the west


V.19 No.20 |

Video Games

What Did You Play This Weekend?

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.