Posted by Will Ooi | Posted in Gaming | Tags: Game Love, Game Reviews, Red Dead, Rockstar Games | Posted on 02-06-2010-05-2008
* An analysis of the ending of Red Dead Redemption, strong spoiler warning *
Finally, Rockstar have come up with a game that wants us to be good. Playing as a reformed outlaw in a graphically gorgeous title combining almost every aspect of the Wild West we’ve come to recognise through films, TV shows and folklore, the most surprising quality of Red Dead Redemption – even more impressive than the amazing attention to detail – is the enforced morality and, in line with the game’s title and its central theme, redeeming qualities of the main character. John Marston, contrary to those previous incarnations of Grand Theft Auto and other Rockstar Games’ antiheroes, is not seeking success and wealth through crime; he is aspiring to be good for the betterment of himself and his family.
As in previous open-world games the players themselves are free to do as they wish, inevitably leading to a sandbox environment of carnage and chaos as the he/she sees fit. In Red Dead, the option to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is presented – do you capture criminals alive to collect bounty rewards and shoot the weapons out of people’s hands instead of killing them, or decide to go renegade by robbing the innocent and, as an homage to the classic Western cliche of moustached villainy, tie a woman up and place her on railroad tracks? Despite your decisions in these situations and regardless of your own personal play-style, the most striking thing about the main story missions is how Marston always, from the start of the game to the finish, chooses the honourable route.