Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fighting the Good Fight

I have a new mission in life which has become a nearly all-consuming passion taking up all of my free time that is not dedicated to fatherhood, shoveling or napping. In a few short hours, I hope to complete 100% of Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption.

Needless to say, my wife is thrilled.

I don't usually complete games, mainly because I have so many more important and fulfilling things going on in my life it is hard and I am lazy. That goes double for Rockstar games like Grand Theft Auto and Bully.

While I loved GTA 4, the reality was that to "complete" the game, you needed to do a lot of running around in what amounts to a full-scale version of New York City. And while running around, you need to locate and eliminate 100 pigeons, steal a boatload of cars and do a ton of other side missions. Did I mention that the gamespace is essentially New York City?

Red Dead was different. I looked up how far along I'd progressed in the game and was surprised to see I was over 80% without really trying. For the uninitiated, this includes picking 100+ flowers in the wilderness, shooting and skinning animals and the usual busywork missions.

While Rockstar is known for its attention to detail and engrossing narratives, they took things a step further this time around and I have to admit I was a little shocked to be explaining the plot to my wife last night.

While I watched with varying degrees of interest as Roger Ebert battled the gamers over whether or not games could be "art," I found it a little strange to be covering character development and the plot twists as I tried to explain why I had just (accidentally) executed a horse.

While it may not be Citizen Kane, the characters had real depth and I had no shame defending my choices when it comes to time wasting. Again, my wife was thrilled.