I was pretty stoked for Read Dead Redemption.The setting had been pitched perfectly, and I was suitably enthusiastic for another Rockstar action game that successfully balanced combat and character design. Red Dead quenches my thirst for engrossing narrative. It is, glitches aside, a pleasure to explore. For some reason however, somewhere along the line, Red Dead Redemption became a grind to play.
It's hard to pinpoint.It most probably lies in the repetitive sincerity of each character. There is sparse humour here, no solace from the convoluted politics of the Mexican Civil War or the interference of the American Government. Every time a new character is introduced I am subjected to John Marston's cagey repetitive explanation of the men he is hunting and how "he used to ride in a gang". At some point the landscape stops being stunning and becomes barren. I suspect I have now reached that point. I'm currently playing the game by pressing A to skip to destination so I don't have to listen to the dreary monotony of voice actor X tell me why my current mission is so important, especially when I feel press-ganged into accepting it in the first place. At this point i'm only sticking with the game to get to the ending, which is apparently pretty awesome.
For a game that has the unique selling point of offering an entire wilderness to explore, I seem to miss most of it by teleporting between campfires.
It's something I can't quite understand because Red Dead Redemption is everything I wanted from a videogame. It just can't seem to hold my attention. Perhaps it really is too similar to Grand Theft Auto 4 and, aesthetics aside, I was hoping for something more. Maybe because of exams and splitting with my girlfriend i'm just too distracted to fully appreciate how great this game really is. I don't know why Red Dead Redemption isn't working for me, but I feel really guilty for not enjoying it.
Red Dead Redemption is just too dry. No pun intended.
Thanks For Reading