Welcome Back to the West
Posted on Monday, July 11 2016 @ 10:07:54 PST
The only thing that stops the dust is the rain. It’s a sweet reprieve, but there is no middle ground. The land is either as dry as the Betty Ford clinic, or as wet as the ocean floor. Everything can be seen from the ridge overlooking Armadillo as John Marston gently bounces along atop his horse, overlooking the storm below.
After a few drenched minutes, the clouds begin to part and the brilliant sun shines out again. There’s not a moment to enjoy it, though, as John hears a gunshot off in the distance, followed by screams of terror. He pulls the reigns around to the right and digs his heels into his steed, who grunts and takes off at a gallop.
The scene unfolding before him was a grim one: A man kicked helplessly as he hung by a noose wrapped around an old tree. A woman looked on crying from the ground, while three bandits cheered and sent volleys of celebratory bullets into the sky.
Six-shooters, John estimated, looking at the dull and rusty revolvers. Judging on the number of gunshots, there were only eleven rounds left between them. With only a brief pause, John pulled his pristine and lustrous, golden revolver. The newfound sunlight glinted off the barrel as John tilted his head so his hat blocked the light, and took aim at the rope. He pressed his thumb on the hammer of his revolver, firmly to ensure he didn’t slip after the rain, and squeezed the trigger. The rope snapped, and the man fell to the ground gasping for air. The three bandits were perplexed at this sudden divine intervention. The next bullet from John’s gun found the bandit with the cleanest revolver, drilling him face first into the ground.
The two remaining bandits dropped to the ground in fear, and quickly began to scramble for nearby cover. As John took in a breath, one of the bandits snapped a round off. The small feather in John’s hat exploded, but the round skirted by harmlessly. At almost the same time, John pulled the trigger again, striking the man in the throat. He jerked his elbow backwards and down to absorb the recoil as he turned his hips to square up the remaining bandit. Not letting go of the trigger, he shot his other hand over the gun and slapped the hammer backwards. The gun barked again and sent a .44 slug into the man’s heart, pulverizing it and ending the man instantly.
John hopped off his horse and walked the last fifteen yards to the scene, where the woman was crying and holding her husband, thankful for his life. Next to the tree, the bandit with a fresh hole in his throat was pulling himself up to his knees, with a finger jammed deep into his neck. His other hand fumbled for his revolver, but couldn’t find it. John slowly walked over and raised his weapon, squeezing the trigger one more time and putting the lights out for good.
There is something to be said about a game that still manages to grab and hold my attention this long after it released. Red Dead Redemption came out back in 2010, and is widely regarded as the best game Rockstar ever made. Every scene feels like it was pulled right from the best Western movies. Tumbleweed rolls by, thunderstorms rage on over herds of fleeting cattle, gangs charge through towns shooting into the sky and yelling, and John Marston draws and shoots first.
The atmosphere to the game, to me, remains one of the best in the genre. Perhaps I’ve stumbled upon a very strong prescription of rose tinted glasses, but I’m still having a blast. When I try to pick apart the ways the game shows its age, I always get pulled back in and forget all about the slightly sluggish controls. The frame rate dips are gone with the Xbox One, though, and the load times are faster now, but otherwise the game remains the same. In all, I am thrilled to be playing such a beautiful game again. It takes me back to a much simpler time. No computers, no fancy cars or air planes. Just a man, a horse, and a few old guns. Don’t forget the lasso.
Side note, it seems that you can’t use money from your Microsoft account to buy the game on Xbox one, which was a frustrating surprise for me. Instead, find someone you trust with an Xbox 360 and let them into your account to do it. Or, buy the disc. Either way. Welcome back to the old west! What was your favorite part of Red Dead Redemption?
