Red Dead Redemption

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You took the words right out of my mouth Yahtzee.
hopefully "Fallout: New Vegas" takes the "hardcore mode" as far you as you talked about it here

Somebody call Rockstar. I want that Survival Mode implemented via DLC as soon as humanly possible!

As for how the rest of the game stacks up, I personally couldn't bear to put the thing down. I think what drew me towards this game (and this was a gamble even buying it, by the way; I had to weigh my love of westerns vs my despise of GTA) is the character of John Marston himself. For the first time in a long time i was playing a Rockstar character that I didn't immediately want to hurl head first through a plate glass window. You see, in most RS games you have the freedom to do things that, in real life, would label you as a complete psychopath. Instead of trying to mold a good, likable character that would clash with the player's natural inclinations for wonton murder and destruction, RS said "fuck it" and made all the GTA characters as sadistic is the gamers themselves. But with John Marston, his plight makes me WANT to be the hero, I WANT to be the redeemed outlaw trying to make things right. So when RDR gives me the tools to cause chaos and death, I say "No, I'd rather channel the silent, mysterious defender of the weak, as in Eastwood's Pale Rider, or perhaps John Wayne's upholder of justice, Jake Cutter."

If one of the draws of a good sandbox game is choice, is it so bad that I choose to stand on the right side of the law? Isn't it commendable that RS is finally starting to think outside of their narrow box?

I think that a survival mechanic is a very interesting idea. The game would definately be strengthened by it. There should definately be an on off button though.

Swifteye:

That's a funny thing to say because when he has his games turned into busy work he complains about that. It's almost like yahtzees job to complain about things. I know technically it is but like things he will like in one game won't like in another. It's very two faced.

I really don't like this article. Last two were pretty good but this one is a bit. Well it reeks of someone who's a bit full of themselves talking from there bum. Sure he has point. But it's all chaotic neutral. I don't know. It's like one of those things where the second someone says something you know your gonna disagree and it becomes something that will spur a heated argument that will just make everyone upset with eachother. This kinda feels like a ramble so I won't go to far. I think this article is very stressful because it always brings up the element where yathzee rags on society. And being in society I don't appericate the complete lack of respect he seems to give.

He sounds to me more like a person who is complaining for the sake of complaining, not for the sake of being constructive or improving the actual gaming experience. Like someone who disagrees on purpose with the popular opinion regardless if he is right or wrong, more like he is desperately trying to get attention, like a dog doing tricks to get food, to describe it his way. I haven't read his other Articles yet and I don't want to sound disrespectfull, but particularly in the first page of the article he bites off more than he can chew by taking on the society without really understanding it, and more for the sake of sounding smarter than he is.

See thats why I think it's wrong to call RDR a sandbox game. It isn't. It's a story game with sandbox qualities. The idea was to give you the feel of the end of the west, where being an outlaw isn't really an option anymore. It was about the experience and the entertainment. Yes it might be a paddling pool, but it's one with hookers and jets that shoot flame high into the air. If it's a toddler's "activity center" it's one with a button that shoots lazers.

The things that you mentioned would have made the game better if indeed the idea was to be evil. It's not though, the game constantly makes John out to be a good guy, caught up in a situation beyond his control. I for one was glad to have a Rockstar character that wasn't just another law breaking "thug." However, the things you described making this game better would work better for me if it was in a prequel.

Those ideas could be easily implemented as you said, and it would give the feel that this is truly the wild west that you get a taste of in RDR. This would be the wild west that has all but died out in RDR's current timeline. It would definitely give the feeling of the entire game a different feel, and make it seem like you were in a wilder time.

sometimes, I find myself thinking that Yahtzee really needs to get that rod surgically removed from his ass, even if it is part of his schtick, really.

I am put in mind of that Moby quote a few years back:
"It just seem like musicians want to sell a few records and put out a perfume line, and I think it's so sad that there are so many musicians who don't want to change the world... Music has been so much more."

The first thing that came to my mind was "A lot of the time, people just want to hum along to a brainless song." I think the same principle applies here: sometimes you just want to play a game, ride around, and shoot stuff.

So rather than bemoaning how flawed every game is, why don't we appreciate at least some of them for what they are? (I know, I know: he wouldn't be Yahtzee if he did that.)

Nice Idea for the survival thing, but it sounds alot like the Fallout new vegas hardcore mode. But yes, a survival meter would bring back needing to do things that you are not proud of, making the crime part mean somthing.

Just a bunch of ass-kissers ITT.

Perfect example why Yahtzee is not a game dev.

Funny, my favorite part of the game is how there's no point, reason, or need to be evil. Marsten is a good guy. He's faithful to his wife even though she's off being kidnapped somewhere, helps others out even though they're often retarded, and only breaks the law when he absolutely needs to. I like that. That makes his character interesting to me.

I don't see why there needs to be a reason to be evil. Is it just because it's a Rockstar game or is it because people have completely forgotten what it means to be an honest guy in this world of moral choice games? I, for one, am glad to have a character that is three dimensional while still being good. It isn't cut and dry like Mario or Link where their whole purpose is just to be good and save the day. The things Marsten does are still a little morally questionable, but he does them for good reasons.

Honestly, which is more of an exciting character? The guy who robs people and acts like a bastard all the time? Or the guy who helps a crazed man transport bodies he dug up to a secluded area so he can search them for a treasure map because he needs the crazed man to help him find and kill a former friend? I'm going with the second one personally.

i think you're going to like new vegas' survival mode (that is, if you're inclined to ignore the whole fast travel routine)

Celtic_Kerr:

The human digestive system in the stone age was so strong, you could stop at any muddy creek, drink from it, and you wouldn't have any stomach issues. Today, if it's not "Bottled" or "Purified" it's bad for your system. I walk in the rain all the time, I don't get colds anymore, just one nasty virus per year. My friends that all use their umbrellas or stay in when it rains get 20 colds a year. Rather than deal with heat, we got air conditioners to make us comfy. Rather than deal with cold that in the past would have made us uncomfortable can kill us nowadays because of our systems. THAT is what Yahtzee means.

How do you know Stone Age humans didn't die of water-borne diseases? Rain doesn't really relate to catching colds. Heat in Arizona or California can kill people or seriously deprive them of quality of life, and that's not because they're pansies. Likewise with cold in Alaska. Etc etc...

There is something to be said about exposing yourself to the outdoors earlier in life, but most of what you said is unfounded.

I was looking forward to this review for some time now (they are playing the Commercials for RDR over and over where i live it is figgin annoying). I liked the idea of simulating a nobody in the wild west. By nobody i mean somone who doesn't have a set-in-stone agenda like Yahtzee points out in his review. The game is ultimatly a time sink, which is what a game should be in my opinion. By time sink, i mean something you sit back and waste time doing not really learning anything or being productive.

Biffy Cakeo:
Referring to the start of the topic. We may have not been able too hunt before but our cavemen ancestors certainly couldn't, say, drive a car(well).

i wouldn't exactly call driving a car a survival technique. it's more just a way to get around. have you ever had to stave off raging beasts on a regular basis just to stay alive? well, neither have i, but i wouldn't be prepared for it. even if i had a weapon, i'd be shitting myself with fear

Paradukes:
With any luck (read: with some seriously unbelievable luck and altruism on Rockstar's part), when the game gets its inevitable crappy port to the PC, they'll add mod support and let people add that sort of thing by themselves. I gotta admit, it would be fantastic, especially seeing as that's the sort of thing I already enjoy in Fallout 3 (with mods).

I was gunna make that point too.

blakfayt:
While the meters sound like a good idea they would have to be used in a good fashion. Most games out today that have those meters tend to fuck it up, you leave with full everything and have to come back three hours later because, lo and behold, your asshole character is hungry. If they did it on a not so realistic scale I could see it being a fairly interesting concept, but the idea of rockstar doing ANYTHING interesting is laughable.

I concur with you there.
My friends are all getting incredibly excited for rdr and I really don't know how long their enthusiasm will last...

I really liked this article; I think it had one of your best introductory paragraphs to date.

I tried to get into Red Dead Redemption the same way that others did, but I stopped short of a few hours. I see what Rockstar were going for, it almost felt like a rugged life in the west, but moving around, doing the missions felt more like a simulator - it lacked a physical connect, a survivalist urgency. I felt like I was wasting time.

For the sake of comparison, let me bring up Metal Gear Solid 3. That game knew how to manage its stamina feature, which the player was constantly thinking about. It wasn't impossible to manage it, and it certainly wasn't difficult once you understood it in full, but the impression it left on the player stuck with him for every part of the game. Red Dead Redemption could have benefited from that a great deal, no matter how frail the reality of such a system would have been.

hah it makes me lulz. survival in this game would be crap it would only disturb and take you away from an intresting story, a great story btw.
and MGS3 stamina bar was stupid. you got hungry every five minutes and had to open up the menu to eat cuz your sights was shaking when you had some punks head in the crosshair. yeah great.
Survival mode fit into SURVIVAL GAMES. last i checked RDR never was a survival game like Fallout or

Riven Armor:

Celtic_Kerr:

The human digestive system in the stone age was so strong, you could stop at any muddy creek, drink from it, and you wouldn't have any stomach issues. Today, if it's not "Bottled" or "Purified" it's bad for your system. I walk in the rain all the time, I don't get colds anymore, just one nasty virus per year. My friends that all use their umbrellas or stay in when it rains get 20 colds a year. Rather than deal with heat, we got air conditioners to make us comfy. Rather than deal with cold that in the past would have made us uncomfortable can kill us nowadays because of our systems. THAT is what Yahtzee means.

How do you know Stone Age humans didn't die of water-borne diseases? Rain doesn't really relate to catching colds. Heat in Arizona or California can kill people or seriously deprive them of quality of life, and that's not because they're pansies. Likewise with cold in Alaska. Etc etc...

There is something to be said about exposing yourself to the outdoors earlier in life, but most of what you said is unfounded.

All of what is said is based of what my father's friend, a bio-engineering and biology major. He's studied the human body and knows what it is and has been capable of. I'm using the stone age just as a time lapse but he's said such things were possible as close to 200 years ago. besides, in the stone age, did they have any ways or filtering the water like we do now? They did drink water from wells that came from the ground and while it's not TERRIBLY filthy, it can't be said that it was the cleanest water either. Lakes, Rivers, ponds... If you had to hike from point A to point B and there was no town nearby, did nobody drink at all? You found water where you could.

Not saying we're pansies either. Just saying that people were able to live and find meaning in life without technology making it easier for them in the past, but we rely on that technology now, and it's made us softer. Not putrified jelly, but softer. In the Australian outback, where it's sometimes too hot (yes, I know the poisonous insects and such contribute too) to go, explorers are STILL finding tribes of natives that have never had contact with "Civilized" people (civilised used to describe modern society). They live without technology with bows and arrows and are comfortable when explorers DO meet them. THey're a bit tougher than us, as they don't have the technology to make it easy for them.

daftalchemist:
Funny, my favorite part of the game is how there's no point, reason, or need to be evil. Marsten is a good guy. He's faithful to his wife even though she's off being kidnapped somewhere, helps others out even though they're often retarded, and only breaks the law when he absolutely needs to. I like that. That makes his character interesting to me.

I don't see why there needs to be a reason to be evil. Is it just because it's a Rockstar game or is it because people have completely forgotten what it means to be an honest guy in this world of moral choice games? I, for one, am glad to have a character that is three dimensional while still being good. It isn't cut and dry like Mario or Link where their whole purpose is just to be good and save the day. The things Marsten does are still a little morally questionable, but he does them for good reasons.

Honestly, which is more of an exciting character? The guy who robs people and acts like a bastard all the time? Or the guy who helps a crazed man transport bodies he dug up to a secluded area so he can search them for a treasure map because he needs the crazed man to help him find and kill a former friend? I'm going with the second one personally.

