[Possible Story Discussion] Red Dead Redemption 2 First Impressions


#161

Well, I meant in-game, but that’s probably good too.


#162

Did you know? Having a full time job is a fucking pain when you’re trying to finish your very large video games.

Regardless, chapter 6 impressions:

You were right about the atmosphere in camp @GoldenJoel, it’s so tense and sad. Of all the characters, the one I most wanna give a big hug is Bill. It’s clearly getting to him and I just want to show that I’m still his friend. I love the image of Dutch looming in his tent, his silhouette illuminated like he’s a literal vampire.

I reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaally hope they stick the landing with Rain’s Fall and Eagle Flies, because the logic of Dutch’s plan is SO FUCKED UP and perfectly encapsulates how his “philosophy” is just an even more explicitly murderous version of American Exceptionalism

The way Arthur desperately claims that America “is man unleashed” as an attempt to justify the terrible things he’s done to Edith Downes is possibly my legit favorite line read of the year.

In fact, the stranger missions introduced in this act have been pretty uniformly great.


#163

Theres one bad one! Just to make sure nothing can be perfect there’s one that I’ve only done part 1 of but there’s no way it somehow becomes good! Hooray!


#164

What’s the name?


#165

The smell of grease paint.

If anyone wants me to mark that as a spoiler I will but it seemed innocuous to me.


#166

Oh… no… is it…

You know what, I’ll just see for myself.

EDIT: Wait, nvm, that’s the freak show one. Yeah, that wasn’t great.


#167

I’ve not managed to play a lot of the game so far, it’s a tough one to find the time between work and the baby.

But when I manage to get on, there’s always something to do that fits the chunk of time I have.

I’m at the very beginning of Chapter 3 and haven’t done a story mission for a long while. Whilst my daughter naps I might squeeze in a little bit of hunting or fishing with a gang member. When she’s playing in her bouncer it’s perfect to go hop in a game of Blackjack or Poker because I don’t have to worry about dropping the controller if she decides it’s time to vomit.

I have been saving the story missions for when I have a significant amount of time to myself, usually when my partner and baby go to bed or visit her parents and that’s when I’ll progress the story or get in some involved gunfights and move the game along at a faster pace.


#168

I’ve just started my playthrough and goddamn do I already hate how this game likes to cut away for stilted cinematic shots of you going places. Just let me ride the damn horsey.


#169

The game stops doing that kinda early, you’ll be riding your damn horsey from mission to mission while dialogue plays out for the next 45 hours.


#170

MRW Arthur rebuffs someone saying he’s a good person for the hundredth time:


#171

Can I just say I’m a bit shocked at how reserved Rockstar’s writing is in this when it just comes to language?

In GTAV, they seemed like they were soooo excited to use the N-word, and here it has only come up once or twice?

F-Bombs too. I feel like this is the least edgy cursing and slur throwing game Rockstar has ever made.


#172

I’m in the epilogue now, this is probably their best told story, it’s so not loaded down with shit. There’s bad stranger missions and occasional bullshit, especially early on, but this game’s story, I think, is actually a good one, and not just “by video game standards.” The caveat being you gotta discount at least some of the murder being perpetrated in shootouts because video games. Not all of it though, there seems to a fairly constant through line of there being narrative consequences to the big bombastic shootouts.

The game is so much less cynical than everything else they’ve done. It has problems, and people who know what they’re talking about can probably dig deep into its concept of what is “wild.” But man, the central throughline is real good, y’all. At least I think it is. I think a lot of the worst parts of the early story fall away by like halfway through. You get less of the “the world doesn’t want us (criminals??) no more” and stuff that just feels like “here are themes.”


#173

It’s surprising to me that people say the story goes to crap in chapters V and VI but I found that’s where it starts to come ahead and all the best character development happens in relation to the story. The epilogue, so far, has been credibly good in that regard too.


#174

I just got to the epilogue this morning. I somewhat groaned at the ‘Part 1.’


