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Erkki

Another Red Redemption, Dead

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I feel like the only person in the world who is not remotely interested in RDR.  I tried playing the first one but it did nothing for me.  I didn't hate it but at the same time I never felt a motivation to keep playing.  It doesn't help that westerns are maybe my least favorite genre or that Rockstar gameplay in general seems really janky to me.  I'm not going to suggest it's a bad game.  It seems very well made with lots of thought put into it and attention to detail (maybe too much from what I hear).  But it's another AAA game that I don't care about in the least. 

 

I probably didn't need to intrude into this thread just to say that.  I guess I'm just a grumpy old man who likes to complain.

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I feel it's warranted, in this case, to butt in. RDR2 is that rare game that you almost can't avoid in daily life - it's even on TV in mainstream talkshows here in the Netherlands. The big gaming sites have been holding RDR-weeks and other bullshit. Feels like you HAVE to have an opinion on it, somehow.

 

(Note: I'm relatively interested in the game, but certainly not gonna buy it in the near future. I have enough to play and from what I see and hear it's hardly a must-play. Even if it's, like, arbitrarily, 20% better than RDR, it's still 'just another RDR, but better'.)

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Anytime a new AAA game from a big studio comes out I expect to see almost nothing except that game covered for at least 3 days, but yeah it feels like RDR2 has way more exposure then normal.  Maybe it was the long lead-up time, maybe the reception of the first game or the evolution of the hype cycle but it feel very unavoidable in a way that other games this year haven't been.

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4 hours ago, Roderick said:

Even if it's, like, arbitrarily, 20% better than RDR, it's still 'just another RDR, but better'.

 

Yeah I think there's something in this. There are moments when RDR2 feels like something entirely new - and it certainly *looks* like nothing else. But there's times when those old GTA bones start showing through the flesh.

 

I've seen a lot of people write about how many more opportunities there are here for peaceful interactions, compared to previous open-world Rockstar games. And it's true that you can spend a lot of time riding, foraging, hunting for treasure, skinning rabbits, fishing, greeting strangers, gambling, playing with dogs, cleaning your guns, shaving, brushing your horse, and taking baths (complete with button prompts to wash each individual limb).

 

At the end of the day it's still a game about pulling up a map, going to a marked point, watching a cinematic cutscene, and then going somewhere else to engage in a bit of the old ultraviolence. But if everything else is just set dressing, it's the most obsessively detailed set ever designed.

 

Still, I'm curious as to whether Nick will get anywhere with his lasso-only playthrough. I suspect it'll be almost impossible. You can die pretty quickly in this game.

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I resented the first game for having around 300% more snake oil salesmanship than I wanted and about 100% less train robbery and saloon fights. I pushed through it because I was promised a good story, but the writing was awful, too.

 

Does RDR2 have wild west stuff, or am I going to spend my time riding a carriage with a sleazy oil salesman and chasing a random man who :devil:MaY oR maY noT be GoD?:devil: I can endure a smidge more "Go to Point A, to be told to go to Point B, shoot someone" if there's a mission where you, I dunno, strategically stick-up a bank or something.

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Somewhat unrelated (because I'm sure RDR2 is a super swell game in its own right), but after experiencing Breath of the Wild, I don't know if old school open world games will still do it for me. BotW has a refined elegance of gameplay systems that I've yet to see elsewhere. Without being able to put into words exactly what it did that was so next level, you kind of just feel it was.

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13 hours ago, Thyroid said:

Does RDR2 have wild west stuff, or am I going to spend my time riding a carriage with a sleazy oil salesman and chasing a random man who :devil:MaY oR maY noT be GoD?:devil: I can endure a smidge more "Go to Point A, to be told to go to Point B, shoot someone" if there's a mission where you, I dunno, strategically stick-up a bank or something.

 

There's certainly wild west stuff. If anything the atmosphere of the old west is stronger because of the ridiculous abundance of detail. You can rob pretty much anyone at anytime, and at times it becomes imperative that you do so (if only to pay off a bounty elsewhere). Quick Draw is still a thing, and seems to work a bit better than it did in RDR.

 

But the other stuff is there too: the dubious writing, the quirky stranger encounters. There's a lot of that. But the tone of those has changed a bit. Whereas in the first game you were a rootless free agent for almost the whole game, the concept in RDR2 is that you're part of a gang from the first moment. And the gang is more like a family of settlers -- they happen to be heavily armed and occasionally murderous, but they are a family, complete with women and children, and so you're given to feel like you have responsibility for them as well as for yourself. You're encouraged to bring back hunted animals for food, and to donate a cut of your cash every so often, for the good of the group. And so if you do something really nasty in one of those stranger encounters, there's a possibility that could come back not just on you, but on your 'family' as well.