I think it's because they give you the whole "Dishonesty" choice and they make this massive meter up and thell you that if you are a good boy, you get rewards, and if you're a bad guy, you get different rewards. Normally when they give you the "Good/Bad" choice, there is meaning behind it, but it all falls to be one sided.

Bad Guy Perk: Bandits don't shoot you on sight.
My response: This is true, but you shoot THEM on sight, so I dont' see the point fo being able to walk into their midst, surround yourself with them before opening fire. No point for me.

All the perks that are worthwhile in the game come from being a good guy, they one sided it so heavily. So if Rock Star set out to make a game that is solely good, they shouldn't have put the meter in. Just the fame meter would have done. I spent the entire game being good and yet when I finished it, my Honesty meter was only full but my fame meter was only 3/4.

True, a game where morality is a good and the only thing is fine, but in order to make that game work, they shouldn't have put in a Good/Bad meter and told you to have fun. I did a play through trying to be dishonest, but I would finish a mission and gain Honesty. I was pissed! Here I was shooting down every carriage, cowboy, and speck of law enforcement I could lay into my rifle sights, and it's FORCING my meter into honesty!

Killing somsone drops honesty by 1-2 points, and completing your standard level (without an honest/dishonest choice at the end) will net you 50 Honesty... I would have had to kill the world to keep up!!! It's a two sided approach with a one-sided solution.

Less metaphores, more talking about the game. That wolf-puppy talk was a bore

I think the Survival mode idea is fantastic. The key to the whole thing, though, is being able to switch it on/off, which Yahtzee already pointed out. That's the best way to handle a game aspect that might turn people away from it, just make it an option rather than a requirement. Like turning off Vita-Chambers in Bioshock.

ideitbawx:

Biffy Cakeo:
Referring to the start of the topic. We may have not been able too hunt before but our cavemen ancestors certainly couldn't, say, drive a car(well).

i wouldn't exactly call driving a car a survival technique. it's more just a way to get around. have you ever had to stave off raging beasts on a regular basis just to stay alive? well, neither have i, but i wouldn't be prepared for it. even if i had a weapon, i'd be shitting myself with fear

Driving a car sometimes is needed for survival. Nobody too drive no one gets to work.

The thing is, the game kind of wants you to play in character. Marston isn't like the GTA protagonists, he's a former criminal rather than a current one, and faithful to his wife.

Truthfully, it was nice that the game WASN'T just Wild West GTA, even though people called it that. It may have used the same (improved) engine, but expecting it to feel like a GTA game is misguided I think. It's also misguided to treat it like a historical fiction rather than an homage to the popular Western films of yore, which would explain why the game wants to make you feel like a Clint Eastwoodesque badass.

And frankly I was pretty disappointed with GTA4, I enjoyed Red Dead immensely even if it did sometimes show symptoms of GTA4's "here's some boring missions so we can supply plot exposition" disease. Even then I found John Marston more interesting than Niko Bellic. And the way you continue the game after the main plot missions is pretty interesting, I'm glad they didn't pussy out on a real ending but still gave you the ability to keep doing the stranger quests and ambient challenges.

I can't say that I don't find RDR interesting in it's current state, however, I agree full heartedly about your survival idea Yahtzee. A game that is too easy, is just that, too easy. I'm getting tired of the panzy diddle fairies of today's gaming world always wanting dimwitted little nose picking minigames that are really supposed to be the make up of an entire game. A good difficult challenge is exactly what we need, and a survival western shooter just appeals. RDR could definitally use a patch that would allow this to be engaged by the players with a taste for more than just television that we get to push buttons with.

