Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wait, I care?

So Sam Elliot does nothing but westerns. Even when the movie he is in is not a western he still plays a cowboy, mostly because no one is more believable in the role and he is a tremendous bad ass. Why do I bring this up? Because a character that look, acts and sounds just like Sam Elliot from Tombstone (or The Big Lebowski) just showed up in Red Dead Redemption; the first thing he did was chastise me for killing a bunch of Mexicans. Not because killing people is wrong, mind you, just because the way I handled my pistol was sloppy. It is about time that John has been out bad assed by someone. The first third of the game saw the main character as the coolest person on the screen at all times. Seeing him back slide from action hero to pistoleer apprentice will be a good change.

This man is cooler than you.

The middle section, which takes place entirely in Mexico during one of several revolutions, supposedly drags on a bit. After only a few hours there I can see how it might, with destinations that are quite far apart and side missions that are exactly the same as the ones from the first section, complete with barely understandable broken english. One thing it does have, and what I was not prepared for, is a story that is actually interesting enough to keep things moving along. It takes a while for John and the Sam Elliot character to even trust each other enough to use their real names, which makes a lot of sense when you take two gun fighters and throw them together in another country. He is interesting enough that I assume he is going to die at some point, possibly in a heroic manner. None of the first act's gallery of rouges was as interesting and I wont miss a single one (at least one I would like to shoot myself) so it is nice to have a character around worth losing.

Alpha Protocol has gotten very little hype. I just checked a few reviews and it looks likes Obsidian has turned out another game that misses the mark in every way that doesn't involve the story and writing. I remember a similar situation with Knights of the Old Republic 2, where we only got about two thirds of the game that Obsidian wanted to make. It is difficult to believe that they suffered from the same kind of source material interference this time, and they are quite capable of making very good games, so this may just be an unfortunate clunker. It will still of course be played, though a bit of genre whiplash will probably be caused by jumping forward from the old west to the near future.

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