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Red Dead Redemption: World in Motion
July 17, 2010 10:07 PM   Subscribe

A time lapse video of the immersing, beautiful world of the critically acclaimed video game Red Dead Redemption.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo (60 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh that is gorgeous.
posted by griphus at 10:09 PM on July 17, 2010


I would think it would be really cool, to be the programmer of a game and see that somebody had done something like this with it.
posted by cribcage at 10:26 PM on July 17, 2010


Love this game.. what a masterpiece
posted by ReeMonster at 10:28 PM on July 17, 2010


Another game with a beautifully crafted open world setting is Just Cause 2.
posted by thewittyname at 10:35 PM on July 17, 2010


immersive > immersing

addictive > addicting


That being said, except for the odd bizarre glitch, RDR is pretty awesome.
posted by lumensimus at 10:35 PM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


It looks like they missed one detail, which is that the Moon doesn't appear to move at night (there's one shot with a visible Moon near the end of the video). And of course the stars are apparently static as well.
posted by jedicus at 10:42 PM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Red Dead Redemption's vistas are so visually stunning that I rarely use "fast travel" to go from town to town. It's more rewarding to ride from place to place in real time.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:46 PM on July 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


God, I want to play this game. Someone who is more in-the-know than me, could you tell me if they're going to release a PC version of it?
posted by barnacles at 10:50 PM on July 17, 2010


Oh hell's bells. You do know you're making it VERY hard to stay 2 generations of game console and one format of TV behind.

Also, the Burnout Paradise HD capture linked at the bottom of the page is almost as stunning.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 10:50 PM on July 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Playing Just Cause 2 for the PC right now. The world is just as gorgeous as everyone is saying. That said I think it lacks the polish you see in Rockstar games. In JC2 the storyline is hokey and the voice acting is just bad. But it's still a fun game.

As for RDR I'm really hoping a PC version gets released. I would like to play it but it seems silly to spring $300 for an Xbox 360 just to play one game.
posted by smoothvirus at 10:52 PM on July 17, 2010


Centuries worth of physics, electronics, programming, art and design. Billions of computer instructions happening at incomprehensible speeds. All to make a beautiful virtual world, which is truly impressive.

So your virtual character can travel around and shoot things?

Some things never change.
posted by anarch at 10:56 PM on July 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


I just recently started playing Oblivion on my PC and have put a ridiculous amount of time into implementing the best mods to make the game prettier and more immersive, and now this video is making me jealous!! Of games that aren't four years old, I guess. But I'm suitably impressed with Oblivion's engine and the various mods augmenting it that I find myself doing the same thing as MegoSteve, ignoring fast travel and just riding around. Perhaps more up-to-date gamers might be unimpressed, but it's really the first time I've felt so immersed in a game just due to graphics and environmental details. RDR looks similarly enticing based on that video.
posted by palidor at 10:59 PM on July 17, 2010


So thanks to the thread about the 11th annual juggalo gathering, all I can think about is how much I hope someone makes a "Big Money Rustlas" mod for RDR.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:03 PM on July 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can't speak for Just Cause, but RDR isn't just about shooting things. Only mostly.

I wish it were less about shooting things, honestly.

But, even so, The Iliad was about lots of people getting stabbed with swords. The Bible is packed full of warfare and violence. Violence is narratively interesting, it reveals character.

I really wonder at this point, why there aren't more popular games about relationships and so on, though. You'd think after the success of the Sims, there would be a rush of people trying to clone it, but no. One God of War clone after another.
posted by empath at 11:05 PM on July 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


In the future, everyone will be engaged in warfare for 15 minutes.
posted by ImsoAeriginal at 11:07 PM on July 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


The video doesn't appear to be working.
posted by Justinian at 11:11 PM on July 17, 2010


Some things never change.

Except as both a medium and an art form it seems to be reducing actual violence.

