Common Sense Media says

Epic but adult Western game is definitely not for kids.

Users say

(out of 213 reviews)
age 13+
Review this title!
Parent of a 14 year old Written byZackkShapp December 27, 2012

Good Segway into M rated games for responsible 13 year olds.

First off, I'm 15. My review is under parent because no one goes looking for reviews by kids. I'm not a "gamer" and my parents very rarely let me play an M rated game and they always use the reviews on this site as a guide. I believe that this is great for a first "M" rated game for kids as it is very toned down compared to other M games, and it is easy for parents to see the kind of choices that their child is making and decide if they are responsible enough for other games. I disagree with a few of the points that the common sense article made so I'll go through them. First, I don't agree with the extremely high violence rating that the game was given. If you look at a T rated game such as Batman: Arkham city, which this site says is fine for kids, you play as a good guy who is beating the life out of bad guys pretty much constantly throughout the game. Because Batman uses only his fists, the violence is brutal, close up, and often slow motion. This is not the case in Red Dead Redemption. In this game, the majority of the time your gun will be holstered. You don't walk through town shooting person after person as they appear such as in Halo, Brink, or other games that this site feels are acceptable. However, while there is less violence in this game it is very realistic. Players can use pistols, shotguns, and rifles which are accurate for the time period. You are usually shooting people from far away an can't see any blood, but there will be times where it is present. Blood spurts out of the place that the person was shot and they might be knocked backwards or have there hat fly off. There is no over the top gore like in Gears of War where limbs fly off and there are no bloody corpses but the violence can feel pretty real. Players are able to choose which body part they would like to shoot such as taking out someone's legs to capture them rather than killing them. One point I would like to stress however, is that the game only has you shooting generic gang members who have no story tied to them. You aren't assassinating people who you know have a good side to them as they talk to their friends like in Assassin's Creed. A bad guy appears and you shoot them. They all have the same face. Next, language is not an issue. When I played the game I probably heard a real swear word (f---, sh--, b---,) once for every two hours that I played. By movie standards that's either a PG or PG13 movie and trust me, any Middle School or High School kid is used to a lot more than that. Also, when characters do swear it's not like modern day swearing. There's no f--- this f--- that and swears are rarely used as insults. It's more, "aww, sh-- I s'pose we outta' do somethin' about it." Next is drug use. It's really not too bad, you can get drunk at the bar and pass out but it does nothing but cost you money and your kid won't waste time with it. One problem I do have with the game is the sex scene. Yes, it's really bad, and it's up to your kid to decide to skip it. The bare breast that is mentioned quite a few times in the review isn't an issue as its shown for a split second. The problems are the sounds the character makes and the position they are in. If you want to see it just do what your kid has probably already done and search it on YouTube. Your child will probably be too embarrassed to watch it on the big TV screen anyway, but you should definitely make it clear that if you let them get the game, they have to skip that scene. Overall, I think it's a great transition game for parents and their children. You CAN choose to kill innocent townspeople but this does nothing but hurt you (a lot) and your kid will quickly learn not to do it. Killing innocent people causes you to die, pay huge fines, have the police and bounty hunters be after you for the rest of the game, spend time in jail, have people refuse to help or even talk to you, and have your honor and reputation go down which can really hurt you throughout the course of the game. My advice is to put the Xbox in your living room or whatever room someone is constantly in, and your kid will never do something bad in the game while your near. Also, you can easily see whether is honor bar (which starts in the middle) is closet to honorable or evil to see what kinds of things they have been doing. Through out the course of the game it is NEVER encouraged to steal, kill, or harm any innocent people but you do have the option which makes it a great way for parents to learn to trust their kids. Finally, there are two things in the game that I found offensive and that parents should no about. This game is extremely realistic and there were a lot of animals in the Wild West such as jackalopes, rabbits , and horses. You are constantly riding a horse throughout the game and unfortunately, every time your horse accidentally treads on a small animal darting across the path, you hear it squish. I hate this and I wish that there was a way to turn it off. Also, it is not necessary, but definitely beneficial for players to kill and skin wild animals, which is true to the time period. When you skin an animal it shows your character above the camera hacking and slashing at the animal (which is not shown) with a knife. As he's doing this, large amounts of blood splash on the screen and the sound effects are disgusting. When your done you can see the gory remains of the animal. I hate these two things and wish that you could turn them off in the menu. All in all, you have to know your kids and decide what kind of person they are going to be in this game. If you think that they aren't going to take it seriously and go on massacres, don't buy it. If you think that they will play the game the way that it was meant to be played then get it, as the main character is a great role model. Finally, the deciding factor in my parents letting me get the game was that they realized it was a cowboy game. You aren't walking through New York and shooting people up like Grand Theft Auto and parents need to understand that it must be viewed as what it is, A GAME. Thanks for sticking through this long review and I hope that I helped you reach a decision on whether or not this game is right for your child.
Parent Written byBlueandboo January 31, 2011

