hello this is games to play before you die our show where we talk about the best video games most important video games with iconic video games the beginning so we think you should play before you die I'm joy miner senior writer Keep Calm join by some colleagues from across the whole Ziff Davis spectrum here today I'm running the whole gamut I'm Alice Newcombe Beal from PC Mag and I'm Bob Al Green from Mashable and today we're talking about Red Dead Redemption from Rockstar so when people think I think what people think of cowboy games they are like 99% of time thing about Red Dead Redemption yeah but when it came out in 2010 it wasn't like it was the sort of like there was lead-up of Western games were going into it oh yeah we kind of wanted to talk initially here like what would look kind of yeah the pre red a Redemption sort of cowboy game scene what did that look like well I mean there was like gun and then there was a Call of Juarez as well and yeah and people always forget about like Red Dead Revolver right led up to Red Dead Redemption but yeah it seemed that you know cowboy games were sort of like in a bit of a like not revival like there were cowboy games before that of course but the you saw this trend just in the same way you saw like a lot of like street racing games and like there were two thousands lakhs on San Diego they did before they divide that they were doing like Midnight Club oh yeah but yeah there was like there were a number of you know cowboy games and that was very odd I guess to make to make the Western game sort of a viable thing and a lot of them did it did certain things that were like really cool but Red Dead Redemption really like kind of executed on all those things in such a way like you know the whole world like there was like the horse horse riding it was like this epic like level of you know fantasy fulfillment of you know being a cowboy and in rockstars version of you know the Old West yeah gun had done like an open-world Western yeah yeah open-world Western where you're running around it had like a huge cast like Thomas Jane was in it I think wow that was like never soft it was like before oh yeah you're Tony Hawk before they were doing the tiger but yeah yeah then other games like yeah like you mention Call of Juarez had done like the they had like the draw cam like this yeah oh man and but in the early 2000s obviously had time for bull the time in game oh yes a peak bullet time was achieved like six years after the matrix so games are just fine yeah we were getting there but Red Dead brought all of those things together and rockstars showed like you could put these all together in one package into an awesome like no boy experience yeah rock starts for stranger to like open-world games of course yeah they were able to do what a lot of these other studios could only execute on a fraction of a time yes hold my wish even at the time they warrant cuz like Red Dead Revolver no one thinks about that game no no unfortunately not but was it was that still made by rock to be a Gunsmoke reboot for Capcom okay so some Mad Dog McCree nonsense I know yeah I remember I was talking to a rock star guy before they officially announced – and he was Tommy hey we're making it read that – like big surprise yeah but then I was like oh isn't that technically red dead 3 and he was like come on don't talk to me or my son effort yeah there's also like there's strangers wrath at the time – oh yeah odd world game so everything just needed to dip its toe into the weird Western yeah if rockstar should have taken that that game you could like catch your own bullets to the bullets of these little like mad balls looking things like just like the bullets from like Roger Rabbit or some non Zetas yeah odd world strangers wrath it was original xbox and they got ported to a lot more yeah yeah but you know just cut it to me mirrors just the way that westerns and movies have been this sort of like just decades of westerns and they kind of got out of favor they come back and just kind of yeah you'll see like one or two every now and again but usually they just end up being remakes like you know 3:10 to Yuma or something like that but yeah they're the westerns have always struck like a very strange chord you know it's like it's not something you think about until you're actually watching it and you're like yeah I can get along with that that's really cool and there are also this iconic part of you know they're an iconic part of like movie culture and just like American culture in general like this like everything like people may not know what the good and the bad and sorry they may have never seen the good of good in the bad and the ugly but they know what the soundtrack is right regardless like oh there's a reason why I was supposed to pay attention to Clint Eastwood yes yes exactly before he got old there's something I was thinking about kind of building off of that is the way thinking about like Toy Story and the way you have like a cowboy and a spaceman and something I hadn't thought about in years is that in 2010 you had another big game from that year was Mass Effect 2 oh that paired the two of them up where was I was like Shepard as ba that's that's very good Marston as woody but it makes so much sense yeah I had totally forgotten like yeah I was was at Mass Effect one or two they come out that year but yeah that was that was absurd those were both real big games yeah and that's the same thing where's like sci-fi versus Western like the the height of action and like all these guns and all these yeah insane laser rifles that can do anything versus just oh just a bolt action like yeah and then you got to clean it out and yeah that that was the thing about Red Dead Redemption it's like it made all of that gun play feel really really good it had no reason like the guns in that game had no reason to feel as fun as they did like all it made like you know shooting like Gatling guns and stuff like that was really fun and all the lever