There's a lot of talk about Red Dead Redemption right now. A lot . For good reason, though: the game shined with potential in the closed preview at PAX 2009, teased our fantasy for a good co-op western game, almost delivered everything what we'd hoped for...and now adorns headlines with talk of wild west zombies and explosive rifles. Rockstar Games knows how to keep the ball rolling for a long time.
The first downloadable pack - Outlaws to the End - was a set of four co-op missions. To this day they're still fun, but admittedly the replayability of four missions is weak compared to the hours upon hours that the single-player campaign offers. Ironically, the Legends & Killers pack followed didn't come through with anything really worth paying for. Finally the Liars & Cheats pack has landed; it makes up for its predecessor without even breaking a sweat.
For starters, the Free Roam characters are just more interesting, in my opinion. Instead of generic lawmen and characters from Red Dead Revolver you can use the more seedy characters from Redemption's campaign - such as Nigel West-Dickens and Seth, the graverobber.
Nigel West-Dickens, the traveling snake oil salesman
Cosmetic additions aside, Liars & Cheats now adds a fruitbasket of Free Roam activities that the base game so severely lacked. New Hunting Grounds are available, as are new Gang Hideouts. If that wasn't enough, you can now participate in horse races and saloon games - specifically, Texas Hold 'Em poker and liars dice When we dreamed of what playing Red Dead Redemption our friends was going to be like, we imagined these very types of activities. The fact that they are just now being added to the game is a pity...but the point is that they're ultimately available now.
As with the rest of Free Roam, horse races and saloon games can be held in private or in public. Public horse races are a crapshoot between honorable competition and dirty tactics. Each rider is provided with a limited supply of ammunition, a shotgun, and a pistol. Griefers can turn a fun race sour, but for the most part it's another enjoyable and unique activity in Redemption's open world.