The game, which originally released for the Xbox 360 and PS3, is basically two console generations old at this point. I say “basically” because while the Xbox One X isn’t actually a new generation, its added horsepower can easily handle much more than the Xbox One S. That power is put to good use in the case of “Red Dead.” From the close ups of faces, to the detail on the outfits, to the orange sunsets over the sprawling landscapes, the game has been thoroughly brought up to graphical speed for 2018 consumption.
It’s difficult to tell if the frame rate has been stabilized in this update or if my television was filling in frame gaps with its motion smoothing features, but the gameplay felt silky smooth. Sprinting through the prairie on horseback has never looked so good.
“Red Dead’s” X enhancement doesn't feature High-Dynamic Range (HDR), but it really doesn’t need it. Even the night time settings pop thanks to the brightness of the moonlight. The options give you the ability to adjust the brightness, which should be increased a bit, and saturation, which can flood the screen with color to create the illusion of HDR.
If you don’t revisit just to be in awe of the game’s new looks, it’s worth replaying just to harken back to a time when open-world games weren’t overwhelming. The minimap isn’t flooded with people to talk to and side quests to bog you down. “Red Dead Redemption” allows its players to take in its wonderful old west setting without being reminded that there’s a massive to-do list to get to.
These enhancements are a triumph and add quite a bit of value to the Xbox One X. “Red Dead Redemption” is inarguably one of Rockstar’s finest creations, and this new version is more than enough to whet your appetite until its sequel, “Red Dead Redemption 2,” comes out later this year.