action rifles rolling block rifles and like the what is it like the revolvers and stuff like that like it made all those guns feel really cool and visceral I guess super tactile like yeah we're gonna slow this down and make yeah yeah so just go back to like just saying like there's this kind of like waves and people are ready for like a big cowboy thing again and I think you just the gap between red and one and never I did to like it's been eight years so I think people were really ready for that again yeah yeah when when those trailers dropped like we were closing in on the critical mass of height for this game yeah people were definitely ready for it you could tell they were definitely thirsty like all these twitter means of people like in cowboy outfits like owe me one basically it's like when that trailer drops I'm so ready for it yeah so yeah so there were cowboy games nothing before right there but it definitely like came in and was able to take it like take advantage and do something other Western games weren't doing that people really wanted to do right and one of the big things that allow to do that we were talking about was just the music so y'all really excited talk about the music in this game oh for sure yeah let's get into that oh my god yeah the red yeah what does the Red Dead Redemption soundtrack yeah bill oh man woody Jackson yeah some good tree boys yeah there's some yeah there's some good yeah there's a really great score in the game and it matches up like what you would kind of expect a Cowboys soundtrack to sound like while we're also mixing in some modern like some modern ideas yeah and it's like every guy was a revisionist western yes very very much so but it's like you always hear that there's that that twang and that there's that whistle you hear yeah basically yeah yeah all that stuff that you expect to hear that stuff that goes off like in the back of your brain that immediately is like oh okay I'm in a western it's like the same way that you know when that one stinger drops from back to the future you know what's coming it's like like you know what happens it's the spaghetti western and like Ennio Morricone yeah yes it may not have been like period-accurate necessarily but it tells you you're in the west room this is know for broad-strokes purposes for the people that are approaching this game and may very well be their first experience with West with the whole like western genre yeah yeah that's the thing is like yeah this may this is a game that was marketing itself towards a crowd that may not have even you know seen a westerns at this point something that all these teenagers that like GTA hadn't like you know filled out their whole criterion collection of like they're like Sergio who yeah basically but it's yeah there's a really great score and it uses like yeah it fills in like these these vast expanses of space that you need to travel with like you know stuff like you know chill like walking bass lines and stuff I really dig yeah and the action is always really cool it always like hit it's like a really like percussive beat both of that track you were saying before he started that you really dug horseplay there's rare its what yeah I mean if you look it up on Spotify it's just horseplay and it's this long like six minute track of just like progressively more aggressive bass lines and it's what strikes up every time you just whenever you want to just get on your horse and go like that so that's what'll pipe in eventually and well they did have like an excellent score they also had some licensed music I mean there's the excellent use of there's a dead man's gun which is of course like closer for the entire thing which is incredibly like this incredibly somber piece and there's it's that's kind of like people think that it's like the centerpiece of the game when you're riding into Mexico and then that song starts yeah you go yeah you go through like this little like crevice and then there's like yeah the whole southern expanse just laid out in front of you and then you hear this like this little like guitar riff it's like yeah it's very pointed and you and then all of a sudden you hear lyrics which is something that you don't necessarily expect in this game because yeah like with GTA rx like you know we're listening to the radio we're listening to licensed songs we expect lyrics but up until this point in the game we haven't had any of that you're like oh okay so this is what we're doing and then it kind of because it's such like a keystone moment in the game it kind of forces you to kind to chill out and kind of take it all in you almost expect like the titles to show up or something yeah hold on wait for the title carp you show Bob Saget Lee said that's always interesting was that like it may not be period appropriate but to me like westerns as a genre like they're obviously inspired by history but at this point they're their own just like Jean WA and evident themselves like in in movies and you know in games and so yeah I'd like to use music that's more just kind of movie and it's like movie Western inspired I think it's more for the feelings they're going for their try to fit meaning rockstar is always trying to make the game feel like movies yes so it's like the GTA crime stuff and now the Red Dead like Western like movie specifically kind of stuff I think the music makes it feel so cinematic yeah because you it's like iterative and something I've never seen before in a game especially in an open-world game like this is you will you'll hop on your horse and your ride and you know you've got to go somewhere that's far away ah and it kind of builds or if you're in an action sequence and there's you know suddenly you know you're about to get bushwhacked because the music is kind of its like ramping up yeah and it'll they recorded it in like different tracks so there's like a baseline there are the trumpets there the drums and the timpani that'll be like layered on top of that so it can build and swell