Monday, September 19, 2011

Red Dead Ruminations: Overview

I wasn’t supposed to play Red Dead Redemption.

That’s the feeling I have after finishing it a few months ago, and after many instances where I almost gave up on playing the game because of circumstances (mostly beyond my control) that tried to ruin my experience with it. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the game -- quite the opposite, actually -- but, for whatever reason, various things tried to get in the way of what should have otherwise been an awesome time. Anyway, I’m past that somewhat bizarre mish-mash of extremely positive moments and strange, negative situations, so now it is time to actually talk about my time with Rockstar’s Western epic.

In my preview of the game I mentioned the fact that before Red Dead Redemption, I hadn’t experienced anything in or related to the Western genre, and that I was using the game as my first foray into this unfamiliar territory. Sure, I had heard plenty over the years about the genre and had a fair idea of what made a Western a Western, but it was still interesting to head into the game with no preconceptions about what to expect or how I should be feeling. Not only that, I wasn’t sure whether I would actually like the genre, so I looked forward to using the game to satisfy my personal curiosity.

Now that I have played it, I have a fair bit to say and this series will cover everything that came to mind during my time with the game. While originally I was playing it when everyone else was, I stopped after just a short time due to an unfortunate spoiler that essentially rendered the game, particularly its story, meaningless and irrelevant (one of the aforementioned instances that nearly ruined my enjoyment of the overall experience). The spoiler was so strong that it turned me off the game and it has only been recently, months after release that I was finally able to return to it.

It has been incredibly interesting experiencing my very first Western. There have been some great moments and some unfortunate ones, some things that have captured my attention and others that I found utterly boring. All in all I recognise Red Dead Redemption for the great game that it is and firmly believe that it deserves all the praise and respect it continues to receive, but it isn’t perfect (what game is?) either, and I’ll discuss both my positive and negative responses to the game over the next few posts. I hope you’ll enjoy what I have to say about something that was so new to me.


Gaming in Public said...

The game was almost a perfect 10 but I was also pissed at the ending of the game. I could have gone for 100% but I just gave up after the horrible fetch quest stuff at the end.

The multiplayer is actually really enjoyable, I was really surprised by the free roam aspect of it all. The matches is where all the experience was not as fun as the free roam posse aspect.

I suggest getting the DLC in one lump sum package if you really enjoyed the game. Undead Nightmare is great single player experince and you get the added bonus of all the other DLC with poker, horse racing, and dice.

Steven O'Dell said...

Gaming in Public -- Which fetch quest stuff at the end? I'm not sure I follow what you're talking about -- perhaps because the ending is so vague, depending on its context.

I definitely plan on getting my hands on Undead Nightmare at some point but, like a few other significant pieces of DLC (such as some of Mass Effect 2's content), I just haven't gotten around to it yet, unfortunately. I won't miss out on it, though, as I'm eager to see just how different a zombie invasion is to the main, arguably maturely-focused, campaign.

And, much to my dismay, I haven't had the pleasure of dabbling in Red Dead Redemption's multiplayer.

Gaming in Public said...

Well without giving away to many spoilers when I said "fetch quests" John Marston shows his son how to hunt, and skinning animals ones towards the end. It was a good two hours that I felt I did not need to play due to the end of the game (cough, cough). It just felt a little like filler.

Steven O'Dell said...

Gaming in Public -- Interesting. I actually disagree, and think the "downtime" of those missions (if you will) made the actual proper ending more impactful. I can understand why you feel that way, but personally I thought they added to the way the third act overall took place.

If you're interested, I'll have a post about the game's conclusion as the Red Dead Ruminations series continues.