Monday, December 8, 2014

Lately I've become obsessed with Red Dead Redemption

It started out simply, as with every other game I've played on the PS3 for the last few years, I finished the previous game, decide on which to start next and then work at it two hours a week (Saturday and Sunday), for as many weeks as it takes to finish.

To be fair, I've always had a harder time with sandbox-style games (or emersive games as my "Understanding Video Games" course taught me), where you can do all sorts of side missions, explorations, and also buy new outfits, weapons, etc. (or play dress-up, as my wife calls it).  Basically, it's just so easy to say, "5 for minutes and this side mission is complete!", only to discover that your five minutes has stretched into 95 minutes.

Like last night in my latest obsession, Red Dead Redemption (2010), which allows you to play the role of John Marston, who in 1911 visits the western United States to complete some unfinished business.

Last night I decided to do a quick side mission, wherein I would help an old-timer put together a bouquet of flowers for his wife's birthday, only to find the task involved travelling to the far corners of the game map and getting into a pretty significant shoot-out.  But in the end the story (sorry for the mild four-year-old spoiler) ended up being a reference to Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily", so I found yet again, another place in my video-game playing life where high school English turned out to be pretty useful.

At this point I'm about a third of the way through the game, and I'm digging it a lot - the mechanics are pretty great, the setting is incredibly well done, and the story is a lot of fun.  In the past I've played previous RockStar games like L.A. Noire and some of the Grand Theft Auto series, but this has been a great find.

Maybe I'll play for a little bit tonight, you know, just for a quick side-mission...

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