My Vagina Is Not The Reason I Hated Red Dead Redemption

Look! Swimming horses! Magical!

I really, really hated Red Dead Redemption. Like in a “omg I am so bored I could eat someone’s hand off-not mine because I like having hands-but I am a little hungry for a hand snack” kind of way. And don’t think I am unaware of the cannibalistic nature of that sentence in relation to the RDR people-eating sub plot. BECAUSE I TOTALLY AM AWARE.

Look, I know everyone on the planet loves this game and I wanted to love it, too. There are virtually no Western themed video games, let alone any open world ones, something which always seemed weird to me because who doesn’t like Westerns? Besides your mom?

And yet here we are living in this Western-less video game world, subsisting on African zombies, fancy lad snack cakes™, and whatever little morsels of not Western themed shooters gaming developers have deigned to throw our way. So when RDR was announced, of course we all got raging nerd boners and salivated trail dust and thought dirty thoughts about The Unforgiven , High Noon , and Blazing Saddles and then the game came out and I. Was. Bored. Out. Of. My. Mind.

But-and here’s the thrust of the thing-no one else was bored. Thanks to a super scientific research project I conducted on Twitter, I would guesstimate about 900% of RDR players are very happy with the product which leads me to conclude I am either crazy or stupid or SMARTER THAN EVERYONE. I even asked game journalist Earnest Nex Cavalli for his thoughts on the game. Here’s what he had to say:

“There are few settings as innately masculine as the Old West. World War II will grow hair on your balls, life in Europe during the Dark Ages qualifies you for a tire rotation and side of beef at Firestone and training as a ninja in Japan circa 1470 will totes score you some mad geisha tail. Yet, for some reason, game developers just don’t use the Old West as a setting. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see Red Dead Redemption treat the era with such affection. By transplanting Grand Theft Auto’s game play basics to the unfamiliar landscape, RDR‘s creators leave players free to enjoy the more entertaining aspects of life in the dusty frontier: namely, shooting cattle rustlers, tying women to train tracks and failing, repeatedly in all of my efforts to use a rattlesnake as the single most awesome lasso known to man.”

AHA! MASCULINITY! Is my vagina to blame? Is that why I was so turned off by the game? Because my vagina doesn’t care? Let’s think about that for a second, pee on it, and then light it on fire. While I greatly respect Nex’s opinion and way with words, I must vehemently disagree with the idea of “Boys Only Fun” being the major draw of this game. I love Westerns. My vagina definitely loves westerns especially that one with Russell Crowe and Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman. I am meh about GTA but not enough for it to greatly influence my feelings here. I’m not  immune to the naughty excitement of hogtying a lady in order to gain valuable information leading to more fun in-game play. What I don’t like is riding, riding, riding my horse all over the place for hours on end without encountering a single fun thing to shoot at or advancing the plot in any way. ALSO WHY CAN’T MY HORSE SWIM? Horses swim in real life. They ford things. Like rivers. WHY CAN’T MY HORSE FORD? Ugh.

To sum up: I did not enjoy Red Dead Redemption. That game owes me fifty bucks and a fording horse.

Learn more about what Kiala hates here!

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  • author

    I did not like playing poker.

    I had an interesting discussion/argument about this last night with friends. I think there is just a fundamental difference between people who enjoy dialogue driven/sandbox games and those who prefer action action action action. I think I fall somewhere in the middle which is why I love Fallout 3 so very very much.

  • I loved RDR, but to each her/his own I guess. Like Ben said, if you don’t like riding around, use Fast Travel to immediately take you to your way point. The horses not being able to swim thing is kind of weird, but necessary to make the area boundaries work.

  • Just kind of seems like you’re not really giving the game a chance. It seems like you’re more so happy to write an adverse review to maintain your indie anti-popular status.

    I’ll tell you what, if you finish the story missions of the game and still feel unsatisfied, then I will consider listening to you (as “joe” put it) repetitively complain how you hate this boring game.

    As for this posting: Unlike.

  • The gambling game I most enjoyed playing was liars dice. I had never played the game before and it almost made go out and buy some dice so we could play it at our next poker game. I think it would be an awesome game to play in-between poker games. It’s quick and simple but its thrilling to call people out on their bluffs.

  • The more I think about it the more Hardwick’s comment is gonna drive me INSANE. I turn down interviewing Weird Al, Drew Carey, Joel McHale and the fuckin’ Muppets mostly. That’s at least four hours of gameplay I’ve been able to shoe-horn in, right there! “Doesn’t everyone have an agent and a manager? I’m gonna go do something else awesome right now that tons of geeky kids that world over will be jealous of! Where do you guys find the time?!”

  • From another girl’s perspective: I enjoyed the game. But, I also enjoyed the GTA games. If you didn’t like the game play in GTA, then you are not going to like this game. Replace cars with horses, bars with saloons, and roads with dirt roads – and you’ve transformed GTA into RDR.