Don't worry Celtic, you're correct on the basis of information in which you know. The human stomach was indeed more capable in earlier times. But other than that, there were less diseases and parasites in which to catch. It's only natural that in time more of these bacteria and parasitic organisms would develop. So, not is it that their stomachs were stronger, persay, but a combination of a hardier immune system and less chance of catching foreign organisms to cause harm to the body. Riven... is just an argumentative troll who wanted to shoot down your own basis due to the fact that he's an idiot. Though this is all in theory, it's quite sound and easily traced and recognizable by the scientific community.

Personally, I think that the early hours of Fallout 3 did a good job of capturing the survival-esque feel. On your first playthrough, stimpacks and money are hard to come by, meaning you have to be extremely careful with your limited ammo and health, and it's a hard decision whether or not to drink irradiated water to restore your health.

Of course, things get really easy pretty quickly, but still... the beginning was, to me, one of the most enjoyable parts (after the beginning tutorial area, that is).

I'm totally behind this idea. I mean, I love RDR. And I think its story is one of the best I've ever seen in a video game. But honestly, the only thing I spend money on was medicine, apples, and the Bolt-Action Rifle. I got that "more then a fistful" achievement before I cleared Fort Mercer.

Celtic_Kerr:
True, a game where morality is a good and the only thing is fine, but in order to make that game work, they shouldn't have put in a Good/Bad meter and told you to have fun. I did a play through trying to be dishonest, but I would finish a mission and gain Honesty. I was pissed! Here I was shooting down every carriage, cowboy, and speck of law enforcement I could lay into my rifle sights, and it's FORCING my meter into honesty!

Killing somsone drops honesty by 1-2 points, and completing your standard level (without an honest/dishonest choice at the end) will net you 50 Honesty... I would have had to kill the world to keep up!!! It's a two sided approach with a one-sided solution.

I know what you mean, and I agree. The game certainly does lean towards being a good guy. But I think it's pointless for someone, Yahtzee or otherwise, to give the complaint that even though you have the choice to be evil, you have no reason to be. Having more choices in a game is a good thing, but to whine that the developer isn't giving you a reason to make a specific choice is dumb. The reason for making a choice is your own thoughts, beliefs, morality, what have you. If you want to be evil, you'll choose to be evil. If you really want to be evil, you'll choose to be evil even when the game is leaning towards you being good.

On a side note regarding your complaint about how being evil is too hard, it's about time they made a game where being the good guy is easier than being the bad guy.

You touched on a pretty good idea, Yahtzee. Games really about survival are few and far between nowadays. The biggest reason I'm looking forward to Fallout:NV is the inclusion of hardcore mode, because food and water are necessary to survive. Having to constantly worry about where the next meal will come from will add a sense of desperation to the experience, as well as increase game length (instead of just worrying about quests, you'll have to go out and find nourishment).

Yahtzee Croshaw:
What it needed was a survival mechanic. On-screen meters for hunger, thirst and exhaustion, which constantly tick down as you adventure, requiring that you frequently eat, hydrate and camp out or hire a room for the night. Neglecting these stats worsens your aim, striking power and sprinting ability and decreases the size of your health bar, and may eventually cause you to pass out...

They tried this kind of 'role-play mechanism' in GTA: San Andreas, and the community seemed to hate it.

Then again you can always play: Robinson Requiem which also seems to alliterate very nicely.

daftalchemist:
I know what you mean, and I agree. The game certainly does lean towards being a good guy. But I think it's pointless for someone, Yahtzee or otherwise, to give the complaint that even though you have the choice to be evil, you have no reason to be. Having more choices in a game is a good thing, but to whine that the developer isn't giving you a reason to make a specific choice is dumb. The reason for making a choice is your own thoughts, beliefs, morality, what have you. If you want to be evil, you'll choose to be evil. If you really want to be evil, you'll choose to be evil even when the game is leaning towards you being good.

On a side note regarding your complaint about how being evil is too hard, it's about time they made a game where being the good guy is easier than being the bad guy.

