The award winning Rockstar Games, the studios that brought us such smash hit titles as Bully Scholarship Edition, (and who could forget the stunning Grand Theft Auto series?), seem to have done it again with their latest bloodsoaked, action packed, third person shooter RPG that is set during the final days of the Wild West.
You play as John Marston, a reformed gun for hire and former outlaw who, after being left for dead and the vultures by his old gang, decided to hang up his guns and settle down to raise a family with his newly taken bride. All seems to be going well for John until Federal Marshall’s turn up unannounced and kidnap John‘s wife Abigail and the couples young son. The Marshall’s want John to track down his former gang and kill one of his formr friend’s, and if the mision is a success, then he is asssured that his young family will be returned to him. But will a relapse to former habits prove to tempting for John Marston as once again he finds his guns strapped to his side? This is the point you will take control of the character, and so any further plot twists and decisions are now your own to make, and will affect the storyline and indeed the way that the game plays for you.
And so begins the epic tale of the Old West as seen through the eyes of reformed outlaw John Marston in what has to be the best action game of the year so far, and without a doubt the clear forerunner for the Game of the Year title by a military mile.
With no option left to him other than to travel to New Austin and kill Bill Williamson, Marston sets off after his former compadre to the now Gang Leader’s stronghold of Fort Mercer. Underestimating his rival Marston is once more severly injured and left bleeding and fighting for life by the roadside until he is found by Bonnie MacFarlane, who comes to our hero’s rescue and drags him to a doctor. After recovering Marston begins to repay the kindnesss shown to him by Bonnie and starts by helping the MacFarlane’s out.
Parallel to this Marston recruits allies to his quest to kill Bill Williamson, and finds friends in a US Marshall, Liegh Johnson, A swindler, Nigel West Dickens and there are also Seth the grave robber and Irish, the arms dealer. This Motley Crew then begin the task of planning the attack on Fort Mercer. This they accomplish using the Trojan Horse method, and once inside Fort Mercer the band of allies set about putting to the sword all inside, only when the smoke clears do they realise that once again Williamson has again bested them and has already fled the Fort to Mexico before the surprise attack.
In Mexico Marston finds himself working with a dictator who promises him Williamson’s head but only delivers treachery and deceit, as he himself turns on John and tries to kill him. Marston also has allegiances with the revolutionary leader Reyes and over variour missions will actually put Reyes in power in the country, only to learn that the idealistic ‘Man of the People’ has turned into yet another tin pot dictator and tyrant. However these events are played out much further into the storyline.
With the help of Reyes, Marston does, in fact, manage to deliver vengeance onto Bill Williamson, however on returning to meet up with his government contact, Ross. Marston is informed that he will not be allowed to see his wife and child until the leader of John’s old gang, Dutch Van Linde, is also killed. After much cat and mouse and near misses John finally corners his quarry near a cliff where the former gang leader opts for suicide over murder.
It is then that Marston is reunited with his family and rides off happily into the sunset to rebuild the farm they own and settle in for the quiet life. This perfect solitude is then shattered as the very men he helped to eliminate his former gang come after him. John manages to get his family to safety but is himself shot and killed, and in a great plot twist the game jumps forward in time to set the scene of an adolescent Jack Marston, John’s son, standing over his fathers grave where he swears an oath of revenge against the men who murdered his father. Thus an extra mission ensus as you now portray Jack Marston as he tracks down the man he holds resposible for his fathers slaying . After some time Jack and his target, the Federal Agent Ross, come together in stand off where the game ends as Jack stands victorious over the body of his fathers killer, cue the credits.
To summarise this game is a review in itself as this game is epic. The environment is truly open world and is immense. graphics and game mechanics are what we have come to expect from such a distinguished gaming studio as Rockstar Games, they are sublime and as near to perfect as you are goping to get from any game of this generation. The controls run smooth as silk and the storyline is so big that you can get lost inside the world that Rockstar have created and not even venture into the freeroam mode much at all. Every single detail in this game has been worked and reworked by the developers, and then just when they thought it as great, they probably went back and worked on it some more to get it perfect. Even if you are not an open world, RPG gamer, even if you think western games are a yawn-fest, even after any argument you want to put forward, we would still recomend that you purchase this game. It is not very often that any game scores a 10 in my book, as far as I can usually see there is always scope to improve something somewhere along the line? But not in this case, and with that Rockstar Games have delivered the first 10 out of 10 that I have personally ever scored a game. It really is that good.