    I know you say that’s not effecting your feelings, but I think it may be. I have friends w/o vagina’s who played through GTA and RDR and didn’t like either.

    RDR was not a 10 out 10 for me, but for Rockstar it was above average. BioWare has me so spoiled with the non-linear story lines, that it makes it a little less enjoyable to play games that are linear. Do X, get Y… yawn! It gets to a point where you can just run through all the crap (helllooooo lights in Alan Wake!) and advance to the next level.

  • My vagina is dying for RDR. The dick I live with tells me that it’s stupid to go buy it for 50 bucks when I can wait six months and get it for half that, so I’m waiting because he has a point. I like riding my horse all over and shooting stuff(nonliving) IRL, so I figure it’s up my alley.

    Most horses have to be convinced to cross water or trust you a lot. Horses can swim, but many times they even run around puddles unless schooled not to because their wide-set eyes have poor depth perception, and when they see a puddle reflecting they can’t tell it’s not too deep to swallow them whole. They have to trust the rider.

  • Totally disagree, but awesome article nonetheless! I know a boy who found the game endlessly boring too, but he’s got a bit of ADD going on. I think it has less to do w/ gender and more to do w/ attention span and what can serve as fun for you. I love just riding around and shooting birds, but, understandably, that’s quite boring to others. Don’t think there is a definitive “you like this if…” Model here. But anyway, great article, love your writing style!

  • Hmmm a female being bored with a western themed video game and she claims it is not because of her vagina… *reading… reading… reading…* Yep. It was your vagina. :D Misleading title!

    Wait a second… how come you don’t like riding a horse? I must rethink this.

  • I’m almost done with RDR. Am in third section and do think it is a grind and not so much fun, but only partly cause of the repetitiveness and being boring. My biggest complaint is the controls! How come no one mentions this in reviews? If they do, they say “oh on a side note the controls are a little clunky”. A little clunky… the controls are maddening!! Riding that damn horse is a huge pain! Also dead eye in the first section is awful too. I kept on shooting people I was trying to save. So between horrible controls, being repetitive, a little boring, and also being buggy I am perplexed that people love this game so much. Oh well I guess I’m in the minority, although it is good to hear at least someone else doesn’t think this game is great!

  • Horses can also be forced to jump off high platforms into tanks of water, example: “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken”.

    I did it like 10 times last night while playing RDR… only off a cliff into a river. And you know what, I didn’t even go blind!

    RDR = Good.
    Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken = Bad.

  • I really liked this game. Well, for 50 hours, after which it got kinda repetitive. But before that, I found it brilliant, playing the most brutal asshole the West had ever seen, slaughtering deputies and sheriffs left and right and failing to cheat at poker just because it causes duels to happen. Duels where I placed 6 shots in the head just to see the gore, instead of aiming at the gun, which would’ve been awarded with a lot more points. But a frickin’ Desperado does not gracefully shoot the gun out of someone’s hands when he has the chance to swiss cheese an opponent’s skull.

    Yeah. I found it cool. Sure, horses not being able to swim is kinda unrealistic, but then again, so is not being able to bribe the Sheriff to let me into the cell to bumrape the prisoner. Or not being able to woo ladies (or guys, for that matter) with that shitton of flowers I collected and stored in my horse’s ass (because there’s no way all that stuff would’ve fit in my own pockets). Or to interrogate that gringo I just tied up by firing a few shots and then threatening him/her with the hot metal. Brutal? Mayhaps. Possible in real life? You bet. Possible in Red Dead Redemption? No, also not because Rockstar is not Bethesda.

    But I can see how you can get bored. The side missions are largely the same after playing for 20+ hours. And it’s just…wandering around with a limited set of possible actions. As with all sandboxers.
    What I can’t see is how anyone can be bored right from the start. I mean, there’s still a lot of stuff to do. And as for that whole riding thing, the comments above have already cleared that up.

  • GTA4 bored me to incompletion fairly early on, but I adored red dead. The typical mid game shooting missions were competent, but what I really loved was the cattle herding. I think I may be the only person whose favorite part of the game was herding virtual cattle. In a storm. Away from rustlers. Whatever, just give me more mundane ranching missions to pretend to do, more fake bears to hunt with my son.

    I think I basically want a wild west game that is Harvest Moon. With guns.

    The game also gets major points for its ending. While most games would have your typical “kill the last dude, roll credits” this is the only game I can think of with a legit climax -> denouement -> resolution sequence.

    Anyway, regarding the article, maybe a more detailed examination of exactly why you didn’t like the game is in order? Being bored is totally legit, but this seems like a wasted opportunity to explore what would make the game more interesting for you, or what you look for from games in general?

    I think I basically want a wild west game that is Harvest Moon. With guns.

  • author

    I would be happy to go more in depth next time. I wasn’t sure how much of my ranting about the stoopid disappearing/reappearing Wanted posters and accidental bank robbery (went through the wrong door oopsie!) you were willing to listen to.