and in a game where you're just kind of roving around and there's not necessarily any direction you can go anywhere you want it like adds a cinematic and like a story yeah yeah rocks are its ability to make their games feel authored while also giving you a ton of freedom is a really difficult needle to thread yes and when you can't just yeah hop in the car and turn on like starting something right that horse that horse is gonna go when it feels like going yeah yes it comes in when it's needed it feels very and that's something like Spider Man did this year like every time you started swinging the music start to build and swell and it feels it feels really cinematic my favorite track by the way I got it I got it drop his trigger nama tree okay soundtrack that is just like in addition to being an excellent pun it's like a it's a yeah come to think about that entire soundtrack is full of puns playing trigonometry like why yeah I guess it's a trend it's like who does that with all his contracts big Michael Jack and oh all his contracts are just puns oh that's right yeah yeah that is his thing mm-hmm cool so I think it's a testament of a game that we've gone this far without really talking about playing the game yeah yeah yeah but you know it's also a fun game to play and I think partially you know mostly because it's building on what they did in GTA like gta's this huge series like these must be doing something right so yeah a lot of it you know taking those ideas and some pieces I think they work better in a Western context yes I agree yes because like well with GTA you're looking at like okay so it's an open-world you can do anything you want and people will do absolutely anything they want in that game but because it's framed in the real world there's always this light this dissonance in the world because it's like oh okay so I guess I'm going on you know a rampage and you know I'm shooting you know the FBI because they're coming to arrest me or whatever but it's like in the Western context it's like yeah it was you know this lawless frontier well it was indeed the Wild West and I could totally see myself just like you know either getting like lured into an ambush or like potentially getting mauled by a bear or something like those are things that would probably happen yeah much like the aimlessness of it feels correct because they look like Olly I guess I might rob a train today or like yeah and drink until I can't stand somebody like us yeah things that would happen didn't know about how this horse controls like yeah or the dueling system yeah yeah not sure how that works no I never learned that but I'll be damned if it isn't fun it's fun it's satisfying when it works yeah I don't know yeah I don't know how it works there's a lot there's a fail in front of how those mechanics work but yeah sure whatever it's still fine at all and yeah some of those kind of quirks I think like turn people off but I respect their willingness to commit to it like yeah when games do something that is maybe like bad but on purpose to sort of make a point I really respect that yeah like some of the Western stuff that commit to here is kind of in that vein yeah yeah Rockstar is definitely like they know the kind of systems they're building in this game and it's frankly a bit of a miracle that that they work as well as they do as often as they do now you know yes stuff breaks in the game naturally but that's kind of what you expect from Rockstar game and that's kind of part of the fun that's part of what you tweet about when you're playing this game is how how those systems end up interacting with each other and potentially unexpected and interesting ways yeah there's like um that one NPC who's like a human body but with like a horse rigging system or something like oh yeah Iowa to Condor lady yeah he's kind of funny glitches but I'll just test all the other preys on water time for making old timey guns fun to shoot like for sure yeah yeah with old timey guns mixed with like bullet time which is a very modern the thing yeah oh you can slow down time you're still shooting with like a revolver but yeah it feels very yeah well it made that like whole like like feathering the trigger thing like actually work cause it's like you can unload like a whole clip in like the span of a second which is kind of what you expect when you're messing around with like old timey western guns that's what you see it's like the dude like shooting from the hip just like like that in the tree yeah yeah and just the way it feels it's like people get like cut down and almost like the way they take hits and the way they go down is yeah that aesthetic and again like a movie yeah that was something that was really surprising at least in like Red Dead – it's like yeah it was like like you compared how people get shot in GTA versus how they get shot in Red Dead it's like very theatrical almost it's like oh you got me pardon flick they what they like and double over oh don't forget to let Old Yeller out smoke that come out of your guns and the guns of your enemies as well so you can spot Pete yeah well that would be well that makes sense when you're fighting out oh wow that's a gameplay mechanic I forget is this in the first one or is it just in to where your hat gets shot off is that in the first one boy I don't remember my call I didn't call like losing your hat and I do remember having a specific attachment to that at I will go back for that every time is not as much though if they die they die Yeah right in front of a train that's fine yeah be one and I think that got that that theatricality to the shootouts is still inspiring like later games it was mafia 3 they're talking about their system where if people get shot and they're dying like the AI will find the nearest ledge to like tumble over what's yeah just just for the the sake of yet yeah the pollinator awesome heads great oh wait yeah that was one thing I saw with like Red Dead – they kind of went whole ham on that it's like they