hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

Red Dead Redemption

Take-Two photo
Take-Two

Take-Two comments on future of Red Dead and BioShock


I'd be ok with either, done right
May 30
// Chris Carter
CEO Strauss Zelnick spoke recently at the Cowen and Company Analyst Conference about the future of the Red Dead and BioShock franchises. Speaking on their stable of IPs, Zelnick stated, "our selective approach, which we&...
Red Dead Redemption photo
Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption PC release could be a thing


New Windows Compatibility entry found and pulled
May 13
// Chris Carter
For those of you holding out hope for a PC release of Red Dead Redemption, a new listing has been found on the Windows Compatibility website. The way is the site works is Microsoft or another party adds software to the databa...
 photo

Check out this Red Dead Redemption fan film trailer


Who would want to hang sweet Bonnie?
Jun 04
// Abel Girmay
Three years later, and there's still plenty of love for Red Dead Redemption. The people at SilkDogFilms are definitely fans, with a film, Red Dead Redemption: The Hanging of Bonnie MacFarlane, that has been in production for...
Red Dead vs. Metal Gear photo
Red Dead vs. Metal Gear

John Marston vs. Revolver Ocelot's ridiculous mustache


The gunslingers of Red Dead Redemption and Metal Gear Solid duke it out
May 13
// Tony Ponce
John Marston: outlaw turned hero of the Old West. Revolver Ocelot: two-faced Russian gunslinger with a flair for the dramatic. What happens when these two square off in a a shootout to the death? Ocelot wins. Duh. What, was ...

