Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Thoughts on "Red Dead Redemption", End

(Continued from Part 3...)

Cause Avenging an Asshole is Cathartic
            You are now playing as John's son, who much like the dead uncle is a boring and annoying character who is defined mostly as being a wimp and a fool.  The game fast forwards to him being a weary and angry adult.  John's wife then dies off camera years after John's death, and the Son now goes out for vengeance.
            The Son finds and murders the Government Agent which tasked John with finding the gang.  The government agent who ultimately betrayed and killed John.  Here is the problem: that agent was totally right in what he did and was acting with legal authority.
            The Son is just a murderer, plain and simple.  This is not a good message to go out on.  It is basically saying that Justice is a lie and that violence is the ultimate authority.  If the Son had instead talked with and ultimately forgiven the Agent for doing what he did, in so doing bringing an end to the cycle of violence then the ending would have been more hopeful though sad and hard.  Instead the game wraps on the weakest and darkest of all three possible endings.
Also, the Son is just not as interesting.
Final Thoughts
            I don't really like this game, and by the end felt like I was doing a chore.  It doesn't help that Redemption is incredibly long and linear.  Its length is not in gameplay either but in padded world crossing.  You will ride a horse for hours and hours from one map marker to the next and deciding which to do first or last will have little if any impact on how the story unfolds.  It is spread so wide and thin.
            You have a series of missions which run you across vast empty expanses on a slow moving horse, back and forth.  Once you finish the missions in an area you are shuffled to a new area, in which you go back and forth completing missions, going from place to place on a slow moving horse.  At a point I just wanted to go from mission to mission and finish the game, I dreaded having to cross the Mexican desert AGAIN, for the sake of doing a mission that I thought was stupid to help a group of people I disliked on what seemed like an entirely unnecessary side quest.
            Here is a crazy thought, why didn't they just have three protagonists.  John hunts Bill.  Another guy (there is a perfect candidate for this in the game too, a retired gunfighter who teaches John how to perfect his quick draw technique, an event which happens so far into the game it is insulting) fights the Mexican Revolution.  And a third guy is a government agent (again, there are candidates in the game) fights Dutch and the Indians.  You wouldn't have to shoehorn in John into a bunch of places he has no business being, and he doesn't have to interact with people he has no business suffering.
            I imagine this thought occurred to Rockstar studios, the makers of the game.  Their latest soon to be out game, "Grand Theft Auto V" has three different protagonists in it, with stories that weave in and out of each other.  That sounds like a good fix.

Also driving through a city is just more interesting than riding a horse through a desert.

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