All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Down The Road - Red Dead Redemption 2

Finally after however long I got to finish Red Dead Redemption 2 on the PS4, so I'm going to talk about it.

Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC: How to Fix Exited Unexpectedly Error

Red Dead Redemption 2 was the long awaited sequel of the adventures of cowboy with a heart of gold, John Marston. It's set a couple of years before the events of Red Dead 1, following John's kind of adopted brother Arthur Morgan as the events that lead to the end of the gang of Dutch Van Der Linde play out.

So I have to say up front that overall this game was good.
Not amazing but good.
I started Red Dead 2 when the game came out, like everyone else, but after several chapters and many hours my motivation got a bit weaker, I reached a bit of a slow patch and I stopped playing. It wasn't exactly because the game was bad, but because it was providing something I wasn't looking for at the time, which brings me to my main gripe with Red Dead 2, Time Wasting.
Now this is something that I feel like other people really liked in this game, but it annoyed me to no end. there was so much time in the game spent on not doing things, because in real life you wouldn't be able to do them so quickly, that it made the game feel really slow and boring to me in a lot of places. The main way this came across was in the travelling. Red Dead 2 has a fast travel system, but it doesn't want you to use it. You have to wait a while and spend a bunch upgrading your camp before you even unlock it and it only works from your camp to somewhere you've been. The rest of the time it expects you to ride your horse around or take a train. Now the riding does have a nice cinematic mode that lets you stop controlling so that it takes you there, but not only are the cinematic ride and the train ride all in real time, but the horse ride doesn't stop random encounters from happening, so you could very easily be halfway through a journey, when your not playing and suddenly a bunch of bandits are shooting you, and you have to get back into the controls very quickly.
So when you finish up a quest and you're far from your base you have to ride all the way back, which can be up to fifteen real world minutes. I found this very frustrating because it meant that in my 1-2 hours of gameplay per night I would find that I've only been able to do one or two missions because I've spent a little under half my time just travelling.

The other gripe I had was the epilogue, for the same reason mostly. It felt like a waste of time.
Without giving away spoilers, it's a 4+ hour epilogue, most of which you spend building a farm, doing ranch work and mostly just being a rancher. The final part of the epilogue was a big fight on a mountain as you try to get your vengeance, but waiting 3-4 hours between the admittedly excellent main story finale felt like a massive break in the pacing that didn't feel nice at all.
I kind of understand what they were doing, they wanted to show you how things came to be in the original, but the things that they showed felt a lot more like how in 'Solo a star wars movie' they gave the dice on his mirror significance and a history, like it wasn't important before but you're acting like it is. showing where wolverine got his jacket in the x-men origin movie, I would have been happy with 'he bought it' but you've given it significance. In this they show how John got the farm from the original game. I had always assumed that he bought it. As it turns out i was right so I'm not sure why I needed to learn that over 4 hours.

What I will say though is that it's a game that knows how to make you care. It knows how to pull on your heart strings.
The end of the main story, the music, the slow deterioration of the gang and your family... it's brutal and beautiful.
The characters for the most part were great. I had the same problem early on with the game that I did with Last of us, where the main character was just kind of an ass hole and I didn't like him, but as the game wore on and I did more and more honourable things to improve his outlook the more I cared. To the point that I simply cannot imagine the game played dishonourably.

Overall I think it's a good game that just requires more patience than I have. By the end I loved the story, and it was almost enough to get over the time wasting.
Right now Red Dead 2 has a metacritic score of 97 and  a user score of 8.2. I think that the user score is pretty close to the mark. I'd give it an 80%, maybe so low as a 75%, but no lower. It was a genuinely good game that just happened to be asking for something I wasn't willing to give; my time. Something that at the time of playing was a high value commodity so the constant having to manually go everywhere in real time was frustrating.

Cheers,
 - James
Red Dead Tube

P.s.
Recently completed Hitman 2 and then had a couple days off of games and now I'm playing Last of Us 2!

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