“Red Dead Redemption” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3): I’ve finally dived headlong into Rockstar Games’ open-world Western adventure and am really liking it so far. But I can’t help but be struck by how buggy it is. It seems like I encounter a glitch that requires me to load a past save or make John Marston commit suicide about once every three or four sessions. The most recent one involved a bounty I had captured and hogtied. I picked him up to put on my horse’s back, so I could haul him back into Armadillo and collect a bounty. Except I didn’t actually pick him up. Instead, I picked up an invisible man, and my bounty remained on the ground, taunting me. Not only that, but I was unable to put this invisible man back down, which meant I couldn’t get on my horse or even walk or run at normal speed. I was, for maybe the third or fourth time in my 10-15 hours of play time, forced to load a previous save, get back on my horse and spend 10-15 minutes repeating everything I’d just done in hopes the glitch was just a one-time thing. Ultimately, these glitches haven’t ruined the game yet. “Red Dead Redemption” is still a fun title with interesting characters and a great story. But if the bugs continue at their current rate, it’s going to have a hard time competing for my Game of the Year.
“Borderlands” (rated M, $40 on Xbox 360 or PS3, $30 on PC): The downloadable add-ons for this “World of Warcraft”-inspired shooter were half-off last week for Xbox 360 gamers. Each member of my regular “Borderlands” group bought the add-ons he didn’t already own and set out to tackle “Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot” on Wednesday. The much-maligned add-on, which is averaging in the 50s on Metacritic, seemed better than its reputation led me to believe it’d be. But I’m not looking forward to the part where my friends and I are expected to successfully fight off 100 waves of enemies, with no save points partway through. We might all need to take a few vacation days to crank out those achievements. Seriously, Gearbox, what the heck?
“Sin & Punishment: Star Successor” (rated T, $50 on Wii): I fired up the Wii a bunch in preparation for my review of this shooter.
“Gears of War 2” (rated M, $30 on Xbox 360): After one of my “Borderlands” buddies had to jet, my remaining friend and I rounded up another guy we play with for some Horde mode. We’re still pretty terrible at “GoW2,” and a yearlong layoff from the title didn’t really help us compete. Still, we resolved to dust it off and play more in the future.