Monday, September 27, 2010

Thoughts / Red Dead Redemption

When I was younger I would have never looked twice at any game from Rockstar. Nowadays, I find myself playing all sorts of genres including the likes of Red Dead Redemption. I heard so much hype about RDR, I also did enjoy the last few Grand Theft Auto entries, so I thought "Hey, I've never really played a game that takes place in the wild west, why not give it a try?" So far, Red Dead Redemption is easily my nomination for Game Of The Year.

Red Dead Redemption is an excellent open-world action game. Really awesome story, amazing visuals for a multi-platform game (I played on Playstation 3) and some great online multiplayer as well. There is always so much to do and it's one of the few games I'm trying to platinum. I think I can do it, although the last handful of trophies are proving difficult for me, but the elusive platinum trophy is within my grasp.

I'll get my slight gripes out of the way first. They aren't actually problems I have with the game really, probably just my personal preferences. After a good 20 hours of playing I got tired of just shooting people and riding horses. I know that goes with the wild west theme and all that, but I can still be allowed to get tired of it. I let my cousin borrow the game for about a month or so before I could properly finish the game, and when it was returned to me, I was dying to get back into it. So that worked out well.

Probably my favorite aspect of RDR is the RPG elements, which I'll probably end up saying about every game I play. If it has decent RPG type elements then I'll probably enjoy the game at least a little bit. Probably. in RDR you get a lot of different types of equipment with varying stats. A handful of pistols, rifles and shotguns. As well as throwing knifes, dynamite, and a sniper rifle. They all have varying reload speeds, range, damage, etc. It's quite satisfying to pick out a pistol for the situation, a situation that you're about to cause, and just blow people away. Or go in and save everyone, depending on how you built up your fame and honor.

Fame and honor, nothing new to video games, is done really well in RDR. The more you accomplish, the more famous you become. You can also be either good or bad depending on your actions. Therefore, you can end up being a famous bandit-type character, or a famous hero-type character. I went the hero-type way to start, but lately I've thrown on my bandit scarf and caused some serious havoc. Robbing shops and banks, mugging people, and kidnapping women to name just a few of the evil deeds I've tried. I'm having a hard time sticking to it though, I genuinely feel awful when I murder someone. I think that speaks for itself how great of a game this is when you actually feel emotion towards random NPC's.

I absolutely love how the online is implemented. The entire world is available to play with friends, or strangers. You can play in co-op missions or competitive missions, whatever floats your boat. There are plenty of unlockables including weapons and mounts, as well as titles to use that show up under your name. My favorite thing to do is rack up a decent bounty online by killing officers and the like, then watch as real players come after you for the reward money. It's easily more fun with friends in a combined "posse". You find a saloon and try to hold your ground as you watch all the players try to get in to claim the reward by killing you dead.

I'm currently looking forward to this upcoming zombie related DLC. I skipped the last paid DLC, mostly because my cousin had my RDR at the time, but also because it didn't seem all that interesting. Adding zombies to RDR? That sounds interesting to me. The upcoming DLC plans to add that. Some people may find it just plain wrong to add zombies into a wild western themed game, but since it's optional paid DLC, I think it fits in just fine. It will keep the game fresh for me at the very least.

Red Dead Redemption will no doubt be a Game Of The Year contender when the time comes to give out that honor. It really surprised me because I was assuming it was simply going to be Grand Theft Auto on a horse. There is so much more going on under the hood when compared to Rockstar's previous efforts. Personally, I would much rather see the next Grand Theft Auto reflect all that Red Dead Redemption has to offer. What did you think of Red Dead Redemption? Is it GOTY worthy?