Despite being described as ‘GTA with horses’, Red Dead Redemption felt a whole lot darker than anything Rockstar had developed before. Max Payne 3 and the knock-out satire of GTA V continued Rockstar’s trend of mature-ish games, but they’re cartoonish worlds compared to New Austin. There was a darkness in its heart, and even under a clear blue sky, the world was loaded with bleak undertones of tragedy.
Also, not so many dick jokes.
RDR continued to refine that wider social commentary they began in earnest in GTA: San Andreas and perfect in GTA V, which gave the game extra gravitas between all the gunplay. The inclusion of more adult themes like redemption never felt too ham-fisted, and when it did you could forgive it because of that top-class gameplay.
Without much bitching, we wilfully rounded up cattle and allowed ourselves to feel the gentle ebb and flow of an unhurried age. Then we had a rage-drunk shootout and hog-tied a damsel on the railroad tracks.
It was the game that taught us that Rockstar had matured. They said, ‘Hey, we all gotta grow up sometime, but you can still be badass when you do it.’
Which life-lessons did Rockstar's Wild West masterpiece teach you? Let us know in the comments!
Word-wrangler and video gamer on the rocks. Once completed the original Resident Evil in 1 hour 4 minutes. Prefers Irish coffee over any other kind. Former movie trailer writer, now rehabilitated. Wrote the viral videos for the movie Watchmen. Likes sarcasm, cynicism, smoking and you.