Saturday, April 24, 2010

Preview Power: Red Dead Redemption

[Part of a series of smaller posts that I'll be doing about various upcoming games. I don't jump on board the hype train too often, but when I do I like to think that there's a pretty significant reason for why, and in this series I will attempt to explain my anticipation.]

Excitement for upcoming releases varies between all of us, with certain genres or types of games piquing our curiosity depending on what we have played before. Throw in the power of the hype train -- its almost infectious ability to instill in our minds a desire for a particular game -- and it’s little to no wonder that the majority of our attention is always looking ahead, always looking forward for the next big release. I will be the first to admit that I’m quite ambivalent to this constant focus towards the future, its grip on our mentalities preventing us from appreciating what we already have, but even I can’t deny the fact that I look forward to the next game almost as much as most people do. Like everyone, I have particular games that take my fancy when announced and throughout the course of their development I keep a strong eye on how its faring, what new additions have been revealed and then, of course, I get it when it finally releases. Honestly I don’t think it’s possible to ignore this phenomenon completely, even if we may want to, so I allow myself to do it but at a more relaxed, slower pace. This allows me to focus on the games I do have, return to ones I thoroughly enjoyed and would like to experience again, and also try out some games I may not have otherwise considered. I haven’t found the right balance yet, and believe it or not, I’m still slightly overwhelmed from the massive onslaught of games I got in 2008, but overall I’m enjoying and ultimately preferring this approach to my gaming. That said, there are a few games due for release in 2010 that I’m eager to get my hands on, and this series will briefly elaborate on why. It begins with Red Dead Redemption.

If you have been reading this blog for a while you would know that I’m quite a fan of Rockstar’s games, with each one that I’ve played -- from all of their studios -- entertaining me in ways that no others can. Red Dead Redemption looks to be no different, and the various preview videos they have released in the lead up to the game’s release next month have shown me some of the fun and interesting things I’ll be able to get up to. A popular one was the reveal of the game’s multiplayer, which does look like it will be a blast but it’s not my main reason for wanting to play. Instead, my main reason for wanting to play is just to exist in the world they have created. It’s no secret that I enjoy being immersed in the worlds (or spaces) of various games and this one looks like it will be one of the most immersive and compelling yet. I’m interested in it thematically -- I’ve never really had a look at the Western genre in film and it’s still a mostly untapped market in gaming -- so I’m curious as to whether life in the wild west will be interesting to me or not, but I’m also interested to see what Rockstar have achieved with it technically. After the still awe-inspiring GTA IV, I can’t wait to see the size of this sprawling, vast expanse of land and how they have populated it with towns, people, flora, fauna and whatever else besides. It’s not as dense as Liberty City was, so it will be interesting to see if this means an emptier space or one that is packed, but in a different way. Perhaps it will be similar to Fallout 3, with a big stretch of land filled with small and intriguing distractions, with bigger towns and maybe even small cities to visit as well.

Whatever the case, I’m expecting yet another big game that I’ll be playing for months as opposed to days, and I look forward to exploring every nook and cranny and just being in this massive world Rockstar have created. Told you these posts would be brief (compared to some of my other stuff); next up, Mafia II.

No comments: