RDR2: Thoughts on the endgame and does chapter 6 hurt the open world? (spoilers)

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#1 Edited by Deathstriker (1024 posts) -

Spoilers for the game below.

First off, I love the game. I think it and God of War are my only contenders for best games of this generation so far. The way Rockstar ends the game is interesting and odd to me. I was curious to see what others thought, because for me, finding out that Arthur had TB at the beginning of chapter 6 pretty much killed the open world for me. I thought screw doing bounties, hunting legendary animals, trying to get another cool outfit, and whatever else, since my character is dying. If they were trying to be existential maybe that worked a little bit. I do appreciate them going a different path because in 99.9% of other video games where you're leveling up and unlocking weapons your character is going to be the strongest towards the end of the game, but here, he can barely stand at times. I'm curious if the TB diagnosis and seeing him wither away affected how anyone else interacted with the open world. After that point I just stuck to the main missions and I did some stranger missions to help with his karma and some of them like the widow in the cabin were interesting.

Maybe someone can clarify since I've only been Googling this, but it sounds like you can't ever play as Arthur again once you beat the main game, which is very unfortunate to me. I'm a few missions into the epilogue and I like John, but this isn't his game and I'd rather continue with Arthur. I don't know if there's a new game plus mode, I feel like that's needed here or just let us choose Arthur or John after the epilogue is over. I know that doesn't make sense story wise, but there are some workarounds.

I don't get all these articles and videos that I come across about money glitches. I never really cared about getting money and I always had $4,000 to $7,000 on me just from completing missions, looting dead bodies, exploring mines or cabins and other organic ways to play. Everything in the game is pretty cheap besides horses and you only need one good one.

Did anyone go southwest of the map with Arthur? I tried several times but the game would spawn like 6 or 7 guys on horses who were 100% accurate anytime I went near Blackwater. I know why that happens in the story, but that was a little annoying. I thought about getting a boat and going around Blackwater in the big lake but never got around to it.

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#2 Edited by Jesus_Phish (3702 posts) -

Your thread title is probably going to annoy people who could see it as a spoiler in itself.

It's probably enough to say "end game and spoilers post chapter 6".

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#3 Edited by Ares42 (4183 posts) -

The game has a really strange curve. It's still doing tutorial missions up to its peak (Saint Denis robbery) and then from that point it consistently dismantles the mechanics it tutorialized. I also mostly mainlined the back-end of the game, but I started doing it before the peak (as I felt like I had done enough side stuff and wanted to get things done). After playing the epilogues I was pretty much fine with the character switch, but the thing that killed my interest in keeping on was the dismantling of the camp mechanic. It was the catalyst that kept me going back out to hunt, and with the homestead they could've even expanded it.

As I said in another post though, I sorta wish I just stopped doing main missions before the robbery and finished off all the side stuff before that. Both the breakdown of mechanics and the story was fairly disappointing and left me with a feeling that the game fizzled out. I think I would've enjoyed spending more time doing side stuff and then just stopping the game more than I did finishing it off.

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#4 Posted by Deathstriker (1024 posts) -
@ares42 said:

The game has a really strange curve. It's still doing tutorial missions up to its peak (Saint Denis robbery) and then from that point it consistently dismantles the mechanics it tutorialized. I also mostly mainlined the back-end of the game, but I started doing it before the peak (as I felt like I had done enough side stuff and wanted to get things done). After playing the epilogues I was pretty much fine with the character switch, but the thing that killed my interest in keeping on was the dismantling of the camp mechanic. It was the catalyst that kept me going back out to hunt, and with the homestead they could've even expanded it.

As I said in another post though, I sorta wish I just stopped doing main missions before the robbery and finished off all the side stuff before that. Both the breakdown of mechanics and the story was fairly disappointing and left me with a feeling that the game fizzled out. I think I would've enjoyed spending more time doing side stuff and then just stopping the game more than I did finishing it off.