From animal lover to virtual hunter

Mar 29 // Taylor Stein
From Oregon Trails and Duck Hunt to Red Dead Redemption and Far Cry 3, hunting clearly has a dynamic presence within the videogame landscape. Despite controversy associated with the sport, hunting in gaming has continued to play a role within many AAA titles, arguably with increased frequency over the past few years. Mentioning an internet fascination with cute cat videos and a cultural push toward animal protection nationwide, one would think that hunting would be falling out of favor in real life and in our virtual playgrounds. Yet the prevalence of hunting in newer titles such as Tomb Raider and Assassin's Creed III suggests otherwise. This invites an in interesting dilemma: How can so many of us claim badges of animal allegiance in our everyday lives, yet still find great joy hunting in videogames? Obviously the act is not real, but people have a way of getting butt hurt regardless of fact or fiction. I personally have noticed that my heartwarming affection toward animals is easily shattered in the realm of gaming. Titles such as the ones mentioned above have been successful at awakening a primal beast within my core, one that finds absolute delight in the thrill of the hunt. As an avid animal lover, hunting cynic, and gaming enthusiast, I've decided to explore this conundrum. Why do I find hunting in games so damn addictive if I condemn the activity in real life? Duh, hunting is funHunting in videogames is undoubtedly fun. With many games favoring over-the-top gore, action, or gunplay as a primary theme, it's no wonder that many players, myself included, often gravitate toward more understated gaming feats when they're available. Hunting is one such example that can provide a break in the monotony of shooting, slicing, and indiscriminate killing. Incapacitating bad guys in gaming is almost always a requirement, a necessity to get from point A to point B, but hunting requires a whole different skill set. Hunting is arguably an art form. It requires a deft hand and a subtle approach that is often uncommon amongst the run-and-gun mechanics that dominate the game market. Charge a prowling tiger in Far Cry 3 and you'll most likely end up as kitty chow, approach a bear in Assassin's Creed III head-on and expect a Mortal Kombat-like fatality. Stalking potential prey welcomes an opportunity to adopt stealth, shoot for silent kills, and utilize tools that might seem outdated in a combat scenario like a bow and arrow. Hunting necessitates a sense of resourcefulness, granting merit to instinct over reason. The act of taking a life, albeit a fake one, is only a small part of the process, one that can consist of spotting the prey, finding a hidden vantage point, luring the target into the open, and delivering one hit, one kill. I'm getting energized just talking about it. Adding to the experience is the voluntary nature of the activity. Regular enemies occupy an environment for the sole purpose of breathing life and hostility into the world. How entertaining would crossing a battle-torn landscape be without any adversaries? Animals and wild game on the other hand serve a unique purpose when compared to the average killable NPC, not only to fill the setting with opposition for the player, but to enrich the gaming experience by enhancing the atmosphere and welcoming variation in gameplay. Hunting is often an optional pursuit, and thus, it can be far more rewarding when successfully completed. I didn't have to slay the legendary super wolf in Red Dead Redemption, but taking on the challenge is that much more gratifying when completed. Beyond the satisfaction of clashing with nature's most powerful beasts or the appreciation of a different style of gameplay, hunting has its perks. Depending on the game, chasing down wild creatures can provide the player with valuable in-game rewards. From equipment upgrades, additional experience, and sellable loot, hunting in videogames is a practical pursuit. If the act isn't enticing enough on its own, the upgrades certainly do help to blur the boundary between voluntary and obligatory, elevating hunting to essential status. Whether we're talking about big game from reality standards or far more menacing foes conjured up within the imaginations of game developers, hunting in games is more thrilling than it could ever be in real life. Overcoming a rabbit is fine and a deer is better, but any woodland creature pales in comparison to gaming's toughest animals. Fighting against any dinosaur in the Monster Hunter series should lead to a swift and certain death for the player, but the allure of attempting to defeat something larger and more powerful is an enticing proposition. A straightforward approach might be unsuccessful against the king of mountain lions or a fire-breathing dragon, but under the right conditions it's possible to taste victory. Crisis of conscience: What about my furry friends?Including hunting within the context of games can be a rewarding experience on multiple levels, but it does elicit a clash of conscience. While I pursue virtual animals under the guise of an acceptable thrill, my cat often stretches out on my lap in feline delight. I wonder how she would feel about me attacking virtual versions of her tiger, jaguar, and bobcat ancestors? Good thing she doesn't seem to pay attention. Personally I would never dream of harming an animal in real life, yet interestingly enough, I feel no qualms about doing so in a gaming capacity. Of course, a cat or dog is miles apart from a komodo dragon or while boar, but I'd still like to think that my individual kill switch is constant regardless of wild or domestic status. Upon pondering the reasons why it's so easy to cut moral or emotional ties when taking an animal's life in a game, the answer can be a bit complicated. The easy rationale that was touched on in the very beginning is that the animal is not real. There is no real consequence for hunting a non-living creature so there's nothing to feel bad about. Shooting an innocent bunny rabbit in a game is totally fun, but I can't say the same for targeting the little guys frolicking in my front yard. The separation between reality and make-believe is certainly one reason why I don't cry myself to sleep at night after killing tons of virtual critters, but fictional events have the power to rouse feelings of guilt or sadness, too. I've had several moments in my gaming history that elicited genuine emotional responses despite the fact that it wasn't real, some even pertaining to animals. In Shadow of the Colossus, when it appeared as if the protagonist's horse Agro fell off the cliff to his death, I was pretty bummed out. Not to mention the end of Fable 2 when the hero's dog sacrificed himself to save the player. How we view the subject, pet versus prey, is a huge factor. This mental distinction can portray any animal large and small as off limits or hunt-worthy which may have more to do with moral reservations than the realness of the target. Games often use another tactic to soften the blow of hunting animals, the necessity of survival. By transporting players into the shoes of a desperate character, one who is suffering from the pangs of starvation or danger, it becomes much easier to do the deed. Tomb Raider capitalized on this theme, forcing Lara Croft to commit atrocities in order to survive. Shooting a deer was easy because she was starving, slaying oncoming wolves was simple as defense. Justifying hunting is uncomplicated and guilt-free in a life or death scenario. Regardless of rationale, we as gamers should be able to immerse ourselves in the lives, actions, and worlds of games without personal conflict. Hell, just about everything we do in gaming would be a moral barricade to cross in reality, with hunting being an ethical cake walk. Sure the methodology we use to accept committing questionable acts within a virtual landscape reflects a mix of confounding logic and confusing sentiments, but it's probably safe to say that there is no real harm done. The targets that we pursue within the gaming realm are nothing more than a collection of pixels and polygons. There is no pressing consequence for hunting a cougar with an Xbox 360 controller minus a disapproving pet cat. The average stable individual can draw the line between hunting a buffalo in Oregon Trails and chasing down the neighbor's dog. While I may be an ASPCA supporter by day, when transported into nature's digital backyard I become a fully-fledged huntsman. I for one have no ill feelings about being both an animal lover and virtual hunter because the two labels are separated by a massive physical and psychological divide. Entertainment and instinctive expression are good enough reasons to shrug off conflicting identities and hypocritical sentiments in my book. What are your thoughts about hunting in videogames, have you ever felt bad about killing a virtual animal? Even though gaming often pits players against other people, do you think there is more moral and emotional baggage associated with violence against animals in a gaming context? Image Sources: [1][2][3]
Hunting and videogames photo
Why is hunting so damn addictive?
From a crouched position you move toward a jungle clearing. Left foot, then right foot; each step demonstrates restraint in the highest degree. A breeze travels through the overgrown leaves, causing the foliage to dance all a...

