Red Dead Redemption 2 - my thoughts while I play

I’m finally playing RDR2. I’ll update as I go and let’s avoid major spoilers if there are spoilers about a game like this.

  1. I never played Red Dead Redemption or the game before that. This is my first one.

  2. I had heard the opening was very long and boring and my experience is that…well, that is kind of true. I am riding the wagons now at the end of chapter 1, having just robbed a train. It was slow, but I am still engaged. I died twice on the train mission, once because I died, once because my partner died. I kind of hate that I was responsible for my partner’s life, too. Ugh.

  3. I’m hoping for a good open world experience. I have heard this game has a pretty big and good quality open world and I am looking forward to playing that section, which I think is kind of coming up.

  4. The autosave is way too rare and during my missions, it won’t let me save. It only autosaves once in a blue moon. Kind of annoying.

  5. I am playing mouse and keyboard controls, so here’s hoping it controls well enough that way.

Anyway, I’m hoping for the best. I massively wish the single-player could be played while offline. It 100% required internet just to turn this game on. The Rockstar Launcher has “offline mode”, but it will NOT load this game without internet. Lame! I mean, let me check in with internet every 12 hours or so, but please let me play when I can not connect.

Have fun I enjoyed it immensely, also liked the first. I’m on a Farming Simulator 2019 run right now, with tons of mods but intend to go back to RDR2 and play the online version.

It’s also a beautiful game with a great story with a lot of side quests and achievements. I enjoyed the hunting/fishing part of it especially.

As a fellow person who’s very late to the party (only started playing this game recently although it’s been out forever, and still only about halfway through it), I will say you are in for a great experience. The sense of immersion is first-rate. The reason I’m only halfway through it is because - as the developers intended - you will naturally spend more time exploring the world than playing the missions. There is so much to find and do. I thought Ghost of Tsushima was amazing, and the environment dazzling, but there’s very little to actually discover in that game beyond the ambience. Not so in RDR2, which is packed with things to discover, mini-games, and side quests to collect. It also doesn’t beat you over the head with “crafting.” It is part of the game, but you’re not constantly forced to do it.

The opening mission of RDR2 is really just a crash course in the gameplay mechanics. Once you’re through it, you’ll be able to explore freely. However, you will want to spend time in your “base camp” talking to the various people there, in order to get certain things out of the way to maximize your experience. The fishing mini-game, for instance, is only unlocked when you trigger a fishing mission by talking to John Marston’s son in the camp. I should have done this much earlier, because I spent a long time wondering “how the hell do I unlock the fishing game I’ve heard so much about” before finally breaking down and googling it.

One other important tip: when you are hunting, use the binoculars in your inventory wheel to examine animals from afar. Once you have examined them with the binoculars, the “quality” of the animal will be displayed (i.e. “perfect”, “good”, or “poor.”) You will get more money for the “perfect” pelts. With larger animals like deer you have to shoot them right in the “vital” spots (marked in red when you trigger the dead eye) or their pelts will be degraded in quality. And you need to go to the gunsmith and add a scope to your rifle to improve your aim. Also, buy the “varmint rifle” for smaller animals, so you can shoot them without ruining their pelts.

The game just opened up and I have some things to do. Cores are certainly something I’m not 100% on. I guess you have to drink/eat to fill them, but health and stamina regenerate automatically.

It’s in my top 2 or 3 games of all time. I had a thread here a while ago about going back and paying RDR1 after finishing. Many disagreed but I feel 2 is greatly superior. It’s a beautiful game. The game play is varied. The storyline is complex and the voice acting is great. RDR1 suffered from a color palette that I guess was to set a mood but it made the game looked washed out in grays and browns. It hurt my eyes when looking for something in the distance.

One of the extras that was a big help was getting the full satchel upgrade. Do that as soon as you can.

I don’t want to be a killjoy, but I started playing it around Xmas-time and I thought it was an okay game, but not a great game. In fact, I finished maybe 30% of the game and then I put it aside and I haven’t really missed it since.

It looks beautiful, though.

To even upgrade to level 2 of the satchel, it said I had to upgrade my Medicine wagon twice. My medicine wagon is greyed out(has a little ! next to it). How do I start upgrading?

Should I play a few Chapter 2 missions and things like that will open up even more?

I have not played it but I’ve seen some of the YouTube play-throughs. The sense I got was that it seemed more of a graphics novel than the usual online game – the focus was on the story, not getting fancy upgraded equipment and beating the next Boss.

