Red Dead Redemption is a decade old today.
Rockstar’s cowboy classic was originally released on 18th May in North America, and a few days later here in Europe. Somewhat inexplicably, 10 years on, it is still unavailable for PC.
Where Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series is known for its brash on-the-nose humour and fast-paced car chases, Red Dead Redemption was a more nuanced affair.
Set across acres of open plains and sweltering desert either side of the US-Mexico border, it gave players a wilderness to explore, at a time where the frontier was beginning to vanish and the cowboys of old were becoming nothing more than legend.
Step up John Marston, a cowboy in danger of becoming extinct himself if he did not atone for his old ways by capturing the gang of outlaws he used to run with.
There’s so much in Red Dead Redemption which still stands up today that it’s no surprise so much of it was mined for last year’s follow-up, Red Dead Redemption 2, which acts as its direct prequel.
But its the original I prefer. I adore its spaghetti western soundtrack, the mournful tunes which act almost as eulogies to the west that was. I miss its cast of colourful characters, like snake oil salesman Nigel West Dickens and the brilliant Bonnie MacFarlane. And I still hold up the game’s ending as one of the most memorable moments of player agency I’ve come across.
Looking to head back? Here’s a few things to look for if you go wandering its prairies.