A Look Back At Red Dead Redemption
The Wild West was home to cowboys, where men would shoot first, ask questions later. An era when horses were a man’s best friend and the open plains beckoned adventure – an era that was beautifully crafted and recreated back in 2010. A game stepped forward and managed to envelop me into the essence of the Wild West, becoming one of my favourite games of this generation. Step forward – Red Dead Redemption.
With Red Dead, Rockstar managed to take the basics of their open world game series, GTA, and transplant it into a vivid masterpiece, with a tight story, which pulls on your emotions with characters that you simply can’t help but fall in love/hate with. For me it was quite the emotional roller coaster with an ending that left a lump in my throat, a tear rolling down one check and shouting “Rockstar you bastards!”
The story’s set in 1911, during the decline of the Wild West. The old ways are fading, with new technology appearing such as automobiles and the far deadlier machine guns! The main character, John Marston, finds himself being ripped from his settled life with his wife and son, to be thrown into the deep end as a bounty hunter for the government. His mission is simple: bring to justice his old gang, lead by outlaw Dutch. With his family taken hostage our hero has little choice but to saddle up and ride…
So begins a journey across the wild plains, with gun fights, poker matches and the odd horse race! With Red Dead, Rockstar managed to give me a new world to explore, with vast horizons and stunning scenery for my eyes to devour. Even the littlest details had me, enticing me to move forward – exploring this new open world. From the eagles flying above me in the beautiful skies full of clouds, to watching the buffalo roam across the plains freely (well until I shot a few for the skins). Even the dust coming off your horse’s hoofs as it canters across the ground was realistic and made you feel like you were there.
As I progressed, I realised that this was something special. The characters were full of little quirks lifting them from the screen; John Marston became like a virtual friend, one that I was willing to help gain his family back. I was beginning to care about how the story unfolded around me, questioning actions of other characters and wanting strongly to destroy others. I even found myself arguing about how on earth Rockstar allowed some events to occur, whilst with others I found myself silenced, waiting,holding my breath until events unfolded in other directions.
Then we have the music, the eternal sound track. Red Dead has got to have one of the best sound tracks in any game. Never has a game’s musical score hit me on an emotional level like this! A perfect example is when you cross the river into Mexico. Mounting your steed, you begin to trot to the next location – an acoustic guitar beings playing, a soft gravelly country voice begins to sing. Before I knew it instead of galloping, I’d slowed to a canter, letting the words of the song sink in.
Taking in the beautifully crafted canyons, simply letting the atmosphere take over! It was an incredible feeling, one that has remained with me ever since I originally played the game two years ago. Not many games have ever managed to get me on a really high emotional level, Red Dead achieved this and more; a game, which will always be one of my favourites of this and any generation. I tip my Stetson in Rockstars direction – and if you haven’t played this yet – saddle up and go grab a copy…