Is the Western the Most Under-Realized Genre in Video Gaming, Ever?
What, only like 3 developers ever thought a gun-slingin’ old-style western was a good idea? Really?
After playing some Red Dead Redemption and practically cutting my fingers off during the morbidly dangerous game of Five-Finger Fillet, I realized I had never played a western game before and that this was beautiful.
The deserted flats and canyons, tumbleweeds and Saguaro cati, the dust and vast expanse of the “wild” west. What a gorgeous game this is, really! It is such a fantastic rendition of the classic western environment that sucks you in and won’t let you go.
It’s the treeless villages, the wooden sidewalk planks, the saloons, the lonely railroad tracks and the roaring steam whistle as the train comes barreling into town. It’s the horses, the rifles, the wanted posters. It’s the women in their dresses, at home taking care of the kids and making food, their husbands out up to no good, hitting on prostitutes and gambling. It’s the almost out-of-place power lines, the dull glow of ancient incandescent lightbulbs….
Did I mention how bad-ass the main character is? Holy crap, this is one bad-mutha you do not want to mess with. He even runs like an incredibly macho, tough dude who’s jeans are way too tight. How often is it in a game that you notice a detail like how a guy runs embodies his personality? Rockstar hit this tiny detail out of the park, or should I say, picked off the rattlesnake from fifty yards out.
I found myself wondering: why have such few developers tackled this or bothered to put so much effort into the detail? Aside from Redemption’s predecessor, Red Dead Revolver, the western genre remains largely untouched despite seemingly limitless potential for awesomeness and total badassery. Unlike Revolver, the hype and excitement surrounding Redemption would make you think nobody has ever made a western game, ever.
So keep makin’ them! Rockstar has the right idea with this game and hopefully we see this explored a little more. The acting out of a total fantasy to me, is far more appealing than the “realism” modern shooting games and even other Rockstar games like GTA try to emulate.
I’m off to go lasoo some bandits and drag their sorry spurs to the Sheriff.