I'm sure as I play the epilogue more John will grow on me, but I'd like to see Arthur again, which is a credit to Rockstar that I care, because if Master Chief, Marcus Fenix, Lara Croft, or another main character died it wouldn't affect me at all. I do find John's wife to be annoying so far. She reminded me of the cliched superhero girlfriend who wants them to stop being a hero. I probably like chapter 6 the most, it's just jarring and sad to go through. I love the movie Logan, but I've only seen it once for similar reasons. If a friend brings up this game I would definitely recommend them to do all the side stuff like bounties, challenges, legendary hunts, homesteads, etc in or before chapter 5.

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#5 Posted by BoOzak (2455 posts) -

Yeah, I mainlined the game once I found out. (apart from the widow stuff since that was linked with him having TB) Thankfully I save the game before any story mission so I just went back to clean up the stuff that I missed as Arthur.

I agree that the the game feels quite hollow without the camp though, the farm could have been a decent substitute if they let you upgrade it but nope.

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#6 Edited by charlie_victor_bravo (1708 posts) -

Marston really felt bland compared to Arthur (and to Sadie and to Charles and to almost every other character), so the unsurprising "twist" that you end up playing as him was really a bummer. I was really hoping for that they would not go for the most obvious things because there was potential for something more interesting. How about Arthur survives even though game really hammers it out early on that he wont make it - a broken man finds a new place in the world? How about you play as Dutch for the rest of the game - a man who regrets betraying and losing his best friend?

Edit: It sucks that you loose all of the ingredients, apart from things like gator eggs and rare jewelry that you need for crating the trinkets. Also some of the unfinished stranger missions resets their status. Like the one about gunslingers did not but the Mr. White/Black escapee one went back to the start.

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#7 Posted by Deathstriker (1024 posts) -

Marston really felt bland compared to Arthur (and to Sadie and to Charles and to almost every other character), so the unsurprising "twist" that you end up playing as him was really a bummer. I was really hoping for that they would not go for the most obvious things because there was potential for something more interesting. How about Arthur survives even though game really hammers it out early on that he wont make it - a broken man finds a new place in the world? How about you play as Dutch for the rest of the game - a man who regrets betraying and losing his best friend?

Edit: It sucks that you loose all of the ingredients, apart from things like gator eggs and rare jewelry that you need for crating the trinkets. Also some of the unfinished stranger missions resets their status. Like the one about gunslingers did not but the Mr. White/Black escapee one went back to the start.

Once they gave Arthur TB his fate was sealed. I didn't research it, but based off movies and shows I've seen that feature TB, I was pretty sure that it was a death sentence for anyone back then, since medicine for it was probably decades away, so I'm not sure how Arthur would've survived this game unless you're saying Rockstar should've gotten rid of this whole plotline. John is a pretty good character to me (more so in his game than in this game). I wouldn't want to play as crazy ass Dutch. Sadie isn't much more unique or interesting than John to me - she just wanted revenge the whole campaign. Playing as Charles would've been interesting and seeing things more from the Native American perspective would've changed things up too.

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#8 Edited by NTM (11467 posts) -

I thought aside from most story points feeling kind of cliche one way or another (although extremely well-made mind you), I liked it fine. That said, I for the most part just went from mission to mission, be it side or mainline and his tuberculosis played itself into all of it which was well done. I didn't play Arthur as a bad guy, so it wouldn't have made much sense to go out and rob places again and again (nor is there much benefit to it). I thought it was kind of predictable, yeah, so when you start playing as John it wasn't something that spurred humongous surprise or excitement, but I liked it.

I thought the ending (before his TB) could have gone in a couple of different ways, the one that happened being one of them. I thought that early on, there might be a chance that Arthur would have been one of the few survivors of the gang, and at the end, it would have you again take the reigns of Jack Marston, and him showing up to Arthur's residence after Jack kills Edgar Ross. I only tried to go to Black Water once, and that's when I discovered it was there early on, but the law gets on you quick so it was pointless. I knew it was for story reasons so I just didn't go back until the very end. I've heard that if you actually make it down there, you automatically die?

