Currently reading: True Gaming Perfection: Red Dead Redemption
True Gaming Perfection: Red Dead Redemption
Posted on 16th October, 2017 - By Daniel Hezzlewood
My Call to the West
What I’m sure you’ve realised, if you’ve read any of my other articles, is that my list of “favourite games” seems to be never ending. Well Red Dead Redemption is also on that list, and for good reason. Growing up watching the legendary Clint Eastwood portray the ultimate Gunslinger in American/Spaghetti Westerns like: “Pale Rider,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “A Fist Full of Dollars,” and of course; “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” I always had an affection for Western movies.
From a young age, I’ve had hopes of one day playing a true Western game – and having completely missed the fact that “Red Dead Revolver” even existed, I first got to play a Western-themed action/adventure game in 2005, with Neversoft’s “Gun.” Now, although “Gun” was a great game, it didn’t quite hit the spot. So when one of my favourite developers “Rockstar Games” announced that “Red Dead Redemption” was coming in 2010, I thought; “Wow! Grand Theft Auto… With horses.”
“Red Dead Redemption” was exactly what I wanted it to be, and it blew me away – as I’m sure it did for so many of you. I was so excited to finally be able to don that iconic duster coat, have a .44 in my holster and a hat on my head; I couldn’t wait to take off on the back of my trusty steed and experience the “Wild West” nature of the American Frontier.
Red Dead Redemption is set at the turn of the 20th century, 1911. Our story takes place as the growing and corrupting reach of Government slowly begins to take over the rampant lawlessness of the “Wild West.” Our protagonist “John Marston” – a former outlaw turned family man, is blackmailed by a group of Government agents. They’ve kidnapped his Wife and Son in order to ensure he tracks down and kills his two former gang members: Bill Williamson, and Javier Escuella and their leader: Dutch Van-Der-Linde.
So begins an amazing adventure that will satisfy every Western fantasy you might have. From the gritty, dark realism of the wild west, to the laughable lunacy only “Rockstar Games” could come up with – “Red Dead Redemption” has it all.
There’s so much to explore; from quaint frontier Towns and Ranches, huge plains of harsh desert-like wilderness or Mexico, to the unforgiving, perilous mountain pass’. Each of which is filled with an exciting range of distractions and side quests.
From rescuing damsels in distress:
To awesome shootouts with other renegade outlaws:
Exploring the beautiful scenery of America and Mexico:
Picking pretty flowers for an old man to give to his wife. Aww, isn’t that sweet? Ahem, correction – an old man’s dead, decomposing wife.
After spending his youth as a member of Dutch‘s Gang, you might think his soul is beyond redemption. But after falling in love with another member of the Gang, Abigail, he is now a man determined to live a simple, peaceful life… No matter the cost. As we join John on his epic adventure, we learn that he’s doing his best to turn away from his previous life of crime and debauchery, in order to be there for his family and live a simple life.
In Abigail‘s early life, she, like John, spent most of her youth as a member of Dutch‘s Gang. However, their roles in the gang were completely different. Abigail was a prostitute and she would lay with every member of the gang, as often as they’d like. Abigail retained that role until she and John fled the gang after John was abandoned, and left for dead.
Jack Marston is John and Abigail‘s Son, and the secondary protagonist in Red Dead Redemption (playable after John‘s death). As a young boy, Jack would often escape the boring ranch life. He stayed innocent for a long time, despite his family being criminals. That is until his father’s death, at the end of the main game. After the credits role, the player takes control of Jack. It’s at this point, we see Jack has changed. He has his own mission – to avenge the death of his father, by killing Edgar Ross.
The leader of the gang and a ruthless man. Dutch is definitely a man with whom you don’t want to cross paths. Although he’s seen as a villain, he’s not all that bad. At least, not when you look at him in a certain light. After all, he wants to bring change to the world and make a difference. He was also a father figure to John, and cares about him… in his own, twisted way. It’s just his flawed ideology that’s the issue for most people.
Bill is one of the first primary antagonists you meet in Red Dead Redemption, but he’s no match for our beloved gunslinger. After Dutch decided to go into early retirement and abandon his gang, Bill formed his own gang. At the start of the game, John is on his way to Fort Mercer in order to kill his old brother in arms. He’s not very intelligent, even for a thug in the 100’s, but that’s not to say you should underestimate him, After all, he does seriously wound John at the start of the game.
This guy is a sleazy character in general and a decent adversary for John. He’s savvy and doesn’t care much for the safety of others, unlike our gunslinger. Javier considers himself a very clever and tricky individual. However, he too falls short of John. At the end of his storyline, the player is given a choice in how to deal with Javier. You can choose to either kill Javier, or turn him over to the Mexican authorities. Personally, I’d say that death is nice a punishment for this man’s crimes.
A Corrupt Government Agent…
Don’t let this man’s fancy suit and bowler hat trick you, he’s a formidable opponent. Edgar Ross is the main antagonist in Red Dead Redemption. He’s clever and manipulative, and he doesn’t care about who he hurts in order to get his way. Throughout the course of the game, there are several instances where this F.B.I agent pushes John to commit acts he disagrees with. But don’t worry, he get’s what’s coming to him at the end of the game.
The multiplayer in Red Dead Redemption isn’t exactly perfect, but it sure is fun. In fact, I have some great memories of playing online with two other members of GoneFullGeek… Long before we became GoneFullGeek. Just one of the memories worth mentioning has to be our dismal attempts at racing. We’d all agree on a destination, then we’d try to race there on horseback and see who could get there first. However, Macky usually had other ideas when it came to racing. We’d all be there, myself, my brother and Macky. The tiny, deranged nut-job.
We’d begin the race the way all races begin, with a countdown. “Three… Two… One… BANG!” Now, that bang isn’t the sound of a starting gun… Well, not the correct kind, at least. That was the sound of Macky‘s shotgun blowing my horse’s head off. That was normally followed be several minutes of laughter, before I’d get my revenge.
The were multiple DLC releases for Red Dead Redemption, but my favourite is the Undead Nightmare expansion. The undead theme is just perfect in the western setting. I’m hoping that Rockstar Games do something similar with Red Dead Redemption 2.
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare felt like a lot more than just DLC. It gives you the entire map of Red Dead Redemption. Along with that, it gave you a whole new apocalyptic story, additional cosmetic options and two new multiplayer modes. The official synopsis for the Undead Nightmare DLC is:
“When former outlaw John Marston wakes up at his farmhouse, he finds a world gone insane: overnight, deranged hordes have overrun the towns and outposts of the American frontier. In a desperate attempt to save his family, Marston must traverse a world torn apart by chaos and disorder, using every skill he has to survive long enough to find a cure.”
Before I buy Red Dead Redemption 2, I have to go back and replay Red Dead Redemption to recapture its magic.
Comment below if you loved Red Dead Redemption, and tell us what you want to see in Red Dead Redemption 2.