For a few years, I’ve seen people basically gushing about Red Dead Redemption and how it’s a game of the generation contender. Yet, for the life of me, I don’t know why.
Let me start over.
I was excited for Red Dead Redemption. I went into Red Dead Revolver after picking it up second-hand in about 2006/2007, thinking this was the GTA equivalent of a western and not knowing this was just a shooter that was originally being developed by Capcom. But there was no mistaking second time round, Redemption was as open-world as it got and I was excited.
Then it released. And I felt underwhelmed by it, even disappointed of what I’ve played of it. I’ve tried going back several times since to see if there’s something missing that I just don’t get that everybody else did when it first played it. Needless to say, I’m stumped. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the game is shit by any means, let me be clear here. Credit where credit is due to Rockstar San Diego at least for having some massive ambitions with the game. And it’s a game, whether you like it or not, that doesn’t come half-full. It’s not Rockstar’s style to do things half-baked, after all.
But every time I play it again, I just find myself completely uninterested in it and not willed on to go further in the game. In fact, I seem to recollect a conversation on Facebook a while back with an unnamed peer on something similar in regards to another Rockstar title that was also released this generation, Grand Theft Auto IV (which, in the most opposite way to how I feel with Red Dead Redemption, is brilliant and one of my games of the generation).
It seems odd because, really, I should really love Redemption. After all, I own a good majority of Rockstar’s output this generation: I have a massive hard-on for Grand Theft Auto IV and its DLC, plus I really liked LA Noire and Max Payne 3. I even own the HD version of Bully that came out before GTA IV (by the way, still awesome that game). And it goes without saying, but I am massively looking forward to Grand Theft Auto V. So why has there not been something not clicking in me in regards to Red Dead Redemption?
I want to like it. I really want to like it. So here I am. As part of clearing my backlog ahead of the oncoming next-gen storm, I’m gonna give it one last shot to see if I can finally click with the game. Or at least finish it. I’ve been meaning to do this for about a week or so, but a Twitter conversation from yesterday has finally spurred me into action.
I’ve decided that I’m going to write diaries on my encounters within the world of Red Dead Redemption during my playthrough, talk about my feelings on particular aspects of the game and thensome. I tried this earlier this year with Dark Souls, but that didn’t get far, did it? Will I finally get why people think this game is the second coming? I don’t know, but I’m hoping by the end of the game, I’ll have a newfound respect for the game at the very least.
I started a new save last night and only a couple of missions in on the Xbox 360 version (note: I bought the PS3 version at launch, but I lost it somehow and subsequently picked up the 360 version second-hand about a couple of months later). I’ve just finished breaking in horses for Bonnie MacFarlene and I’m about to meet West Dickens for the first time in the game.
Lets see how this goes, shall we?