But I agree with you about even simulated violence being distasteful. Perhaps some day it won't be so compelling, but using it as a mechanism of conflict and storytelling has been around since the dawn of storytelling. Everything from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams to Greek classics use it. But like in any medium about 90% of everything is crap, so it's easy to cherry-pick extreme examples of ultraviolence in gaming and discard the parts that make it redeemable.

The way that I look at most gun/violence video gaming is that mechanically you're still just playing tag and cops and robbers. The props might be over the top but when you pull apart the game play mechanics for any game it's basically laser tag, or puzzle solving, or agility skill tests and other basic building blocks of play.
posted by loquacious at 11:12 PM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


So your virtual character can travel around and shoot things?

I take it you've not actually played the last chapter of Red Dead Redemption. It refutes what you're saying ("What, go take the cows out to pasture? I'd love to!") but underlines it at the same time ("Oh no, fucker, you will die.").
posted by fleacircus at 11:17 PM on July 17, 2010


I really wonder at this point, why there aren't more popular games about relationships and so on, though.

pussywhipped 2: household chores is coming out soon...it's amazeballs. oh wait, there's no balls, nevermind.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:17 PM on July 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Barnacles: No word on any PC version yet but if GTA4 was any indication, the eventual port will be pretty horrible. Better pick it up for 360/PS3.
posted by Diskeater at 11:22 PM on July 17, 2010


Thanks for making me wish Sony hadn't taken OtherOS away from me, leaving me unable to update and thus unable to play newer games. :(

Oh well, at least they've saved me a thousand bucks a year.
posted by wierdo at 11:23 PM on July 17, 2010


RDR is based around a Culture of Honor, which are found throughout history when certain conditions exist. 1) a lack of resources; 2) where the benefit of theft and crime outweighs the risks; and 3) a lack of sufficient law enforcement (such as in geographically remote regions). The Wild West is a classic case, but other examples include Bedouin, Scottish and English herdsmen, Appalachia (Hatfield and McCoys or Deliverance), Pirates. Modern inner city slums also have the three conditions: lack of resources (poverty); crime and theft have a high rewards compared to the alternatives (few); and law enforcement is generally lax or corrupt. It's no accident GTA is made by the same company. So you see different flavors, but the same idea.

The three conditions in a Culture of Honor make for perfect FPS: 1) Lack of resources means you have to aquire things. 2) Theft and crime are rampant meaning lots of bad guys, or anti-heroes. 3) Insufficient law enforcement means plenty of violence.

Anyway, if you want to guess what this genre will bring in the future, a good bet would be more Cultures of Honor from history: Scottish Highlanders, Bedouin's, 18th C Pirates .. it's both limitless, and limited.
posted by stbalbach at 11:25 PM on July 17, 2010 [25 favorites]


Brilliant! But when do we get tilt-shift?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:32 PM on July 17, 2010


If it isn't the violence then it has to be the tired gameplay mechanics because if I never played another first-person shooter for the rest of my life I wouldn't miss it at all. But it's really hard for me to determine my feelings here--do I find shooting at people distasteful or have I just done it so many times that I'm sick of it? I guess it's that the genre is just gratuitous at this point, with so many permutations of the same "winning" formula released every year while teenage boys eat it up. When there are so many things that can be done with the medium it feels like such a waste of effort and talent to do the same thing over and over, especially when it depicts base, simplistic values like "kill or be killed." Of course I know every medium feeds on the lowest common denominator, and even I'll be pretty psyched when Mass Effect 3 shows up, but I still feel like videogames is my special baby I watched grow up to disappoint me. Don't waste your potential, my child!!
posted by palidor at 11:33 PM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Red dead is an amazing accomplishment. 15 years in industry has left me with a set of standards that are rarely met... Red dead has exceeded them and i'm not even finished with it. An amazing piece of craftsmanship...

It's also a horrible reminder of how fucked my profession is... A team of 200 worked 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for overa year... 120 milion dollar budget... A huge financial success...
And as of last week, a studio that sees a great financial success and celebrates by firing 20% of the developers who worked the hours to make it possible...

