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Red Dead Redemption Day#15: A New Frontier

This session, I leave the last section behind and come to a whole new city. Frankly the game quality increases immediately. There are suddenly interesting missions, short travel times, and better characters. It’s not perfect — there are some totally lame dialogue steps and there’s still that annoying come back in 5 hours to do this mission set-up — but overall the game is returning to its earlier quality. Spoilers with.

I start the game in my hotel in Thieves’ Landing only to walk out and immediately die in a duel. I still have no idea how duels work – it seems like it’s dead eye slow aiming but sometimes I win when the dead-eye ends and sometimes I don’t, and there’s supposed to be some feint maneuver that doesn’t seem to do anything. My luck continues when I play poker and bust out. I then ride to the next I Know You plot and again see the strange guy.  The guy says he is an accountant, but he can’t remember his name. John threatens him, and he says John will be responsible for his actions and walks away. John shoots him as he walks away, but it doesn’t affect him at all. With that, I Know You is complete. Sure. I ride more and get to Blackwater. My gambling habit kicks in as I arrive and I play poker here. Dear god the players in this town are cowards. I’m winning hands with simple tricks and scaring the players out with bluffs. I get to the next mission: Bear Another’s Burdens. In CS, John enters a building to see a clerk counting something. John is looking for Edger Ross, and at the clerk’s reticent recommendation, he goes behind the counter and upstairs.  Agent Ross welcomes John, but John immediately asks about his wife and child. Ross has information about Dutch. John is pissed that he’s done what they wanted, but they still want him to do more.  Ross says he could kill or imprison John and  that John promised to give up the whole gang. Ross wants John to kill Dutch to avoid making Dutch a martyr at government hands. Dutch is with some renegades and the agents need to take them down. They threaten John with his wife’s well-being so he agrees  to come along. As we leave, West is here apprehended by the police.  John gets Ross to have West released. Wow, this has been a LONG cutscene. It continues as John gets into a car with the two agents for the drive to Dutch’s location.

Agents Ross and Fordham talk about criminals and agents working together during the drive. They also say that Marston is a whore son, and that they say they are giving him a chance at redemption. According to them, cowboys are a dying breed. When we arrive, we get out of car and I have to follow Fordham down to a pier and broken ship where criminals are supposed to hang out. It’s too quiet as we walk the pier, but then we hear screaming on the boat. Fordham sends me to find the source of the screaming, and so I climb on to the cool half-sunk boat. I get to the top and see a guy in a hood.  CS it’s revealed the hooded guy is the informant.  He says it’s a trap, and so John has to pick him up and run. I can’t take cover why carrying the guy, so I just shoot my way through the quickly appearing enemies. It’s a long fight scene, but I get to the car. I load the informant in and then get in myself. I have no control on the drive as they discuss the informant and then it’s a long drive in silence. The car breaks down and as Fordham is restarting it, the gang approaches so Ross and I have to shoot them all down. Fordham then gets the car started and we continue. We CS arrive at a Macdougal’s office. He’s an anthropologist thrown out of university for perversion, and that’s the end of the mission. I get an announcement that apparently I’m now famous enough that I can steal horses without consequence.

I get control, but I can’t do the immediate mission until morning and it’s the middle of the night. I again die in a duel, and when I respawn, I decide to do a stranger mission I see on the map. On the ride, I  defeat some robbers. When I arrive, I find the film guy at a camp. He explains how he lost everything. Oh, there’s no mission — it’s just his sad story. When he’s done talking, that stranger track is done. I start heading back to town. On the way back, I slip down a cliff and ride into the water because I can’t get out of the ravine. I finally get back to town, but the main mission is still not ready. I talk to another stranger in a gazebo in Blackwater. There’s a guy looking for a crook to help him out. He wants me to show some incriminating photos to a political opponent of the governor. This doesn’t seem too evil to do, so I get started. I again have to kill time to get into the building with the guy I have to blackmail. I do so and after a few minutes of running around, I get in the building. There’s a CS of John talking to the guy about the photos. When he sees the pictures, he converts right away and stops insulting the governor. I go back to the gazebo and the guy pays me.  Now that’s it the day time, I go to do the  Macdougal mission: At Home with Dutch. I see the professor CS looking into a microscope. John rants about his problems as soon as he enters. The professor asks John if John is from Norse stock. He believes in the natural character of ethnicities. However, he’s discovered that the blood of natives and whites are the same.  He also reveals that he does coke. Nastas (the informer) shows up. The professor’s being very condescending to him and, of course, it turns out Nastas is actually well educated. Nastas tells them that he knows where Dutch is. Dutch has  been corrupting natives, and we have to stop it.

I get control and follow Nastas and the professor. Nastas is spewing pretty simplistic environment stuff (no more buffalo, no more trees) on the ride. We get to the cliffs, and CS leave horses to climb. Macdougal heads back to Blackwater in CS claiming that he can’t climb. I get control and Nastas and I help each other up cliffs.  It’s a pretty long climbing sequence with a few unnecessary CS moments of us cresting ledges.  Nastas climbs a wall and the step collapses behind him. I have to find another way around which leads to an obligatory climbing mechanic. It’s not very cool in this game because the climbing controls are pretty weak. I get back to Nasats and together we enter a cave. Once we’re in the cave, there’s a CS of crazy miner attacking Nastas. Once we kill that guy, an explosive cart comes down the tracks and I shoot it before I realize, causing it to explode and kill me. I’m more careful the second time.  I run out of the cave and shoot some more miners. Nastas is wounded CS so I have to go on alone. I kill and skin rabbit and shoot a bear in my way. I climb around and then have to kill a cougar, making it my third animal kill in a span of three minutes. I finally get to the top of the mountain. I see an enemy scout and I have to kill him quietly. A throwing knife takes him down. I  get binoculars near the body and get to see through them on a camp over the edge of a cliff. The text tells me I have to find somebody in the camp, but I miss who I’m supposed to be looking for. As I look through the binoculars, there’s a CS of Dutch shooting a cop and then looking up at me and shooting me. As John falls,  Dutch walks away. I wake up with Macdougal and Nastas. In CS, they want John to save the natives, and then have a kind of dumb simplistic exchange about civilization to end the chapter.

I go immediately to the next Ross mission: Great Men Are Not Always Wise. In CS, Ross says Dutch is going to see a bank manager and we should take him out while he’s in the bank. We head up to roof to snipe at the bank as bad guys leave. The guys come out like three at a time and run off screen. I miss one guy but take the rest out. In CS Ross tells us to head into the bank. That’s a run across an empty plaza to a shut door that I have to shoot a lock off of. However, I can’t see a lock on the door and fail the mission because I take too long to enter the church. I respawn and realize it’s just lock is just really small. I take it out with my sniper rifle and head inside. I shoot guys on this floor of the bank including one tricky hostage shot.  I go upstairs for Dutch. I kill some random guys, and then reach a CS of Dutch with a hostage.  Dutch asks about John’s family as he’s backing out with hostage.  Dutch says leaving Marston to die was a mistake, but also says that  Marston’s wife was a whore that the whole gang had. Dutch is an awesome character by the way; they do a very good job of making him seem charismatic. John tries to keep him talking, but Dutch shoots the hostage and runs.

I get control to get on the horse and ride after him. It’s quickly becomes a posse. We reach the forest and lots of enemies. I die once in the fight because a tree is shitty cover, and then die again because an asshole NPC knocks me out of cover into a bullet. I kill them all the next time, and then go to meet the agents at a cabin.  Is CS, John tells the agents that Dutch got away to end the mission. I head back to Blackwater and buy a new sniper rifle. A game of poker (where I double my money) is the end of my day.

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