2015-10-21 Red Dead Redemption

I recently started playing Red Dead Redemption. It’s an open world Western game from 2010. You’re a guy, you walk around, random stuff happens, you can do missions at a ranch like cow herding and breaking in horses, or you can do missions for the sheriff, shooting outlaws and the like. But some of the random stuff is creeping me out.

I had just shot some outlaws and was riding back to the ranch and suddenly there’s a guy running from right to left, crying for help, hunted by a pack of coyotes. I fumble around, looking for my rifle, aiming in all directions, trying to locate the damn dogs. I shoot one. Or did I shoot the guy? When I come closer, he’s dead.

I had just shot some outlaws and was riding back to the ranch and spotted two guys by a campfire. I approached and a cut scene shows me asking whether it was OK to take a seat. Sure, they said. One talked about this and that and the other said he should write a book. I got up. Did I touch the wrong button? Suddenly they get up and run. The first jumps on his horse. The other shoots me! The guy on the horse shoots me! Draw my rifle. Where are they? Blam! Blam! I’m dead.

I had just stepped out of my little hut and was walking towards some men near the ranch’s smithy when I heard some people hollering and shots being fired. I stopped and looked around. Everybody around me seemed afraid. I pulled my revolver. Four guys come riding down the road, shooting into the air. I watch them ride. I don’t dare to shoot because they’re four and I’m just one. As they ride past, I see they’re dragging a screaming man after them. I still don’t dare to shoot because they’re four and I’m just one.

I had just left the saloon and walked across the road to the sheriff’s office when I hear a woman cry for help. Help, please, somebody help me! I turn around a draw my revolver. There are some men standing around. There’s a man kneeling on top of a woman crying for mercy. He shouts that he’ll cut another hole in her. I shoot, missing him. She dies. There’s a lot of blood. I’m being shot at. One of the bystanders belonged to the same gang as the murderer. The murderer also shoots. I turn and try to take aim. They shoot. Blam! Blam! I’m dead.

So, what does all that mean? The animation shows my guy walking with a threatening swagger. When I walk into people, he pushes them aside and they grumble mumble. But I’m starting to fear people. I no longer walk into people. Who knows, they might shoot back. When I witness a crime, I look at bystanders. How many are in league with the criminal? I swear I’ll mend all the wrongs, eventually. But right now, I’m not good enough. I can’t get into a fight with an unknown number of gangsters. I feel terrible. There is so much hate.

I mean, there’s nice people, and I’m happy when I can have some small talk, or sleep in a bed or rescue some cattle farmers. But when there’s a man being dragged to his death, I look the other way. When there’s a man sitting by a camp fire, I pull my gun and scan the area for his friends. Better avoid strangers than get into a fight.

I guess this game is great? I still feel terrible.

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