So amazing amazing game.. But unless something changes, it's hard to see how this is sustainable.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:41 PM on July 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Violence is narratively interesting, it reveals character.

Everything from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams to Greek classics use it.


Yes, definitely. Violence has its place in storytelling. But it is not storytelling.

Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, "Homer" and "God" may have included violence in their works, but they don't read like:
Man is walking through the town. Someone shoots at him from building. Man shoots back and kills. Another shoots from a window. Man waits and sees head, then shoots and kills. Then another on the street. Shot and killed.

Literally, ad nauseum. Or in other words, palidor++:

if I never played another first-person shooter for the rest of my life I wouldn't miss it at all.
posted by anarch at 11:43 PM on July 17, 2010


Scottish Highlanders, Bedouin's, 18th C Pirates

Pirates have been done to death and suffer from the problem that traveling on the sea is both visually fairly boring (the scenery doesn't change much) and time consuming. The desert has similar problems, though not quite as severe. You might be on to something with the Highlanders, though.
posted by jedicus at 11:45 PM on July 17, 2010


i'm not a gamer; even so, i REALLY want to play this. i've been drawn to it ever since i saw the first poster-sized ad. nice to get a look at the video. fantastic.

i don't understand roger ebert's insistence that games are not art, especially when something like this exists. at this point, i think he must just be trolling.

thanks for posting this, Tenacious.Me. Tokyo!
posted by lapolla at 11:45 PM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, the Burnout Paradise HD capture linked at the bottom of the page is almost as stunning.

Burnout Paradise is the game that got me back into "modern" gaming. We had bought a 360 mostly so my wife could play Mass Effect. A friend gave me Burnout Paradise as a game I could play. Even though I'd never liked racing games before, I got completely addicted to it. The capture there is of one of the DLC expansions for the game, which is an amazing playground for doing ridiculous jumps, barrel rolls, etc. It's not a deep game by any means, but goddamn it's just sheer bloody fun.

Of course now I'm sucked in to console gaming (for the 360, at least). Ended up creating multiple careers for the Mass Effects, played through a bunch of the Lego games, COD4, etc.

I'm also looking forward to playing RDR at some point, but I hate paying new game prices. The only time we've done that was for Mass Effect 2. I'm waiting for RDR to come down to less than $40 or until we get it on Goozex.
posted by kmz at 11:59 PM on July 17, 2010


Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, "Homer" and "God" may have included violence in their works, but they don't read like:
Man is walking through the town. Someone shoots at him from building. Man shoots back and kills. Another shoots from a window. Man waits and sees head, then shoots and kills. Then another on the street. Shot and killed.


Well, the "text" isn't really written language in this case, is it? It's a player-controlled audio/visual environment. So saying it "reads" as you described here isn't entirely fair. The language is your imposition.

Homer has a similar "Literally, ad nauseum" sense of serial murders at many points. Picked at random in about 20 seconds of searching:

Teucer son of Telamon was the first to kill his man, to wit, the warrior Imbrius son of Mentor rich in horses. Until the Achaeans came he had lived in Pedaeum, and had married Medesicaste a bastard daughter of Priam; but on the arrival of the Danaan fleet he had gone back to Ilius, and was a great man among the Trojans, dwelling near Priam himself, who gave him like honour with his own sons. The son of Telamon now struck him under the ear with a spear which he then drew back again, and Imbrius fell headlong as an ash-tree when it is felled on the crest of some high mountain beacon, and its delicate green foliage comes toppling down to the ground. Thus did he fall with his bronze-dight armour ringing harshly round him, and Teucer sprang forward with intent to strip him of his armour; but as he was doing so, Hector took aim at him with a spear. Teucer saw the spear coming and swerved aside, whereon it hit Amphimachus, son of Cteatus son of Actor, in the chest as he was coming into battle, and his armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground. Hector sprang forward to take Amphimachus's helmet from off his temples, and in a moment Ajax threw a spear at him, but did not wound him, for he was encased all over in his terrible armour; nevertheless the spear struck the boss of his shield with such force as to drive him back from the two corpses, which the Achaeans then drew off. Stichius and Menestheus, captains of the Athenians, bore away Amphimachus to the host of the Achaeans, while the two brave and impetuous Ajaxes did the like by Imbrius. As two lions snatch a goat from the hounds that have it in their fangs, and bear it through thick brushwood high above the ground in their jaws, thus did the Ajaxes bear aloft the body of Imbrius, and strip it of its armour. Then the son of Oileus severed the head from the neck in revenge for the death of Amphimachus, and sent it whirling over the crowd as though it had been a ball, till fell in the dust at Hector's feet.

