To make a video game set in the wild west without talking about Rockstar Games’s 2010 title Red Dead Redemption would be folly. For those who don’t know, Red Dead is by the company behind Grand Theft Auto, and Bully. So as you can imagine, it shares some similarities. I like to compare Red Dead to Grand Theft Auto 4, but without the crude humour, or… automobiles. Of course, being set in the wild west, there was a dearth of modern amenities, though some do show up later in the game. Set in 1911, the game manages to balance the old west and the new, modernizing west. At one point you travel to the fairly large town Blackwater witch has paved streets, and are given a Colt M1911. Not exactly the picture of the wild west. Other than that, most of the game takes place in a more classical setting; dusty saloons and arid deserts.
When thinking of how to incorporate scenery into a game that relies on text to tell a story, Red Dead becomes very useful. It is one thing to look at old pictures from the wild west, but it is another to actually experience it, or at least what the developers had in mind for the wild west. Iconic scenes from Red Dead, such as entering Mexico for the first time as “Far Away” by José Gonzaléz plays in the background, or the final standoff of the game are unforgettable; and subconsciously, it is difficult to imagine a wild west that isn’t influenced by such scenes. I only hope that our game will have even a modicum of the emotional impact of Red Dead Redemption.