Standing on a run away train.

rdr 5

I’ve only crossed the border into Mexico once before in one of my attempts to get back into Red Dead Redemption before this current one. When this happened in the last proper playthrough I had with the game, I thought this was it. This was when Red Dead Redemption clicked. Truth was, as I later realised, it didn’t.

In hindsight, it only ‘clicked’ because, in the most stupid reason ever, I had finally heard Jose Gonzalez’s Far Away in-game. Beforehand, I had only heard it through a performance of the song for the first time at the Video Game Awards 2010, which actually made me rather fond of the song then and there. It’s quite the nice song, but hearing it in-game, it made me lose focus. I cared about the song, which is fair enough. But this time, I tried to pay attention to the details when coming into Mexico. I’m glad I did.

When I finally got on my horse and Far Away started playing, any other ambient noise was faded out. The clopping of horse shoes as I raced across the land; the encouragement of John Marston on the horse; the surrounding wildlife like wolves, cougars and the like; strangers in need of help for whatever reason all turned down as Far Away plays. And that little detail was a bit of genius from Rockstar.

More so was looking at the world from afar, silenced whilst Jose Gonzalez was playing in the background. And on the horizon, Chuparosa, as I head towards my first mission with De Santa in Escalera. In my Twitter conversation noted yesterday, I said that the world was one of the reasons why I couldn’t really get on with the game. But since starting this playthrough, I’ve paid closer attention to the details, both in New Austin and Mexico, compared to before. And I think now I got it. Not the game itself: I don’t want to make that exact judgement – if at all – before I finish the game.

But it seems, even at what still feels like an early stage of the game, I’ve clicked with the world of Red Dead Redemption after three years. And how I wish I had done so earlier in previous attempts of playing the game by ‘paying attention to the details’. What a world it is. Whether I’ll click with the remainder of the game is another different matter. For now, it’s progress. It seems after all this time, there might be hope just yet for Red Dead Redemption.

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