Just two dead guys there, but there's also an awesome corpse decapitation and then they throw the decapitated head at the bad guy to taunt him. Pretty fucking degenerate. It's got poetic language, but the video quality sucks, and there's no voice acting to speak of.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:04 AM on July 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


You guys know RDR isn't a FPS, right? 'Cause a lot of people sure seem to be referring to it as such.
posted by Justinian at 12:05 AM on July 18, 2010


Oops, the video didn't work because I had NoScript enabled. Never mind!
posted by Justinian at 12:06 AM on July 18, 2010


There was previous indepth discussion re: RDR in metatalk not not very long ago.

Rather than repeat myself, I'll just link to it.
posted by empath at 12:21 AM on July 18, 2010


I have to admit, I actually quit read The Iliad about half way through when I tried to in middle school. Blah killed blah with blah, blah killed blah with blah, blah killed blah with blah, got really old really fast.
posted by kmz at 12:24 AM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, "Homer" and "God" may have included violence in their works, but they don't read like:
Man is walking through the town. Someone shoots at him from building. Man shoots back and kills. Another shoots from a window. Man waits and sees head, then shoots and kills. Then another on the street. Shot and killed.


RDR doesn't remotely play like that. It's a romance, a western, a war story, and ultimately a tragedy. In between the action set pieces, there's comedy, spiritual moments, moments of quiet contemplation, and character moments that just might make you tear up a little bit. It's 40 hours long or so and it never repeats itself or feels samey. Better than Lost, in that regard.

It really is an amazing accomplishment, in terms of writing, art design, acting, etc. I don't think any game is going to top it for a long time. It's the Gone With the Wind of video games, IMO.

I have philosophical quibbles with the over-reliance on cut-scenes, but I'm a games purist.
posted by empath at 12:27 AM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'll say this: Dan Houser is probably as important a creative visionary as almost any filmmaker you care to name and he doesn't get nearly enough credit for it. (Though I'm sure he cries himself to sleep about it on a bed of money).
posted by empath at 12:34 AM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Call me when this video gets the proper Philip Glass sondtrack.
posted by Dmenet at 12:42 AM on July 18, 2010


Back when I was playing GTA4, I thought how awesome a huge sandbox set in the Wild West would be. I guess someone was listening.

OK, now I want the Odyssey. Get on it.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:47 AM on July 18, 2010


I was going to say that they must've entered a cheat to do this, until I read that this is all from the "AFK" mode because they didn't get ninja'ed by a bear. Love this game, but WHAT the FUCK packs of ninja bears? Love game, hate bears. Hate them so much.
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:18 AM on July 18, 2010


empath: Do you think Planescape: Torment failed as a game because it had essentially one ending in an RPG? 'Cause I think it was a rather stunning success both as a game and as a narrative.
posted by Justinian at 1:24 AM on July 18, 2010


I wanted to be moved by this, but wasn't. Thoughts were going through my head ("yeah this does look really awesome", "look at that water!", "I remember other people talking about RDR"), but the thoughts were like echoes, not accompanied by any feeling whatsoever.

I almost said to my friend to come and "look how beautiful this is!", but then I realized that I would be vocalizing hype, just to feel part of it.
posted by eeeeeez at 1:26 AM on July 18, 2010


empath I really wonder at this point, why there aren't more popular games about relationships and so on, though.

