With the sequel on the horizon, I figured it was now or never for me to revisit Red Dead Redemption and bask once more, in its glory. Hypothetically, this all should’ve gone off without any issues, but of course that wouldn’t be the case. Somehow, I had misplaced the power-brick for my Xbox 360, which was kind of a problem because I was pretty sure consoles needed electricity to operate. Luckily my local GameStop had one for six dollars, and it was smooth sailing from there.
Except for the fact that Red Dead Redemption didn’t age as gracefully as you might think. It’s still a phenomenal game, but the rough edges are a little more apparent, 8 years later. The thing that jumped out at me immediately was the consistent frame-rate dips. Like I mentioned, I’m playing this on my original Xbox 360 Elite, and the there have been plenty of instances where the entire game gets really sluggish. At most, it was an inconvenience
Something that definitely was a constant source of aggravation, was riding the horses. I don’t think any video game has really done horseback riding particularly well, and Red Dead Redemption is no exception. I’ve expressed in the past how a certain horse in The Witcher 3 is a hassle to ride, and I share most of the same frustrations with them as I do all of the horses in Red Dead. It’s just clunky and inelegant to ride these bad boys, and you have to do a lot of it.
But I did learn something new about Red Dead Redemption that I had never known before, which is that you can fast travel from just about anywhere and not just at stagecoaches. This was a fucking revelation for me. A random tutorial popped up and told me to use my campfire to travel somewhere, and it blew my goddamned mind. And you have unlimited campfires. That is insane and most definitely has made this impromptu play session much more tolerable.
There are a ton of little grievances I have with Red Dead Redemption, but as a package, it still stands as a monumental game. The story that it tells is (mostly) captivating and incredibly well told, and the characters are memorable and very well acted. The world itself is perfectly constructed to suit the setting and hammers home the feeling of isolation you’d imagine having when riding alone through the desert. While I’m happy I decided to revisit the game, it’s mostly just to distract me from the fact that we’re still a few weeks away from Red Dead Redemption 2.