Saturday, 5 June 2010

"I Will Turn This Place Into The Fricking Wild Bunch"

The One Where I Mourn The Loss Of A Horse, And Tell You How The West Was Won

Dad's always been more into Cowboys and Indians, than I have. His Dad before that. It's a generation thing. I have no doubt. That means that it's unlikely that Ethan will have much of an interest. It was just another time.
I said to Mrs T, that I can't get my head around the fact that this all happened as little as 100 odd years ago. Remote. Travel by horse back. Duels.

That's the biggest success of this game, for me. It's transported me. You can argue all day whether it's a GTA beater. It's irrelevant. They are one and the same game, in many ways. The pace is different, sure. But the principle is the same.

What I found here, that I never found in GTA, is an attachment. The game moves on, and puts you through so much, that I felt a genuine attachment to my character. And certainly a camaraderie with my colleagues.

On day one... I drowned my horse. Now, you can whistle for another one, but in theory, you still killed a horse.

On day two... I shot my horse. Accidentally, trying to take out a bunch of outlaws. As it lay there, in the aftermath... I felt something. Now, I won't make out this is profound, or anything - but, I struggle to think of the last time a game made me feel anything. Certainly in that way.

On day three, short of cash, I shot my horse in the face. On purpose. I skinned him, and sold the meat, and the skin.

The game lets you do that. It also lets you sell to different people, in different countries - meaning the price may change, depending on the value it has.

I really enjoyed Heavy Rain, and it's idea of creating choices for a character. Red Dead destroys that. Here, you can make so many decisions, it's mind boggling.

@TheMonkey1976 tells me how he just hunts. No missions. Just hunts. I can totally understand that.

Me? I'm all about the Gatling gun. Be it during a train chase, or on top of a fort. The animation as you cut someones horse in half is incredible. The AI, for what it is, is immense. I've seen people take cover behind a strewn horse. I've seen people "play dead". I've seen Bears scare the crap out of me, while I hunt with my Indian friend. I've seen things you wouldn't believe.

When you get on a train, or stage coach - and you're not robbing either - you can view the journey as a passenger. It's hard not too. To take it all in, and just be of another time.

Gray has told some good stories about his encounters, and they manage to feel random. Off rails. As much as I love Uncharted 2... it's rails all the way. Go here. Do that. Modern warfare single player is the same.

In fact, I'd say this game makes both of those look pretty inept. Certainly in sense of scale. How can I be happy to ever just play a Team Death Match again? On a tiny map? I want to ride across America, and discover new types of species. I want to get on a raft and go across to Mexico - and put on a poncho.

I do love UC2, but just when I needed more of that, RDR gave it to me. Climbing snowy mountains, only to be ravaged by a bear. I kept going, "best mission yet". Over, and over.

On my ride to the snowy mountain, I had passed a Buffalo stampede. It's hard to not just stop, and stare. This world, beautifully created. Amazingly well realized.

The fact I got this game for £39.99 makes me totally re-assess how I view money. The week before I got 5 MW2 maps, which I've not touched, for £12.99. In two weeks, I'll probably get some more. For the same price. Or not.

Maybe this is where I say, no. Red Dead has DLC coming in a few weeks... and it's free. Co-Op missions. Free.

I'm not sure I understand that. Maybe I'm just of another time. You know what? I'm OK with it.

About the clips? There were hundreds more I could've used. Maybe I'm into Westerns more than I realised. And you know what? I'm OK with that, too.

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