Intra-party relationships are very important in BioWare games, and a lot of your missions and quests are prompted by your character's relationships with his/her party.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:31 AM on July 18, 2010


Metafilter: vocalizing hype, just to feel part of it.
posted by jadayne at 2:58 AM on July 18, 2010


I was going to say that they must've entered a cheat to do this, until I read that this is all from the "AFK" mode because they didn't get ninja'ed by a bear. - Zack_Replica

I was thinking the same thing, only cougars. Bears, you just stay well clear of Tall Trees.

-

Am still a devoted fan of this game, even when most of XBL acquaintances I've made in Free Roam/Gang Matches seem to have moved on to Modern Warfare 2. To quote a certain Jubal Early, "People don't appreciate the substance of things..." Not only is the environment gorgeous, but the dynamic death animations are worthy of attention as well.... well worth I think the occasional possessed-horse glitch.
posted by marco_nj at 3:46 AM on July 18, 2010


The real ninja bears of RDR.

(actually an ad for a machinima series re the game Naughty Bear, but still amusing.)
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:55 AM on July 18, 2010


This video does a great job conveying just how beautiful RDR is. I honestly don't understand why they put this much work into the rendering quality, but I'm so so glad they did. It transmuted the game from a mostly meh Western to something more like an epic film.

I'm still struggling with the gameplay, though, and am not sure I'll finish the game. The mission structure and interactive writing is just really poor. I'm halfway through the Mexico missions, though, maybe I just need to buck up and finish.
posted by Nelson at 7:26 AM on July 18, 2010


I can't play video games, but 'moonMan has this one and absolutely loves it, so I feel comfortable passing on his recommendation.

I like the ponies. And the cowses.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:04 AM on July 18, 2010


I was going to say that they must've entered a cheat to do this, until I read that this is all from the "AFK" mode because they didn't get ninja'ed by a bear.

Zack_Replica, notice how none of the scenes were from Tall Trees or The Great Plains? In those areas, you really can't stand around for five minutes without getting jumped by a bear or cougar.
posted by Edgewise at 8:28 AM on July 18, 2010


more Cultures of Honor from history: Scottish Highlanders, Bedouin's, 18th C Pirates

I've been waiting for Prohibition-era Chicago gangsters.
posted by nev at 8:30 AM on July 18, 2010


barnacles: "God, I want to play this game. Someone who is more in-the-know than me, could you tell me if they're going to release a PC version of it?"

"As of now, there are no current plans to bring Red Dead Redemption to the PC platform. If that should change, we will let you know." --A statement on RockStarGames.com. Although BigDownload.com says, "That doesn't mean we won't see a PC port at some point as Rockstar is notorious for releasing PC versions of their console games months and sometimes years after the games first come out on consoles."
posted by sharkfu at 9:06 AM on July 18, 2010


empath: Do you think Planescape: Torment failed as a game because it had essentially one ending in an RPG? '

I have no idea what you're talking about.
posted by empath at 9:59 AM on July 18, 2010


anarch: Yes, definitely. Violence has its place in storytelling. But it is not storytelling.


Premise problem alert: Your denial that this game can and does use violence as a mechanism for storytelling.

If your larger point is that all that development and technology is being wasted on videogames, then make that point. I'd be interested to hear it.

But to assert that all that development and technology has been wasted on violence in videogames, implicitly stating that all the game does with said development and technology is make a big world to run around and mindlessly shoot things without using a detailed, artistic storytelling narrative, just shows your ignorance of the game in specific and the medium in general.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:48 AM on July 18, 2010


Also it isn't man walks into town etc bullshit, and isn't a first person shooter, et al ad nauseam. Really, do a little tiny bit of research before the grand generalizations.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:51 AM on July 18, 2010


It took me a while to get into RDR, and the Mexico section was pretty tedious, but I'm so glad I stuck with it. I'm amazed at how much care and effort was put into the ending (where you "go home") and the second ending (which I'll call the, uh, "transition"). I mean, think about how much extra voice work alone they had to do to support that.