I'm curious what everyone else's experiences are with side missions. How many times you went to the theatre, etc. What did everyone think of the first game's locations in RDR2? I thought it was interesting to see Armadillo being hindered with cholera, and then Tumbleweed was almost the entire opposite with people living there when in the first it was a ghost town. The thing I don't get though, and maybe it's just because I don't remember it, but it felt like in the first game John Marston had never been to those locations or knew of the house he built.

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#9 Posted by Deathstriker (1024 posts) -

@ntm: As far as side missions, I wish I had done the stuff with the nun. I got the reverend at the train station, but I saw on Youtube if you did the nun stuff she'll talk to you instead and that's a MUCH better conversation - maybe my favorite from this year. I liked the widow stranger mission. I went to the picture show in Valentine once and the theater once in Saint Dennis when on a date with Mary. Now that I think about it, I wish certain characters had been more prominent. I hardly, if ever, saw the blonde (who you rob the Valentine bank with) in chapters 5 or 6. Her, Uncle, and others kinda fade away and I'm talking before certain people skip town. It's easy to forget that Javier was even in the game.

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#10 Posted by NTM (11467 posts) -

@deathstriker: Hmm, yeah I got the nun (which was, yes, one of the better conversations in the game really). I read on a wiki after the game, because I was curious to see if you could meet up with all the characters again, and it said you see the reverend off on the train which made me a bit disappointed that I may have missed something, which I did, but I didn't know it was in place of the nun cutscene. Also, there are some continuity issues, if that's what it is that I experienced. There's the side mission where there are two brothers fighting each other over a girl, trying to impress her as they mock one another, and I did all but the final as Arthur, so in playing it today I came upon them one last time by a waterfall as John; he came into it as if he was the one helping them all along, with them even knowing John by name even though he never met them.

Plus, there was a third time in which the same man got bit by a snake near Saint Denis, and the first two times it was when I was Arthur, but it happened again as John and the dialogue was all the same. Again it was as if John had come upon this guy before. I suppose I could make up a story that John had run into these people off-screen, but still, it's jarring nonetheless. Lastly, go to the theatre more because they do vary, and sometimes you even interact with it (I shot near a magician [as opposed to at, which may be possible] to keep his act going, and fought a strong woman only to get knocked out and thrown out the back in the rain). The blonde is Karen; I wish you could find her after the end, but she wasn't even in the final cutscene. Maybe it's possible and I just haven't. I haven't seen Tilly either although she was in the final cutscene. I'm kind of on and off with this game now, so it's not really the center of my gaming attention if you will, but I'm still playing it.

There is more than one widow side mission, which one are you referring to? There's one where you teach a woman to hunt/shoot, and the other that was a little more central to the story (the woman that lost her husband to TB in which Arthur contracts it from as he beat him). I liked both, although the one that's more central to the story I liked more because it's one of the turning points as Arthur, where you can choose to do some good. That said, I'm confused about it though because that's all in a side mission, and yet there's a mainline quest in which I did after and it shows that she was back to prostituting which I felt was either an error on the games part, or some kind of message the game was trying to get across. I mean, depending on how you go about it in the game, you can have two different outcomes; one in which she actually leaves and supposedly lives a better life with the money Arthur offers her and her son, or she spends the money or gives it to her son and then goes back prostituting. I don't know.

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#11 Posted by Humanity (18257 posts) -

I just finished the game, well hit credits if that is the end because it seemed like the game should have ended about 3 times already. I have to agree that when Arthur got sick the mood shifted into a rather dour one, and then the game kept on going for quite some time after that. I was still invested up to that point but when the epilogue hit and I saw that I had to play as John that really took the wind out of my sails. I was really hoping that I would either get to somehow continue playing as Arthur to wrap up loose ends, or when I found out that he has died for sure to play as Sadie who I thought was a great character. I mean we already had the whole John being a family man set of missions in the epilogue of RDR1 and we already had all the missions where John teaches Jack how to do all the stuff he's supposed to know how to do later on. Really not sure why we had to go back and explore all this tread ground once again, especially since all those missions about building the homestead seemed so drawn out and superfluous after you just completed this emotional character arch for Arthur and the whole gang.

