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Games for a Hangover: Red Dead Redemption

James Haresign February 12, 2012 - 10:00 am

Blog: This weekend welcomes the return of an old favourite, GAMES FOR A HANGOVER. This week, James Haresign explains the virtues of saddling your horse in RED DEAD REDEMPTION when last night might have gotten a little heavy.

Open-world games are just what the doctor ordered for the morning after. So much to do, so much to see, and all at your pace. The last things you want when you’re crumbled on your sofa wishing the world would just slow down are explosions, Nazis or space aliens trying to kill you. This is what makes Red Dead Redemption a perfect game. It can be quite slow when you want it to be.

Rather than facing the manic roads of Liberty City or Steelport, taking your horse out into New Austin and moseying along the plains is exactly the right speed for when your brain is screaming a little bit too much. Your trusty horse never hits the intense speeds required of more modern travel, and there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre when other riders appear on the roads. In fact going off the worn tracks slows your equine friend down even more.

A favourite pastime is hunting – it’s only one step up from fishing and, lets face it, the real reason that people go stand in a river on Sunday morning is to get away from the noise and a little bit of rehydration. You can wander the countryside for hours looking for the animal you’re after, and an alcohol-addled brain barely notices the time pass.

Except for maybe the hunger pains, but that’s why God invented fast food deliveries. The earlier animals such birds, rabbits and deer are easy catches and won’t tax your dulled reflexes. Just don’t get too carried away and start looking for cougars or mountain lions. They’re fast and will take your recovering arse down. Hard.

Someone turn the sun off

Then there are those hangovers for which even the bright sunshine of the Great Plains is too much. Red Dead Redemption can help here, too. Plenty of the bars (I know being near alcohol again so soon may not appeal, but stick with me) have dingy back rooms for a cowboy with money to burn.

Blackjack and poker await. There’s even the elegant suit so you can cheat and make it easier for you. Just stay away from Five Finger Fillet – no way will you have the reactions to handle that one. Even if you want to travel somewhere, all the major towns have stagecoaches for you to lie back and groan as they get you where you want to be.

There’s even the benefit that if a fight does break out, Marston’s ‘dead eye’ ability lets you slow things down to a more acceptable pace and deal with any banditos without a whole lot of effort. And you never know. You might just find a Stranger mission or two that you missed. I know I did when I – uh – ‘researched’ this article.

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