Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Red Dead

I've barely touched my camera in weeks.

However, despite no call to pick up my actual camera, I have been snapping away virtually, in Red Dead Redemption 2 (Steam Christmas sales are great).

It's a fun game in general. Not earth shattering: I don't really like Rockstar's "playable movie" approach to gameplay, and I find it amusing to think that their games are considered "open world" experiences, when in fact the narrative is as on-rails as a '90s corridor shooter. Just because you have to travel between each narrative segment does not make it an "open world". The world and its inhabitants (human and animal) all look superficially lifelike, but it doesn't take long to see that they are pure clockwork simulacrums, with no discernible artificial intelligence or randomness at play, and no persistent effects from player actions that the game designers did not intend. Such as, if you accidentally run down some important person because you couldn't stop your horse in time, don't worry, that person will have magically risen from the dead the next day.

Nevertheless, it's a fun game with beautiful visuals and a pretty world to explore. It also has a camera feature: you can pause the game at any point and move a virtual camera around the scene, adjust focal lengths etc and then take a shot. I've had quite a lot of fun with it after realising that it existed. A person could definitely learn a lot about the artistic aspects of photography simply by playing with RDR2's camera feature.

In the end, probably my favourite pastime in RDR2 is to ride canoes down its several long rivers. From the mountains with rapids and waterfalls, finally ending up in Flat Iron Lake. Simple minds, simple pleasures.