[ 0 Comments
] [ Post a Comment
Call of Duty will never be the same
Posted on Monday, July 28 2014 @ 17:00:26 PST
We've all been there. Everyone remembers that mission. You and your partner are climbing up the mountains in the snow, striving to pull some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy, or something similar (because let's face it, all these MW games are a blur). You make your way silently through some buildings and you find yourself out on the flight line in the middle of a blizzard. There are MiG 29s all over the strip, and standing around them are the bad guys. Here's the part where you mindlessly move in for the kill. The quiet hiccups of your pistol and the wet smack of your blade are the only thing you hear as bad guy after bad guy is injected with a dose of freedom.
Now I want you to turn that around. See, in my time spent in the military, I found myself in a familiar position. I had all the guns, a lot of the gear, a lot of the training, and I was always ready to do what needed to be done to accomplish the mission, blizzard or not (I was in North Dakota, after all). Now you must think I'm claiming to be the same as some special forces badass, but again, I want you to turn it around. I am the poor guy standing by the airplane.
Nuclear security is a hell of a thing. Obviously, you need more than just sensors on the fences and cameras facing in every direction. There are no substitutes for boots on the ground. When its -70 degrees in the middle of a blizzard and your camera can't see beyond its sun shield, who do you send out to cover that area? That's right, you send standard bad guy number one. The poor guy walking blindly through the snow that stumbles into GI Joe and gets shot, stabbed, or broken, is me.
Now let's picture, say, Sniper Elite 3. You play as yet another American badass behind enemy lines pulling some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy/superweapon. Here you are, stalking forward through the bushes towards your vantage point. You bring up your rifle, range your target, make your sight corrections, and squeeze the trigger.
Again, let's look at this from another perspective. I am the guy sitting or standing in a guard tower. Again, Nuke Security is a hell of a thing. Obviously, you'll need guard towers. I've been posted up there for the last 13 hours, and I have a half an hour left on shift. The troop transport that was carrying the dayshift guys ran over a land mine on the way in, so now I have to stay up there longer. The dog pooped on the floor last night and I didn't have time to clean it up, so my wife will be mad when I get home, we don't have anything for dinner, my feet hurt, my back hurts, my eyes are tired, I hate this job, this gun sucks, I'm not even wearing my body armor, why do I need to be here? Nobody is attacking us. How could today get any worse?
Here you are, player one. Pulling the trigger and sending that round into that poor man's skull, as if it's a personal vendetta. The same scenario on the flight line, when you go out of your way to murder everyone because they're all the bad guys. Are they all bad guys, though? Likely not. In the same way that I hated sitting in a tower for 16 hours a day, or standing in front of a B52 all day long with sixty pounds of equipment on, these guys are there doing the same job. I'm not thinking about some spec-ops commando trying to get to my airplane. I'm thinking about how much longer I can wait before I piss in this monster can and then eat my still frozen in the middle Chef Boyardee can of ravioli.
Think about that next time you attack some soldiers in some foreign country from the comfort of your couch. Don't kill them with patriotism and joy. End them swiftly, out of mercy. If the dead could talk, they would thank you for it.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of GameRevolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted earlier in July 27, has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan
[ 0 Comments
] [ Post a Comment
Who's in charge here?
Posted on Monday, February 10 2014 @ 17:48:27 PST
It has been quite some time since I last posted here. There are no reasons worth explaining, but I do intend to return with more frequency so the one person (maybe) who reads something that I post can have another five minutes of time with something I created. That said, I have something a bit somber to talk about.
I joined the military with a strong sense of pride and patriotism. I knew my whole life that I would join, and I wouldn't change my mind. Unfortunately, I am leaving the military with a sense of loss. Not regrets for what I've done, or places I haven't gone, but for the direction the military seems to be headed. My only sliver of hope is that the depths of this very faulty installation and city is contained within, and doesn't extend to those who remain on duty to serve and protect our country elsewhere. The loss I feel is for the ones who have already given up on their duty here. Those who have tried to volunteer for separation after hardly a year in service. I have seen potential for great leaders in some of those people, but their aspirations have been crushed by the greedy climb for power displayed by those appointed over us.