Additionally this also makes me absolutely have no interest in playing after the credits have rolled because I dunno, I just don't find John very interesting in this game and I really got attached to Arthur who was a great new character. When you get the TB and the gang starts falling apart I started beelining my way through the story because I wanted to know how it ends but then I regretted it a bit when all those side missions disappeared and I was locked in a point of no return.

Also I never really ventured down south as Morgan when I played through the campaign but I decided to take a ride and see how far I can go as John and boy, much like the entire game, that map just keeps on going. To what end? Were you able to go there earlier in the game? I rode through so many abandoned shacks, Fort Mercer with a gang in it but no unique loot.. There was a shack with a statue for impotency, and ancient necklace in another, a dead missionary from the late 1700's with a letter.. but it all seemed.. just kinda there? Armadillo is all run down. Is there any reason to all that land mass cause it sure seems like a waste of time to have made it unless there will be a lot of DLC missions there.

Generally speaking I had a real good time with this game. While in RDR1 I did all the crafting and hunting and challenges, for some reason I was all that compelled to do those here but the missions kept me glued to the TV for hours on end. While the end really begins to drag and both Epilogues were extremely boring for the most part I still think it's a great experience.

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#12 Edited by handlas (3346 posts) -

Humm I just started chapter 4 and hearing you get to play as John makes me more excited to play now ( as someone who has been somewhat bored of the game thus why I don't care about spoilers ). I assumed Arthur dies before playing the game since he's not present in the original game.

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#13 Edited by charlie_victor_bravo (1708 posts) -

Just noticed that you also lose the electric lantern as it is not found on the John's inventory in the post game.

Also it appears that either Rockstar did not put enough effort on the post game writing or John is an asshole. Here is his conversation about Arthur who chose to sacrifice himself (with max honor) to save John:

Loading Video...

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#14 Posted by LiquidSaiyan3 (607 posts) -

@charlie_victor_bravo:I saw that before, but never thought of John being an asshole there since Arthur regularly went out of his way to tell people he was not a good person, even when being honorable.

@ntm: I had some of the same continuity issues you had, specifically the two brothers knowing John's name and the widow I had sent off yet *still* is in town.

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#15 Edited by NTM (11467 posts) -

@charlie_victor_bravo: Oh, I didn't get it (or, I don't remember getting it) as Arthur. I went back to the scientist as John (when he was dead, and the robot was on the mountain), and I got the electric lantern. At first, it was weird because John reacts to the situation as if he knew him personally, but logically he would have known about it since John had read Arthur's journal, so I brushed that aside. Also, I don't think he was being an asshole there. I played that part too (you can also talk to the widow woman that you teach to hunt as well as the man that lost his leg). It's just that John saw both his gang life in which he definitely did bad stuff, and he also knows he did good which is why he says he was both. The guy had no idea that Arthur was in a gang and robbed and killed, all he knew was that Arthur had treated him kindly when most others haven't; John knew him better. I think players that play as John Marston would consider John a good guy, but John Marston doesn't consider himself a good guy. Kind of like that.

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#16 Edited by militantfreudian (659 posts) -

The uplifting tone the story takes in the epilogue is somewhat cliched, and I'm not sure if I liked it because of it or in spite of it, but, for the most part, it worked for me. John's quest of trying to become a better person is a continuation of Arthur's. So, in this sense, I didn't feel like the story was retreading the same ground.

In the process of becoming a member of modern society – where the government has a monopoly on violence – John had to relinquish the freedom of resolving problems with force. So, it was interesting to witness the repercussions of deviating from this rule, like when John kills the man who tried to rob him prior to the epilogue and Micah. I thought this was in line with the story's theme of trying to preserve "man's" natural liberties.

Even though I like Arthur better, John grew on me by the end of the epilogue. In fact, I was looking forward to playing as him after the epilogue, but getting $20k after the last mission makes me less likely to engage with the open world activities I ignored for the better part of the game. I just don't see the incentive beyond filling the compendium, which I have no interest in doing.

