Ermagherd. Have you guys been following along? On Sunday, Rockstar had a RED logo on social media. It was RED. Did that make your stomach gurgle a little? And everyone was all like “OOOHHHH SNAAAAAP. It’s some muh fuggin’ RED DEAD!!”.
Then on Monday, Rockstar released an actual image! Everyone was losing their minds and chugging Imodium because the shit storm was about to begin. There could be NO DOUBT that this was for Red Dead Redemption! I mean, lookit it! It’s all red! And there are cowboys! Oh, lawd, my guts were churning. Everyone was punching the sky and shouting “I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU IT WAS RED DEAD!!”
THEN…TUESDAY…to keep the hype train rollin’ right along, Rockstar blasted this all over the interwebs!
And it said “RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2”!! Those stomach gurgles turned into full on diarrhea! They even had a release date on the image!! FALL 2017! *cue cartoonish volcanic eruption of liquid bowel gravy*
I’m going to have to stock up on sports drinks with electrolytes and get an IV drip going, because this ol’ tease is going to keep me heaving with diarrhea for an entire year. Honestly, that’s really irresponsible of Rockstar. They must know that this type of news would cause mass chaos and terminal cases of loose stools. I mean, everyone’s like me, right? As soon as you see any news that you’re excited about, your body instantly starts dumping all bodily moisture out of your butt? No? Huh. Well, I’m going to type the rest of this from the hospital. There might be something seriously wrong with me. BRB.
Okay. It’s just food poisoning you guys. Probably that gas station hamburger I ate. While the nurses wash off my legs, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I forking LOVE Red Dead Redemption. I have been begging the universe to give me a new installment of this franchise since I finished playing through Red Dead Redemption the first time on Xbox 360 six goddamn years ago. It’s the first thought of every new day and the last thought at night. I remember saying aloud back in June, when Trump announced his candidacy, that I would vote for him if he made a Red Dead sequel happen. I mean, that’s a thing I said, and now this is happening, so I kinda have to follow through on what I said.
Before we all wet our whistles with the teaser trailer Rockstar is laying on us Thursday morning, I just want to take a moment to shine a light on the original Red Dead Redemption and pay tribute to what will always remain one of my favorite gaming experiences of my life. Just in case you are unfamiliar with RDR (in which case, how did you happen upon this post? Seriously, dude. Evaluate your life and your choices), it is a Rockstar produced hit that dropped in May of 2010 in which you play as a renegade cowboy who is forced to work for the government to take down his old gang of bandits in exchange for the lives of his wife and son. It’s 1911, it’s open world sandbox gaming, and it’s goddamn beautiful.
Rockstar is no slouch when it comes to game design, and this triple A developer went all out to create an immersive western action adventure. They are masters of the open world genre and RDR had perfect blend of narrative story and random old west encounters. You could stick to the story, which was honestly as good as any Hollywood blockbuster western, or you could travel the expanses of the massive early western USA/Mexico amalgam map, drumming up adventure and opportunities to fatten up your wallet and build your skills. There was bounty hunting, gang hideouts, gambling, regular ol’ animal murder hunting, and tons of random encounters that tested your morality. The graphics, at the time, were top tier and just goddamn breathtaking, giving the player a real tangible feel for the environments found within the gaming world. Weather, lighting, ambient sound, it’s all incredible in this game. It’s one of those games that you just continue to play well after you’ve finished the narrative story, because you can’t stop visiting the beautiful landscape they created. And also because you have a weird digital blood lust and this game lets you hogtie people and leave them on train tracks.
Then, as if the original couldn’t get any better, Rockstar developed some DLC that will go down as the best game add-on in the history of gaming. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare. They took this amazing world and turned it into a cheesy zombie story. Everything I loved about the original version…now with zombies. And an entirely new narrative! An awesome move that paid off tenfold for Rockstar. That year, every Best Of list included Red Dead Redemption, and rightfully so.
The only area of critique I ever had for RDR was the multiplayer. I mean, it was cool that it was there at all, I guess, but the playability just wasn’t very fun. It was pretty much just Deathmatch, and some other junk I can’t be bothered to remember, and it just didn’t have any hooks that kept me playing. But, it was fledgling Rockstar Online, and they eventually figured out how to do it with GTAV, which is still a game I spend quite a bit of time playing.
My hope is that the main storyline of RDR2 is just as good as the first one (which Rockstar has a great track record with delivering sequels), a more immersive online multiplayer experience (with lots of co-op gameplay), and they’ll innovate their already stellar baseline of third person open world sandbox gaming (like they did with each installment of GTA).
This one is worth getting excited about. I can’t think of another franchise that would get me as excited…except for maybe Mutant League Football (COME ON, EA…jeez). I hate that we have to wait another year, and I honestly wish they could have just pulled a Beyonce and instead of all of a sudden hyping a game that we have to wait for an entire trip around the sun, they all of a sudden said AAAANNND here it is! And they just dropped it. Goddammit, that would have been amazing. It’s making me light headed just thinking about it, but I’m really seriously dehydrated. I worry that Fall of 2017 will eventually lead to Q2 2018 if development doesn’t go as planned, but I’ll try to be optimistic about it. Of course, they’ll need our preorder dollars. And I’ll, of course, give it to them. I mean, I can’t have their staff driving around in Hyundai’s. Those Rockstar dudes need Lambo’s.
This is going to be a long year, but I’m sure most of my wait will be spent in a medically induced coma. I hope you can get as wrecked from food poisoning as I have been, too.
Matty Field is a standup comic who has veins that are hard to find for some reason.