Seeing as though most people in the UK can't even get a copy at the moment, I thought I best write a little somethin' somethin' about it. MAN, this game is good. I've just finished the game's story arc, and I reckon I've invested about 20-25 hours into it. I must say, I am impressed.
First of all, this is a true Rockstar game. Unashamed and unabashedly Rockstar. It's got all the same slightly-blocky-for-this-generation character models, exactly the same mission structure, and the same sort of gunplay Rockstar has honed over time. But this time, it feels good, and time has been invested to make it better than the sum of it's parts. The cinematics, which Rockstar have always pioneered, are some of the most impressive motion-capture stuff I've ever seen. It's starting to look real, like actually real, not like human movement, but humanacting. It's really fantastic to see, and really gets the mood going.
The main thing I've noticed when playing, is that this is the spiritual successor to Vice City. This is real-talk, badman GTA style. This is back-to-basics rudeboy shit. All the nonsense is gone. No going to the gym, no whinging mates asking to go bowling, no dates. This is straight-up guns and glory Spaghetti Western bizznizz. Indeed, by placing the story and the game in such a time, they've managed to cast aside all the baggage and minigames that were starting to weigh the GTA series down. This is a straight-up lads shooting fest. The girliest thing you can do is pick flowers, and that's often just a by-product of shooting animals in the face.
It seems that Rockstar had spent too much time trying to make a 'realistic' world in GTA IV, so much so that they actually succeeded. They made a world with hassle, with obligation, and with responsibilities. Blowing up shit in helicopters had to be put on hold, because your girlfriend wanted to go to the movies. With Red Dead, all that's stripped out, and what's left is an exhilerating, fast-paced all-action game, with it's cards clearly on the table.
Seriously, this game is lovely. A brilliantly executed, well-told story about the Wild West. Rockstar, you have indeed been Redeemed.