    Now I know.

  • If you didn’t like GTA, then it’s no wonder that you didn’t like Red Dead.

    This leads to another question: why was GTA just a “meh” for you? What games DO you like, if the cream of the crop aren’t satisfactory for you[r vagina]?

  • author

    Splinter Cell (all of them)
    Fall Out 3
    Modern Warfare 2
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (my vagina especially likes this one)
    Mass Effect
    The Simpsons Driving Game
    Bioshock 1 and 2
    Arkham Asylum
    All the Halos

  • I thought RDR was boring too. I even liked past GTA games, not 4, but still could not get into it. The most fun I had was hunting animals which wore out quick. There just was not enough going on to keep me interested.

  • Admitably, the game has some faults. For example, on several ocasions when I was trying to save a guy from being killed during one of my long travel periods I accidentily shot the lawmen because it was hard to tell who was running from whom. They were a little hard to tell apart, especially if you need to save someone from being killed.

  • Quick & The Dead was good. Maverick was so much better.

    An anti-Semite, a lesbian, and Rockford conning people across the old west?

    Talk about sandbox play.

  • Red Dead is the only game I’ve ever fallen asleep playing. This has actually happened to three of my friends as well. But, one of them just had a baby, so he doesn’t count. The man could sleep through anal rape.

  • How can you say all the Halo game were good? Come on! Splinter cell just got good. I always use to trade those damn Splinter cells in after playing 0ne hour. Sand box games can sometimes be very wack. GTA 4 didn’t have much to offer once you kill like 12 people. Buffy the vamprire slayer? I would rather let Fredy scatch my balls, with his glove.


  • Kiala your list of games is an amazing. We have like the exact same list (almost). Great article. I also not a big fan of sandbox games like GTA or RDR. I am so spoiled by Bioware and Fallout 3 that the games need to reach that level for me to invest that much time into them. PLus Buffy is an effin amazing TV show. Whedon rules :)

  • I have yet to play this game mainly because I HATE GTA. Vice City I didn’t mind because I like 80’s music (don’t judge me), I really hate that people are so in love with this game when it is simply GTA in the Old West. They could have made it an awesome game, but instead you know someone was in the office and has like, “You know what would be awesome…GTA set in the Old West!”

    I would probably have more fun playing a Young Guns game. Now that would be bad ass running around as Emilio Estevez or Lou Diamond Phillips, hell maybe even a drunk knife wielding Charlie Sheen.

  • Alright, your list is definitely worthy. Previous comment redacted.

    I’m from PDX too, we should get down on some home-team MW2 matches.

    Also, I’ve been looking for that Simpson’s Driving Game at every CD Game Exchange I can think of. The one for GameCube. So, so good.

  • The Quick and the Dead was a HORRID western. Tombstone is a better example of a good western. If you’re not a fan of GTA then it should have been obvious that RDR was not going to be your cup of tea. That’s like saying you were “meh” to Modern Warfare then complaining you didn’t like Bad Company 2.

    Different strokes for different folks.

    Some other things: I don’t know how much programing background you may have, but a water system to give you the ability to swim with or without the horse would have added a crap ton more money and time onto the game. On the subject of riding: It’s a WESTERN (GTA You drove everywhere) there’s bound to be horse riding involved. And you can fast travel all over the place. Camp sites and stage coach rides are not hard to come by.

    Do you play many “sandbox” games? I would suggest you stay away from them as you don’t appear to be a fan of the genre.

  • Oh, please. I have a vagina and I enjoy this game. I’ve put so many hours into it, beat the single player campaign so many countless times, it’s ridiculous.

    “What I don’t like is riding, riding, riding my horse all over the place for hours on end without encountering a single fun thing to shoot at or advancing the plot in any way.”

    Riding, riding, riding your horse all over the place for hours is what they did in the old west. I think Rock* were aiming for realistic. Besides, haven’t you heard of stagecoaches? Lol. I actually find it fun to ride around on a horse. I would prefer that over what GTA has.. driving cars around. Boring! And it’s an OPEN WORLD game, what do you expect? I have a feeling you didn’t even play the game for very long. There is so much to do. You can do missions, side missions, or challenges… and in multiplayer there’s even more to do.

    I think it’s kind of stupid the horses can’t swim.. but you know, I’d like to think Rock* just got lazy with the animations.

    But.. that is just what I think, and my opinion. Not everyone is going to enjoy the game.

  • I agree with this review. I borrowed the game off my brother after my friend recommended it. At first I thought it was stupidly easy (for example, the aiming system) and mind-numbingly boring. Just as well it has awkward controls to make it interesting. I rode that horse around for weeks, hoping the game would stop repeating itself (ride to one side of the map, do a gay little quest, ride to the other side of the map, do another gay little quest etc.) until finally I couldn’t play it any more. Most repetitive game I’ve played in a long time.