns, flickering campfires or steady electrical lights at night … While other games have a similar level of diversion (Skyrim comes to mind), they can’t give you the feeling you get when you play Red Dead Redemption, partly because of the untamed wilderness, partly because of the unique setting: mortality.

Rarely has a game stunned Rabidgames the way Red Dead Redemption did – everyone who followed John from his humble beginnings at the McFarlane’s farm to the civil war in Mexico to his own ranch knows what Rabidgames is talking about: The demise of the Wild West, the end of the era of outlaws, the frontier and of a certain kind of freedom (which Red Dead Redemption gladly addressed as ambiguous at best) are perfectly symbolised by one of the most intense moments of gaming ever: The death of an outlaw. The entire game is filled with a forlorn longing for a fragile peace in the wilderness, yet the end of the West is foreshadowed by circumstantial objects like electricity, telegraphs or one automobile in the game … and then there are the clear-cut agents of change such as the government trying to “intervene” on all levels. The city of Blackwater serves as the best example for the cold winds change in Red Dead Redemption: Instead of dusty roads and dirty saloons, we find clean, paved streets and tidy establishments. The biggest buildings in Blackwater are agents of change: A bank and the town hall. When we talk about the question if games are art next time, Red Dead Redemption is the perfect example that games are a form of art indeed.

While Red Dead Redemption is an amazing game, it also comes with some flaws: The balance seems a bit off sometimes: Marston can easily swallow 3 or 4 bullets, but 3 bites from a wolf in his arm kill him. Seriously? The Euphoria engine was still in a adolescent stage back then – Marston moved rather strangely and climbing stairs to enter a house could become a tedious task – especially in heated battles when you were looking for cover (usually finding death instead). On the other hand, it allowed impressive features such as these:

Unfortunately, Red Dead Redemption shares its weakest point with GTA IV; while the protagonists are on rather personal quests, they always seem to find time to help dubious people with dubious agendas – why would anyone do that? It doesn’t even help them on their quest most of the time, yet those missions are mandatory. And don’t get Rabidgames started with those “I’m tired of violence” and “I’m a better man now” antics … we’ve killed thousands of criminals, cops and civilians in both games … please Rockstar, give us protagonists who actually are outlaws and don’t give a fuck about collateral damage!

But honestly, those minor gripes may make you curse Red Dead Redemption once or twice, but that’s about it. At the end of the day, it is the sheer grandeur of this interactive Western that lures you in and won’t let you go, not even after finishing it once. When Rabidgames watched the first gameplay trailer for Assassin’s Creed 3, it all reminded him of Red Dead Redemption – at once. Reason enough to enjoy the vast scenery once more!

Rabidgames dreams: Rockstar definitely succeeded in redeeming itself. After the stale Niko Bellic, the umpteenth version of New York and the lacklustre open world of GTA IV, Red Dead Redemption delivered everything we could have hoped for. And let’s hope Rockstar will once decide to continue the Red Dead series – what about a game set during the civil war?