Red Dead Redemption 2 - For a Few Redemptions More

The bad ending:. Same fight, but Micah shoots Arthur in the head and and leaves him there. No quiet peaceful death. Your honor determines your ending.

I am a dozen or so missions after chapter 6 now and this game just keeps delivering.

@Guap that bad ending would have pissed me off even more. :)

Since I guess we’re not spoilering these words anymore: the “good” (really, high honor) ending makes no damn sense to me, re: Micah’s actions. It’s out of character. Both of those depend on your choice to help John, too. If you instead go back for the money, similar but somewhat different things occur.

Had no intent of replaying RDR2, just getting used to the controls before RDO, as I said, but damn I am so hooked again. I’ve already seen at least one thing I missed the first time around and I’m only Chapter 2. Knowing the future adds an eerie dimension to the people and stories, in a good way.

I immediately went to the burned out town to get the big load of gold bars, but it appears that has been patched out. Only got one. Then trudged all the way up to the NW part of the map to get the White Arabian. Took all the time to slowly close in on it, calm it, being VERY patient, then used a trick I saw online that made it trivial to break it (about 10 seconds.) Now I have my White Arabian, Destiny, who I will stick with for the entire story (even if there are “better” horses in Chapter 6, because she will be my partner for the entire story.

Playing in HDR this time on my new 65" Sony 950G - sure is pretty.

I’m thinking of finally picking up a 4k HDR TV and if I take the plunge, I’m definitely going to fire this up again.

It pushes all my open world buttons. I love games that let me freely roam in an apparently dynamic world. Just into Chapter 2, but after getting my White Arabian I’m just roaming around, exploring again, occasional hunting for food and to take some back to camp, and just enjoying the world. I’m in the middle of Horizon Zero Dawn, and will get back to it, and it is beautiful, but there’s nothing like a “real world” environment like the one in RDR2.

I would say the ideal time to pause the story is to leave Micah in jail in Strawberry and right after A Fisher of Men. You can then fish, hunt, do bounties, and more.

That’s pretty good advice. BTW, if anyone has a problem breaking the White Arabian up NW by the lake, let me know; I have a foolproof way to make it quick and simple.

I give Red Dead Redemption II… 2 deer carcasses out of 5.

What the hell?

The game looks great, even fabulous. It’s the best looking game yet. Extra kudos for the clothes, the streetlights in St Denis, water physics in rivers, the starry sky, fog in the bayou and, well, pretty much everything.

But I did not expect this. Meeting the cast from the first RDR again felt more like PTSD than anything else. God, not you people. Don’t tell me I’m stuck with all those characters from ten years ago whose only real defining feature was that you had to go through a dozen stupid subquests to find their sorry asses. Oh God, now I remember Uncle…

More than 50% of the game is just riding to some destination, and most of that time is spent listening to « period gangsta » quips. The main character is just a grumpy gopher, like almost every other Rockstar protagonist. I’ve heard enough backtalking and smart mouthing to last a lifetime.

It doesn’t help that the actual story is dumb and annoying. You spend hours upon hours not being told about « what happened in Blackwater » or hearing how « we’ll turn this thing around » or « The world doesn’t want folks like us no more ». Dude, of course it doesn’t, you’re thieves and murderers… it doesn’t even make sense! It’s like playing a Kojima game, but without any endearing weirdness.

You’d think a game that has a « punch your captive into silence » button would listen to its own advice.

Speaking of Kojima, it’s interesting that he figured out in Death Stranding that open-world games are about getting from point A to point B a lot and makes that the crux of the game. What Red Dead Redemption II does is… remove the quick travel and give you a “cinematic” button so now you can let go of the controller and wait until you get to your destination. When Hideo Kojima is making more sense than you, maybe you should take a step back.

It doesn’t help that once you finally get to where you want to go, the guts of the game feel wrong. Movement is awkward and slow. Shooting is mediocre, at best, and you’re almost invincible from the get-go. And it only gets worse from there as you level up. Who says the Wild West is dying, I’m bulletproof! Talk about the game’s mechanics not following the game’s theme.

It feels like hunting is the real game. It’s certainly the most elaborate part in terms of mechanics, diversity and rewards. But it’s finicky (there’s one specific way to kill every animal) and it feels like busywork nonetheless. And no, I do not want to play video poker or dominoes in 2020. (By the way, the tedious quips do not stop during minigames. They do not stop for anything.)

