Those hard RDR2 turns on the Beastcast...

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#1 Edited by Sweep (10523 posts) -

It was pretty upsetting to hear the staff pile onto Red Dead 2 on last weeks Beastcast. To an extent I didn't expect Jeff to enjoy the game, as he's been vocal in the past about not enjoying that style of open world game, but it was pretty frustrating to hear Ben and Dan be so down on it, especially after how positive they were in previous weeks. I haven't paid much attention to the post-release coverage, having been preoccupied with finishing it myself - so this was the first time I'd really heard people turn on the game. I haven't read much else, so I don't know if this is exclusive to the Giant Bomb staff or if this sentiment is being mirrored elsewhere, but it's a shame either way.

I think the most upsetting thing was a lot of the complaints felt petty in the context of a game that is so broad-reaching. I also felt there was an element of exaggeration and misinformation when it came to some of the anecdotal complaints that were leveled at the game. Sure knocking someone down on your horse when you're riding around St Denis will attract the attention of the cops, but to suggest that it instantly launches you into a full-scale firefight to me demonstrates an ignorance of the games systems - frequently I would bump into someone and be "moved along", essentially told to leave the area at my own pace, in full view of the police, with no consequent chase or bounty. Other times I would be caught by the police and told to surrender - doing so would mean a brief cut-scene in the cells and then a quick release back onto the streets to carry on my business without a lengthy chase. Or how about instead of blaming the game for punishing you after you literally trampled a pedestrian to death, you don't ride your warhorse around a crowded city at full speed?

I'm not going to pretend the game is flawless, because it's clearly not - the context sensitive controls are consistently overwhelming and confusing, and I accidentally punched my horse (Sorry Hector!) far too many times to pretend otherwise. The hunting and crafting can be tedious, and too many of the games upgrades are hidden within certain recipes which are simply not economic to complete. There's all kinds of little issues that are going to arise from a game that attempts to do so much - my girlfriend complained that the fishing was tedious, to which I replied it's pretty miraculous that there's such a robust fishing system in that game at all. And I think that's why the recent whining has felt so needling and petty; there are questionable issues of game design which, while valid concerns, shouldn't detract from what is a revolutionary game, both in terms of writing and technical prowess. If you don't like the plot then fine, if you don't like the characters then whatever, but it seems super short-sighted to compile a list of petty grievances and then stack them up against what is otherwise a triumph for the entire medium.

This is probably going to evolve into a bigger discussion with pretentious titles like "should games be fun?" and "are you responsible to recognize and promote innovative experiences even if you don't enjoy them on a personal level?" but i'll put those on my blog, where you're welcome to ignore them :P

Anyway, I thought it was great. As you can probably tell. It's disappointing to me that it's currently being dismissed by the staff, and I hope those discussions don't discourage anyone from experiencing Red Dead 2 themselves.

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#2 Posted by xanadu (1993 posts) -

but the only person that turned on it was Dan? Jeff hated it from the start. Vinny, Abby, and Alex said they loved it.

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#3 Posted by Sweep (10523 posts) -

@xanadu: Both Ben and Jan seemed like they were on the fence but were being swayed by the general negativity in the discussion.

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#4 Edited by SethMode (1754 posts) -

Broad-reaching? It's a prettier Rockstar game, with all of the same controls and mission designs as the previous ones. For the life of me I don't know how a reason for not liking a game can be "petty", least of all can I figure out how that is being used as some kind of an argument seemingly dismissing the people not liking it. Especially when the biggest reason seems to be "it isn't fun to play". That seems, ....the opposite of a petty reason to not like a 40 hour video game.

Edit: also, and this isn't meant to sound glib, I don't think you have to worry about people not playing the game because of this. Or at least, not a lot of people. The thing sold like 15 million copies in a week. The last time I looked up the Witcher 3 sales numbers the ENTIRE TRILOGY COMBINED had sold 25 million (as of 2017 I think).

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#5 Posted by Sweep (10523 posts) -

@sethmode said:

Broad-reaching? It's a prettier Rockstar game, with all of the same controls and mission designs as the previous ones.

See, I'd disagree with that for a start; so much of this game hinges on the writing and the characters which are lightyears ahead of previous rockstar games, and games in general. I'd argue that to ignore that is to do the game a disservice, and to walk away from that because some areas of the game are a little janky is very short-sighted.

