It gets the story and characters right. It gets the mood and atmosphere right. The gun-play is good, but in the end, I never found the game to be all that fun.
If Grand Theft Auto IV is slow, dull, and repetitive, isn't Red Dead the exact same thing but with horses?
Most of the missions follow a predictable and boring structure (just like many of the GTA games)
1. Enter a marker
2. Watch a cutscene
3. Drive, err I mean "ride", to some canyon or hill
4. Shoot out a bunch of outlaws
5. Ride all the way back home
6. Watch a cutscence
This really didn't create a lot of excitement to load up the game and continue my progress with the story. Much of the thrill of video games is wondering what you'll do next and being pleasantly surprised when something new happens. But it feels like once you've played 1 mission of Red Dead, you've played most of the rest.
This is one of many examples of how games are like diluted movies. There's 3 hours of core content in your average game, but that's not enough content to sell it to a customer for $60. So, deliver the core content in carefully administered doses, little chunks, after the player does a series of actions