There are numerous technical niggles too. The UI is too small. Menus are horrible and unintuitive. Mission NPCs bug out. There’s no obvious way to get out of replaying a story mission once you commit to it. You’re not allowed to buy almost anything unless the game tells you to. Anyway, you don’t really need the upgrades.

So much of the game feels like ticking boxes. The developers ticked boxes by adding activities, going above and beyond all other open world games, I’d say. You job is to tick boxes by doing those million sub-activities. It’s not unusual for the genre of course, but it’s no excuse.

Speaking of which, I’ve got an idea, says the game. I got medals for you! How about you replay all story missions, including interminable riding scenes, to meet some random objective, usually just riding back as fast as possible? No thanks game.

It’s an enormous game with meticulously crafted visuals where nothing feels fun or worth doing.

Somebody didn’t have any faith.

My one real nitpick with the game is how useless money became once you had a bunch of it.

Wow, that was scathing! No problem though, to each his or her own. A pretty reductive opinion though. Rockstar has always prefered to mix dialog between cutscenes and gameplay. A balance. Same with specific weapons for specific animals. It makes sense for me, a shotgun is way overkill for a chipmunk and putting 6 shots into a deer with a .22 would ruin its pelt. Is that too sim for you? What would you rather see?

I’m curious, if RDR2 was terrible gameplay loops for you, what is an ideal game for you?

I won’t say anyone’s opinion is “wrong” because it is their opinion. But I suspect when someone attacks the story, they haven’t gotten near the endgame, where you really see the tragedy and noir nature of Author’s journey. The last part of the game was pretty gut wrenching for me, and in starting a replay and knowing where things are going, I am seeing everything through a different lens.

As for the game is only about fetch quests (as most open world games are,) hey, what other open world game would let you find a guy in a tent on a hill talking about a widow in a cabin that would love him only if she got to know him better, with creepy photos and pictures all over the inside of his tent, his intent clear and evil, and then let you lasso him, hogtie him, put him on the back of your horse and administer frontier justice by laying him on the railroad track, tied up, and watch the train hit him and his limbs go flying? That is, of course, one of the darker things you can do with the freedom you are given in this world, but it is also filled with a lot of very touching stories which you could easily miss if you don’t just explore, as they are not main missions. Some things you find are in the category of the lighthouse in Skyrim. There are also some dark side stories going in in several parts of the world that are totally up to you to discover and pursue (or not) as well as some, well. very odd mysteries.

But, to each his own. RDR2 is in my top 3 all time open world games, and in my top 10 all time games period (and I’ve been computer gaming since 1980.) There are people that hate Witcher 3 too. And some games people love just bounce off of me; good thing there are a LOT of games on the market!

But some small animals have to be killed by a .22 rifle, some by a poisoned arrow, some by a small game arrow, no? At least, that’s what the game says, I think. That’s kind of an extra hassle on top of finding a “perfect” animal. Anyway, I stopped bothering with hunting after the 5th or 6th time the carcass on my horse disappeared because I triggered an event.

Anyway, I can’t say I like open-world games too much in general, but I liked No Man’s Sky a lot. You actually get to do what you want (no tutorials for activities hours down the lane, no items locked until the appropriate story mission), and to me, feel more like doing. Plus, you are not interrupted with endless “acting”. While nowhere near as complete a simulation, Metal Gear Solid V was an extremely competent stealh game/shooter. Heck, even ugly, cash-grab Metal Gear Survive at least had the solid engine of its predecessor. And as I said, Death Stranding is actually tailored to make moving around the map interesting.

I fear I feel the same about the first RDR. A great ending doesn’t really make up for dozens of hours of tedium and anoying characters. Ack, I just can’t stand the Rockstar 'tude, I guess…

Anyway, that’s just my two cents.

For all the amazing work Rockstar does, they can’t quite wrap their design and narrative prowess around economies.

-Tom

I think they solved the problem in the GTA games by letting your buy properties but then it probably wouldn’t have made any sense for Arthur to become a property magnate.

I would easily pay a fortune to fill a stable full of every horse I could tame, steal or buy that caught my interest and then spend like 30 minutes deciding which one to take out.

Ah, a fellow horse paralysis sufferer.

It broke my heart to like sell one of my horses to make room for another. I wanted stables, heck even stables with a big ole pasture so I could go lean over the fence and just watch them run around or something.

I lost 2 horses in Chapter 6 , sad times. :(