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Thread: Red Dead Redemption 2

  1. #151
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Ahhh, here's a nice place to set up camp.

    "You cannot rest while there is activity in the area."

    *gets back on horse, rides a bit further down the road*

    "You cannot rest while there is activity in the area."

    *rides even further into the woods, tries to set up camp again*

    "You cannot rest while there is activity in the area."

    WHAT FUCKING ACTIVITIY? DID A RABBIT FART WITHIN A 5 KILOMETER RADIUS OF ME OR SOMETHING????




    also I've been playing a lot of RDR2 lately, think I'm getting close to the end. This game is wonderful, and frequently infuriating.

  2. #152
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Over the last week or so, I finished chapters 4 and 5, and it definitely feels like I'm getting close to an ending. I wish I could put Dutch out of his, and our, misery, but alas, that won't happen any time soon/already happened years ago. Also, I've got a bullet with Micah's name on it, and I'm hoping to use that one soon. That guy needs to be put down.

    Even after riding around for hours and hours, I'm constantly gobsmacked by how breathtaking the scenery often is - and even when it isn't, it feels real the way that few (if any) open worlds do. In no small part thanks to the lighting tech and the sound design, RDR2's world is one of the most atmospheric I've ever encountered in a game.

  3. #153
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I really need to get back to this. I too felt like I was nearing a conclusion last time I played it, by I got distracted by other games and felt my interest waning as RDR2 outstayed its welcome.
    It's great, but feck me, it's long.
    I also need to finish off Spider-Man, but my interest in that one dropped off for slightly different reasons. No matter how good the traversal, it still descends into Ubi-style open world busy work, and there's something about this manifestation of Peter Parker I just don't like.

  4. #154
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Welp, that's it. Reached the end. Looking back on the story, it feels very similar to that in GTA V. A lot of shouting that eventually just kinda fizzles out into anti-climactic endings. Some nice moments here and there tho.

    Enjoying the epilogue, although I was hoping the player character would switch to Sadie. Felt like the narrative was setting her up as Arthur's protégé.

  5. #155
    Administrator
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: above the clouds
    My son got to the end and spoiled it a bit for me, but there’s a lot I didn’t see him play. The story has more interest than GTA5 but I’d agree the ending is a bit meh. I’m more inclined to go back for hunting and scenery.

  6. #156
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I fired this up again last night.
    It's a hard game to like, but an easy game to admire.

    Coming back to it after playing more responsive stuff, it's a real slog getting back in to the groove necessary for extended play sessions.

    And the crime and punishment system, particularly in Saint Denis, feels far too aggressively tuned.
    Whilst attempting to access my horse's inventory, I suffered some controller cognitive dissonance, and accidentally pulled my rifle from the saddle while a copper was near by.
    Even though I immediately holstered it, the copper decided he didn't like me and went into arrest mode, with me becoming Wanted for $5.
    But there was no way for me to surrender and simply pay the $5 on the spot; the copper just started shooting at me, and what followed was a miserable run through the back alleys of Saint Denis trying to evade an increasingly numerous army of homicidal, psychic coppers, who despite losing sight of me seemed to know exactly where to find me.

    I didn't shoot back at all, knowing that this would just increase the bounty, and eventually managed to escape.

    But even after the Wanted meter had decreased to zero and disappeared, the coppers still appeared red on the radar. It only took one to spot me, at which point I had to start the whole tedious evasion of bloody-minded lawmen all over again.

    I then did a couple of missions to try and push the story forward, but got frustrated by just how on-rails the missions are, and eventually gave up and played some Hitman 2 instead.

    RDR2'a a staggeringly beautiful game with incredible systems and depth of simulation, but it's definitely saddled with some unfun throwback elements from the Rockstar back catalogue.
    Last edited by Malf; 18th Apr 2019 at 11:44.

  7. #157
    Maybe the gun rules are wired to be different under the hood from city to city? I can see the Saint Denis cops being a bit stricter about longarms.

  8. #158
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I'm really enjoying the game again, and the epilogue is turning out to be HUGE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    RDR2'a a staggeringly beautiful game with incredible systems and depth of simulation, but it's definitely saddled with some unfun throwback elements from the Rockstar back catalogue.
    Yup. I don't even think it's a throwback tho. The mission design is way more linear in RDR2 than in previous R* games. The way a lot of gameplay elements are locked off during missions is groundbreaking in it's awfulness.