You should feel bad, but games don't want you to

Mar 06 // Steven Hansen
While I’ve yet to play Tomb Raider in its entirety, it does seem we have yet another case of ludonarrative dissonance, in which the design aims (game based around doing gruesome murders) don’t jive with the narrative (“good,” and in this case wet behind the ears, lead character) and the developers have to work extra hard to try and bridge this gap. You can wax poetic about what it means or takes to commit murder all you want, but it's old hat after the seventieth bloke kisses his trachea goodbye courtesy of your pick axe. It’s the same reason why the enemies in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune spout incendiary cussing outs, egging you on, just begging you to kill them and to wipe that audible smirk off their goddamn faces. Games more open about their wanton violence, like most sandbox games, are gleeful in their use if civilians as set dressing. It's pleasant to run down civilians in Twisted Metal 2 and see their vague, pixel bodies fly into your screen with a screech that sounds like an interrupted dial up connection. Pleasant, albeit dark. But what about when you're playing a good guy in a narratively driven game? A super human one, no less? It goes beyond saying that other humans pose little threat to you. That's why the enemy stakes have to be upped. Take the thugs in Rocksteady's Arkham franchise. Are we to believe that every criminal in Gotham lifts weights with Chris Redfield and Marcus Fenix? Every single one of them looks imposing enough that Ving Rhames wouldn’t want to meet them in a dark alleyway. It's not an attempt to even the playing fields for the Batman, who can take out 40 of those steroid-seeping freaks in one combo despite their Herculean physiques. It's a sly character design choice to make you feel better about yourself, you monster. Batman is brutal in the Arkham games. Even with foes that look intimidating, I'll cringe as Bats effortlessly breaks a thigh-thick arm in three places and leaves them unconscious. The worst is always the vicious kicks to the knee that you know will ensure the victim never walks right again. Oh, did I say victim? I meant criminal scum. Throw some more inane cursing and provocation at me before my human tendency towards empathy kicks in and I regret collapsing some punk's solar plexus and leaving him to probably choke on his own fluids, alone and in an alley -- but I didn’t kill him. Not directly. Not as far as I am blissfully unaware. With Arkham, Rocksteady wants you to have your cake and eat it, too. You’re playing at Batman the same way a child might. You get all the perks (unstoppable force of the night) without the draw backs (physical harm, dead parents, Peter Pan complex, fear of the theatre). Insofar as I can tell, Rocksteady isn’t concerned with unsettling the Batman mythos and questioning the sanity of the character in the manner seminal works like The Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth have, and that’s fine. But despite my cringing at Bats’ brutality in the Arkham games, I got over it. While Arkham might not hit hard on these elements, its Batman doesn’t parade around as a handsome John Q. Everyhero. And at least as Batman I wasn't committing mass murder, ala Nathan Drake. Just leaving a disaffected group of individuals with a much lower quality of life and a serious drain on public healthcare. Though Gotham is probably heavily anti "socialist," so no public healthcare, but because the penal system is undoubtedly mandated to aid in the recuperation of criminals, I’m sure it’ll cost some tax dollars. Anyway. The failure to put you at proper odds with your foes can trouble single-player games striving for a particularly heroic or redemptive narrative. Playing John Marston with an insatiable bloodlust in Red Dead Redemption flies in the face of the narrative. Giving the player the option to be repellant when the character is meant to be repentant can be problematic. Worse still is when the design demands they be repellant. I love the Uncharted franchise, but its third installment does not sit well with me. The heavy, wave based onslaught of enemies requires you to massacre endlessly while Drake smirks, cracks wise, and is generally handsome. It's a tough sell. I was able to stomach it in the first two, to mind the disconnect, but Drake's Deception felt so oppressive to me. I could see the seams in the enemy waves and strung together set pieces serving no purpose but to give me another butchering ground. Occasionally I felt a little bad busting skulls in Arkham City. I felt like a monster in Uncharted. I turned to melee “kills” more than half of the time because they looked non-lethal and I felt a little better about myself. Hopefully Drake wasn’t ending lives with equal ruthlessness with those swift kicks to the nuts. Definitely a good chance he preemptively ended the lives of the thugs' unborn children, I suppose. Dark Sector was one of the early “next-gen” games I was hyped for, but never picked up until I saw it sitting lonesome on a shelf with a $6 price tag affixed; I wouldn’t play it for months still. What a filthy game. It’s nasty, grim, dirty feel permeates every inch of it. You rip limbs from their owners and they just sit there and scream in agony. Not just a gurgling exaltation and then they’re dead. It’s a nonstop, lengthy cacophony of pitiful, dying men yelling. I couldn’t handle that ad nauseum and stopped playing. You're not supposed to feel bad for your obstacles. It's one if the biggest reasons there are so many games in which you gleefully murder robots or aliens or even humans with masked faces -- some semblance of distancing from the spine-tingling truth. It's why zombies have been so long in vogue. Gone is the almost half century old social commentary. They're fodder, allowing for the primal release of killing ostensible humans en masse without the moral quandaries and look of disdain from the ESRB. Mainstream games are too steeped in rudimentary notions of conflict in which somehow besting another person or thing is the only means of progression. This forever conflicts with trying to present straightforward, serious narratives with likeable leads. Less killing, more, well, anything else, really. Exploring. Journey-ing. Dancing. How about a proper detective game? Fevered dreamscapes in which existential and interpersonal issues manifest as ovis-infested, hellish block climbing puzzles? Or at least stop thinly veiling escapist power fantasies and humanizing monstrous murderkillers. I nearly gagged when Drake reached into the quicksand in Uncharted 3. At least Kratos knew his shtick. At least Far Cry 3 reveled in its depravity. At least Spec Ops asked why the hell you were playing in the first place.
Violence & vindication photo
Violence and vindication: The seedy psychology behind a sociopathic medium
You monster. Outside of the casual and educational spheres, violence abounds in games. Even Mario is violent, albeit not gratuitous. Combative, at least. Much of the game is purely avoiding obstacles, but eventually some form...