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#17 Posted by Qrowdyy (364 posts) -

Absolutely, I couldn't bring myself to hunt or do strager missions while Arthur was basically a dead man walking. Doing lighthearted stuff with imminent doom hanging over you just seems wrong. Like a lot of people are saying, I had no problems resuming side activities in the epilogue though.

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#18 Posted by doctordonkey (1752 posts) -

Luckily I had been playing the game in such a way that by the time I got to the point where Arthur gets diagnosed, I only had a few stranger missions left. It definitely feels like if you hadn't been doing side stuff before the TB kicks in, you just lose enthusiasm for it. Collecting money, buying and tricking out new guns, playing poker, it all kind of feels pointless. You know he's dying and everything is an extreme effort for him to do, so why do any of it?

Still, it plays into the main story well, regardless of all that. That ending broke my goddamn heart, being on that journey with Arthur and his horse for like 80+ hours. I can't even remember the last game that's made me tear up multiple times like this one did. Roger Clark is a hell of an actor.

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#19 Posted by Sahalarious (665 posts) -

As soon as Arthur got sick, the stakes were too high and the writing was too good for me to do anything other than mainline the story. No more camp upgrades suggests that R* is aware of that mood shift and leaned all the way into it. I beat the Epilogue and have now started a new game, and can finally start a completionist run, google locations and such. This game was so much more than an open world collectathon so I really don't care about NG+, the highs of RDR2 are in each step you take, not the crafting/collecting goals. Best game ever made.

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#20 Posted by chinaski (35 posts) -

I just hit the epilogue and hooo boy..

I'm pretty sure I did every single side mission, any icon that was presented to me, I followed. The only reason I'm where I'm at now is because I've caught 10/13 legendary fish and the last three are near Blackwater and I figured the story or camp would bounce back there eventually. You could feel the story start to intensify so maybe I should have known Arthur was on his way out, but with the story percentage sitting at like 80% I assumed there was more to come with Arthur. When he contracted TB I read something about medicine you can craft for it and again assumed it would stretch things out.

I absolutely love this game so I was very much trying to interact with every system in it. Really hoping I can finish the legendary fish quest and do all the other challenges because any reason to explore this world, I'll take.

But woof, it still took me by surprise and playing as John makes me kinda feel meh. I feel a strong connection to Arthur after 50 or so hours and it's a real bummer. Had I known what mission would be the final one I would have waited a bit.

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#21 Edited by Deathstriker (1024 posts) -
@gtb08 said:

As soon as Arthur got sick, the stakes were too high and the writing was too good for me to do anything other than mainline the story. No more camp upgrades suggests that R* is aware of that mood shift and leaned all the way into it. I beat the Epilogue and have now started a new game, and can finally start a completionist run, google locations and such. This game was so much more than an open world collectathon so I really don't care about NG+, the highs of RDR2 are in each step you take, not the crafting/collecting goals. Best game ever made.

I think it should be standard that every singleplayer game with unlocks/upgrades should have new game plus, even this game. With RDR2 I care more about keeping my same trapper unlocked outfits. Since it is a third person game I care about what I'm wearing. I think keeping the guns that I've unlocked and customized would be good too, but I do care more about the clothes. I don't want to kill a certain legendary animal plus perfect rams, deer, etc just to get the pants or vest that I already had unlocked. Starting the game over from scratch shouldn't be the only way to play as Arthur again.

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#22 Posted by Y2Ken (2912 posts) -

It worked out really well for me. I'd already crafted the final satchel before the end of Chapter 4, and I'd done just about every side quest and subtory the game had to offer by then as well. For once I guess my inclination to prioritise side content paid off.

I actually super like all the Chapter 6 side story stuff, though. Tonally it's so wildly different from most of the early stuff; it's less goofy or intense and a lot more about finding these small moments of peace and humanity. Arthur tries to help out the Downes, whose lives he tore apart. Arthur teaches a lost widow to live and prosper out in the wilderness. Arthur finds a friend in the war veteran. Arthur helps out the poor and needy by donating to the nun, who then offers him some words of comfort in one of the game's most touching conversations.

