Red Dead Redemption 2


#681

I completed the main story just over a week ago (including epilogues) and while I admire the game for its ambition and scope, the overall experience and its indulgence at times left me cold to be honest.

I will caveat the below points by saying that it took just me over a month to complete (god knows how many hours) and by the end I had a 83.3% completion rate (I cannot recall ever getting that far above 50% for any Rockstar or other open-world game).

  • For me, the main story is too long - it really felt like the game should’ve started hitting a natural crescendo after the events of chapter four but instead it has the mis-step of the Guarma section before then eventually coming to a conclusion. The two epilogue chapters could’ve been considerably condensed to the point where the second one feels like a proper drag. It’s a real shame but it slogged on to the point where I was hoping it would be over.
  • The characters are incredibly well-written and I did end up caring about pretty much all of them both inside the camp and those connected to Arthur/John as well, their back stories and wanting to see them come out of the whole saga but I can’t say I hold the writing and the development of the story in the same affection as I do the first one. The main plot points/twists (tuberculosis diagnosis; betrayal of Micah/Molly) lack any real punch because they’re so telegraphed due to the lack of subtlety of their delivery and those big soundtracked moments just feel like they’re wildly trying to hit something like arriving in Mexico in the first game and missing because it doesn’t feel very natural or organic. I don’t have a problem with John’s dilemma regarding his morality in the face of his mortality (hehe) near the end but it feels unnecessary when the story toys with that theme for what feel like its entirety when you have chats in the camp and just the way the various game systems almost prevent you from going out and shooting everyone in sight. You get so much money from the main missions as well that there is no incentive to rob people/shops/trains etc. thus the moral dilemma feels off-kilter.
  • I also can’t suspend my disbelief for long enough at everything going wrong all the time for the sake of setting up the main Rockstar game mechanics within the story. It’s fine when it comes to Dutch but at least there’s the dramatic irony of already knowing about his downfall but with examples such as Uncle spotting a stage coach to rob which turns out is the property of Leviticus Cornwall or Lenny scoping out something which is far more heavily armed than he was told, I couldn’t really help but groan at times.
  • The actual experience of the main story in conjunction with the open world is really jarring. For example, moving away from your camps near Valentine and Rhodes after at the end of chapters two and three doesn’t feel as tense because once that’s done and dusted you can quite easily pay off your bounty and go back to those towns in the open world setting. It makes no sense as well when you’re being told that the gang is constantly being moved east to escape the law. In turn, your old camps should be swarming with Pinkertons or the law to find out your next move but I went back to one immediately with Arthur and there was no one there. It’s only until you free John from prison that the game tags you as dead or alive is Ambarino which is right at the end!
  • The size and variety of the map was woefully used from my experience and it felt by the end that it doesn’t need to be as big as it is. I explored a lot (in terms of allowing myself to check things out when travelling from one point to another - very rarely, if ever, fast travelled) but I didn’t even realise there was that area past Strawberry until you get there in the prologue. The game gives you no incentive or reason to go back to areas like the West Grizzlies or the middle north of the map (I get that they aren’t densely populated with things to do). It just feels like the map is unnecessarily big and that can be a grind when traversing it.
  • My ultimate problem is outside of not really loving the story, I can’t say I had a load of fun with the game. There’s the drinking with Lenny mission which is a great laugh, there are a few side-missions and stranger sub-plots which can be fun and/or interesting and I did love turning on the game and not actually furthering the story because I’d get sidetracked by random events, exploring areas of the map or hunting for legendary animals. Sadly, a lot of it though felt like busy work and rather workmanlike.

I like and admire parts of this game (the scenery and vistas; the wind blowing rubbish through Saint-Denis; the score and soundtrack; the character-building; sections of the story and the stranger missions) and I think it’s a good game, but I don’t love it. I should probably play the first one again at some point just to check I’m not remembering my experience of that from eight years ago through rose-tinted spectacles.

