Red Dead Redemption PS4/Switch Port Review – it’s only a re-release – WGB, Home of AWESOME Reviews

However let’s begin with the plain good factors: The primary is that Red Dead Redemption is a implausible recreation. Certain, it’s just a little outdated and creaky in locations, it’s from 2010, however John Marston remains to be a posh and interesting character and the Western setting is only one enormous vibe. The sport drips ambiance, from its depiction of the wild west to its somber music and stellar performing. It may very well be argued that it’s even higher than Red Dead Redemption 2 in some methods.

And this launch means the sport is natively accessible on PlayStation 4/5 and the Switch, so a complete bunch of people that have by no means had a strategy to play it earlier than can lastly expertise Marston’s story in all of its Western glory. Hell, there’s most likely a variety of play who solely performed Red Dead Redemption 2 who can soar into this, letting them play via the story in chronological order. I’ve to say, replaying RDR after Red Dead Redemption 2 makes the story resonate excess of in 2010 when characters like Invoice Williamson had been only a identify. Now, although, with all the correct context, looking down John’s former brothers is way more emotionally partaking.

The preliminary announcement was worded in a manner that urged completely no enhancements had been made to the unique recreation, so I’m joyful to say that’s not fairly true. This model of the sport runs at 4K and 30fps on the PlayStation 4 Professional and the PlayStation 5 through backwards compatibility. So whereas the remainder of the sport’s graphics are untouched, the upper decision (it ran at 720p again within the day) does make it look a lot sharper than the unique and extra appropriate for big screens. Regardless of the age of Red Dead Redemption, its artwork design nonetheless holds up in 2023 very properly. There’s one thing magical about driving a horse down via a dusty valley because the solar units or moseying right into a saloon as the opposite patrons huddle over photographs of whiskey. Red Dead Redemption makes it simple to inhabit its world and really feel like part of it, quite than only a participant.

This new model makes use of AMD’s FSR2 temporal upscaling and anti-aliasing tech, leading to usually sharper pictures and much much less shimmering than within the unique recreation, particularly in foliage. Surprisingly, there’s additionally an choice to swap over to FXAA which is a post-processing impact as an alternative. There’s actually not level in making an attempt it, although, as a result of there are way more shimmering and tough edges versus the FSR2. I’m truthfully unsure why Double Eleven included the choice to toggle between the 2.

The shadows appear to fare higher on this new model, too. Red Dead Redemption’s shadows had been at all times messy, however on the PlayStation model the shadows are a lot sharper than earlier than, particularly while you get shut up. In truth, it’s virtually too sharp as a result of a few of the shadows lack the softness you get in actual life, making them appear barely unnatural. It’s a small grievance, thoughts you.

Annoyingly, the UI hasn’t acquired the identical decision increase that the remainder of the sport has benefited from. As an alternative, all of the menus, icons and textual content are nonetheless in 720p, making them look fuzzy and albeit ugly on a contemporary 4K TV. Bafflingly, nonetheless, the button icons do appear to have been redone making them stand out towards the blurry backdrops. I’d like to know the choice making behind this. Why solely do the button icons? Why not do the entire UI?

Thus far I’ve principally mentioned the sport working on the perfect {hardware} potential, so let’s step backwards for a second. There’s no native PlayStation 5 model, quite it simply runs the PS4 Professional Enhanced model of the port. For those who use a normal PlayStation 4, although, you solely get a 1080p picture with extra noticeable aliasing. Swapping over to FXAA on this decrease decision actually allows you to see simply how a lot work FSR2 really does as a result of the picture is way, far worse.

Let’s discuss concerning the framerate, we could? This new port is locked at 30fps which is undoubtedly an enormous disappointment. We all know that individuals who have emulated the Xbox model on PC have been capable of get it working at 60fps with solely minor points, so certainly an organization like Rockstar may have discovered a strategy to increase Red Dead Redemption’s framerate which might have been a MASSIVE improve and an necessary promoting level.

The excellent news is that it sticks to that 30fps like superglue. The distinctive Undead Nightmare growth, included within the bundle, is one of the best ways to check this since there are many enemies on-screen all making an attempt to assert Marston’s flesh for lunch. Not as soon as did I discover the framerate dipping, no matter what number of zombies had been shambling across the place. It’s utterly rock-solid, though it actually must be contemplating the ability of contemporary consoles.

Nevertheless, this new model appears to have launched a small downside in cutscenes whereby sure animations stutter. It doesn’t occur in each cutscene however when it does it’s fairly distracting. Hopefully, we’ll get an replace that fixes this.

