What’s the opposite of RDR2?

I love (but haven’t finished) RDR2. But I can also pretty easily relate to the criticisms of how much modern AAA games—especially open world—can feel like a list of chores and work.

For me the world of RDR2 is a joy to inhabit and “live” in.

But even if we all agreed it’s super fun all the time, from a practical standpoint it is just a lot to do.

So if I just want a palate cleanser, what’s your recommendation for a recent big splashy AAA title that’s shorter and more focused. I’m sure I could make it to the end of a game like RDR2 or the latest Assassins Creed a lot faster than I typically do by just skipping a lot of side missions or objectives, but I’d love a recommendation where I could get to the end quickly and still feel like I saw everything the game had to offer.

Control comes pretty close to fitting this bill, because it’s optional objectives and missions weren’t very long. It’s probably what I’d recommend if someone else made this thread, but I just finished that one.

Open World? Horizon Zero Dawn is one of my favorite games ever.


EDIT: I only read the title. Opposite of RDR2 that’s still a AAA game? No idea. Doom 2016 maybe?

Doesn’t have to be, those just come to mind when I think of big AAA blockbuster titles these days. It kind of seeps into the design of so many games these days.

I think more meaningful would be a game that really creates a memorable setting. And that seems to frequently be games with sprawling cities or environments, but obviously it could also be something like Control.



Any of the Naughty Dog games, but especially Uncharted: Lost Legacy. It’s a game that moves along well, never bogs down, doesn’t have tons of optional content to get distracted by, and doesn’t overstay its welcome.



Blue Alive Damnation 1

It’s an interesting question. I guess it depends on how you define chores.

I think of chores as all the boring (but immersive!) stuff that RDR2 makes you sit through to achieve a pretty simple goal. Like taking a bath - you’ve got to ride to the nearest town, find the inn, navigate the menus to buy a bath, walk down to the tub room, and then sit there while Arthur bathes. That’s a chore to do just to have a clean protagonist, where other games might just have that be a menu option.

I know some people think of sidequests or “points of interest” as chores, though. It can feel like you’re being crushed by the weight of all the optional shit in a game when you open your map and see a hundred side quest icons, and knowing that each one probably represents a few minutes to a half hour of time commitment is a lot.

So, just spitballing a few things I think fit the description of “I need a palate cleanser after RDR2”

  • The newer Tomb Raider games. They’re kind of open-world, kind of linear action games. You can explore if you want, but the explorable world is streamlined into easily-digestible puzzle, platforming, or combat chunks.
  • Breath of the Wild. Yeah, it’s a big open world with lots to see, but you’re not bombarded with the sidequests. You could breeze through it and just hit the main bosses if you want, or you could explore everything. Maybe cooking food could be considered a chore, but I went through the game without bothering with it.
  • Doom 2016. I mean, if you want a real polar opposite, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find something less interested in putting anything between you and action.

I have noticed that for open world games in particular, there is an inertial threshold that you need to overcome to fire it up and engage. Conan Exiles for me is the best example but also No Man’s Sky. You sit down after a day of work or whatever and then you think, ok, where was I last time and what do I want to do next? That little moment there is when you can hit the barrier and decide, no, I’ll go do something that doesn’t require a choice or a plan or a decision.

In Conan Exiles I have a massive base, dozens of thralls, an armory of weapons and all these things that I still need to do…finish half the dungeons, build some outposts at my map rooms, complete the exploration of the volcano, clean out the fish traps, get some more hides, keep searching for Grrr Legbiter. But a lot of times I just can’t get over that decision hump. A game that offers structured options like dalies or pvp ladders and ranks or time sensitive content can get you over the hump by applying an extrinsic motivation.

Or maybe it’s just me. But Open World games require a lot more mental energy for me than say a ARPG or anything with carrots and sticks to get you on your way. Haven’t played RDR2 though.

Edit: So to answer your question, pick something on rails. Diablo-like, Myst-like, something that you can just ride and enjoy. Scenario based or level based is good.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Maybe what you want is UbiSoft’s finest open world game:

No story cinematics. No babbling NPCs. Just exploration, unlocking new traversal options, and an ever-enlarging world.

Well it’s not big and splashy and AAA but clearly the opposite of RDR2 is

This is a good recommendation.


Superb recommandation, especially since it provides an actual game, while a lot of the games focused on exploration skip that part.

I loved Fallen Order. Made me wistful for a modern Prince of Persia sequel.

I am sad I spent a minute trying to conceive the opposite of R2D2. :|]