Red Dead Redemption Port Hands-On Preview

Over the past week, thanks to Rockstar Games, we’ve been hands-on with the Red Dead Redemption PlayStation 4 conversion developed by UK studio Double Eleven. Here’s some highlights from our experience playing on PS5!

To be brief in this introduction; it is exactly what it says on the tin – a port of the RDR everyone knows and loves from 2010, but now accessible on your PS4/5, and handheld for the first time on Switch. The game arrives packaged with the Undead Nightmare story DLC and previous pre-order/Game Of The Year (GOTY) content, but without multiplayer.

What follows isn’t a review per se, and more of an informative preview based on our hands-on, because then we’d just be reviewing RDR and everyone already knows about it! That said however, despite this not being a full remaster or remake, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t some interesting things to highlight here and there.

N.B. we haven’t played on Switch, so there’s no info about that here and we’ll leave handheld conclusions to those with access!

Before we start, let’s detail the specs of those who have previewed the game – Kirsty is on PS5, but using an older 1080p TV which means her game is being upscaled. uNi is also on PS5, but he has a native 4K monitor (or 3!) hence, visuals will be slightly different for each of them.

Now, here’s our preview and analysis of the new release. It goes without saying that we were playing a pre-release build, so additional fixes or changes may yet arrive in the form of day 1 patching.

Table of Contents

The menus look largely the same, but a few extra options have been added to some of them. From accessibility to anti-aliasing options for those not on 4K televisions/monitors, they help bring the game a bit of a step forward versus the original in terms of customisability.

The first thing that should be highlighted is one of the first things you see when you boot up the game, and a first for a Rockstar game. An easily readable, dedicated epilepsy warning before the game starts. Something that used to be shoved into game manuals or fineprints for the longest time – one of quite a few accessibility steps forward that will be talked about in this preview.

Starting out with the Display section, there is now the ability to select between AMD FSR2 and FXAA as anti-aliasing choices regardless of your TV type. This is normally something you would only see on PC, but it seems to be exposed on console.
As observed in Kirsty’s tests on an older TV, the game will upscale from your TV resolution, to 4K using the preferred upscaling/anti-aliasing method. Screenshots taken on those older or lower-resolution TV’s will still come out in 4K resolution, but upscaled, so blurrier.
If you’re on a 4K TV/monitor however, the game will be output at a native 4K and look as sharp as it should, including in screenshots. More on visuals later.

Still in the Display menu, some display accessibility options have been added, such as a motion blur toggle, subtitle scaling, objective scaling and help text scaling. Click to expand each image.

On the controls/config side, the invert camera option is now split between the Y and X axis, you can turn south paw on or off, and even flip R1/R2, and L1/L2.

All the other menus are pretty much what you already know from RDR. Difference being cheats are all unlocked from the get-go should you choose to use them, and, of course, the omission of the Multiplayer menus as it doesn’t exist in this port.

There is also no Social Club menu or integration yet, but there are trophies to unlock via PSN, so we don’t know whether this is a pre-release limitation or if the game won’t have a connection to Social Club so you can see your achievements.
The Trilogy Definitive Editions automatically connected to your Social Club account via PSN, so it might be the same deal here, and you may be able to look at your trophies on the Social Club website regardless.

Gameplay and Visuals

Gameplay is the same good old RDR. There are basically no changes here, as this is a port to more recent platforms and not really a remaster that could change the gameplay in any way, shape, or form. Be the same outlaw you were in 2010, but at higher resolution.

Speaking of resolution – as mentioned earlier, if you’re playing on a 4K TV you’ll get Red Dead Redemption as crisp as it can get, at a native 4K. If you’re on an older TV however, the presentation may be slightly softer, but this is something you may only notice in screenshots or larger but lower resolution TV’s. On those TV’s, screenshots are taken at 4K resolution, but upscaled from 1080p (an example is below) – at least in this build, you can tweak this upscaling by choosing FXAA or AMD FSR 2.

Oddly, those options are also available on 4K TV’s, but they are simply different anti-aliasing choices, there doesn’t seem to be any upscaling going on as both are equally sharp and what seems to be on par with Xbox BC’s native presentation – we’ll leave any applicable pixel counting to the folks at DigitalFoundry. Odd option for a console game, but for those who like FSR’s presentation, they can choose to use it.

You can check out more images below the following two and see for yourself, taken in native 4K – click each to expand to full resolution.

As for the controls, as expected, no major changes to report here, other than the obvious generational difference of the controller in your hands! All controls remain the same across foot and horseback, with the PS4/5 touchpad becoming the “open satchel” function. There is no haptic feedback or any of the PS5-specific features, as this is a PS4 app.


As mentioned before, the build tested is a pre-release build, so there may or may not be a day 1 patch available to fix any issues. Because ports to different platforms aren’t straight-forward and can sometimes cause more issues, there can always be a few kinks.
We haven’t experienced anything major: no crashing, and no falling through the map, or any other similar issues. In this hands-on, we’ve observed:

  • Minor physics glitching such as stationary horses’ front legs moving/flickering.
  • Doors opening before you reach them while sprinting.
  • “loot” function doesn’t consistently show over the entire zombie body in UN – have to manoeuvre multiple times to get it to appear.

We aren’t entirely sure if those or some of those were already in the original game, it’s been a while, so we can’t quite comment on that.

During the week, a 1.02 patch was released for the game, and the build we were initially playing when we received the code was already 1.01, so it’s possible some extra things were fixed that weren’t noticed.


The original RDR release from 2010 was updated over the years with maintenance patches, but some of these patches introduced bugs and glitches that people have been clamouring to get fixed for the longest time. In 2014, the patch that disabled GameSpy support apparently introduced a couple of major bugs that affected especially the Undead Nightmare experience. In this release, as far as we could see, it seems like some of those are fixed.

For instance, toggling the Golden Guns status now functions properly and adds/removes the gold skin from Cattleman Revolver, and all other weapons, as it should.
On the Undead Nightmare side, one of the biggest issues reported by the community since that 2014 patch seems to have been fixed – zombies are no longer headless and you can kill them properly.

There might be more things, but it was slightly difficult to get a comprehensive list of broken things with RDR more than 10 years after the original release, other than some issues introduced in the GameSpy patch.


In a nutshell, Red Dead Redemption on PS4/5 offers a solid 30 FPS performance with some notable bugs from the past now fixed, plus up to 4K resolution if your screen is capable. There’s also some new accessibility options and language support.

Most notable absences, in no particular order, are no 60 FPS support, no photo mode, and no multiplayer.

All in all, this conversion delivers a stable and unproblematic experience compared to 7th generation consoles. It also benefits from the additional technical smoothing and bugfixes compared to the Xbox BC version. The lack of PC attention, and all the bells and whistles of a full remaster or remake, will be regarded as a missed opportunity by the community, but this doesn’t take the experience away from PlayStation and Switch owners with an interest in re-visiting (or playing for the first time) the conclusion of John Marston’s critically acclaimed story and beloved DLC on today’s consoles.