Everyone once in a great while, a game comes along that grabs you. For whatever reason, excellent gameplay, stunning graphics, fascinating world building, sometimes a game just hits. It draws you in and you know that it’s going to be one of your g.o.a.t. games. For me, that game was Red Dead Redemption 2. Maybe it was because I grew up in Eastern Colorado, the wide, tumbleweed dusted plains sweeping towards the majestic and ice cold Rocky Mountains. Maybe it’s because my inner horse girl absolutely juiced when I realized you could tame wild stallions in the game. Or maybe it’s because I’m a bad man and I just love in-game killing with a six shooter. Whatever the reason, I loved the game. But I let my actual life interfere with my play through, and I’d do anything to go back and change that.

I had been playing the game for a few weeks since its release, melting into my couch as I vaped until my teeth hurt, and having a great time. (Don’t vape by the way, it’s very bad for you.) But the Thanksgiving holiday was coming up in a few days. I come from a family of Hobbits basically. There’s always time for a little elvensies etc. and because we’re not much into all that “god stuff”, Thanksgiving is the only holiday we care about. I was ready to get home and nosh with the fam, but I hadn’t finished Red Dead 2. How could I leave my precious cowboys for a whole week? The Van Der Linde gang needed me. So I decided to blaze my way through. I missed out on that freaky lady in the woods. I never found all the dinosaur bones scattered across the map. I stopped investigating when an NPC said something out of the ordinary. And I finished the game. I let my greed or short sightedness blind me to the fact that this would be the only time I would play this game for the first time. I went home, I ate pie, I thought about how it was all over. 

When it comes to RPG style games with a strong narrative, trying to play a second time just doesn’t have the same magic. If I could pop my brain into an Eternal Sunshine machine and erase the memory of the game again, I’d do it. So my plea today is three-fold: please, take all the time you can with your games, enjoy them, revel in them and don’t rush. Cherish your NPC’s and side quest all you can. This sounds like life advice but I don’t care about that. The second plea is to scientists to get cracking on that Eternal Sunshine brain eraser machine. I also have a couple painful highschool gaffs I honestly wouldn’t mind forgetting either. And my third plea, the most earnest of all, is to Rockstar. Please, please start working on Red Dead 3.

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