I don't regret my service, but I wish I didn't have to see the way things have fallen apart. Our country deserves better. The one thought that tried to keep me here, is that I know the kind of person I am. I know the will that I bring to work every day, and the ever exuding morale I do my best to show those I work with. I care about our country, and our military, and our mission. Despite all the struggle, I still care. The same can't be said for a majority of people at this base.
I spend a lot of time playing video games now, since I divorced a year ago on friday. Yes, that is valentine's day. It was a perfect day to watch your wife leave with your son in the back of your car. But this isn't about the country song my life turned into. I'm here for the games. Like I was saying, I play a lot of games. Mostly games like Battlefield when it comes to my Xbone, but I dabble with Assassin's Creed as well. I find that I won't touch Battlefield without a squad of friends to join me. There is a distinct feeling of reward knowing that you decimated the enemy because of your team work. When you've got it down to a science and nobody can stop you, the game is at its best. When you run around as a lone wolf and hardly contribute to your team because you keep getting slaughtered, it tends to be pretty dull.
If there was a way to put the right people in the right jobs in Battlefield, nobody would have this issue. Much the same as my unfortunate military experience, those appointed over me have failed us all in the leadership department. The only time I had any good leadership in my enlistment was my deployment. I'm still not at ease with that whole situation either, but, I guess most people aren't.
I hope this enlightens anybody who wishes to join the Air Force. I certainly encourage it, but I just want to warn you that it is not an easy climb. There are many people out to get you, and it is very hard not to quit sometimes. But who ever said the military was supposed to be easy?
[ 0 Comments
] [ Post a Comment
Wedge formation, fire on me
Posted on Saturday, November 14 2009 @ 22:41:29 PST
Everybody went out and got it. Tons of people stood in line in the middle of the night to get it. Millions are still playing it, as we speak. Yes, obviously I'm talking about Call of Duty. I, like so many others, went out and got this game. Althou... read more...
[ 4 Comments ] [ Post a Comment ]
They made me eat it.
Posted on Wednesday, September 23 2009 @ 18:29:10 PST
"42, this is 2, be advised, WSTI is picking up a lone signature in the north treeline. How copy?" I heard my radio squak from my vest, without warning. It startled me, as I'd been sitting alone in the silence for eleven hours now. That's... read more...
[ 5 Comments ] [ Post a Comment ]
Posted on Thursday, May 14 2009 @ 18:47:13 PST
It was hot that day. I could see the heat shimmering in the air all around. The sound of silence was almost deafening as I sat on top of the hill, waiting. Seconds turned to minutes as my nerves went crazy and my adrenalin started pumping. The met... read more...
[ 9 Comments ] [ Post a Comment ]
it's not so bad here!
Posted on Thursday, May 7 2009 @ 16:55:01 PST
I recall about six months ago, I informed GR that I would be heading out for basic training. Well, I did that, and it sucked, like I thought. In all honesty though, it wasn't physically difficult. In fact, the PT was mostly a joke. It was the thou... read more...
[ 0 Comments ] [ Post a Comment ]
Posted on Thursday, September 18 2008 @ 14:01:47 PST
As a child, I was always interested in war. I had it in my head that since my mother was in the Air Force, as well as my father, that they had both been to war. They had me hooked on the military life style. I tried to learn about anything and eve... read more...
[ 17 Comments ] [ Post a Comment ]
Posted on Tuesday, September 9 2008 @ 19:18:01 PST
This is an advanced method, but a very simple idea. Picture yourself inside of a sphere, with a diameter of your height. Now, you do not want anything to intrude on you, or enter your sphere. The idea is that you do not stop the attack, but redire... read more...
[ 0 Comments ] [ Post a Comment ]
Posted on Sunday, September 7 2008 @ 01:32:44 PST
Here's a little information about Judo, since the few of you I've talked with seem sort of interested. Here's Judo how I see it:
Judo is a form of Martial arts derived from Jui-jitsu. It was designed for competition, and t... read more...
[ 2 Comments ] [ Post a Comment ]