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Red Dead Redemption Day#4: The Creepy, Creepy West

Day 4 of Red Dead is just heaps of disturbing. The content is disturbing, the models are disturbing, and the gameplay in places is disturbing too. The plot is generally good but again the game is forcing me to do things that I don’t want to in order to progress.  The game is generally fun in the stuff I get to do, but I am getting more and more annoyed at how not open the plot of this open world game is. Spoilers within.

We begin back in the bar, and I’m going to find this Seth person. I find a stranger mission along the way. It’s an old woman. I  CS talk to the woman; she’s looking for Peter.  She’s clearly crazy, waiting outside a burned down house for a husband who promised to return, and dear lord she is an ugly model. I leave after CS promising to try to find him. I approach the chapel where Seth is supposed to be and it’s a new chapter: Exhuming and other fine hobbies. In CS, I see Seth graverobbing. John introduces himself to Seth, but Seth just wants to get rid of John. He hates people, and he’s crazy. He keeps ranting about how someone stole half his map. He then reveals his partner Moses stole it.  He’s absolutely Gollum crazy, by the way. Moses is in jail some place, and John agrees to get Seth to Moses in exchange for his help with the fort. I get control back and follow him on horse.  Seth talks crazy existentialist stuff about corpse and being alive. He makes some kind of crazy talking-to-himself voice at one point.  John mentions the fort, and Seth mentions Bill.  Seth does things for the gang, so he knows his way in.  Seth is a treasure hunter, but John is skeptical, especially when Seth reveals he has lost his family and all else to his hunt. We arrive at this small station.

In CS Seth asks John to distract the deputies at the station so he can speak to Moses, and despite my personal misgivings,  John agrees. I have a creepy feeling I’m going to kill deputies or at least do something wrong that my version of John should not do.  Yup I have to steal a horse to get the deputies to chase me. This is a GTA 4 wanted mechanic — the deputies have a range and you have to stay out of it until they give up, although in Red Dead, a bounty remains on your head until you pay it or clear it. However, I don’t want to be wanted AT ALL, so I find this scene totally cheap. Once I get the deputies on me, I’m not sure what to do, so I just let them follow me for a while. Eventually I choose to lose them and then can return to Seth. I see Seth in CS as he approaches the cabin. Moses gets out and runs. I get control and have to lasso and hogtie (hit triangle when he’s lassoed) Moses to carry him back to Seth. I drop Moses in front of Seth. There’s a CS of Moses and Seth yelling.  Seth pulls a knife and threatens Moses.  Moses argues at first but then gives up the location.  Seth then gives me a pardon letter, which I then take to the telegraph office to remove my bounty. The scene ends with a CS of Seth leaving after agreeing to help John later.

I get control back and go to Armadillo. I talk to the musicians at the bar. The musician tells me he’ll tell me about Peter (the old woman’s husband) if I either pay him or get his wife back; she’s heading to the train station to leave. I go find Rose (his wife) and CS try to convince her to give him one more chance, but she’s had it. I can threaten or hogtie her to bring her back, but I don’t want to.  Let’s see if the game will force me to be scum or will let me pay my way out of it. Oh, it does let me pay– I pay the guy and he tells me I have to go somewhere else to find Peter.  On my way out of the bar, a random guy challenges me to a duel. I accept it for the hell of it; I want to see what a duel is in this western game. It turns out it’s a bullet-time thing with some kind of feint, but honestly it makes no sense to me at all. Somehow, I kill him before he kills me. I then  go to Marshal for a new chapter: Spare the Rod and Spoil the Bandit.  CS John enters the station and sees the Marshal and company preparing rifles. It seems a group of bandits raped and killed a settlement. John agrees to ride with the posse going to deal with the bandits,  and I am all about killing these bastards.

We ride to find the bandits, and see a camp up ahead. Eli (deputy) and I ride up to find the camp is all dead.  I get a repeater there. I get back on my horse and continue following. We see another camp with more dead people, and then a farm is up next. We get there and it’s silent. I have to check outhouse and shed according to my interface. There’s blood outside the shed, but I find nothing at either location.  What was the point of that search? Just to immerse me? I accidentally hit a deputy I don’t see as I rendezvous with the team and fail the mission for attacking a deputy.  FUCK YOU GAME.  I restart in the farm and have to redo the pointless search. When I get to the bar, I shoot the boards off of door, and in CS we see lots of dead people inside. One woman is hanging from the roof. Points to Rockstar here: this scene is very effectively creepy. A woman runs out and tell us the bandits are inside the house. We run to the outside of the house and kill the bandits who spill outside. We go in and kill some more inside, then I die when I’m stuck in door frame (cheap). There are bandits holding hostages in the upstairs of the house, and I die a second time when a hostage is killed. There’s a third death when I’m again stuck in door frame, but then I kill the men in the house, including shooting one bandit using a woman as cover. When we leave the house, I see women outside who’ve been beat up. In CS they accuse the Marshal of not caring about or protecting the people. They tell us the bandits ran south. The Marshal offers $50 to the guy who gets the leader, but the women say it’s not about money — it’s about lives.

I get control back and we leave to approach the ridge.  The deputies ask about Bill and John explains.  We see the ridge up ahead and some bandits pop up at the top.  It’s Bill.  He tells us in CS he’ll kill John now.  He sends waves of people down to kill us. I get control as we run behind a ruined shed. We fight off a big wave. It’s long but not too hard.  The fight ends in CS of the deputy taunting last living bandit who he has hogtied and dragged back. The Marshal knows him; his name is Norman. They ride off to take Norman to jail. I ride back to Armadillo, and win big at poker. Then get my horse and head back to the ranch. I try to take out some guys I think are bandits on the road and get killed because I can’t shoot off of horseback. When I respawn, I try taking a stagecoach to travel between towns this time. I can watch the trip as it progresses but it’s boring. It’s just lots of quick changing angles on the carriage, and it’s crazily slow. I decide to skip to the location, and call it a night by getting some sleep.

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  1. Douglas Yee says

    It’s a pretty typical Rockstar game. Wide open world but the story is a railroad.

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