Over on Switch issues are just a little completely different. I used to be given each variations to check, so I fired up Nintendo’s console, curious to see how Red Dead Redemption would carry out on a machine that was deemed considerably underpowered even when it first launched. For probably the most half, it runs at 1080p and 30fps, however like the unique Xbox 360 model you possibly can see the framerate dip when TNT is getting thrown round and a bunch of enemies are on the display screen. That’s just a little disappointing however not wholly surprising. Regardless of the way you view it, although, it’s significantly higher than how the sport initially ran on the Xbox 360 the place it was widespread to see the framerate drop to low 20s. On the Switch, it could often solely drop a few frames into the very excessive 20s, even whereas taking part in Undead Nightmare, making for a much more steady expertise.

When it comes to picture high quality, it will get a contact extra difficult. Shadows have seen a slight enhance over the unique recreation however not as a lot as PlayStation model. However the greatest distinction is that the Switch doesn’t get AMD’s FSR2 and as an alternative depends on FXAA. Whereas the decision increase ensures this seems higher than the sport initially did, it can not compete with PlayStation the place FSR2 actually helps sharpen the picture up.

Handheld mode runs at 720p. Every part is just about equivalent, together with the framerate sometimes dipping however by no means to any worrying quantity. Red Dead Redemption could also be a recreation from 2010, nevertheless it’s nonetheless fairly cool to have the ability to play it on a handheld whereas chilling in mattress or on a prepare.

The difficult factor is while you begin evaluating this “conversion” to the present Xbox iteration which might be purchased through the Xbox retailer for round £25. Making the comparability even more durable is the truth that the Xbox model has some system-wide gamma results that create a barely punchier picture, whereas this new port presents a extra impartial picture that has the additional benefit of maintaining extra shadow element. For an in depth comparability, it’s best to take a look at Digital Foundry’s excellent breakdown of the two versions, however from this layman’s perspective, the PlayStation variations look a contact sharper and extra detailed, principally as a result of improved shadows and FSR2. It’s not a staggering distinction, although, and definitely unfit of paying twice the worth.

Whereas there’s little or no to decide on between the PS4 Professional and Xbox Collection X variations of the sport, Red Dead Redemption on an Xbox One is now the worst strategy to play the sport outdoors of firing up an Xbox 360 or PS3. It basically runs the unique recreation with no enhancements, which means the picture is caught at 720p. It seems significantly worse than the brand new port throughout the board. In the meantime, the Xbox Collection S renders the sport at 1440p.

Platform Decision
PlayStation 5 4K
PlayStation 4 Professional 4K
PlayStation 4 1080p
Xbox Collection X 4K
Xbox Collection S 1440p
Xbox One X 4K
Xbox One/Xbox One S 720p
Nintendo Switch 1080p/720p

This does beg the query of whether or not the Xbox model may get these small updates, particularly the AMD FSR2 choice. It appears unlikely that Take-Two could be beneficiant sufficient to supply these free of charge, although, and I’m genuinely shocked that they haven’t already bumped up the worth of the Xbox model to match the re-release.

Taking a look at this new model of Red Dead Redemption as only a port, it’s a stable but barebones effort. The decision increase and the FSR2 present a reasonably stable improve to the visuals, making this the perfect Red Dead Redemption has ever appeared. And honestly, Red Dead Redemption really nonetheless seems fairly good. There’s some beautiful vistas that stretch out into the space. Issues solely look tough while you begin wanting carefully on the low-res textures. It’s most noticeable on Marston’s face which seems muddy and undefined. With minimal work, his face and a wide range of different textures may have been improved and it could have made an enormous distinction.

It’s onerous to not be disillusioned with the dearth of effort put into this port. Red Dead Redemption has offered hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of copies and is broadly held as top-of-the-line video games of all time. This was Rockstar’s likelihood to carry their western epic to a complete new viewers, together with doubtlessly hundreds of thousands who’ve solely performed Red Dead Redemption 2 and will now have the chance to observe Marston’s journey. Even a number of minor tweaks may have made this an distinctive bundle, resembling a high-performance mode, a number of texture upgrades and even perhaps one thing like ray-tracing.

And that’s in the end the issue, isn’t it? It is a very fundamental port of a 13-year-old recreation that comprises virtually no enhancements and an RRP of £40. Had they launched this at £25 to match the present Xbox retailer model it could be a extra palatable product. It’s onerous to consider that just some years in the past Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick mentioned, “we don’t just port titles over, we actually take the time to do the very best job we can making the title different for the new release, for the new technology that we’re launching it on.”

Observe: the star ranking is only primarily based on the standard of the port, and never the sport itself.

Ranking: 2.5 out of 5.

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