Nick's Gaming Blog

Youtube Trailer of the Day 12-18-2009 (Red Dead)

It’s time to “saddle up,” “put on your spurs,” and find a swarthy disease-ridden prostitute of questionable morals…amongst other items on the “to-do” list of the Wild West.  Those of you who have some odd hatred of everything Western probably weren’t so happy about my plugging of GUN, or my upcoming review of Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, and you aren’t going to like the “Youtube Video of the Day.”

But if you don’t like a sub-section of society filled with “creative-yet quite obscene” name calling, drinking poorly-distilled whiskey from gallon jugs previously utilized as makeshift chamber pots, and restaurant floors coated in shell casings instead of peanuts, you probably hate America.  Or the possibility of living past the age of 35.

Anyway, today’s video is a promotional sort of trailer/documentary/introduction to Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar’s follow-up to 2004′s Red Dead Revolver.  At least from the looks of things, it’ll hopefully fix many of the complaints found in Western titles of the past couple years.  GUN was great, but only as a massively exaggerated depiction of stereotypes about the “Wild West.”  Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood was solid, “action-wise,” but struggled when it decided to add to add unapologetically half-assed “open-world elements” into a fast-paced linear thrill-fest.  Both struggled in provided an environment that wasn’t a “typical saloon and stable” caricature of the West, or just sheer wilderness, absent of any human existence, aside from the random bandit hold-up.

Red Dead Redemption seems to really emphasize a “living and breathing” real community that allows you to interact with hundreds of people, instead of the local sheriff issuing bounties (see: “stupid side quests) and the general store (see: “a Wal-Mart that’s oddly well enough prepared to ward off a zombie invasion”).  There are multiple towns to visit, each with their own characteristics that go beyond carrying a slightly different shotgun than the one you currently have, and NPCs that have a different line or two to spout as you cross their path.  Does it look like “GTA meets John Wayne?”  Absolutely.  But the only question that leaves me with is just why we didn’t have these two meet up before?  It’s like finally getting Romeo and Juliet to hang out…aside from the whole stabbing and poison-gulping and generally fatal fate of the two.

What seems quite interesting is that they’ve chosen to place the game right around the end of the “Wild West” era, allowing for technologies like the steam engine and telephone to find their way into this title, and I think this meshing of “old meets new” should allow for some fairly creative missions.  Aside from that, some of the things you get to do in this look awesome: lassoing people, tying them up and dragging them behind horses, assisting in the decimation of animals deemed “sacred” by Native Americans to attain their hides and callously leave the remainder to waste…all of it gets me giddy.  Also, who else loves the calm and soothing narration juxtaposed with the heinous/graphic acts?  Join me after the jump for some additional thoughts.

Things I love about this trailer:

1.  Throbbing bass line throughout the whole thing.

2.  Guy with telephone, “What is it with these things…HELLO?”

3.  “Blend of action and discovery, where things can happen at any time”…and then, for an example of this, YOU GET MAULED BY DOGS?

4.  “Things to do and interact with”–then it shows you fighting a BEAR…and playing that game where you try to not stab your hand.

5.  “I needs the map…I NEEDS IT!”

6.  The Link-esque opening of the treasure box.

7.  Bandanna=SHEER EVIL

8.  “Requiring proficiency of…CANNON.”  How much precision does one need with a CANNON?

All in all, and I’m not joking, this game looks WONDERFUL, and I hope it turns out to be exactly that.  That, and Andy was telling me how much he’s looking forward to this, so…I did…and you’ve got every right to be pumped about this, Andy.


    Your ten points are funny. I love the telephone and the cannon. I actually didn’t notice the bear the first time around (somehow), so I went back and…wow. There it was.

    And the conflict of old vs. new sounds promising. Although, I do hate to say it again, but Junior Seminar has ruined my life: I keep thinking about what Katanski would say about the portrayal of the Wild West. This game looks like it does better than most have, but still….

    Nice article. I enjoy reading your stuff, even though I don’t game. :)

  • The announcer was somewhat reminiscent of a history channel voice. Very matter-of-fact. “THis is exactly how the west was. They fought bears.”

    THis game is looking cooler and cooler.

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