Se magnifique!

Art is one of those words that just can’t be defined, or, rather, as a million different definitions.  A visitor to the Art Institute of Chicago, gazing at the “Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler,” would surely not protest if I called it art.  On the other end of the spectrum, a football fan would heartily agree if I described Barry Sanders an artist.  Scores of outsiders, however, would.  And there is the beauty of art.  Every individual can, and is expected to, describe it for themselves.

I present, for your consideration, the following screenshot from the wildly popular 2010 Game of the Year, Red Dead Redemption.

Are you kidding me?  That’s gorgeous.  Just try and tell me that’s not art.  I WILL FIGHT YOU.  Alright, chance to redeem yourself…try this.

That’s what I thought.  These two games, RDR and the Assassin’s Creed series, have taken my breath away on multiple occasions, as have plenty of others.  The amount of time the designers put into these games is staggering, as are the results.  Can we please show the respect deserved?

Deathly Hallowed

It’s hard to pick just one…

When I began thinking about my favorite game, I couldn’t settle on a single one. There’s too many different, amazing types of games to choose from; from the nostalgia-inducing Super Mario 64, or the narrative wonder that is L.A. Noire, or even the game I probably play the most, Madden. I had to settle upon one game, the one that combined not only great and compelling gameplay, but a fantastic story as well. It’s a hard choice, but between my top two, I have to give the nod to Red Dead Redemption, with Mass Effect 2 coming in a close, close second. Not only does RDR bring a fast paced, open world laced with entertaining shoot em up gameplay, but it also ties together an unforgettable, heartbreaking story as well.

I was never a huge Western fan. In fact, the closest I got to experiencing the Western genre was watching “Wild Wild West”, and that movie is pretty damn bad. But a triple A title by Rockstar is usually too good to pass up, so I went over to my local Blockbuster and rented a copy of Red Dead Redemption. Needless to say that Blockbuster never saw that disk again. Besides the tragedy that was protagonist John Marston’s life, RDR hooked me on the competitve multiplayer as well. I didn’t see too many flaws with this game, and I spent my down time for a month after getting it playing it. Shooting bandits, riding horses, hunting animals, and even cheating at Liar’s Dice or Poker; this game has it all. After experiencing the 30 hour story of Red Dead Redemption, I went out and watched a bunch of Western movies, reread the Lonesome Dove book series, and did the best I could to further immerse myself into this lesser known genre.

It’s a hard choice for a gamer to pick his favorite game, but it comes down to a simple truth. To be honest it just got me, this game, and to this day another hasn’t as much as this one did.

 

-Spencer Smith