#175

be me

play through THAT climax

sees the story is only 79% complete

“Holy shit, how long is this game?”

Chapter 6 thoughts:

Oh my god, I cannot believe how heart wrenching that climax was. THAT music cue, Arthur’s last ride, the death of your horse, that final fight with Micah, and Arthur succumbing to tb as he watches the sun ascend above the mountains, it was beautiful and I teared up several times. It’s also making me wonder what kind of fucking asshole would do a low honor playthrough. I know that these games don’t have canon, but like, there’s no way THAT was the intended path, right? Like, it doesn’t even really make sense. All of the late game stranger missions require you to be a good dude and there’s basically no reason for Arthur not to trust Dutch if he’s also a violent amoral bandit.

I feel like the stuff with the Lakota was handled pretty well? I don’t know, I’d really like the opinion of actual native american critics and I feel like Rains Fall and Charles definitely could have layed into Arthur more for his very real role in Eagle Flies death. I guess that would have made the Gamers uncomfortable, so they didn’t go that far?

@Jimbot I only ever saw Dunkey’s video say that and, imo, it’s very telling that he lost interest the moment the story did a sad.

I ALSO like that Rockstar has figured out how to do the whole " hardened criminal has a crisis of conscience" thing and the trick, it turns out, was making a protagonist capable of kindness. Funny how that works, huh?


#176

Okay, that’s that then.

John Marston from RDR1 is a protagonist that I’m pretty fucking sure has not aged very well. But, I just watched him dance at his wedding and reflecting on everything that brought me to this point has left me inconsolable.

I know this story ultimately doesn’t end well, but damn it, I’ll take these moments of joy where I can get them


#177

A little side-event happened last night, after the first party at the first camp, and it was legitimately one of the funniest things I’ve ever experienced in a game.

Karen was sitting behind a wagon in the morning, and as I walked by, she called out to me, asking if I wanted to come over and talk. I, Arthur Morgan, who has spent the last several in-game weeks out on in the wilderness and trying to rob trains, earning myself relatively bad morality, walked over and sat down. She asked Arthur what’s on his mind, and he just started talking. This is the conversation they had:

From watching a few other versions of this conversation, it seems like the game is taking stock of your in-game actions and outputting this little confession based on that data. I, too, had been killing animals and innocent people (trying and failing to rob trains!) and I just fucking LOVED that Arthur hated what I was making him do. This wouldn’t “work” for me if Arthur wasn’t well-developed, but he is. He’s not as feckless as I thought he would be, and he has a lot of heart.

So it’s super fucking funny to me that the game has this conversation explicitly about how I am basically playing the game in a way that absurdly defies Arthur’s character. If Arthur let out an anguished scream every time I made him pull his gun on a barkeep or sock a horse in the face, crying out to me, his loathsome puppeteer, for remorse, this would probably be my GOTY


#178

Whoa, I had a very similar interaction like this except it was Tilly offering to talk. The dialogue in mine was a bit different than in your encounter, but Arthur said something along the lines of killing innocent civilians. It was right after a mission with a shootout where I think I may have accidentally hit a few people by mistake and felt kinda bad about it, so this conversation was really well-timed. I’ll never know if it was a coincidence or if this scene is specifically set to trigger when you do something nefarious, but it’s a great moment regardless.


#179

I saw one on YouTube in which their Arthur confessed to specifically harming a lot of women (WTF). I actually wonder if there are GOOD versions of this interaction.


#180

I would have liked to see it be more similar to Michael talking to his therapist and commenting on how violent or licentious the player has made him. It was neat in theory at the time, but it was virtually impossible not to hurt people in GTAV and there was no reason to go to strip clubs (there’s probably a larger conversation about what GTA VI even looks like after this), so Michael was always, invariably, an extremely violent man who HAS NEVER BEEN HORNY. The way RDR2 works probably would have lent itself much better to that sort of thing.

Instead, I think it’s one of the ways the game tries to discourage being a heel, of which there are several.