The stories and dialogue of all that late-game side stuff really paint a picture of Arthur trying to help do a little good for once, to brighten the world slightly while he still can. TB was often known as a disease whose slow, progressive nature meant sufferers would become more compassionate over time as they came to terms with their condition.

@ntm said:

That said, I'm confused about it though because that's all in a side mission, and yet there's a mainline quest in which I did after and it shows that she was back to prostituting which I felt was either an error on the games part, or some kind of message the game was trying to get across.

I ran into this too, but I figured it was just a continuity error, where the late-game side missions for her shouldn't have showed up until after you'd finished that main quest (but I almost always did side stuff before progressing the main story).

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#23 Edited by Jaalmo (1742 posts) -

I would have spent a lot more time in the earlier chapters if I knew that Arthur would contract TB and become a hindrance for the 2nd half of the game.

I felt like at that point I decided to rush through the story in the hopes it would go away. But of course, he died, and I ended up playing as John instead. A character that I'm not particularly fond of. It annoyed me when they did it in RDR1 and it annoys me now.

The epilogue seems wholly unnecessary to me. Like really? Working at a farm after all that? Milking cows? Chasing bounties?

I liked the story, I liked what they tried to do, the message was clear, but it would have been better to remove the epilogue, continue as Arthur and treat it as non-canon.

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#24 Posted by The_Grindilow (530 posts) -

I absolutely loved the game but the whole epilogue / ending soured me on it somewhat. I had every intention of going back and doing some of the collectible stuff but in truth haven't played it since I beat it. After 80 hours of play I was really invested in Arthur as a character. Continuing as John, an arguably inferior protagonist just doesn't have that much appeal. I actually saw the whole Arthur dying / finishing as John coming but the way they executed it really took the wind out of my sails in regards to playing any more of it. Hopefully the urge will come back after I'e had a break from it.

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#25 Posted by tunaburn (2058 posts) -

Im dumbfounded as to how anyone could be disappointed with the end game. Arthurs death was brutal and sad. Just what he knew was going to happen and eluded to all game. It hit me hard. Even harder than watching John die 8 years ago. Playing as John again is pretty great for those of us who put 100 hours or more into Red Dead 1. Im coming for you Micah. I want my god damn revenge!

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#26 Edited by tunaburn (2058 posts) -

@jaalmo: that would have literally ruined the game for me. Arthur died. Thats what happened. If they let us keep playing him for some reason the story would be pointless. Its supposed to suck that he died. Thats the entire point. As far as the John stuff. Thats what Arthur died trying to do. Get these people to live regular lives. Get out of the business they were in. Tried to stop what ends up happening to John from happening to John. And the end of Johns epilogue on this game is pretty damn awesome if you havent done it.

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#27 Edited by OMGFather (971 posts) -

@tunaburn

Agreed. I loved the epilogue, though I can understand how some parts of it would drag for some. Building Beecher's Hope from the ground up was great, after moving from camp to camp all game it finally felt like a permanent home. Building it with the hammer and nails song playing was one of my favorite moments of the year. Plus, you get more of Sadie and Charles and some closure there - two of the best characters in the game. And the last mission... oh boy. Fantastic.

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#28 Posted by Deathstriker (1024 posts) -

I absolutely loved the game but the whole epilogue / ending soured me on it somewhat. I had every intention of going back and doing some of the collectible stuff but in truth haven't played it since I beat it. After 80 hours of play I was really invested in Arthur as a character. Continuing as John, an arguably inferior protagonist just doesn't have that much appeal. I actually saw the whole Arthur dying / finishing as John coming but the way they executed it really took the wind out of my sails in regards to playing any more of it. Hopefully the urge will come back after I'e had a break from it.

I felt the same way as you and other people who didn't like the epilogue at first, but it's really just the ranch part at the beginning that's boring - they make it boring on purpose for a few missions then things open up and get exciting. John trying to be a good person is an extension of Arthur's final request and things naturally tie together. The epilogue also gives a Sadie, Charles, and Uncle a good chance to shine.

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