Since the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2, back in October 2016, I’ve become increasingly excited to jump into Rockstar Games’ glorious western world.
While I’d like to say that I’m a fan of Rockstar – having consumed many of their titles throughout the years – I’ve never actually sat down and played Red Dead Redemption or Red Dead Revolver for that matter. This will be my first Red Dead.
I – like many of you, have consumed pretty much all there is to consume; press releases, screenshots, trailers and all the other stuff available on NeoGaf and Reddit. I can’t wait to go hands on, yet I’ve never played the previous games.
So, what is it about RDR2 that excites me?
Firstly, it was announced at around the time HBO’s Westworld was on air and in everyone’s hearts – especially mine. There are many things that I adored about the show; the look, the performances, the authenticity – but nothing more important than the world itself.
Old-school westerns bore me. They feel lost in time and I just don’t find the John Wayne-era entertaining. However, with the rise in popularity of the modern, more genuine take on the genre – headed by Westword and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained among others. I’ve become accustomed to the lawlessness, the adventure, the simplicity of Wild West culture. To me, Westworld combined that with video games. Check out Polygon’s article.
Secondly, Rockstar has a knack for making some of the best living open–worlds imaginable. GTA V is without a doubt one of the biggest selling games in history, in May it was announced that it had sold over 80m copies since its launch in September 2013 and according to Eurogamer, is still topping physical sales charts in the UK for the first half of 2017 – this is nuts!
One of the main reasons for this is that ‘RPG-vibe’ that inspired Westworld. It’s this feeling that excites me for RDR2 despite never experiencing the world previously.
As a fan of story-driven and linear based games, this realisation has shocked me. I enjoy playing as a character whose story has a particular path and learning more about them and their personality throughout the narrative, but this isn’t what makes me excited for RDR2 – It’s the blank-slate mentality. Even though the first game may have laid down the foundations of who this character is – I’m free to create my own character, my own personality, my own story.
I enjoy playing as a character whose story has a particular set path. Learning more about them, their stories and personalities are what drives me forward through most narratives. This time it’s different – It’s the blank-slate mentality. Even though the first game may have laid down the foundations of who the protagonist is, I’m free to create my own. My own personality, choose my own adventure and like Westworld – choose White or Black Hat.
This is what makes video games such a unique medium and is why 80m+ flock to GTA V.
So, can you be excited for a sequel before playing the first game?
IMO – Yep. Go for it!