I very highly recommend seeing the game through to the very end - which you don't hit until the credits play.
posted by Sibrax at 11:08 AM on July 18, 2010


I think something to be noted about the ending which I don't think spoils much is that for the first time in the game, you're left without explicit guidance of where to go next, which gave me a feeling that is hard to put into words, but felt very much how I think I'd feel if I was in the same situation.
posted by empath at 1:48 PM on July 18, 2010


I'm halfway through the Mexico missions, though, maybe I just need to buck up and finish.

Yes. Yes you do.
posted by fleacircus at 2:47 PM on July 18, 2010


The only big deficiency that I noted with the game engine's portrayal of the old west is that the gullies and gulches (dry stream beds) found north of Armadillo in New Austin did not flood even in the midst of the hardest rain/thunder storms.
posted by The Confessor at 4:56 PM on July 18, 2010


Not so much about the graphics, but something which I found really different between GTAIV and RDR - and something which made it I think far more interesting for my non-gamer partner to watch - was that it's much harder to be an accidental dick.

In GTAIV, the basic trend of the physics is towards dickery. It's hard to drive around without running a red light, or bashing another car, and getting the police involved, and then having to race off to try to get away from the police, during which escape you hit a couple of pedestrians, and so on.

Conversely, Red Dead Redemption has politeness essentially baked in. You respectfully decline the advances of the prostitutes. You can't crash your horse into another horse, and it's much harder to ride people down at a moderate speed. And, best of all, you have a key just for saying hello to people.

Of course, you also spend a lot more time killing, gutting and skinning often adorable animals than Nico Belic, which is where this falls down somewhat, but you can get a surprisingly long way through without dickery, intentional or otherwise.
posted by DNye at 5:03 PM on July 18, 2010


As a child, I was a huge fan of westerns. One of my earliest memories was watching an episode of The Rifleman while eating a grilled cheese sandwich. Saturdays were spent watching as many reruns of Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Rawhide as I could. I was reading Louis L'Amour every night after finishing my school-assigned reading, and I read Shane so many times that the cover eventually fell off.

Growing older, I realized that, while some semblance of that world that existed in my head really did exist previously, it had been glamorized through all of the TV shows and movies. So my love for the genre fizzled and life went on.

With everything going on in my life, I hadn't had time to play my Xbox for over 8 months. I happened to see a review of RDR on a regular news website, so I read it. Then I started reading about the game on game review sites. Then I saw that thread in MeTa where people were discussing how great it is, so I finally gave in, got the game, and fired up the Xbox.

As soon as John got on that first horse and headed out to Fort Mercer, I could already feel my love of the genre coming back. I've been purposely playing this game very slowly, taking care to help all the people I see as I'm meandering along, stopping to pick flowers and skin animals regularly, and sitting down for (sometimes) hour-long sessions at the poker or liar's dice tables. I've made it into Mexico in the game, but I purposefully haven't done any of those missions yet because I've just been riding around and taking in the new, absolutely gorgeous scenery and seeing what areas I can uncover. I saw that there was a town up on a plateau (Torquemada) and spent about 30 minutes just trying to figure out how to get up there. I was truly immersed in the game play, which, while I like a good game, has never really happened before.

RDR has brought me back to that vision in my childhood imagination that I lost so many years ago. It is, without a doubt, my favorite video game of all time.

And now I see that the Coen brothers are doing a true-to-the-book version of True Grit? I don't think I ever want to grow up again.

And furthermo-COUGAR'D!
posted by educatedslacker at 6:58 PM on July 18, 2010


Digital Foundry do a lot of this sort of stuff, and would make Eurogamer worthy of any gaming nerd's RSS feed even if the site didn't also employ Ellie Gibson, who is concentrated awesome.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:48 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


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