added like dismemberment and like if you shoot dudes in the gut they will just continually like believe they will like gush blood like oh okay yeah getting getting shot sucks especially in the Old West when it's like you got shot you were pretty much dead anyway like yes something I've noticed an already – is sorry I don't know what I'm calling it that Red Dead Redemption – is I shot a guy in the head with a shotgun and his head was just gone yeah it was like a like bug but when you get up close and shoot them yeah yeah you can yeah you can take them off at the knee or just blow their head clean off it's pretty gnarly which was pretty pretty fun also in the undead nightmare expansion that whole bag that's awful that's a whole cache of content to say this game also has a cover system that works was which at the time was like something of a of an advancement for rockstar well yeah that was that was also a big thing I mean that up until that point we had seen like cover systems work and work okay work pretty well but none of them were as intuitive it's like everything was like yes press a to take cover on this on these right angled like me waist waist guy pieces of cover yeah but with Red Dead it was a lot more intuitive because yeah you're out in the middle of like you know the wilderness and yes there's gonna be obvious cover there's gonna be like some little like Pueblo sand like little walls and fences and stuff you can hide behind but like all the little rocks and like the scrub brush and stuff that's around there like and also you didn't have to hit a button prompt to like take cover he would just like duck behind that intuitively yeah which made yeah he just snapped right to it which was really really cool yeah it's not like calling attention to itself that way and like looking here's a war you know yeah like that the cover was like the blue mechanic that was it yes that was basically the whole game was yeah getting to cover and then you know shoots we're like Uncharted you might walk into a huge arena and you look around and it's like oh yeah knee level boxes as far as the eye can see that's a great segue to this last segment here uncharred it's a game where you murder thousands of people and here's this quippy guys like oh well it's me it's me nice and ready yeah whereas in writing yeah we're talking I read that one now you guys ready to sell is the big game and read that too there's a lot of kind of morale like making you think about the morality of what you're doing yeah and a lot of that you know you can trace that back to some stuff they were doing in one so yeah just talk about just some of the some of the kind of like gray sort of morality yeah so I mean it's a western setting we're just gonna play with morality that is so so much for that setting like that yeah the white hats black hats sort of thing another thing yeah going back to the whole like Mass Effect thing like when Red Dead Redemption came out like that whole buying it was like super binary morality systems were a huge mechanic they were a huge thing in games at that point and it felt like every game needed to have that and there was also it was also a very clear binary for most games it was either you know like save a bunch of kittens or burn down an orphanage thing and you're either the evil demon with like scars all over your face but on the game or you're the heroic like dimpled chin yeah yeah Savior but yeah in Red Dead Redemption it was like this there were definitely like shades of gray where it sometimes felt like you were getting like yes there was like at an actual like metric for measuring like how good and bad you were which is you know dumb yeah and that's to learn to also yeah but it's also like they you would sometimes get punished for doing what you felt was ostensibly the right thing right like you would go and try and save someone that was like you know strain it on the side of the road and only to get you know held up by like a gang of bandits and like get stripped of all your belongings basically yeah whoops yeah it's just so smaller than to not make all that stuff just numbers like yeah my sure this one up uh blah blah you know it's like it's it's also bacon to the story too I feel like in like ways that make it feel more organic yeah you know before this the whole thing about rocks rocks our protagonist would be like oh you know as a protagonist you kill these people get on this rampage you're like a maniac but in the story you're like this normal kind inflikted person yeah yeah that was kind of the issue with like gta4 just this I mean this Eastern European immigrant and I'm trying to find my way in New York yeah yeah but then you're pulled into all this and you ultimately are led to go on these like yeah like you said like rampages which is like yeah there's a lot of dissonance there but it plays into the whole Western theme a lot better than it does into like a modern side and I think they were just able to make John Marsden a more just cohesive character also so interesting yeah interesting enigmatic wondering what's going on in his head yeah and and who he really is is something that I wondered a lot playing this game obviously the the plot isn't turning on his friends and the reasons he's doing that and yeah history that they share is kind of obscured so this yeah this morality and this betrayal is like baked into the story itself sorry no and almost just like this is kind of like mythic sweep of American history where it's like the federal government coming to wipe out these sort of last vestiges yeah like yeah yeah like the Pinkertons are coming yeah and they're not particularly more you know moral or yeah it is it is strange that they try and interact with American history in that strange way yeah I mean the Mara is 1812 yeah yeah they yeah they do a weird thing where they're interacting with American history but it's also set in this very vague area that has very fictitious names attached well there's another Rockstar thing oh yeah