Last week we were lucky enough to have been contacted by the Rockstar Games Community Team and provided with an early access code for the platform of our choice for the now available, Red Dead Redemption on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. I’m personally an Xbox player, owning the Series X, but I still have a PlayStation, albeit only being the PS4 original, so our new Red Dead experience felt a little in the old-age. That being said, it’s been good to review what the game is like for the actual platform it was intended for, rather than enhanced via Backwards Compatibility.
Immediately when booting up the game for the first time, that nostalgic feeling kicked in seeing the Rockstar NYC and Rockstar San Diego logos being fired from a revolver, but on these new editions, Double Eleven Ltd. also have their logo on the load-up screen. It’s a nice touch, and recognition which they definitely deserve for these conversions.
We spent a good few hours having a roam around the wilderness once the first-forced missions were completed, and in total honesty, didn’t really notice much difference with the environment. There’s no real noticeable upgrades to any vegetation, nothing really additional other than maybe a few strains of grass, it just felt like playing the PlayStation 3 version, just a little but more clearer. That then led us to delving into what graphical settings were available and if anything new had been introduced. To our surprise, it had.
There are 2 new Anti-Aliasing options available: NVIDIA FXAA and AMD FSR 2.2. After playing with both options, it’s a big and clear difference that AMD FSR 2.2 takes the win, with stopping a lot of jittering of edges, especially in the distance, as well as making some objects look much crisper and clearer. AMD FSR 2.2 is also suppose to help boost framerate, of which the only downside is that the PS4 version despite being in a higher 1080p resolution, is still locked to 30FPS. We did also find that the game itself seemed very washed out, which meant ramping up the contrast and saturation to make it actually look nice.
We continued our journey through the west, progressing through some of the story missions and engaging in gunfights to see how gameplay really felt. We noticed a lot of objects popping in on the screen, including some glitchy draw-distancing, and a horrible motion-blur at the bottom of the screen, however the blur seemed to have been addressed following a title-update a few days ago. As far as actual gameplay goes though, the game has retained the same gameplay mechanics and feel as it did from when it launched in 2010. Remember, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Now… the real talk. The cost. $49.99 (just under £40). Is it worth it? Well, in Hines-sight, yes given the inflation we’re now experiencing and new games costing around £60-£70, as well as the fact the PS3 version is still £25 brand-new. The only downside is there isn’t much to offer. There’s not Multiplayer, there’s no 60FPS and there’s not real graphical upgrades other than some Anti-Aliasing. However, it’s important to remember that this is a port, not a Remaster or Remake. It’s simply the PS3 version, just a tad better. It’s great that the Red Dead franchise is expanding to newer platforms for a new audience to experience, and we hope that they work with Double Eleven again in the future on further ports. The only thing we would’ve liked is for existing digital PS3 owners to get some form of upgrade-discount, rather than being stung for a full-priced release.
As great as Red Dead Redemption is, and being able to get back into the boots of John Marston, there are a few things that’s let the game down to receive a full 10/10. That being said, Double Eleven have kept it original and done a great job at bringing RDR to life on the PlayStation 4, and so an 8/10 we feel is a fair, accurate and honest rating.