Rockstar Games has created a great game in Red Dead Redemption. The story mode and characters are all great, and we gave it a positive review, but unfortunately (as Rory mentioned in a Midnight Rant) the multiplayer modes have been cumbersome and irritating. Those of you who were hoping that this add-on would add some depth to the multiplayer may be disappointed.
Red Dead Redemption's Liars and Cheats pack adds plenty content to the multiplayer experience, with new playable characters from the game's story mode, a new Stonghold multiplayer mode, a new weapon called the "Explosive Rifle," multiplayer poker and liar's dice, Grand Prix horse racing, seven new gang hideouts, four brand new hunting grounds, 10 new achievements/trophies, and posse scoring and leader boards. That certainly sounds like a lot of new content, and it is. But is it worth $10?
The new characters are all people that you'll recognize from the campaign, so you'll be able to saddle up as Irish, Seth, Agent Ross, Nigel West Dickens, Marshall Johnson, and (finally) John Marston. These characters are cool, but they really should have been included with the original game and not sold separately several months after release. I guess if you're willing to spend the money just for the characters, though, you'll be satisfied with the lot that you get.
The new Stonghold mode is likely the reason a majority of you will pick up the DLC, and for the most part it's enjoyable. The general concept is that one team must defend different checkpoints across the map. Once the attacking team captures a point another will open up that the defending team must try to protect. It's a simple concept, but it's pretty fun. Of course, I never won a game, but I'm sure the mode is a lot more fun when you and your team don't stink.
The new weapon, the Explosive Rifle, can be obtained in both story mode and multiplayer, and it will destroy everything in your path. Once you've had your fun with it, though, you realize that it's just a weapon -- a phenomenal weapon, mind you -- but just another weapon none the less.
Grand Prix horse racing is a fun little mini-game that is mildly barren. Every time I played the multiplayer option I only got two or four other people to race me. I honestly thought the Grand Prix mode would just be a tacky add-on, mainly due to the fact that you can just pull out your guns and shoot the other racers. Rockstar must have realized that the races would never end if people were constantly being shot down, so they disabled auto-targeting. So if you want to risk shooting the player coming up beside you then you're going to have to get of the reigns of your horse, and risk falling behind, to take out your opponent.
One mode that was certainly a high priority fan request was online gambling, so Rockstar has obliged and given the fans what they wanted. I will have you know now that I'm awful at poker, but fans of gambling will find joy in Rockstar's game. Liar's dice is where I really shine, but even then I still got my butt handed to me by others. If you like playing online poker you may be better off with PokerStars, but it still makes for a nice addition to this game.
All of this makes for an okay add-on, but it will really only appeal to the people who already enjoy playing Red Dead online. The added modes make for a little bit of fun, and add life to the multiplayer side of things, but they lack depth -- even the Stronghold mode only has 4 maps to play on -- so the excitement expires rather quickly.
If you are a fan of Red Dead Redemption's online multiplayer, then don't let this review deter you from Liars and Cheats, because odds are you will like it. If you never really had that much fun with Red Dead's original multiplayer offerings, then don't worry about spending your money on the Liars and Cheats pack, because you'll feel like you've just been lied to and cheated out of $10. Zing!
Will you be packing up the add-on? What types of multiplayer modes would you like to appear in Red Dead Redemption?
Red Dead Redemption: Liars and Cheats pack is now available on PSN and Xbox Live Marketplace for $10.