Everytime I hear about The Elder Scrolls: Redguard all I heard is about how its a overlooked game, a bad game, a Tomb Raider clone, a game with a horrible horrible story where everyone is too cool to care about the big things happening around it, looks ugly, etc, etc.
So me being the perky lil contrarian I am - and the fact that I love to check weird entrance in established franchises - I tried the game and loved it. But also I think the reason people bitch so much about the setting has to do with perspective problem.
Have you ever seen jesuschrist superstar? that rock opera with really heavy metal singers? Have you heard the line judas says in the song "heaven on their minds":
Have you forgotten how put down we are?
This line always stuck with me. Judas is scared. It is built into his subconcious. This guy means bad, they will go down the gutter again. But what if… you never thought of that? You just think that Judas is a punk, a coward and a bitch. Well congrats you might be from a 1st world country.
But what does this has to do with Redguard? Well… little and a lot. It has to do more with the reviews I've read of the game (the general bad ones) about the writting being with the “too cool to care” attitude from the main character and the people in the city.
In summary, Cyrus is the protagonist of Redguard, a Redguard that has been traveling Tamriel and only goes back to the port city of Stros M'Kai because of the dissapearence of his sister. There he needs to discover what happened to his sister and the locals after the conquest of Tiber Septim on Hammerfell. There he will will do the usual action adventure stuff of fighting, going over puzzles and talking to people to rescue his sister.
In usual adventure game fashion you will save your sister and she will drag you into starting the rebellion of the city ending in the usual fantasy happy ending for the island.
So what about Judas and the reviews?
Well… the reviews made a case about how the main character and most of the people in Stros M'Kai don't really care about being conquest by Tiber and nearly no one wants to do something about it, they just let them go about their abusive stuff and trying to not make them mad. This is not adventure, this is not heroic and also this is very real.
There is a very recognizable emphaty i have for the people of this place being born in a 3rd world country. A lesser country and thus a lesser human being. Where you need to be happy that your partner doent leave you for a person from the US or Europe that are more handsome and interesting that the wasteland you lived in. How “Escaping from X country” is a common phrase in places like latam or africa and how they teach us that some idiot from across the sea brang civilization to us with money he scammed out of 2 kings too stupid to believe that an egg had anything to do with sailing.
And this is not subtext, the game's dialogue trees are long. Like adventure game long. One conversation that tells you nothing about your objective can take about 30 minutes in a game with several characters with horrible horrible horrible voice acting. But the thing is…
I. FUCKING. LOVE. THE. WRITTING.
This have things from people saying they are glad they still have a job a florist to decorate whats left from the town after the ocuppation, your best friend and you joking about you now got conquered but fuck you too cuz skyrim was occupied years ago but also i also dont give a fuck cuz im a merchant so i dont see land most of the time and they pay me, a conversation with the bartender where he states that his land is not on Tiber's collection yet cuz it's hard to get there and its mostly a swamp but he has no doubt that mf will get there eventually and now he serves Imperialist mainly cuz the new taxes force him to serve anyone. A priest helping with the rebellion worried about all the people they have lost including your sister. A guy that doesnt even care cuz they never saw the king and this is just another occupant and same shit as always. A group of pirates that steal in the name of the revolutions and a fan of those pirates that say imperials are a piece of shit and he knows for a fact that Price A'tor died at sea and if not he hopes so cuz a necromancer left a curse in the island and fucked off so everything that dies there becomes one of his minions.
There's a lot of dialogue in this game that helps to paint the picture that Stros M'Kai already lost. They did do all of their fights and most of them died. Families were broken, people were beaten. And even if theres a minority thats doing a rebellion what are they gonna do? Tiber Septim already fucked off going somewhere else leaving behind a comically evil governor. Do you really think big daddy first world country is gonna care about some riots when they are too busy playing human chest with other third world countries? Have you ever seen a third world country become a first world one?
This is not me being a nihilist is just what I have seen along the years of being in several social outburst and the opinions of those around me. Those who where in the last revolution. Those who are beaten down. Like Judas.
Of course in good old fantasy fashion theres some magic shit involving A'tor's soul and you defeat the governor and your sister takes his place negotiating the independence of the island blah blah blah blah.
As a last note i have to say i hate hate hate hate giving this much praise for a game that has fucking Todd Howard in the center piece. But also this game almost destroyed the company so I think fair is fair.
PD: Im sorry for the lame picture but i had no idea what to do as a thumbnail.
PD2: Here is a joke about this same topic where the doll says "you took me out of japan to live... here?" no embed cuz fuck youtube shorts https://youtube.com/shorts/AI4Jnp1r2ZI?feature=share
What Redguard tells us about colonialism [The Elder Scrolls Adventure: Redguard]