There's plenty of meat to be had in the single player portion of the game, which can take anywhere from 15 to 30 hours to complete depending on how easily distracted you are. Moving on from there is the game's multiplayer mode called Free Roam. This open world allows 16 players to join in and do just about whatever they want. The goal of it though is to posse up and then move on to other multiplayer modes - like some of the versus ones found within the game. This happens fairly seamlessly, but if you choose, you can roam around the entire map with your posse and complete a few challenges together in co-op.
Available for you and your crew of eight posse members are bandit hideouts located throughout the map. The goal is pretty straightforward - kill all the bandits and get out alive. Certain hideouts have you moving a mine cart out to a carriage waiting for you. After completing these players can work on challenges to unlock more characters and items for their multiplayer level. While each player still has to complete the goals of the challenge for credit, there is some teamwork involved with finding certain items or killing a set number of animals.
It really didn't take long for us to clear all the bandit forts, a few hours at most - but somehow we managed to find ourself playing for over three hours at a time doing god knows what in the old west. To be honest, it has a bit of that Crackdown flaire to it, that invisible thing you can't quite put your finger on what's exactly so fun. It's an absolute blast when you have a stage coach full of your friends riding over the desert to assault a bandit compound only to drive it straight off a cliff...and survive. It's these "had to be there" moments that make Red Dead Redemption's co-op more fun than it should be.
That being said the co-op is a bit disappointing, as the potential is there for a seriously good time in the old west. A few extra little touches like the ability to play poker or some of the other mini-games with friends could add to the immersion, and we've yet to see a game that allows a co-op group to take on a train robbery. Please make this happen Rockstar - as it stands now -the train is completely missing in Free Roam. This is why we are really looking forward to the upcoming DLC with missions designed exclusively for co-op, once this hits, we'll revisit this review and adjust accordingly.
On the whole Red Dead Redemption is the finest western game created to date - the sum of all it's parts add up to an amazing experience. There's a few quirks along the way including technical bugs, multiplayer connection issues, and some minor control gripes - but these hardly bring down the entire set. While the co-op mode is quite open ended with only a handful of things to do, it's still a ton of fun, and the single player content is substantial. Rockstar Games once again proves to be the king of open world titles, this time in a completely open and compelling Western world.
The Co-Op Experience: Team up and form a posse of up to 8 players and roam around the world of Red Dead Redemption. You'll encounter questionable characters, computer controlled gangs and complete missions in the form of "Actuaries." Co-Op DLC Additionally the game will feature 4 player co-op DLC missions that will be available post launch. Walton’s Gold Walton’s Gang have taken control of a mining camp rich with gold. Fight through the camp and load your mine cart with as much gold as you can carry and get out as fast as you can – Walton’s boys have rigged the place to blow. The River Ride a raft down river, taking out rebel encampments along the way until you reach the rebel stronghold of Nosalida and a final epic battle for the town’s massive weapons caches. Watch out for Gatling gun-equipped enemy rafts. Ammunition The Mexican Army has the town of Tesoro Azul under siege. Storm the gates under heavy cannon, Gatling gun and sniper fire to destroy the Mexican artillery placements.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.