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THE WORST DESPERADO

26 May 2010

Some more Red Dead Redemption now.

This game is hard and unforgiving. Not in the sense that the challenges are impossible to overcome (though it takes a mere cactus besides the road to nullify one of your carriage’s horses), but that the game doesn’t let you retry failed events. These events are the flavour missions that you randomly encounter in the game world, they are optional and give great face to the game. But if you’re keen on overcoming these challenges, you’d better bring your A-game because you can’t try again if you fail. Some of the most heart-wrenching (and, embarrassing) situations have arisen from these spontaneous, random occurrences.

The first time I was summoned to an unexpected lynching I dashed to the scene, the panic-stricken narrative brother running forward to save his sibling from the noose. An intense firefight erupted and the lynch mob fell. Alas, I was too late. The young man was dangling from the rope, struggling no more. I got no reward for my failure save the hysterical tears of the surviving eldest. Uncomfortable at the scene, I left without saying a word.

Another time, I came across displays of recent tragedy, which I had apparently just missed. When one hears gunshots over the hills whilst dancing with coyotes, one isn’t inclined to check it out immediately. Perhaps I should have. When I finally arrived on the scene, all that was left was a corpse and another family member in shambles. ,,Hey now,” I wanted John Marston to say. ,,Let’s bury your loved one and get a drink in Armadillo.” Instead, as I stood there, the man reached for his gun and shot himself through the temple. Again, that silent awkwardness.

A man came running at me later, screaming about his kidnapped wife. Without hesitating a moment I followed the husband to a clearing. Terrible things can happen to a woman in this virtual frontier. Arriving at the scene I took care of the bad guys with my Dead-Eye vision. Where was the wife? Was she tied up in a tent somewhere? Then I saw the rope with the kicking lady hanging from the tree. ,,Oh shi--!” was all I could think before the body stopped jerking and hung still. Unforgiving. The silent tragedies of the wild west.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m shooting for the title of Worst Desperado. If I had to guess its unique unlockable costume, I’d go with naked plus cowboy boots.

Roderick