Did Red Dead Redemption 2 disappoint you as well?

1 min read
Did Red Dead Redemption 2 disappoint you as well?

Some aspects of the game kind of remind you that it’s not real life and you are limited in your choices.

Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the most anticipated games of the year, and the surge of buyers highlights this fact. Most reviews we’ve heard about it are overwhelmingly positive, but some people feel disappointed with Rockstar’s new title.

Jeff Grubb from VentureBeat has recently posted a long read about the things in Red Dead Redemption 2 that left him wanting more. Let’s look at his opinion and see if he was right to criticize game developers.

Realistic doesn’t mean natural

The reporter brings up an interaction with drawers that strangle the player with realism. After a fierce firefight, the protagonist tenderly searches through the drawers in the enemies’ hut to find valuables. The slowness of the process highlights how much work has been done to make everything seem real, but it also doesn’t feel right.

— if I were looting some shack in the middle of the mountains after killing a bunch of rival gang members, I’m not going to slowly hold up a pack of cigarettes like it’s some precious possession. I’m going to tear the drawers out and mess them up looking for anything valuable.

If I were a fresh survivor of a firefight with adrenalin still in my veins, I’d act hectic as well. It’s a fair point showing that just making a character act “real”, isn’t enough, you also need to make him natural.

Jeff also makes a point of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, where characters didn’t try to “act realistically” and that’s why we don’t question if they behave naturally.

The more choices you get, the more stiffed you feel

In RDR 2 you can interact with NPCs in very different ways, but you still can’t do many things, which you are supposed to be able to.

Sure, I can antagonize someone until they want to fight me, but I can’t greet them until they want to join me.

Kinda reminds of Witcher 3, where you could use Axis in specific dialogues, but only when the developers allowed it. You couldn’t just come to a random person and charm them to join you in a combat or do something else.

Other things you can’t do just because devs said so

— It’s awesome that I have the option to hijack a train, kill all the guards, and then rob the passengers one by one. But then why can’t I also set the engine to top speed before jumping onto my horse so that the authorities have to try to stop a runaway train?

That’s another fair point. The train is mine, I should be able to do with it whatever I want until local authorities catch up with me.

The storyline is scripted, and you are the “audience”

Jeff Grubb brings up a point that in RDR 2 you are merely witnessing a storyline without the ability to impact or deviate from it.

— The characters get up on stage to dance and sing at specific times for your entertainment, but Rockstar limits your participation in pressing a few buttons that lead to specific outcomes.

This is where we recommend Jeff Grubb to wait until the game turns into an online open world. You can have either a multitude of mostly independent storylines, or one unified plot, and RDR 2 uses the later.

It’s just fair to point out that both Jeff Grubb and we are enjoying the game and acknowledge that perfection is always one step away.

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