My kids love the game

My kids love the game i have a 10 year old and a thirteen year old and they both know all the swears and you can turn off the bad cut scenes so this game is good
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byctth75 April 24, 2011

Common sense?

Not for kids? Really? I'm sure if you want your parents to hate you and have them grow up a sad, lonely life you won't let them play this. Red Dead is phenomenal. Yes, there is sex. Yes, there is violence. No, that doesn't mean kids should not be allowed to play it. The breasts are there for a split-second, (and by now, if your kid is about 13, I'm sure he's seen them before.) The story is great, and I'm sure kids 10 and up can find great use with this game. Anyone that thinks otherwise has no 'common sense.'
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bysuperparent99 November 27, 2011

NOT FOR KIDS

While this is a great game, it's WAAAAAAAAAAY too over graphic. There is obvious nudity, and tons of violene. There is also constant swearing throughout the game. NOT FOR KIDS OF ANY AGE!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written bymany lain June 22, 2011

red dead redemption review for kids

it is not two bad my kids are 9 and 10 and I dont like them playing M games bt this one is good because you can turn off swearing and blood with a code
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 11 and 17 year old Written byMykidgood May 31, 2010

Good for any kid who understands that the main character is a wrong-doer

Honestly this game is intended to be fun, not to send bad messeges. Most of the people who just say that kids of a certain age shouldn't play a game just lump all kids based on age group. parents have to realize that kids can be mature enough before they are adults. I have an 11 year old who plays this game, and i will admit, it is raunchy and violent, BUT he understands that it is just a game, and shouldn't be taken literaly. furthermore it actually is a VERY acurate depiction of the old west (I checked)
Adult Written bygow0304 June 22, 2011

Red Dead Redemption

Very fun but very violent. You can inflict damage on other people in the game through the use of a variety of weapons and blood spills all over the ground. There is also lots of cursing, sex, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bycrazyninjajake June 10, 2010

Amazing game perfect for teens.

I. Love. This. Game. This is one of the best games ever made! I think RockStar did a great job with it. To all the parents that are concerned about the language and sex you can skip all that just by hitting th a button when the screen is playing. Also, in options you can turn the language off.
Teen, 13 years old Written byIntellectual August 24, 2012

Suitable for Anyone 13+

I may only be 14 years old and some parents may find what I'm about to say unjust, but any parent who will not allow their teen to play this game are just plain ignorant. You may think you're protecting your child, which I completely understand because parents only want the best for their children but just think. By the time kids reach 13 they are already familiar with all the swearing, violence, and sexual themes contained in this game. As long as your kid isn't living under a rock, nothing will be new to him. As parents, you may not want to think like that but it is true and you know it. In all there are actually very few sexual scenes contained in this game. Your character can not actually physically engage in any sexual activity, but some can be witnessed in the cut scenes. Most people skip the cut scenes anyway though cause after a while they just become boring. There is a decent amount of swearing too, but nothing too profane and again, its all in the cut scenes. Use of alcholol and drugs should not even be considered a problem in this game, unless of course your kid had never seen anyone pick up a beer and take a sip. In singleplayer you can go to the bar and waste your money on whiskey that makes you pass out after a few drinks, but most people aren't stupid enough to waste their well earned money on booze, even in a video game. Even after all of this if you still don't want your kid playing single player, you should still let them play multiplayer. Multiplayer has no cutscenes, so the swearing, drinking, and sexual scenes are all removed. The violence is still there, but the violence in the game ia no worse then that of Call of Duty or Battlefield. While playing online, you can also form a posse with your friends and execute fun missions without any of the crape people keep mentioning. It is a fun experience! Overall, I give this game 5 stars because it allowed me to be the cowboy I always wanted to be back when I was filled with endless imagination. The depiction of the old west is beautiful, and actually quite breath taking at times. As for the appropriateness of the game, once your child turns 13 be should be able to handle it. Unless your kid is a sociopath who is going to copy everything he see's in the game, you should be good :) If it wasn't for a few unnecessary cut scenes this game would easily be rated T. I believe those scenes were intentional though just so the game could be rated M, because how many extremely popular T games can you name? Still trying to think of some? That is why in my opinion the rating system in the US is crap because companies intentionally rate their games M to atrract a wider audience. It is better to read these things because the ratings cant be trusted. Well if anything I hope I managed to convince a few people to purchase this game and a few a parents to allow their kids to purchase this game. Do not deprive them of the fun!
Kid, 10 years old January 1, 2011

Violent older kid game.

Red Dead Redemption is a great game. It is not as bad as Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, but is is still very violent. There is a awful gunfight at a farm were you see a man hanging with his wee cut off. Two guys try to rape a woman, but it does not happen. You can be a bad guy or a good guy. There are many random people walking around, and if you are a bad guy you can shoot the peeps. If you are a good guy than you don't shoot them. There is a saloon where gals walk around in strange outfits. There is plenty of sex too. Some guys get really drunk at the bar and attack lady's for no reason. You can stop them though, but if you don't you might just walk by a bloody female corpse. Some of the lady's in the saloons or bar say stuff when you or another man walk buy like: "A man like you needs woman like me", and "Do you a have a little time to spare on the table with me". Also plenty of drugs.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byTwilight June 16, 2010

Definitely NOT for kids.

Red Dead Redemption comes from the developers that made the Grand Theft Auto Series (Rockstar Games). It contains great thrills, amazing scenery, and entertaining multiplayer. There's a cutscene involving brief Female Nudity accompanied by Sound effects. Blood Splatters floors and walls, and anyone can be killed. It's up to the player to decide if he/she wants to become an outlaw or a hero. After reading reviews by some of the "Adult" and Child Reviews (Some as young as 12), I can't imagine letting someone that young play this game.
Parent Written byGeorge .H July 19, 2012

Two etremely graphic scenes can actually be turned off

There is violence. But its not actually that bad to be honest. I watch my 12 and 13 year old kids play it and its great. Also there was two scenes that my kids talked about to me that were graphic and contained extreme violence and some nudity, (for about 2-3 seconds you see bare breasts) but they said that at the start of the game it tells you about them and you can select to get rid of any graphic scenes. Once you select yes or no, that decision CANNOT be reversed unless you contact rockstar with a quick e-mail and straight away they send you a code which you can type in and revers the decision.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bymajrleguegamer June 9, 2010
ok look know alot of you parents out here think this is a violet bad gory game with bad sexuel stuff but its not as bad as you think. ok first off it is in fact educational you learn what types off horses were in the wild west and u see what types of games they played and how there government worked. and als i know that you guys think the main character isnt a good role model but i think he is. he basicly got abondoned and ditched by his "posy" and then was shot and left to die. but really now he is with the government and is taking down bad guys and trying to save his family. now i know ll of u complain about the sex scene and the naked hangin guy but really you can just skip the sex cene by pressing the a button on your xbox controller.and nobody said you had to look at the naked guy basicly you can skip any short movie clip by pressing the a button on your xbox controller. and also remember its all VIRTUAL!!!!! so its not really real. also i read that you uys cmplain about the language bu you can either turn the audio down on your tv or just go to options and turn off diologe. and this game is sooo easy to play i mean i love to play grand theft auto with my kid so if you have ever played a grand theft auto game then you pick up the controls really fast. well that was myreview and i think this game is fine if you are mature and can handle things. well thats all
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 12 year old Written byMuzicassassin April 9, 2011

Don't worry ... be happy ... don't wory be happy now.

