Last night I hit the 100% completion point of Red Dead Redemption. All bounties retrieved, every flower picked, animals hunted to extinction, outlaws put down in a hail of bullets and a cloud of gun smoke, left right and indeed center. And lo, it was awesome.
The Rockstar Social Club game tracker thing reckons I’ve put over 66 hours into the game. Nearly 3 days! I’m slightly ashamed by that number, seeing as the game’s only been out for 2 months and I spent 3 weeks of that in Italy, but it’s testament to how engaging the game is. It really is brilliant. The sheer scale of the game world never ceased to amaze me, and a far few of those playing hours were undoubtedly made up of long slow treks across Mexico as the sun went down and the environment was illuminated with lush orange hues and long ominous shadows.
I’d been looking forward to the game for months and despite a few well documented glitches, it completely lived up to all my expectations. In fact, it exceeded them. I’d been looking forward to GTA in the Wild West, but what I got alongside the captivating storyline and gloriously diverse characters was a whole world that really felt real. Really. Random events, tonnes of sidequests, the option to develop John Marston pretty much how you want.. ‘GTA in the West’ doesn’t remotely do it justice.
Yeah, some of the missions were a bit repetitive, and I occasionally wanted to skip those long rides between shootouts, but most of the time I was distracted from the monotony of riding a horse miles and miles by those little things like a herd of buffalo or a nun being attacked by cougars. Even during the game’s later missions, I never once got bored. Actually, some of the flower picking got annoying, but I can overlook that. Mostly though, the game let me act out all my Western fantasies without any of the saddlesore.
There’s still plenty of multiplayer action to be had (I’m a level 32 so far.. only 18 to go!) and with the recently announced DLC, I’ll definitely be revisiting John Marston (or will I? Ooh! *spoiler* :)). Maybe not for a while though. Time to hang up my hat for a bit.