Achievement Unlocked: Awesome Game. Make an awesome game, and let it be cheap.
Although looked at as "GTA with horses," it's far from that; there's a storyline, that truly sticks and makes the viewer feel for Marston's past and his family, and wonder whether he's done with his past life, or if you are continuing it, involuntarily with his quests of the game. Red Dead is one of the few games that, like GTA, let you hold more than four weapons at a time, on speed dial. Red Dead's weapon selection is superb; with the hit of LB, on the xbox, the player can auto select Marston's holstered weapon, or hold it to select another type of weapon--be it shotgun, scoped rifle, repeater, or miscellaneous throwing weapons.
Wonderfully, the weapons can be used as well as they can be selected. The targeting system is on the level of GTA IV's complex, iron sight, or simple targeting system. With every weapon, despite the Scoped Rifles, they'll hit usually on target. Matter of fact, even the Semi-Automatic Shotgun is fairly accurate, for it's time and age of it's weapon and shell type. The reloading system is just as easy as pressing the B button, on the xbox, and Marston will reload the selected weapon within moments of the pressing. A unique weapon for Red Dead is the lasso, used for subduing and not killing targets--mostly for quests and bounty hunting.
The ammo type is another improvement of Rock Star's games, even the prestigious GTA IV. Every weapon has an ammo type, however every slot of the weapon categories, lest the Pistol and Revolver, have a lone ammo type: shotgun shells, pistol caps, revolver bullets, repeater bullets, and sniper cartridges.
Enemies' A.I. is fairly intelligent, for it's generation--from the infamous Italian Mob in GTA IV that would fall into the water and die instantly (Italians can't swim, it's a little known fact). They'll follow you a good long while, improvise with their weapon schemes and uses, and especially devise measures of finding and killing you. However, they're jelly-like response to getting shot is a little unlikely--but you can't get them all right.
The graphics are something that, however, was hit on the dot. Just as the previous Rock Star games, the graphics are reasonably acclaimed. The scenery is perfectly coordinated with the time and language of the characters that inhabit the world of New Austin, during the time of pre-WWI, in 1910. Historically, there are many corrections to be made, if Rock Star wanted to dig into it, but this isn't a Historical-Action, it's a Bad-Ass Cowboy-Shooter.
Just the same, swimming is impossible in Red Dead Redemption, glitches are very common, and a lot of quests seem broken and unexplained. The horse riding can also be glitchy, fatal, or just plain weird. At times, the horse will respond as if it were over exhausted and throw you off, or just die when riding for more than a half an hour, in real time. Shooting on horses can be tricky at times, but is pretty well done, as well--showing how diverse Marston is with shooting, even while horseback.
A final and unique premise of Red Dead is the Dead-Eye markers. Dead-Eye is activated in RB and is a sort of VATS (sic Fallout) activation, as it will let you freeze, or slow, time and gun down any adversaries marked by your markers. Which is not dissimilar to the duel sequences, which is a very innovative and somewhat complex song and dance.
However I did not cover everything, I covered a good deal. Red Dead can only really be experienced through your own eyes, and not just my textile words. Overall, this game is an phenomenally designed game, and highly recommended if you ever find yourself humming the tune of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,' or if you just like to shoot birds from 400 years out.