Red Read Redemption- The Ending.

Well that was… a downer. A real, REAL downer. We’re talking the same league as the death of Aeries levels of downer. As I sat there and watched the whole sorry scene play out, I knew there was only one way this story could end. Rockstar’s final twist was to give me a glimmer of hope, a final ray of light to hold on to… then they creuly snatched it away, casting me from the light into the grim void of reality, and then- oblivion.

So yeah, it's depressing, but in the best possible way. This is the sort of ending that makes a classic movie, and I think it’s a shame that so many gamers are not going to appreciate the sheer brilliance of Red Dead Redemption’s writing. Those of you who’ve been paying close attention to the game’s morals and ideas- at their core the idea of safety and civilization versus freedom and ‘barbarism’, will probably figure out how the game ends.

The last days of the old west. No developer, save Rockstar could have created this masterpiece.

Honestly, this game deserved to be deconstructed and analysed in the same way people pick apart great films. There is so much going on in this game, and it’s easily Rockstar’s finest. It’s not always happy, and as previous intimated, the ending is a kick in the balls- but that’s life. It’s not always happy and sometimes you get kicked in the balls.

People have often accused Rockstar of being immature, and to be honest it is at least partially deserved, (remember hot coffee anyone?) but I honestly believe these guys have the best writers of any developer or publisher. They create real, complex characters, engaging stories and spin their tales with wonderful levels of metaphor, moral and subtext.

These guys tell a better story than Bethesda, Obsidian or even Bioware. Only black isle and interplay ever managed to reach the heights that rockstar have (and yes, I know the origins of Obsidian- but they still suck donkeys).

All this is of course placed in a wonderful world, with the remit of trying to create a realistic, believable open world, and maintaining that idea despite populating it with clichés and references to classic westerns. The result is a creation all of its own, immersive yet entertaining, new, yet familiar.

Videogames are growing up- and Rockstar seems to realise that. Red Dead Redemption has something special, the fact the ending is sad, that it has not even a candle of happiness to it underpins the moral of the whole game- Rockstar didn’t want to give us a happy or satisfying ending. They wanted to use the ending to drive home the point of the story. If that means a sad ending, so be it. Not every story ends well, especially the story of the old west.

Like I said, it’s a shame so many gamers don’t appreciate this sort of thing, as this truly is a work of genius. Kudos to you Rockstar, keep ‘em coming.

2 Response to "Red Read Redemption- The Ending."

  1. Evis T says:

    Ugh, I just watched this again in preperation for a video review of RDR, and it STILL makes me feel deeply depressed.

    Chris says:

    Re: the recent Ebert-inspired discussions about video games as art, two games have affected me more than any movie or novel ever did: RDR and BioShock.

    I understand that I was directing a character only within the parameters of the developers (i.e. I had no choice at the downer of RDR despite whatever skill I had in dead-eye) but here's the thing. I played the role of the protagonist in a much more direct way than I ever did in any movie or novel, which simply placed myself in the protagonist's role. In the games, I *directed* the protagonist instead of merely imagining myself as the protagonist.

    I was depressed for days after I finished RDR, and I was pondering the meaning of life after I finished BioShock.

    If that's not what art inspires to do, then what's the point of art?

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