Review of Red Dead Redemption (Switch) – With a kind word, a revolver and a joy-con
John Marston finally managed to escape from the prison of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, albeit after 13 years – a long time! Rockstar’s masterpiece is now available on the more modern PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch consoles, and we’re excited to check out the latter’s version, which does double duty as the game’s only port to a handheld device.
- Developer: Rockstar Games, Double Eleven
- Publisher: Take-Two Interactive
- Platforms: PS4, Nintendo Switch
- Release date: October 17, 2023 (digital), October 13, 2023 (physical)
If for some incomprehensible reason someone still doesn’t know what Red Dead Redemption is – although, after the release of the second part, even those who have never touched it personally have an idea about the game – then you don’t have to describe all the nuances and say simply: GTA in the Wild West. Open world, missions from different people without a strict order of completion, a lot of side activities, horses instead of cars, shooting. May true fans forgive me for the lack of due attention to the features and differences.
And there really are a lot of differences. From the mechanics of glory and honor – indicators that are calculated depending on the actions of the player and affect the attitude of other characters towards him – to a considerable number of purely peaceful activities characteristic of the inhabitants of the Wild West, such as corralling cows, dressage, hunting, and survival.
You immerse yourself in the world of RDR, you live in it – which is greatly facilitated by Rockstar’s characteristic level of detail, excellent staging and a cinematic plot with interesting and well-written characters.
To tell you about the plot in a nutshell – in the role of a man named John Marston, we arrive in the vicinity of the town of Armadillo on instructions from the federal government to deal with local bandits. But not everything is so simple – many interesting discoveries await us as the game progresses. However, fans of the series have long known them, and I would prefer to spare everyone else from spoilers.
Despite the two in the title, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a story-driven prequel to Red Dead Redemption, and now is almost an ideal time to release a port of the first part. The second RDR became one of the greatest hits of all time and a landmark game of the 2010s, but some modern gamers have missed the first. Now they have a great opportunity to fix it.
There are a lot of ports on the Switch, all of varying quality. There is no need to worry about Red Dead Redemption – the game has been transferred almost flawlessly. Thanks to the high-resolution textures, it looks decent even now, 13 years later.
The graphics do not hide their age, but sometimes they make you doubt that you are playing on Switch – excellent animations of people and horses, shadows, footprints, puddles, and rain that seems to beat from inside the screen, leaving drops on it. Absolute delight. And let the game run only at 30 fps, but without lags or drawdowns. I will also note the fairly fast downloads and the appearance of the Russian language. Even if the localization is limited to subtitles, it is done with high quality and with soul.
No matter how hard I tried, I noticed only one flaw, and that was by pure chance. Excited to be able to immerse myself in a great story and great gameplay on a portable console, I decided to dock my Switch OLED and see how the game looked on the big screen.
It looked great, but when moving quickly on a horse, strange visual artifacts appeared around it and along the edges of the screen that were not present in handheld mode. Of course, they didn’t interfere with play, but it’s worth noting.
A few words about sound and control – just because it’s necessary. As you probably already guessed, everything is also just wonderful. Voices of characters, sounds of the city and nature, shots from weapons – all this further enhances the immersion effect. In the controls, I would like to note the excellent implementation of horse riding, which allows you to literally feel the horse.
And finally, it is worth noting the presence in the set of DLC Undead Nightmare – a separate plot in the game setting, modified according to the canons of the zombie apocalypse. For all zombie lovers, it’s a must, for the rest – there can’t be too much content in any case.
Writing this review was surprisingly difficult. How to talk about a game that everyone already knows is a masterpiece? What can we say about the quality of the port, which is made almost flawlessly? Perhaps the only thing really worth saying in this article is that you should definitely play it yourself. Especially if you haven’t played RDR before or aren’t familiar with the series at all. Dozens of hours in the exciting and dramatic story of John Marston with excellent gameplay are guaranteed.
A copy of the game for review was provided by the Achivka company.