 photo

Borderlands 2 ships 5M copies, XCOM deemed a success


We like loot. A lot.
Oct 31
// Jordan Devore
Take-Two Interactive has disclosed its financial report for its second quarter fiscal 2013, which saw GAAP net revenue of $273.1 million, up from last year's $107 million for the same period. This was attributed to Borderland...
 photo

A massive Rockstar Games Collection is on the way


GTA IV DLC, L.A. Noire, Midnight Club: LA, and Red Dead Redemption
Oct 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
[Update: Rockstar has just officially confirmed this collection, coming out on November 6 for $59.99.] Retailers Buy.com and CDUniverse.com have outed a Rockstar Games Collection which is set to include Grand Theft Auto: Epis...
 photo

Max Payne (and others) derezzed for 8-bit home computers


Feb 01
// Tony Ponce
What if, instead of Max Payne 3, the next chapter in the saga was a retro throwback for old-ass computers like the ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64? You watch the video above and, at first, it doesn't look all that bad. Then you ...
 photo

Location: Texture and authenticity in Red Dead Redemption


Jan 29
// yeroooc
[Over the last week, JRo asked you to write about game settings. Yeroooc's first blog here explores how Red Dead Redemption did the southwest setting so well. As always, remember to load your own blogs into the Community...
 photo

Get Mass Effect 2 for $5, more deep cuts on Amazon


Nov 21
// Conrad Zimmerman
Oh, the season is upon us. Everybody has been dropping their Black Friday promotions all around, the smell of avarice is thick in the air. Time to save money by spending money. Take this ridiculous Amazon deal for Mass Effect...
 photo

Gameloft copies Red Dead Redemption with Six Guns


Oct 14
// Jim Sterling
I've given up trying to defend Gameloft. It knows what its doing and doesn't need the protection, so here's yet another shamelessly "inspired" game coming soon to mobile devices -- Six Guns.  This open-world cowboy game...
 photo

Rockstar: We haven't abandoned PC


Oct 06
// Jim Sterling
Rockstar has promised that it's not forgotten about PC gamers, and that claims to the contrary are unfounded. The studio said this in the face of Red Dead Redemption being restricted to consoles and L.A. Noire taking months t...
 photo

The DTOID Show: It's our 200th episode, let's celebrate!


Sep 14
// Tara Long
Happy Wednesday, Destructurds! Max and I are back with another edition of The Destructoid Show - our 200th, to be exact. Feel free to send us cards with money in them. On tonight's totally un-special birthday episode, I run ...
 photo

Rockstar confirms Red Dead Redemption GOTY Edition


Sep 13
// Fraser Brown
If you have been holding off living out your wild west fantasies in Red Dead Redemption, you might want to wait another month. Rockstar has just confirmed the Red Dead Redemption: Game of the Year Edition, which will arrive i...
 photo

The DTOID Show: Borderlands 2 and hands-on with Rage!