I think I would kind of disagree with this actually. I mean, back in KOTOR all of your "influence" in people was always run through dialogue options, so it was either"

Good option
Neutral option
Bad Option

In modern games you actually have to DO something to earn this morality. Sure in Red Dead Redemption, you see people on the side of the road in trouble and such, but most of them arn't really choices. Before I realized that your horse respawned, some woman asked me for help and then stole me horse. my first thought was some evil variation of "DIE BITCH DIE!" and I shot her, netting 5 honesty... I wasn't really being hoenst. Bitch stole my horse, bitch gets shot.

But it's not JUST that there's no incentive to be Evil, There's no reason at all. People in the old west were outlaws and bad guys for a reason. Money, Fame, Power... You did what you had to do in order to survive as well. In red dead redemption, You basically have to slaughter all the towns (turning them into ghost towns), kill all the people on the side of the road you run into. Steal horses, drag people from YOUR horse... BLAH BLAH BLAH...

And then the moment you get a couple of quests done... You're this wonderful person and that massive rampage you went on was just a cruel joke you were playing on the world...

Usually the whole survivalist gameplay wouldn't be such a great idea in most games. However, RDR sets up the atmosphere for it quite nicely. Shooting a bird, or killing a cougar with my knife was already enjoyable, but, without a reason to constantly do it (other than to make useless money) I'd have rather spent my time completing the other missions and side quests. Indeed in other games this may seem like a chore but RDR could have certainly gotten away with this extra mechanic and would have added an extra layer of immersion and difficulty. I don't know about you guys but I found it way to easy to constantly have full health in the game and the dead-eye made killing a breeze. I was never short on cash either.

Wow... you're idea makes the game boring. Seriously. It's essentially mandatory grinding. Some of the other ideas sound alright, but does that really create incentive not to break the law? Or rather to break the law, other than to refill stats? Why would money become useful? To eat tastier food you say? It's virtual... As long as you get health and stamina no one would dish out more to eat it.

Celtic_Kerr:
But it's not JUST that there's no incentive to be Evil, There's no reason at all. People in the old west were outlaws and bad guys for a reason. Money, Fame, Power... You did what you had to do in order to survive as well. In red dead redemption, You basically have to slaughter all the towns (turning them into ghost towns), kill all the people on the side of the road you run into. Steal horses, drag people from YOUR horse... BLAH BLAH BLAH...

And then the moment you get a couple of quests done... You're this wonderful person and that massive rampage you went on was just a cruel joke you were playing on the world...

But Marsten isn't a bad guy. That's readily obvious to anyone who plays the game. But Rockstar understands the people who play their games expect to be able to do bad, so they included the option to in order to appease them. At no point does the game try to suggest that Marsten is anything other than good, and therefore there is never any reason to be evil (unless it's a quest requirement). Rockstar just included it to please the people who would have been complaining that they couldn't shoot up a saloon or rob a bank if they hadn't included those options.

So it's pointless to complain that there's no reason to be evil. John Marsten is not evil. He is on a mission to ultimately save his wife and child. There is nothing remotely evil about that. But if Rockstar had left the bank robbing and train hijacking out entirely, this article would have been about how it's so lame that you can't rob a bank or hijack a train wild west style. It was a pointless complaint to begin with.

Apparently the new fallout game, Fallout: New Vegas, will have a survival mode complete with hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and so on as a harder difficulty.

Voltano:

I agree, though I think some modifications to the current statistics would justify a survival idea. Food could restore health, so greater meals restore more health. Water/food combined may restore the "quick-shot" meter and resting somewhere instantly refills these meters.

nah because than there would be very little need for food unless its to eat in a combat situation. I think food and drink should drive the player to get it under any means necessary, desperation is exactly what brings people to do crime in real life. In games it just means making the player more morally questionable than they already are.

There are very few games that did this sort of thing, a harsh western would be a good idea for a game because than we would do things the way they did.
At the moment the game doesn't pose much danger or reward for turning criminal.
Hunger+Thirst+Exhaustion & getting rid of the horse recall button immediately adds so much to the game, depth; greater difficulty, actually needing to think about what you need to pack before leaving a town, morality (which can slide from doing what you need to survive vs being a good boy vs greedy/uncaring).

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