My only issue with RDR2 is that there is so much to it, it feels overwhelming. There really isn’t anything about it I don’t like. I love open world RPGs, I love the western genre, the mechanics are in-depth and interesting, and the game is so immersive. I think my problem with the game is that I can only spend short amounts of time playing games because I have too many other obligations and for a game like RDR2, it feels like playing it for an hour here and there isn’t enough. Every time I play, it takes me a bit of time to remember what I was doing last time, and remember the controls, and how to get to my inventory, and so on. When I was younger and I could waste a whole day at a time gaming I probably would have adored this game. As it is, I see its potential, but I’m almost at the point where I have to say to the game “it’s not me, it’s you”. :frowning:

I haven’t played RDR2 (or RDR) yet, mainly because I thought the story in GTAV (my first GTA) was simply awful and stupid so I don’t have much faith in Rockstar to make a good story – or at least a story I like. Maybe I’ll give it a shot when it’s in the $20 range.

That said, I did pick up Red Dead Online during its introductory cheapie period and that’s been fun and relaxing to just cruise around, hunt some critters, find some flowers, maybe clear a bandit hideout and buy a new hat now and then. Beautiful scenery and a relaxing, if shallow, gameplay loop. Don’t know if it has staying power but I’ve certainly gotten my couple bucks out of it.

This is my current impression. I feel like there are so many mechanics, upgrades, things to do. I don’t even know how to access certain menus because there are so many(I mean, I can get to them, but it is a process).

I am concerned that missions can not be saved during, even in the lulls between major events. I would like to be able to leave and come back mid-mission sometimes. I also don’t play for super long.

My hope is most story-missions are 15-25 minute events. I have heard that if you repeatedly die/fail, you can skip whole sections of missions. <—is this true and does it remain true the entire game?

I’m kind of a wimp and more importantly, very short on time sometimes. I may skip sections of quests/missions if they are frustrating.

Have you been attacked by a gang or a group of bounty hunters yet, while traveling from place to place? I found that rather frustrating.

New players and replay players may find this useful. Potential spoilers ? Interactive RDR2 Map If you create an account, it can track your progress with items etc.

I referenced it often when trying to hunt down items etc.

No. I kind of wandered around some and looked at Valentine a bit. I now think I’ll play a few more story missions to see if that opens things up even more.

If it’s a small group you can take them on, but when you do that more show up eventually. I was able to out run the larger groups. Then get to a town and pay off the bounty so they’d leave you alone.

I’ve only seen two “exciting” things. One was a lady trapped under a horse. I escorted her to town. Another was a man get kicked to death by his horse. I looted his body.

Crime: I should be doing that, right? Should I be robbing people and so forth, etc.?

There’s a whole series of “Bandit Challenges” in the game that revolve around breaking the law, so clearly the game is not discouraging you from it.

I reckn’ if that’s how you roll partner. :sunglasses:

If no one actually sees me kill/rob people, does my “wanted” level go up? I have never played this game or any GTA game, but I feel like in Skyrim, you do anything wrong and guards swarm you. If I am hidden or in the wild, am I good to rob and kill, so to speak?

It is complicated. If you have killed someone and an NPC stumbles upon the scene of the crime, the police will investigate and may figure out it was you. Or they may not.

Otherwise, you can do what you like unless someone sees you, then they become a Witness, get a Witness icon on their head, and go running off to tell on you. So of course you stop them by shooting them in the head (you can chase them down and threaten them but shooting is easier). Most of the time someone else will see that crime and become a witness that you have to take care of, and then someone else sees you kill that witness, and so on.

I quite like the crime and consequences mechanic in general, but there are times when you are just trying to mind your own business and then, without really intending to, you find you’ve just slaughtered 30 citizens and you have blood all over your clothes, and your horse is spooked.

One thing in particular, be very careful about looting bodies. I shot and killed someone in a town because they were being a shit, and the game didn’t consider it a crime because basically the other guy started it, but then I made the mistake of looting the body <CRIME!>. 5 minutes later, I’m surrounded by piles of dead witnesses and the air is filled with the stench of gun powder, blood, and faeces.

A word on bounty hunters. Personally I like them, you get alerted to their presence by a red area on your minimap and can usually manoeuvre around and set up an ambush and take them out easily enough. I can’t remember why exactly, but there was a time I would cruise around with a wanted level just so I could have bounty hunter encounters. BUT, If you stray into an area of the game you are not supposed to be in yet, you will be set upon by elite bounty hunters and they will take you out very quickly. Be aware that this is the game’s way of saying “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE”, it is not normal bounty hunter behaviour.

Fill your cores by eating food. After you have killed an animal, set up camp and cook the meat. If you have some herbs, you can cook meat that has different effects on your cores.

I find the crafting in general to be a bit longwinded. It helps if you just accept that the game has a certain leisurely pace to it.