that's the whole whole deal it's like you know it's New York but they aren't gonna call it that yeah yeah I live in Algonquin actually yes exactly from New Hanover broker but God we all know the fact that Jesus but yeah the the fact that they've kind of obscured the morality system a little bit more and they don't actually attach like certain like specific metrics to them that it makes it feel a lot more in a sense like one thing I really did like is that you can just go around like you can if you want go around your camp in Red Dead 2 and just start antagonizing people just calling people yeah calling people like you know names like that but if you keep doing that if you keep being a your gang members will come up to you and be like look up right now oh you're done they will come up and just like sock you on the jaw because you are being an all so it's a very organic way of how that of how that system kind of feeds into the game yeah I mean red that's who's just is just explodes all that those sorts of ideas so yeah it's full of like so if you don't even know like oh but interact with in this way like what is even gonna happen here yeah not knowing yeah interacting with the game and not being presented with like a whole list of what you've done on how you've impacted the game world always adds a little bit of ambiguity and not knowing like oh did I just get the best ending or something like that you're never entirely sure and also it it's the kind of game where you're kind of forced to live with your mistakes like if you've up a little bit like you aren't gonna go back and like save scum it's so that you can get the best ending because you aren't even sure because you don't because those systems are all obscured to you you don't see those metrics you don't see all the stuff that's going on behind the curtain yeah if you're trying to save a damsel in distress who's hogtied on the back of a horse and you get her captor and you tie him up and then the horse just bolts and runs over a crest and she's gone like you know that sense of loss there's nothing I can do that person's really gone yeah you're just kind of us yeah in in the game you're kind of a slave to the systems there but that's part of that weird like using using systems as like kind of a storytelling element you know they in the same way that like you know GTA or even like far cry or something do you like because they have all of these systems that will interact with each other and create these little these little anecdote factories for you you know yeah but yeah it's that's that's a commitment to those kinds of systems that makes to feel like a sequel to they first read ever temperature and not and not like you know a secret gta6 or something like yes yeah it's following up on the ideas from that game specifically yeah they didn't call it red dead revolution or red dead rebels or anything it's Red Dead Redemption – yes that's for Red Dead Redemption one we saw a lot about it here I think we were on agree that you know it's a game that you should play before you die yeah yes absolutely I would wholeheartedly agree like fan of fan of Western sir now if you enjoy open-world games this is a game that you should definitely spend some time in yeah I like it better than any of the Grand Theft Auto games frankly at this point for sure yeah yeah if you're looking for an open-world a rockstar game like this is the masterpiece yeah it's uh available it's backwards compatible and Xbox one now yeah can you get it on PSN is it available yeah get up get a lasso wrestle it up some other cowboy words yes saddle up pardo geese and I was gonna embarrass ourselves we keep saying more junk like that that's this week's episode of games play before you die we'll be back next time with another one I'm at Jordan W minor on Twitter and I'm Alice Newcombe Beale that's at Adam babe on Twitter and I'm at Bob L green on Twitter thanks for watching and thanks for being here

Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption was a Western Masterpiece — Games to Play Before You Die

11 thoughts on “Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption was a Western Masterpiece — Games to Play Before You Die

  • July 30, 2019 at 11:18 am
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    A black guy, a trannie and a serial killer discuss videos games. I feel like goodbye horses should have been playing In the background.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 11:18 am
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    Bad video compression and audio. Can’t watch sorry.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 11:18 am
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    Holy shit what is that purple hair thing 😂

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  • July 30, 2019 at 11:18 am
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    Holy gender bender batman!

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 11:18 am
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    I couldn't make it past 2:14. Got too focused on how many times they said the word "like".

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 11:18 am
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    Why does the framerate drop so bad after a while into the video.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 11:18 am
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    Excuse me what the fuck

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  • July 30, 2019 at 11:18 am
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    G E n D e r D Y s p H o R I a

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  • July 30, 2019 at 11:18 am
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    752k subs and 100 views oof

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 11:18 am
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    Marilyn Manson, Is that you?

    Reply

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