On October 26th, the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released, much to the glee of fans everywhere. The open world game follows the protagonist, Arthur Morgan, through his gun-slinging cowboy adventures. Its predecessor was a massive hit and gained a huge following, making it one of the most successful Wild West games of all time, selling over 15 million copies.
It’s not the only Wild West game that’s making a splash. Recently, there’s been a buzz about the hint that there may be a return of Call of Juarez: Gunslinger due to the recent activity on social media. Let’s dive right in and discuss more about this and the impact the Wild West still has on our entertainment culture today.
All About Red Dead Redemption 2
When Red Dead Redemption was released back in 2010, it was a breath of fresh air in the gaming world. A large-scale open world game set in the Wild West was something many gamers never knew they needed. Reminiscent of the Grand Theft Auto series, players would complete missions and fight opponents while enjoying the freedom of an open world setting.
Now that Red Dead Redemption 2 is almost ready to drop, let’s take a look at it. In the first instalment of Red Dead Redemption, you play as John Marston, and the second instalment serves as a prequel in the series. As it stands, the campaign game is set to be a whopping 60 hours long, and that’s after 5 hours have been cut from it! That means fans will get to know Arthur Morgan pretty well throughout the course of the game. That’s just the campaign game, too. If it’s anything like it’s predecessor, it’ll also include plenty of fun mini-games in between missions too.
To find out more about the game, you’ll have to wait till October 26th to play it for yourself!
The Popularity of Wild West Games
There’s recently been some buzz around the latest posts on the Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Facebook page regarding their latest post. It contains an image of the protagonist with the caption ‘Legends Never Die’. The post had fans in a frenzy, trying to guess what was going on. Speculations ran wild with guesses from a new Call of Juarez game to a crossover of the two games. The most sensible explanation is that the game may soon be remastered for PlayStation 4. Techland has recently acquired the rights to the game and are going to be re-releasing the game on Steam this year, so this theory makes a lot more sense.
Even though there may not be another Call of Juarez game on the cards right now, this news does show that Wild West games are still in huge demand with fans and remain very popular. When Red Dead Redemption wasn’t released on PC, lots of fans were left dismayed. But that meant there was a gap in the market for a PC-based Wild West game, and along came Wild West Online. This game was created by DJ2 Entertainment and is the next best thing to playing Red Dead Redemption on PC. It looks almost identical too, with the same open-world sandbox setting and lethal combat sequences. The difference with this version is that it is a Battle Royale game, where you play with others around the world to battle them until only one person is left standing.
Wild West games aren’t just confined to video games, they’ve been picked up in other mediums too. Online casino games have long seen the popularity of Wild West-themed slot machines. One of these includes Wild Wild West: The Great Train Heist, a game which takes all the classic elements of the Wild West and implements them into a popular slot game. It implements the classic Wild West scenario of a train heist and uses it as a story behind the reels and it makes for an enjoyable and popular slot game to play.
Board gaming has also proven to be a successful format for Wild West-themed games. One of the biggest Western-themed board games is Wild West Exodus. This game is set in the 1880s during the American Civil War and can be played with 2-4 players. Players choose factions to play: Lawmen, Outlaws, Union, Warrior Nation, Enlightened, Confederate Rebellion, Dark Nation, Golden Army, and Watchers. The aim of the game is to kill all of your opponents or to have the largest force of your teammates at the end of 6 turns.
The Wild West Across the Media
It’s not just games that have seen the impact of the Wild West theme; it’s been a popular theme across a lot of the media. All of us have at least heard of the remake of Westworld, a modern-day TV show where characters escape into a realistic Wild West alternate reality game. It’s proven to be incredibly successful among fans, with the first season finale raking in over 3.6 million views, making it HBO’s most-watched season finale.
Western films have long been a beloved classic genre, especially back in the 1960s and 70s with hits such as Blazing Saddles and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. They served as markers of the early days of cinema and they reigned supreme for decades. That’s not to say they’ve fallen totally out of favour now, Wild West-themed films have still been huge hits in recent memory. Django Unchained was hailed as some of Quentin Tarantino’s best work, as was his later release of The Hateful Eight. These films are set in the Wild West and include tense combat scenes and storylines revolving around the civil war, racism, and crime.
There have also been a lot of popular books written about the Wild West. Cormac McCarthy, author of The Road, is also known for writing All the Pretty Horses, a novel following the life of 16-year-old John Grady Cole, who sets off an adventure to Mexico to escape life on a ranch with his two friends. It was published in 1992 and subsequently turned into a film in 2000, although that wasn’t as well received as the book.
What’s Next for the Wild West?
The Wild West has proven to be a very popular format for many forms of entertainment, ranging from video games to TV shows, books, board games and films. It’s no wonder why it’s become such a successful genre, the lawless land full of crime and violence makes for such enthralling stories and keeps people coming back for more.
With Red Dead Redemption 2 ready to drop in the next couple of weeks, we can’t wait to see how it compares to its predecessor in terms of success. If the hype is anything to go by, it’s set to be a huge hit with fans everywhere.