I’ve had Red Dead Redemption 2 since release day and am now apparently 33% of the way through the game. It was without a doubt my most anticipated game of the year but here I am nearly three weeks on from the release and I have to say I don’t love it anywhere near as much as the first game, which is a bit of a shock.
Now don’t get me wrong I like it just fine, it’s visually stunning and the world that’s been created for the game is astonishing. The level of detail is amazing, from the way animals behave to the sound of the thunder, Rockstar has really paid attention to every little detail and it shines through. The characters are also every bit as excellent as I was expecting, the player character Arthur as an incredibly complex character and it’s fun meeting members of the gang that appeared in the original game such as John Marston. There is a horrible feeling that something (or somethings) terrible is coming though given that a lot of the gang don’t appear to be around by the time of Red Dead Redemption.
By rights this should be a game I absolutely adore, there are moral choices, shitloads of exploring and a story that’s potentially going to take a turn for the tragic at some point. This is all very much my thing when it comes to games, I have a preference towards narrative driven.
With all that being said I actually don’t currently love it, I find some aspects of it a bit of a chore. I get the reasons for the design choices but the lack of a proper fast travel to and from camp is a ballache, and the ambushes can be incredibly tedious when you have no cover and get torn to pieces in a hail of bullets. Some of the details while cool are also entirely unnecessary, cocking a gun before firing when you’re not used to doing it in any game ever is a bit of a pain in the arse in the midst of a firefight. And the constantly having to feed and care for your horse and yourself with meals all while remembering to sleep really impacts the pace of things.
Don’t get me wrong I get that there are people that love this level of detail, I’m just not currently one of them, I find it a bit overwhelming and it all detracts from my ability to just focus on the game and enjoy myself. A lot of the stuff just feels like an unnecessary chore as it stands. I’m going to stick with it obviously, I’m hoping for that magic story beat or set piece that hits me and makes me truly fall in love with the game. The concern I currently have is that I get to a point and get distracted by something a bit more accessible and Red Dead Redemption 2 gets put on the ever growing to do pile, we’ll see what happens though.