Red Dead Redemption

Anyone who has played a game console; anyone who has watched a Youtube walkthrough or paged through any gaming magazine in the latter part of 2010, is familiar with Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar San Diego took it’s prized model in Red Dead Revolver and pumped her with a multiplayer platform, storyline, and character depth that in some ways exceeds some of today’s more branded gaming titles or feature films.

But it’s the multiplay function I enjoy the most.

Maybe it’s because the engagement on the multiplay level is always a layer cake of personalities(some adored, some friendly, some loathsome), each scooped up from all over the globe, that makes the experience just that: an experience.

Whenever my friend and I are online we engage, we contribute, we offer advice or swap stories(albeit while racing through Tall Trees from indestructible cougars or from across the roof tops of Armadillo).

However static or inconsistent(thank you PSN), when the situation calls for it I’m libel to learn more than I teach. Which brings me to the staple of this blog: learning.

I’m not revealing any house secrets by saying many users in RDR know a few area or weapon glitches that exploit the multiplayer experience(Update: As of June 23nd, 2011 Sony’s recent patch has since closed up many of the location glitches I am alluding to). Irregardless, Sosa469 and I can retell stories of various gameplay hacks that have enhanced one’s individual gameplay(at the cost of the community enjoyment).

We never asked outright for these tips. We never galloped around seeking cues to the mysteries of online realm. We just gamed. But the swaying weight in RDR, as is in most multiplayer gaming formats, is that conversation is king. One can rule the many by possessing that thing thousands of others do not: shared insight. Insight on a  specific avenue or course an unseeing player might readily miss in his everyday tromp through the Mexican plains. Think of insight as the dark speech scribed on the outside of the Ring of Sauron:

“..One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them..”

The thing about insight or proffering sound experience is that often times it’s relative to another’s own person mission or aim. One can regard the brief utterances of others as just that utterances or he can commission himself to lend a closer ear to what is being passed across the brow of his horse and through his sound system. Insight can be supportive, lending a hand in a mission, or beguiling, often ensnaring(or locking up) one’s console for the moment. It all depends on the speaker. The speaker’s intent.

For the past few days outside RDR I’ve been given insight by some of the most sound minds, most experience people I know. And like in RDR, I have given them a full audience. You see when seeking the source of a sound, one must only listen. I was listening, just in the wrong direction.

Insight can turn you around. Insight can straighten your stride. Insight can force you to destroy that house of cards for a more superior architectural hiding in the recesses of the imagination.

Red Dead Redemption isn’t just a story about one man’s redemption, but a story about one man’s trials. In multiplayer mode your trials are in the form of awards and Gang hideout missions one must accomplish to rank up. In multiplayer mode your trials appear in the form of other gamers in Free-Roam. Gamers who are apt to shoot you or your horse, ask you to join their roaring posse or leave you be. Red Dead is unpredictable, and yet negotiable. It’s this chaos–this sweet chaos–that serves it best.

In the offline world we can’t see the cues all the time. Often we are turned sideways, mixed up by the peccadilloes of life or office. Often times the cap of the yeoman is pressed so tightly on our heads it blinds our judgement; it warps us from managing exceeding expectations.

Expectations are everywhere. In RDR they rue the day.

I received much insight today, from those closest. I can either continue to gallop around lands familiar on multiplayer, taking false insight from those I presumed to have my interests at heart or I can take the insight of others and return to the campaign. A campaign that is forever changing, always betwixt, and just that much sweeter than what I found out West to begin with.

The sun sets in the west for a reason.

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