Tuesday, November 30, 2010
When I reached the end of Red Dead Redemption earlier this year, three things happened.
A. I cried like a baby. Like a tiny tiny baby who was really really hungry. If you played for 48 hours, then reached the part I'm talking about, you would have cried like a tiny hungry baby too.
B. I decided that no other video game of 2010 could possibly come close in gameplay, involvement, emotional attachment, storytelling, mechanics, gorgeousness etc etc
C. I realized it's biggest competition would be a game I simply didn't have the time to play right then - Mass Effect 2. I realized I either had to play ME2 to understand why it would win or just hope everyone loves Red Dead as much as I do.
Well, G4 has begun this "Video Game Battle" and when I clicked on the link today, you guessed it, Red Dead Redemption was up against Mass Effect fucking 2. And what's winning? Yeah. Not Red Dead.
Here's the thing. Granted, I haven't played ME2 and I hear it is this great, immersive RPG and Tom Bissell argues brilliantly in Extra Lives that the first Mass Effect game is a perfect example of how video games are indeed art, and that's all great, but I think had Red Dead come out while Bissell was still writing Extra Lives, it would be cited as being of the same caliber. Seriously. Red Dead proved to me that as wonderful as movies are, as involving as television is, there are some things ONLY a video game can do. Bioshock played with this notion during its infamous twist and Red Dead really brings it home. Its ending is not only brilliant, fascinating, a wonderful use of video games to tell a story effectively, but it's heart wrenching. HEART WRENCHING. It's I need five minutes to go cry in the bathroom effective, you guys. For weeks my dad would ask me "Have you gotten there yet?" and I would respond "Shhh, no! I'm going for 100% and don't want to know that there is any 'thing' to get to!" He kept telling me "Trust me, you don't know what's coming." And I didn't. It was nothing I could guess. I was advised to look it up by people on Twitter, to be prepared, but I didn't and I wasn't and I sobbed my face off. Face. Off.
So a. If you argue that video games aren't art, you're wrong, b. If you haven't played Red Dead Redemption, play it c. If you own ME2, let me borrow it and d. BE A GOOD PERSON AND VOTE FOR RED DEAD REDEMPTION RIGHT HERE CLICK HERE NOW. Oh and E. I'm playing the shit out of Fable 3, but it doesn't come close to Red Dead. Let's not pretend it does.