Since we're finishing up the Ultimate Western novel in class, I figured it would be a good time to talk about everybody's favorite Western video game.
Here is the launch trailer for Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare that came out in October as an add-on to the tremendously popular game, Red Dead Redemption. The trailer is entertaining and the graphics are stunning. There's a great rhyme about the properties of the Four Horses of the Apocalypse that goes
"War leaves a trail of burning hell fire,
Famine and Pestilence are eternal, and will never tire.
The Death horse is lurking as well,Causing cranial combustion as you ride through hell"
I'm not a gamer, but I'm willing to convert for Red Dead. This Western fantasy game received widespread critical acclaim as one of the best games of the past year. It's set in America in the early 1900s, when the cowboy era is coming to an end. The Rockstar Games website calls it "an epic battle for survival in a beautiful open world as John Marston struggles to bury his blood-stained past, one man at a time."
There's bounty hunting, train robberies, and shootouts galore as John Marston travels across the frontier. All this makes for a lot of brutal violence, but somehow it is vivid and shocking without being offensive. In this open world, the morals are left up to the player. John Marston can be a hero who saves every damsel in distress he encounters, or he can lean towards more evil pursuits. This relates loosely to what we discussed in class about the Kid and how he is a relatively moral person, and how there is a moral code among the bounty hunters despite their brutality.
However, the true appeal of Red Dead lies in the gorgeous rendering of the Western landscape and the ability to just saddle up a horse and gallop across the prairie. Even just roaming the countryside is a lot of fun, because of the sheer attention to detail in the design. Red Dead really indulges the fantasy of riding off into the sunset . I haven't played Undead Nightmare yet, but I'm really looking forward to the killer zombie hordes and fantastical animals that infest the West.