I think the broader message of this video sums up some of my other problems with the game (apologies for the typical vlogger/Youtuber style editing).

The point about the random events is quite salient - I read back through this thread and we’ve all seen the same ones fairly often, it’s only our reaction in the brief few seconds afterwards that ever so slightly changes our experiences. And the bear trap/snake bites/injury/beggars ones happen so often that you end up doing them just because of the reward.


#682

Need to change your user name


#683

Not completed life yet m8


#684

I haven’t played Rdr2 but I watched that video yesterday and it nailed a lot of my issues with GTAV (even though I did thoroughly enjoy that game). It’s almost dissuading me from picking this up. Almost.


#685

Playing this again for the first time in ages. Would quite like to see the story through, is it the yellow missions that are like the main storyline ones?


#686

Yep


#687

Still only on Chapter 3


#688

Just done the Jeremiah Compson stranger mission. Probably my favourite one so far, just for the little things you can find and then how it ends (even if it does feel a bit too railroaded)


#689

i am only just on chapter 4. storm clouds gathering in force now. i still haven’t got bored of walking around the towns and inspecting different things and chasing down random stranger missions and interacting with folk. i am in saint denis, spent half an hour in the theatre with mary genuinely watching the show. wtf. i really like this game, it is so fun. i robbed the card game above the gun shop and fucked it up tho, it wouldn’t load the “threaten” option for the guy in front of the safe so i killed him. i cba hunting rare animals to upgrade my satchel and stuff tho, is this mandatory?


#690

None of the hunting is maditory save a couple of hunting based missions and I only made one new satchel upgrade throughout the entire game (finished the main story last week) so if you cba with all the rare animal hunting it’s not going to impede your play through.


#691

good news this, cheers.


#692

The final satchel you can make (you can’t make it until all others made) allows you to hold 99 of most items. I found i was getting stressed every time my satchel was full and was spending lots of time heading back to town to sell stuff.

However, if you are at chapter 4 and it hasn’t bothered you yet I wouldn’t worry. Also, despite being very anti it in real life, I enjoyed the hunting aspect. Feels appropriate that a wanted outlaw would have to live off the land and provide food and clothing for your gang. Hate the fishing though. Literally painful.


#693

Still enjoying the random encounters too. Played for an hour last night and came across two people trying to dynamite a safe that ended up dynamiting themselves (leaving a decent score to collect) and four lemoyne raiders about to kill a cop. Sure there’s loads I haven’t come across yet too


#694

the Murfree Brood can piss right off


#695

there was a klan posse i ran across trying to set up a cross to burn, before i could kill them the cross fell over and squashed them all tho :sweat_smile:


#696

I’m late to the party but really enjoying this. Actually quite nice playing it directly after Shenmue as it feels like a real advancement of that attempt to make a game world that really feels like it’s happening around you and that you can approach as you like. I’m sure some people just like to blitz through their games but I literally spent my first few days at Valentine doing chores, playing dominoes and hunting. Likewise I first fell in love with the game when I was walking around the snowy camp listening to the sound of the water and the wind.

Find myself playing as a bit of a good guy but would be curious to play through it again in the future as a badass motherf’er. I did kick the guy who recognised us from Blackwater off the cliff though and felt a bit bad. During the very first train robbery mission one of the captives legged it so I briefly thought it might have been him.

Character development is amazing too. The chat at camp where one of the ladies tells Arthur that he’s the only one of the men who understands how lost he is is enough to have me endeared to Arthur for life. It’s a fantastic game.


#697

I’ve just played the first couple of bits. I found the missions boring and I’m looking forward to the bit with the snow to be finished.


#698

Aye had that one too. Set myself on fire trying to rob someone


#699

I’d forgotten how dull that bit was


#700

I get that it’s a tutorial but I’m pretty sure the equivalents in other games have been way less boring than those ones. I was expecting them to look brilliant at least but the snow is just very boring.