No bad things about this game. Pearent shouldn't be worried about their kids playing it. almost no swearing, and no sex.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byTHE BEAST NINJA November 28, 2014
Teen, 15 years old Written byJacob F July 26, 2012

Are you kidding me?

"Not for kids"? I think Grand Theft Auto IV was given the same rating. I'm not sure how you parent, but that's pretty ridiculous in my opinion. Red Dead Redeption is an open-world sandbox style game, in which you play the role of John Marston. John is a former outlaw, who is hired by the government to eliminate his former gang members. The game takes place in 1911, during the slow decline of the old American Western world, and toward the start of industrialization. Some of the things that parents may want to watch out for in this game include drinking (you can go to a bar and buy shots of whiskey to induce intoxication), sex (there is one cutscene that does depict intercourse between a supporting character and another woman), violence (similar to the GTA series, you can kill ANYONE and EVERYONE, but it slowly depletes your honor in-game), and language (there is SOME language- generally only seen in cutscenes/during poker). However, with all that being said, I actually see John as more of a positive role model. Really, he is a man that is trying to forget about his past and establish a safe, normal life for his family. He's genuinely a loving, caring person with a wife and a son (which you see later in the game) and he puts their safety before his own. For some children, this game can get a little bit heady at some points, but besides the 'shoot-em-up' style missions, there's really not much to worry about. Sure, this certainly isn't the best game for your child to be playing-- but it most definitely isn't the worst, either.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byjeresur August 13, 2010

For everyone to experience

I love this game finished it and still lets you play after you finished it. The sex scene does have nudity you CANNOT turn off the nudity but the sex scene is in "The Gates Of El Perdiso" I didnt even watch it but just at the touch of the A button or x button for Ps3 the cutscene will just disapear. Other than that great game and very educational and pushes the player to do challenges for rewards or treasure hunting and you learn about horses like hungerian half breds and tells you how the government was in the wild west and thats a game all on its own luckily you if you have ps3 network or xbox live you get basicly a second game that doesnt have nudity no story line and still lets you hunt do challenges play with friends unlock guns characters mounts and is great if you dont want your child to see or hear any harmful things and ALSO conversations can get pretty colerful on multiplayer so just talk with your friends or people you really KNOW a game for anyone to experience (i didnt even watch the bad cutscene)
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byPapaRater798 June 22, 2010
I positively love this game and think it is definitely the best game of the entire year by far. It's an epic, free roam game and can be funny or suspenseful at times. It is definitely not for kids due to a strong sex scene, nudity, extreme profanity, and nonstop intense graphic violence, and even some drug use where a man injects numerous amounts of cocaine into himself, but this is during 1911 when they just found out that cocaine was bad for you. Great game overall.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 14 year old Written byJames555 July 26, 2010

Great mature teenagers

This is a great game for teens 13+. My only concern with the game is the sexual content, which my son showed me can easily skipped by pressing a single button. If you're worried about the languadge, then dont be this can easily turned off just as easy as it was to skip the nudity scene. As long as you think your teen is mature enough for it, it would be a great game for them.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 5 year old Written byjeff896 February 21, 2015

THANK YOU ROCKSTAR GAMES FOR THE GAME PATCH!!

Hello parents. On January 26 2015 Rockstar Games released a game patch that fully removed the brief sex scene that was in the game. It also replaced word like the f word with the word "freaking". Apparently nobody was buying the game anymore because of the sex scene and the language. My son has been asking for the game for years, but my answer was a strict no because I didn't want him being exposed to that kind of stuff. But now that sexual content/nudity has been completely removed and serious language is no longer present, he can now play it. Parents should still be aware that words like hell, damn and bastard are still present in the game but it is heard very occasionally in the game. On the other hand, this game can teach your kids a thing or two about real historical events such as the prohibition and how women gained their independence as people. This game is a beautiful and very fun game. I recommend it to the ages of 13 and over.
What other families should know
Great messages
Easy to play/use
Too much violence

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