I know you have all heard about this game, and I am definitely late coming to the party on commenting on the game. But, let me tell you why. I purchased a 60gb PS3 on ebay. It worked for 3 weeks before getting the yellow light of death. Very common with older PS3's especially my particular one. I had already pre-ordered RDR and had played it for 2 days, and now my disc was held hostage in the dead Sony. Contacted a local via craigslist that for 80 bucks would fix and warrant it for 30 days.
My choice was easy, and I got the console and the game disc back in 5 days. That was 45 days ago. Up until about a week ago, my extra time has been spent in the Southwestern part of Rockstar continent. It is a beautiful land filled with shimmering vistas, luscious mountain streams, and just about everything that can kill a man, except disease. You play a very hard, embittered, orphan that made it off the streets as it were. Of course this is 1910 and the streets are dirt roads, and John Marston thought he had escaped his childhood past. Yep, he was in a gang.
As John you are one tough son of a bitch from the get go. You have choices throughout the game to be altruistic or a down right dirty bastard. The game though will won't let your character be all bad, but when their is a choice it is up to you.
The main quest will take I believe 12-15 hours. But, that will not get you the satisfaction of actually feeling that you are experiencing. The side quests are a hoot, fleshed out and fun. This game is not easy, but not to hard either. I spent at least 36 hours real time riding my horse, running or buck boarding hunting, gathering, skinning (animals), gambling and killing people.
The story line is great, and it will piss you off, as it does John. The plot is not new, but the NPC's are wonderfully rendered and the voice acting is very convincing. Part of my pre-order came with the soundtrack. I listen to it in my car, and have one of the songs as a ringtone. It is excellent ambient music, and sets the mood to a T.
Now I am playing multiplayer, which will steal roughly a 100 more hours until the next big game comes out. In this part of the game, you can hook up with other players around the world or your own real friends on Live or PSN and form your own posse to take out the bad gangs. You really do need a gang of at least 3 if not 4 to take them out. You talk with your members over strategy and scream for help when you have been shot down and need to be nursed back to health. Of course everything has its own rewards, which just helps with the feeling of accomplishments in this game.