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Red Dead Redemption 2 (late 2017... until it gets delayed *UPDATE: Delayed to October 2018*) [PS4/XB1] - Coming to PC Nov 2019

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A couple of other things that I noticed playing this some more:

-Bounties are strange.  In GTA, you could get the cops out looking for you, but eventually they'd stop.  Once you lost your heat, you could be reasonably anonymous again, which seems to be the standard for most games where there's a "notoriety level".  In this case though, in addition to having a situational "people are looking for you" level, the bounties mean that there's an extra level of vigilance in an area seemingly forever, unless you pay off the bounty yourself?  It seems weird that you'd end up with a reasonably massive price on your head, and that the only way to pay it off is grind out money, and not have any other options (unless I'm missing something). 

-The game managed to eat my horse!  Loaded up the autosave, and the horse that I'd gotten up to full bond was nowhere to be found.  I still had the original one from the start of the game, but not the upgraded one I'd been using.  Fortunately I had a manual save half an hour earlier that I could roll back to, and from a quick search this sounds like a known issue (at least a year ago).  Guess it never got fixed? 

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That is awesome!  This game has so many golden moments, in loving the clips getting posted.   Saw this one yesterday,...  

And finished.  Not sure on total hour count (probably a lot), but got through all of the story, and a decent chunk of the stranger/story side missions.  A few final thoughts


-The characters and atmosphere in this game are what make it worth playing.  The world is very active, and it seems like you're always coming across something happening.  I like the way that each of the side characters in the game seems to have their own story, and at the start there's a good variety of missions to flesh out the world.  It was fun wandering around in this environment with my Clint Eastwood surrogate to see where things went. 

-The "systems" part of this game isn't as bad as it seems at first.  I made it through most of the game by occasionally going and having a bowl of stew and a nap at camp, and taking my horse through for the "service package" at the stables to recharge those cores.  Didn't seem to affect being able to play the story much at all.  Likewise occasionally going in and getting guns cleaned, which didn't really get in the way much at all.  Once I got one horse up to full bond, I just never switched it up.

-You do end up learning the controls, but that doesn't necessarily make them better.  Things are still slow and unresponsive, which is probably why things like the cover snap and lock on are so generous.  The fast travel helps, but it's also very "deliberate" (find spot to camp, set up camp, fast travel, watch an animation/load, get to other location). 

-There's a point in this game where the whole economy just broke.  At the beginning I was scraping around for cash, but there's a bank robbery at one point, after which I had over $2000 in cash that I never went through all of.  I suppose if you get really into playing dress up you can spend it all, but I bought all the camp upgrades, all of the items I needed, and still had cash left over.  It was kind of nice to not have to worry about finding money I suppose, but it did kind of break some of the story. 

-I still don't like the way that bounties are permanent-it really tried to force you into the "good guy" route, and made the game less about the GTA style mayhem.  Seems like that was intentional, but in GTA, you could drive a tank down the street and blow up 100 cars, lose your wanted level, and then be right back to anonymous.  Here you step out of line, get a bounty on you, and you either end up in a bunch of extra fights, or have to pay it off yourself. 


These are more spoilery:

-The story...just...keeps...going...  I kind of liked where things were headed with a few of the first chapters, and learning the dynamics of the gang was fun.  Interspersing robberies with things like taking Lenny out drinking was neat, and having the camp building in between made it seem like you were keeping something going.  I also liked the way things started to unravel, with gang members' stories getting wrapped up and people going their separate ways, but I really though there'd be more made of how nothing Dutch and Hosea ever planned really worked, especially after Lemoyne and the chapter with the two families.  No matter what, Arthur keeps following Dutch (as do others), when clearly, he's not very good at this whole thing.  Maybe if they'd set up something that was a significant success early on, but thinking about it now, the only job that was successful in the whole game was the one that Karen brought up (robbing the Valentine bank). 

-The epilogue just kills this game.  I'm coming at this from a strange place, having not played RDR1 (although I think I might now), but the last stand with Arthur seemed...final?  To then have an epilogue with John...fine, but it was just way too long.  If you want to show that John and his family were still in hiding-fine.  If you want to show the bits with Charles and Sadie, and tracking down Micah and Dutch, that's OK too, but there was just too much "stuff" in that epilogue.  Having a mission where your goals are to shovel horse shit, or build a fence doesn't really need to be there.  Yes, you took something and made it sort of interactive, but all it does is make the game bloated.  Like I said, maybe if I knew what happened in the first game it would have been way more compelling to see how John ended up where he did, but as it stands that Epilogue was twice as long as it should have been.  The fact that Dutch shows up at the end also came out of left field, and I don't think added much to the mix (other than a convenient deus ex machina).  Had Dutch/Micah been involved through the epilogue, that might have been a better story, but to have the final mission just be "hey, we found this guy, and by the way Dutch is there too" fell a little flat. 


In the end, I think it's worth checking out, especially given that it's on GamePass now.  Give it a few hours to see whether it sticks, but I found it compelling enough to finish over a few weeks, despite a rough start.  I think I'm going to go back and try the first one at some point now and see whether it holds up.

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