  9. #159
    Administrator
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: above the clouds
    I’m not sure games have progressed that far in terms of NPC and environment behaviour - it has got more detailed but we are still plagued with nonsensical situations due to accidents and glitches. Immersion is always broken by something.

  10. #160
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I can't really compare directly to any of the other games, but yeah, the missions are a lot more about "This is what Arthur would do. Retrace his steps." than about letting you be the cowboy you wish to see in the world. By and large, Rockstar gives you open world that let you freely do a wide range of things, but the moment the story takes over it tends to tell you that freedom is an illusion and we're all trapped in our roles.

    Which IMO tends to be an example of gameplay and story converging in these games, really; especially in RDR2, Rockstar are telling a story about a lack of agency. Dutch thinks he and his gang are truly free men, yet freedom is always just out of grasp because of needs: they need to rob just one more bank, they need to kill just one more person who has wronged them - and by the time the characters realise just how much they've been trapped by their supposed freedom, it's too late.

    Still sucks in the sense that on the surface the game promises freedom, but the missions do the opposite. I don't mind all that much, because I love just being in that gorgeous world and I find the story and characters quite engaging, but it is impossible not to wonder what a Rockstar game would be like if it actually delivered freedom rather than griping about how it's always just out of reach.

  11. #161
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Finished the epilogue, and I really liked it. The story is more straightforward and focused than the main story, and I actually think I liked it better.

    I’m currently 15 minutes into the end credits, and wondering if they’ll ever end or if I shall spend the rest of my days watching the RDR2 end credits. Looking forward to the epilogue to the epilogue tho, if I ever get there!

    edit: ok, epilogue 2 started. Once again I am disappointed that I don't get to play as Sadie (or Charles for that matter). I want John to settle down and be the family man he promised Abigail, if only for a short while, and with me in control that seems unlikely to happen!

    I'm guessing one of the biggest reasons John is still the PC is so R* won't have to recreate Mexico again. Any other character would just be able to swim there!
    Last edited by henke; 20th Apr 2019 at 08:00.

  12. #162
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I decided to continue my adventures online.



    Loretta and Lil' Horsey are locked and loaded and ready to fuck shit up.

    Get into the online mode, y'all! As usual you'll want to reserve an hour or so for character customization and tutorial/story stuff at the start. Don't worry about spoilers if you haven't finished the main game tho, as far as I can tell this is a completely different story with all new characters.

  13. #163
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I'll definitely check out the online mode once I've finished the story; I've started chapter 6, but there are quite a few side missions, so it'll take me a while before I get to the epilogues, I'd wager.

  14. #164
    I found the online mode an amusing diversion with my friend for a while (where the two of us completed missions and attempted to murder each other randomly as two of the ugliest swamp hillbillies ever when everyone else was dressed nice) but kind of lacking in the flexibility of the campaign sandbox.

    Fun if you can make your own fun, I suppose.

  15. #165
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Polygon just published a ridiculously large essay on RDR2's various critical design failures. Lots of good points, many subjective, but many that argue plain ol' good sense. But then, of course it would, because the author is motherfucking film crit hulk.

  16. #166
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    SAW THAT FILM CRIT HULK WROTE PIECE.
    IMMEDIATELY CLICKED THROUGH.
    DISAPPOINTED ENTIRE ARTICLE ISN'T IN CAPS.

  17. #167
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    HULK DROPPED THE CAPS YEARS AGO LIKE A BAD HABIT
    THAT ONLY RETURNS IN COMMENTS ABOUT IT

  18. #168
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I have something of a love-hate relationship with FCH and his writing. I've downright loved many of his articles, even the annoyingly all-caps ones, but over the last year or two I've often felt that he'd fallen in love with his own prose, stretching out each of his points to three to four times the length they needed. I don't mind a certain degree of longwindedness (I'd be a hypocrite if I did), and I definitely don't think that analysis needs to be terse, but I definitely began to think "Get on with it" way more often than I used to.

    How spoilery is the article? I'm currently in chapter 6 of RDR2, and while I'd like to read the article while the game is fresh in my mind, I wouldn't want to be spoiled too much.

  19. #169
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    How spoilery is the article?
    Almost exhaustively, lol.

  20. #170
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    The first half of it isn't that spoiler-y unless you mean it spoils the different kinds of gameplay mechanics through the game. I skipped over the bits that talk about story, but a lot of the article isn't about the story per se, but the design and execution of it within the gameworld. It does casually drop words about the writers' intended conclusions and story arcs in the story-focused sections, so be wary of those, yeah.

  21. #171
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Thanks. I might read the article after the end of chapter 6, or I might wait until the very end.

    I'm definitely interested in what FCH has to say, as he's one of the smarter cultural critics I've found on the internet, but when I looked through the article very briefly I saw that he mentioned the dread word "realism" a couple of times and that he linked Mark Brown's critique of RDR2, which I think was far from one of Brown's best analyses. (IMO Brown is simply a better critic when he looks at games he likes than those he doesn't like; I don't think he's always very good at distinguishing between "I dislike that the game does X" and "The game does X badly".)

    Thing is, I'm not sure that Rockstar did what it did because it wanted to make the game more realistic, or at least that's not all it wanted, nor do I think that it aimed at making the game as fun as possible. Which isn't a get-out-of-jail card for every design decision they've taken, but a number of the more critical texts and videos I've checked out to date haven't really convinced me in terms of trying to understand what the game is trying to do. Not that I fully understand this yet (or I might misunderstand what the game is trying to do), but my impression is that many of the critics have brought a heap of assumptions to the game that they're either not really aware of or that they're unwilling to examine critically. I hope that the FCH article does a better job of this.

  22. #172
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I've only my impression of the gameplay mechanics in RDR2, not having played it, but the crux of the critique does come down to horse poop, yes. What's your take on the decisions made behind the gameplay? I'd gander from my current distance that a degree of verisimilitude was the real intention, de-abstracting what you'd nominally shortcut to pull players in, but that's without having played the game.

  23. #173
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Some of what's there is definitely due to Rockstar striving for realism, but I think they were also trying to veer away from making a power fantasy, which IMO is why some of the controls are so... odd. Realism is the method they've used but not, or not exclusively, the objective. The game forces you to slow down to do things. Interacting through violence is less than a centimetre away from talking to people. The thing that comes easiest is shooting people and being done with it; other things take more concentration and time. I think that many reviews overstated the awkwardness of the controls (I found that the kind of mistakes many went on about at great length mainly happened during my first hour or two with RDR2), and I'm not sure I've made up my mind as to how successful Rockstar was at what I think they were doing, but there's a willfulness to many of the design decisions that IMO requires critics to think harder about what their purpose might be - which FCH may have done, but others (e.g. Mark Brown) haven't, or not enough, as far as I'm concerned. They're right to say that Rockstar's design made the game less fun in various ways, and it's perfectly okay to dislike RDR2 for doing so, but I've found that the game has forced me to take it in in ways that are different, and interestingly so, to games that make all these things easier and that strip out things that aren't seen as essential to the genre.

    Note: I think it's quite likely that I'm giving Rockstar too much credit in terms of the thinking that went into the design decisions. I think that many of the critics that I've read/watched don't give them enough credit, but the result may be that I overstate my own observations and interpretations.

  24. #174
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    If that's true, I'd applaud them for trying it - but FCH makes a fair point in the article about the usability of the tools you're given. It's one thing to make a non-violent option take deliberation and commitment, but it's another thing to make two functionally different things (talking vs. shooting) easy to fuck up mechanically in a 100+ hour game by tying them both to the same button.

    I don't quite buy R*'s design ethos in general when it comes to controls, and they've always had a bloody-minded commitment towards making things obtuse since the early GTAs, for reasons that elude me. At least half of why I can't stand GTA 3/4 is because of how weird and clunky aiming and taking cover is, something they've only improved in GTA 5.

  25. #175
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    That thing about the two different things on one button isn't entirely accurate, though, and it's been misrepresented in a few things I've read. You generally use L2 both to talk and to aim your gun if it is drawn, but not to shoot (unless I misremember - but at least in the vast majority of cases you're unlikely to shoot someone you wanted to talk to by accident). It's a detail, but I think it's a relevant one.

    However, while I generally think Rockstar's decisions in RDR2 had a purpose, I definitely won't defend them across the board, and I do think that some things could've been done in more interesting ways. For instance, by and large I like the way they tell a story, develop characters and make thematic points through their missions, but I also think it's a shameful waste that the missions are restricted the way they are and to the extent they are while being set in a world that would offer so many possibilities. If they did indeed want to express something about agency and the lack thereof, you can lend these points more nuance by making at least some missions more open and by varying the parameters.
    Last edited by Thirith; 23rd Apr 2019 at 07:01.

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