Hey, I would spoiler tag some of the stuff you say in the first sentence - the article this thread’s based on doesn’t have any spoilers and there’s not any other real spoiler marks either. I’ve finished the game and a few of us seemingly have but that doesn’t mean everyone reading will have.
sorry yes, done. thanks
I do think they hit upon something special by developing the supporting cast as less over the top stereotypes but more as archetypes of recent Westerns and more grounded in a unified sense of community.
The switch with Marston still feels like filling in detail that was already throughly implied in the previous game where they could have gone with one of the other survivors (Sadie) but Martson is the one people know so they have to go for the most obvious safe bet.
I didn’t say it was done perfectly, I think its definitely better than the first game (RDR2 doesn’t have the abysmal homophobic trash that is De Santa), but the arc of Eagle Flies and Rains Fall is still one of the most messy parts of the narrative, undeniably.
You’re right that they’re not very developed as actual characters and I wish Arthur, and the player by association, had been more admonished for their role in the conflict. Eagle Flies death would have been the perfect opportunity for Rains Fall to unload his rage on Arthur for his inability to rein Dutch in. If R* had truly leaned in on making that resolution deeply unsatisfying, made sure the player felt a tremendous sense of guilt for what happened, I think it may have worked way better.
I used that example because it was just the first, and most explicit, that came to mind when it comes to Dutch having always been a snake. I could also point to the uncharacteristically angry rant where he rails against “old world peasants” and first suggests going to Tahiti: https://youtu.be/W_77-Sh0Mj4, or when he repeats the same speech he gave to John before he committed suicide: https://youtu.be/X7kWxy7iDME, showing his colors as just another con-man. Dutch’s true character is even communicated in how he fucking shoos people from chairs so he can relax. This all feels in stark contrast to the way he’s talked about and portrayed in Red Dead Redemption which always wanted to make damn sure I KNEW that “maybe Dutch wasn’t always so bad” and RDR2 is better for it, in my opinion.
I do think one of the strengths of the narrative is the revaluation of Dutch through Arthur’s eyes but I do feel like it carries the same issue of many Rockstar games of seeing the endgame very early and then having to spend many hours to get to that, especially whole chapters, Guarma and Eagles Flies repeating similar notes. Also Micah feels like a bit of a cop out for Dutch turning against Arthur.