I think everyone is different when it comes to what they are looking for in certain games. For some people gameplay is absolutely paramount in almost every game. I would put Jeff in this category. There are rare exceptions like maybe Nier Automata or Gone Home or something where it is clear gameplay is not what won him over, but by and large if there is a big new release out and he doesn't like how it plays it is very difficult for him to overcome that.
I think for RDR2 and TW3, gameplay was important to me, but not as important as the story and world. Specifically in RDR2 depth was pretty much the single biggest thing I was interested in. As a result I loved both games immensely and even enjoyed the gameplay in both, though maybe not as much as a Titanfall 2.
Another thing with both of these titles is I totally get how people think they controlled weird just moving around. I felt that for the first hour or two in both games. Then before I know it I never think about it again and end up having zero issues with it. Maybe I am fortunate to just adjust easily or something? I'm not sure.
I also notice people complaining about bumping into people in town and starting a ton of shit mistakenly in RDR2. That happened to me maybe one or two times in 60+ hours. I think once I realized how the game worked, I subconsciously was controlling to avoid those things from happening. I never felt like I had to focus on it or anything. It came very natural to me to avoid running people over on my horse, pulling my gun on them, or just bumping them in general.
I see how people who are used to running around at 30mph in AC games bumping into anything and everything and auto looting a dozen items at once, would be very put off by RDR2. To me there is nothing else like this in games and the slow, deliberate pace and controls were a breath of fresh air.
@redcream: I think their argument falls apart not only because other games have done similar things without the technical mess, but also because Bethesda didn't even make any headway on the problem. At some point the underlying systems are not changing dramatically enough that the technical issues can be excused. How many Morrowind/Oblivion/Fallout 3/Skyrim/Fallout 4's do they need to make to make progress on this front?
The tutorial message system is one of my few gripes with the game. My biggest problem is it is constantly repeating things it has told me 20 times already and ruins immersion. I don't want to turn it off because I want to see the tips when I explore a new system. Also I have dueled like 4 people already and it keeps popping up telling me how to duel and also blocking the bar that you use during the duel.
I haven't had any real issues with the slow controls. It is either that or you get the super responsive unrealistic video game ass video game controls. I am fine with not running everywhere at 50mph and constantly bumping into anyone and anything like every other open world game. It feels good to play something taking a very different approach.