I’ve been interested in Rockstar’s new Western video game since reading this generally positive NYT review by Seth Schissel: “In the more than 1,100 articles I have written for this newspaper since 1996, I have never before called anything a tour de force. Yet there is no more succinct and appropriate way to describe Red Dead Redemption.”
A good review, yes, but who is this guy Seth Schissel? Why should I trust his opinion? I know he writes for the NYT, but so does Thomas Friedman.
Now one of my favorite writers has weighed in on Red Dead Redemption. Joe Abercrombie likes it, too:
To put it simply, Red Dead Redemption is fucking stupendous. . . .
But it’s actually the quieter, often unscripted moments that really soar. Breaking wild horses in the desert as the sunset leaks out over the mesas. Squatting in the snowy trees, buffalo rifle levelled, waiting for that perfect shot as a grizzly bear snuffles past. Hunting for confederate gold among the mountain peaks in a lashing lightning storm. An impromptu gunfight in a saloon after a few too many whiskies after I blew the piano player’s brains out because I just didn’t like what he was playing. Alright, that last one wasn’t a quiet moment, but you see what I’m saying.
To which all I can say is, poor bear!
Now I know that sometimes my favorite writers have tastes of their own that I don’t share (cough, China Mieville, cough, cough). But I have no reason to think that Abercrombie’s tastes run to the video game equivalents of M. John Harrison novels (sorry, China, but he sucks). I suspect, based on what Abercrombie says he likes about this game, that I’d love it, too. Maybe I need to start asking myself: Xbox360, or PS3?