Sometimes a man's got to do what a man's got to do. In my case, that meant spending this weekend geeking the hell out on the Old West. To be specific, Red Dead Redemption ate up a several-hours-long chunk of my life, during which I hunted bounties, herded cattle, busted a bronco or two, and killed the occasional chicken stealing coyote. So far the game has hooked me deeper than Rock Star's previous 100 million dollar open-world epic, GTA IV. Visually, it's quite a lovely homage to the West, and with a full day/night cycle, the atmospheric perspective we're all so used to taking for granted is employed to great effect. As a result, simply drifting around the prairies and canyons on my horse (one of the broncs I personally busted) feels about as right as I could want. Also, the nature of the game world gives a far more intuitive justification for rambunctious behavior than GTA IV was ever able to. There are plenty of gunfights, sure, but they seem a lot more at home in the wild West than randomly running over pedestrians and shooting cops ever did in Liberty City. I haven't spent much time on the multiplayer side of things yet, mostly due to the freezing/hanging issues that have plagued the game here in the early days. I got in one brief session, though, and spent most of that time either riding the noob mount, a burro, or getting shot in the face. Woot.
More Peeps At StarCraft 2
Sometimes it seems like everyone in the world besides myself is in the ongoing StarCraft 2 multiplayer beta. That's OK, though, because I pretty well suck at playing against humans in real-time strategy games, so up until now I've only been paying scant attention to Blizzard's upcoming blockbuster.
However, a few new tidbits have dropped recently and my head has officially been turned. First, the game finally (after 7 years of development, folks) has a release date: July 27. Second, Blizzard has revealed much more of the single-player campaign, and while the multiplayer has seemed very similar to the original, the campaign appears to be a massive upgrade in terms of available units and types of scenario. Finally, they started showing off challenge mode, which is a series of training missions designed to prepare the player for going up against other people. Roll all this up into one game (and hell, why not throw in a little Facebook while you're at it?) and I'm sooooo there.