Sunday, July 18, 2010

Red Dead Reprobates: The Slaughter Gang Rides Again

If you have noticed a lack of blog content lately, despite my having a week without the wife and kid, lay the blame firmly at the feet of Red Dead Redemption, which has sucked me into some sort of sexy, improbable time vortex with a kick ass grainy filter.

The game's presentation is exquisite, with all the requisite homework done. There is a convenient travel feature that allows you to skip from destination to destination without riding through all the territory in between, but in my playthrough of story mode I almost never used it, because there is just too much awesome shit to see and do between towns. My first journey from one town to another involved a hunting trip that became the world's largest deer massacre, a lynching that I failed to prevent, and some jerk ass smacking me off my horse and trying to ride away with it. The story is woven seamlessly in with the mechanics.

I honestly pored over this game with a fine toothed comb looking for something to complain about, and came up with two things.

Number one, there is almost too much dialogue. Some of the cut scenes go on and on. I can tell they do this to give the supporting characters some depth, but really I think you spend too much time sitting on your ass listening to people you don't care about talk about their feelings. However, I seldom skipped one either-the game was too immersive and by the end I had a surprising amount invested emotionally into these supporting cast members. My favorite is Seth the grave robber.

There are also a few points where the music just bursts in, occasionally with lyrics and in at least one case in the form of a soft rock emo number that totally shattered the aforementioned deep immersion while I was rampaging through mexico killing anything that looked at me funny.

But on the whole my impression was fantastic, and the game was good from start to finish. More of my friends are getting it and we are about to seriously crack open the multiplayer, which we have only dabbled in before. Just the multiplayer lobby is so much fun its painful, though-the game sort of defaults to a free roam slaughter fest while you wait around for a match, and is definitely a good fix to the broken GTA4 matchmaking system-or should I say wait around a lobby for two fucking hours system, as no matches were or ever will be made with it.

I'm feeling a powerful lust for a lever action carbine with a matching revolver in .357 magnum though. I need to stop playing this game before I add another freaking caliber to my ammo stockpile.

Then again, I already have the hat....

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