 

It's a vaguely post-apocalyptic vibe that owes a good deal to Mass Effect and The Walking Dead. But this being a Rockstar game, I feel like there are never going to be any serious consequences to opting not to support the family. To put it another way, nobody in the camp is going to starve if I choose not to bring back a deer for dinner tonight, because the game has to support the infinite variety of other choices I might make. I may of course be wrong about this but at the moment, supporting the camp seems less like a thing I'm going to do because it's good and right and because it enables nice interactions between the characters, and more like a thing I'm going to do because if I bring in enough Perfect Badger Carcasses I can upgrade my satchel to carry more Wild Oregano.

 

Or maybe it's both? I don't know. Coming back to the camp and checking in with everyone is really nice, in the same way that coming back to the Normandy in Mass Effect was nice. I might even say it is nicer than any version of the Normandy that Bioware have made (including, for example, the keep in Dragon Age Inquisition). It is also largely optional: I suppose you could just smash through the story missions, as in any GTA game. But there's a lot more to see outside the story missions than in anything Rockstar have made before. (I stumbled on some crazy stuff last night which I won't dare to mention, even with the spoiler tag. There's weirdness in this game that rewards exploration.)

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Sounds like I might want to check it out eventually despite the samey writing and cutscenes/gameplay separation. I will probably get the game after Sony releases a PlayStation with support for 4K Blu-Rays, although I still don't have a 4K display.

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Whenever a new R* game comes out I tend to loose myself in it for a good long while, so I actually took this past week off from work so I could really immerse myself in this. It's, uh, pretty fucking great. I'd been staying away from previews because I knew I'd be playing it regardless and I've been impressed by how much deeper they've made all the systems. From GTA 4 to 5 I felt like they made a lot of stuff more arcadey and less simulation-y(mainly driving), but I'm glad to see they've gone the opposite route here. I'm currently at 31% Total Completion and 21% Story completion. Mostly I'm having too much fun with the open world to bother with the story missions.

 

If there's one part of the game I'm not crazy about it's actually the story missions. I'm kinda split on them. Early on in the game when I noticed how deep a lot of the systems were and how viable it was to play in first person I started thinking "oh my god is this a proper COWBOY IMM SIM now?", but that illusion vanishes when you start a story mission. If it were an immersive sim I feel like the game would just give you an objective and then leave it up to you to use the systems of the game to complete it any way you wish, but nope, rather missions play out in a rigidly scripted fashion. It's all "go here, do this thing. go to this second place, do another thing. go to a third place, do a third thing. ok, mission done." But on the other hand, these set-piece heavy affairs aren't bad. In fact they're varied and often very entertaining, but I still kinda mourn for the cowboy imm sim this could've been. Even worse the game often strips out systems during story missions. I've found myself unable to whistle for my horse, lead my horse, or even holster my gun at certain points because that's not what the game wanted me to do at that specific moment.

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So I finished the game and am currently

half way through Epilogue part two

 

I am kinda mixed on the game. I obviously liked it enough to finish it.

 

As a technical achievement, graphically, animation, lighting is incredible. It's got a good story, which fits in well with RDR1, I grew to quite like Arthur as a character. I enjoyed alot of the characters, their interactions with each other.

 

But there are problems... bad controls (movement and aiming) I find this with pretty much all Rockstar games. I just could never get to it feel good for me no matter what I tried. Dated game mechanics .. it does feel like a game from 5-10 years ago in many aspects. Mark Brown from Game Makers Toolkit wrote a good piece about this:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/thoughts-on-red-22570692

 

The game is going for this "realistic" open world feeling but the amount of time things take gets really annoying. Long animations, long travel time etc. It's a video game, and sometimes I would like it to respect my time. There's been a few times were i've thought "one more mission before work" and its taking my over 45 minutes to finish one mission! Not saying I want fast travel everywhere to spoil the exploration but there should be a balance. Having to search a room and going to 5-10 crates and slowly searching each one is silly.

 

The camp made no difference, I stopped donating money and resources after a while and nothing happened. No one else bothers in your camp anyway. Most missions ended up being, slowly going to a place, things kicking off then by magic hordes of enemies appearing out from the trees while you try and ride away. It feels dated like games from years ago.

 

There were plenty of annoyances like spawning after a mission miles away from any town or my horse, the game constantly ignoring my ammo type choice and reverting back to standard ammo, exiting cut scenes into a gun fight where the game un-equips my gun, failing missions because a team mate died, or i went off back to my horse to get a new weapon so I failed for not sticking with people. 

 

There is just alot of small details that really add up to retract from the overall experience. It's good, but not the 98% game of the generation for me at all. Looking forward to when multiplayer comes out soon so I can play with my friends. And will polish up some of the side missions and stranger missions in my own time after finishing the main story.

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On 10/31/2018 at 12:28 PM, marginalgloss said:

(I stumbled on some crazy stuff last night which I won't dare to mention, even with the spoiler tag. There's weirdness in this game that rewards exploration.)

Ugh, the temptation. I know I shouldn't, but I'm so curious.

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