Currently Playing: RDR

Stay tuned, folks, because we’ll be announcing our next show soon (2/2/13, but you didn’t hear it from me). In the meantime, I thought I’d try to start an intermittent series on what I’ve been playing (or reading, because I have thoughts about Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye).

So, I bought Red Dead Redemption a long time ago. A really long time ago, but I just recently started to play it. I had been letting other games jump it in the queue because I wanted to play it on a TV that did the western landscapes justice. I finally got that  TV (in my first ever black Friday deal shopping), so I popped the game in a few weeks ago.

It’s little more than Grand Theft Horsey. but that’s to be expected. Rockstar uses the same tools they employ in the GTA franchise to craft the wild west world of Red Dead Redemption. The one problem I have with the game is that at times it feels like a checklist of “Western tropes we need to cram into this game.” I think the story suffers, which is clearly a priority for Rockstar in RDR.

This was most obvious when I found myself dueling a guy over a card game. I’m still not sure why they introduced me to some German guy, and then told me to me shoot him after he accused me of cheating.

Speaking of, the games of chance in RDR are mildly confusing. Money has never been an important resource in Rockstar games because one is rarely presented with budget issues. How come the poker games are limited to dimes and quarter hands? It seems like a gigantic waste of time, especially when one could be playing real games of chance like FoxyBingo. Assuming one is of legal age, you’d think anyone interested in playing poker online would not spend their time playing it for minimal stakes inside a video game that’s really about something else entirely. There’s plenty of sites that specialize in such activities, and if a person wants to spend a few hours a week playing Bingo or Texas Hold ‘Em, they’d go to a site that focuses on that experience instead of a Western styled sandbox.

Rockstar needs to include things like this in their games to make it feel like the wild west, but I wish it was done a little differently. Regardless, the game has been a lot of fun, and the game is simply beautiful. I’m glad I waited to finally give it a play.

Also, I might have watched this during dinner.