John Marston walks a lonely road. It’s the only one that he has ever known (except for that period of time he was with a gang). He’s not quite sure where it goes, but it’s home to him and he’ll walk alone. Did I just steal the opening verse from that terrible Green Day song and apply it to a video game character? Yeah, so? YEAH, SO!?
Red Dead Redemption is shaping up to be so much more than Grand Theft Auto in the old west. It’s set to redefine the open-world concept:
The first official trailer dropped on May 6th of last year, and it quickly became clear that Rockstar was once again pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to achieve with gameplay. They’ve taken the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) and NaturalMotion’s Euphoria engine to create the vast landscape upon which the game is built. Creating a city filled with buildings and cars is one thing. A sprawling, natural environment that can be fully explored is a different ballgame. They didn’t stop with rolling hills and luscious trees, either. They included an entire ecosystem of animals and random encounters that play out independently of the player.
Based on what I’ve read, the game throws you into the end of the western age to do one thing: whatever the hell you want. Yes, there is a story, but it’s not the main focus. True enjoyment will come from exploring the huge world Rockstar has graciously given us.
This month Rockstar released several new videos. They can be viewed here along with all the other Red Dead Redemption videos. The more I watch, the more excitement I can feel brewing inside me. It’s almost as if I’m impatiently waiting for April 27th to roll around so I can pick my pre-order up from Best Buy.
Open-world games have long been among my favorites, and I’m a hug fan of Rockstar. I don’t care that a lot of people didn’t like GTA IV, I thought it was fantastic. I also really enjoyed Bully: Scholarship Edition, which if you haven’t played it, is a creative romp through private school.
Knowing everything I can about Red Dead Redemption has become my life’s goal. Okay, not quite, but close. I just can’t get enough information about a game which promises to push limits I didn’t even know existed. IGN’s week of articles only fueled my lust to traverse the wild west.
As with any game, there are nay-sayers, but I choose to remain optimistic. Luckily I have Mass Effect 2 and soon God of War III to keep me busy in the interim. Otherwise I would just die, maybe.
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