I started Blood Meridien after a few people on Yayhooray.com mentioned it during talk of The Road. Interestingly, not many of those people pointed out how similar the two books are – both involve a character trapsing across the wilderness of America, encountering various bloodthirsty individuals and gangs in a kind of epic road trip survivalist horror. However, where The Road is touching and horrifying, told through the eyes of a father and child, Blood Meridien is just horrifying, from the perspective of a ‘kid’ caught up with a gang of scalping bounty hunters. Blood Meridien is set around 1850, whereas The Road, in a (sigh) ‘near future’.
Red Dead Redemption is similarly wild west themed but this time an Xbox game, played in third person. Think Grand Theft Horse-o. It’s had a fair bit of criticism for the glitches found amongst the graphics and gameplay, issues that might have been ironed out with a bit more attention… but it’s a great game. Amazing setting and visual treatment, sprawling wilderness, amazing incidental music (think typical spaghetti western). There’s also so much to do it might actually be detrimental, calling you away from following the main missons – hunting, skinning, shooting competitions, saving damsels from distress, flower picking, horse breaking, throwing horseshoes, poker… and I’m sure I’ll find more as I go on.
Interestingly though, the game doesn’t feel that violent, or as violent as it could be given Blood Meridien. There is no scalping so far as I can tell, or even any ‘Indians’ – and it doesn’t convey the same sense of realism, the sense of struggling to survive in a barren landscape. Not that it needs this, but I am wondering how many Daily Mail columnists have laid into this game for the violent content (interestingly, a quick Google reaps this, which actually seems to look forward to the release). Where we would normally expect a game to be more violent and linear (Modern Warfare 2, Resident Evil, etc), this can actually be said of Blood Meridien in this case. Red Dead Redemption is, if nothing else, not linear.
Finally, we can all look forward to Blood Meridien coming to our screens soon, as a film is in the offing. In the meantime, here’s a fakie trailer, not bad for a studnet work, despite the cheesy tagline: