Spoiler Warning: Read at your own risk if you haven’t played or completed Red Dead Redemption 2.
When Red Dead Redemption 2 was first announced my friend (who loved the first game already) recommended it to me. He showed me trailers and we were both stunned by the beautiful graphics. I was curious what the story was about and why everyone was so hyped so I decided to give it a try.
Overall Red Dead Redemption is a decent game. It earned praise and awards but I found a few things that made the experience of this journey less joyful.
Before I start listing my personal issues with the game I should mention that I never played Red Dead Redemption which is the prequel of Red Dead Redemption 2 which might explain why I enjoyed it less.
My biggest issue was the long travelling times which made me tend to ignore side quests and activities. Fast travelling is available but first you have to reach such a station, then you can only travel to bigger cities, so if you have a mission far in the mountains you will have to use your horse. Even during story missions you ride around horseback for quite some time while your companions talk to you and seemingly trying to distract you from the long ride. Some conversations are interesting but mostly just got bored of riding on horseback so long. Besides fast travelling there is automatic horse travel where you just mark a spot on your map and your horse will bring you there while you can check your phone, do chores or drink some water. That is how it should work in theory. Sadly your horse often crashes into other horse riders who shoot you afterwards when you are about to get up after the crash. Occasionally your horse will run over people so then you have a bounty on your head. Sometimes your Horse will stop at your target location but on other occasions it just keeps running. Once my Horse even disappeared right under Arthurs butt.
While I was playing through the story and got to know the gang a little I noticed that I didn’t care about any of them. Sure they were all unique and interesting but if or when they died I was only shocked but otherwise didn’t care or even noticed they were missing afterwards. It was only at the very end I started to care about Arthur, John and Sadie. During the story I just got annoyed of how blindly Arthur followed every order, that Dutch gave him without thinking what he wants out of his life.
Even though the story is amazing, it did feel like the progression through it was extremely slow and the story felt stretched out. I mean how often you heard Dutch say: “We just need some money then we can…“mostly something would go wrong and you would have to move camp again which was frustrating. It is also funny that the game even starts with something going wrong in Blackwater where the gang has to run away and hide in the mountains. After you run away once again from a town called Valentine, the game felt like an endless loop and I was getting bored and tired of playing. The missions felt repetitive and only a few stood out to me. Towards the end of Red Dead Redemption 2, the missions are diverse and interesting again and therefor I found my interest for the story I had in the very beginning.
Another issue I had with Red Dead Redemption 2 was the repetitive gameplay. I mean all you do is run around shoot (with auto) aim or ride on a horse. Sure there are other small things you can do like fishing, shopping, play mini games but those 3 main gameplay mechanics is what you do 90% in this game. That’s the case with most games but in this game I didn’t feel rewarded for my efforts. Certain missions reward you with a bunch of money where you can buy every camp upgrade but once you maxed that out there is not much you can spend your money on besides small things like clothes, horses, guns, haircuts and so on.
It is clear Red Dead Redemption 2 was designed to be as realistic as possible but it came with a price. All in all there are things that were just right or even perfect like the graphics, sound/music. The story itself was great but sadly the speed in which it progressed felt too slow, which robbed it’s appeal to me.
What did you like or dislike about Red Dead Redemption 2?