Aug 03
// Tara Long
[The Destructoid Show gives a rundown of all the top news from Destructoid.com every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Subscribe to us on YouTube, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.] Hey, guys and g...
 photo

Red Dead Redemption Game of the Year coming, says BBFC


Aug 02
// Jordan Devore
To the reader who recently expressed interest in waiting for a Game of the Year edition of Red Dead Redemption: do it! Based on a BBFC listing, one such retail package is on the way. The ratings board says it'll include the r...
 photo

Rockstar talks free Myths and Mavericks pack for Red Dead


Jul 27
// Jordan Devore
This new downloadable content for Red Dead Redemption might seem out of nowhere if you haven't been following Rockstar lately, but the company has been teasing it for a while. The free content was given a name today: the "Myt...
 photo

4X multiplayer XP in Red Dead Redemption this weekend


Jun 30
// Jordan Devore
Rockstar is almost ready to enable quadruple experience points in Red Dead Redemption across both platforms and all multiplayer modes, including Free Roam and Undead Overrun. The switch will be flipped at 12:01am Eastern on F...
 photo

Red Dead Redemption getting pre-order bonuses as DLC


Apr 08
// Jordan Devore
Next week, Rockstar is putting out the pre-order incentives for Red Dead Redemption as paid downloadable content on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. There's the Deadly Assassin outfit for John Marston, which doubles the reg...
 photo

Red Faction: Battlegrounds now on PSN, on XBLA tomorrow


Apr 05
// Maurice Tan
Red Faction: Battlegrounds feels like it came out of nowhere, but it's here nonetheless. The new downloadable game is all about 4-player vehicular combat with "fast attack vehicles," tanks, and walkers who fight it out in co...
 photo

No Clip: Red Dead Redemption


Apr 05
// AwesomeExMachina
[No Clip is a Destructoid community blog series. An experiment in player interaction, AwesomeExMachina returns to popular games and plays them with a set of critical restrictions to rethink what we thought we knew. Note:...
 photo

Take-Two got the most positive game reviews of 2010


Feb 10
// Jim Sterling
According to review aggregator Metacritic, Take-Two enjoyed more positivity in the reviews department than any other publisher in 2010. It ended the year with a 77.1 average as opposed to Nintendo's 76.1 and Capcom'...
 photo

Xbox Deal of the Week takes half off Rockstar and 2K DLC


Jan 25
// Conrad Zimmerman
Right now on Xbox Live you can score some savings on downloadable content from Rockstar and 2K Games. There's a bunch of the usual avatar junk in there, but some quality content is on offer as well. For example, you can grab ...
 photo

Rockstar has more ideas for Red Dead Redemption


Jan 03
// Jordan Devore
In the new issue of Official PlayStation Magazine, Rockstar VP of product development Jeronimo Barrea was quoted as saying "For all the games we work on, we have a massive number of ideas that [don't] make it in." This was a ...
 photo

Insomniac's top games of 2010: Red Dead Redemption wins


Dec 29
// Jim Sterling
Insomniac Games has listed its favorite titles of 2010, and it'll come as no surprise that Red Dead Redemption walked away as the best of the best in the hearts of the studio staff. That said, the rest of the picks were quite...
 photo

Take-Two turns a profit again regardless of a new GTA


Dec 16
// Maurice Tan
Take-Two Interactive has posted a profit of $42.6 million for the last 12 months ending October 31 this year. Compare that to the roughly $140.5 million loss over the same period last year, and things are looking up for the p...
 photo

Red Dead Redemption musician to perform at VGAs


Dec 07
// Nick Chester
Jose Gonzales, the singer/songerwriter responsible for the song "Far Away" which appeared in Red Dead Redemption, will be performing at the Spike VGAs this Saturday, December 11. Gonzales' "Far Away" was nominated for the "Be...
 photo

Destructoid Live: Red Dead Shootout Ho-down online


Dec 03
// Pico Mause
"First they shoot you, then they rob you." (Chuckles) "Great country." -- John Marston  You think you have what it takes, partner? Join us on Justin.tv/destructoid at 4:00PM PST to prove your Dead Eye skills as we battle it out at the corral during a Red Dead Redemption multiplayer ho-down. Loosen your holsters and hop on your horse, let's get this party started! YEEHAW!






Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
What is the meaning of life, and do you have any more pizza rolls?
You may remix all content on this site under Creative Commons with Attribution
- Living the dream, Since 2006 -