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#6 Edited by mellotronrules (2454 posts) -

this definitely sounds like a death-by-one-thousand-cuts situation. and i can certainly sympathize with your clear passion for the game not being matched by the bombers. but regarding your larger question of-

@sweep said:

"are you responsible to recognize and promote innovative experiences even if you don't enjoy them on a personal level?"

recognize? sure. that makes you a reasonable critic. but promote? wouldn't that just make you dishonest? one would hope they'd always speak truthfully from a position of personal experience. otherwise what's the point?

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#7 Edited by SethMode (1754 posts) -

@sweep: but I put 40 hours into it and didn't even really enjoy the story. The characters were a good combination of Western cliches, but not enough to make up for the fact that I didn't care for the game hinging them all together. That isn't a "petty" critique, it is how I felt playing it. Regardless, I don't think that it doing storytelling better than previous Rockstar games makes it broad reaching, in and of itself.

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#8 Posted by Efesell (4083 posts) -

It would not be Giant bomb if they did not find the darling of every other website and regard it with a resounding "Ehhh."

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#9 Edited by Sweep (10523 posts) -

this definitely sounds like a death-by-one-thousand-cuts situation. and i can certainly sympathize with your clear passion for the game not being matched by the bombers. but regarding your larger question of-

@sweep said:

"are you responsible to recognize and promote innovative experiences even if you don't enjoy them on a personal level?"

recognize? sure. that makes you a reasonable critic. but promote? wouldn't that just make you dishonest? one would hope they'd always speak truthfully from a position of personal experience. otherwise what's the point?

Well, as critics every endorsement they give is also a promotion. And what I mean by this is to ask if there's a social responsibility there; For example, I didn't enjoy Grave Of The Fireflies but I still would recommend you go and watch it, knowing that you're probably not going to enjoy it either.

Seriously, that movie is depressing as fuck.

How much of a cultural obligation is there to acknowledge and support the positive aspects of any media even if we don't enjoy it ourselves?

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#10 Posted by SethMode (1754 posts) -

@sweep: In all fairness, regardless of RDR2's cultural importance now or in the future, I don't really think the argument has any place here. As far as I can remember, no one on staff, let alone the site as a whole, has said "You should not play RDR2." I don't think Jeff, despite never liking it, or Dan, despite falling out of love with it, are obligated to preface their negative opinions of the game with some sort of PSA that you should play the best reviewed, biggest and best selling single player game of the year yourself before deciding you love it or hate it.

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#11 Posted by mellotronrules (2454 posts) -

@sweep said:

How much of a cultural obligation is there to acknowledge and support the positive aspects of any media even if we don't enjoy it ourselves?

hmm- well, i might be repeating myself but i think the reasonable (and respectable) thing to do is (as you say) acknowledge- but that's where it ends for me. i wouldn't expect advocacy from a critic that ultimately didn't love a thing. i think there's a distinction to be drawn between saying, 'this thing pushes the medium forward' versus 'this thing is the best of the medium.' we won't know for sure until the goty content hits, but i fully expect the gang to use language like 'technical marvel' simultaneously with 'mechanical mess.' superlative for sure, but that's the nature of the goty content.

RDR2 sorta is starting to feel like their impression of shadow of mordor- but on an accelerated track. the game was initially lauded, and aspects remain cutting edge- but once the early hype crested and receded, the gang's passion cooled pretty sharply.

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#12 Posted by Efesell (4083 posts) -

I would say on the subject of the public service angle the websites stance is more or less still a 5/5.

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#13 Posted by noblenerf (661 posts) -

It is utterly bizarre to frame someone's dislike of a video game as 'upsetting' because it does not match your own experiences. Like this isn't Fallout 76 we're talking about, it's Red Dead Redemption 2, a game that very much sets out to do its own thing without a care of what others think. And it's possible to respect that direction while still not liking the game it results in.

I get that RDR2 is popular, but this, frankly, cultish need for others to like it as much as y'all supporters do is kind of unsettling.

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#14 Posted by Sweep (10523 posts) -

@efesell said:

I would say on the subject of the public service angle the websites stance is more or less still a 5/5.

Yeah, I guess. I just got really bummed out listening to the podcast and upset that people might not want to experience the game as a result.

@sweep said:

How much of a cultural obligation is there to acknowledge and support the positive aspects of any media even if we don't enjoy it ourselves?

hmm- well, i might be repeating myself but i think the reasonable (and respectable) thing to do is (as you say) acknowledge- but that's where it ends for me. i wouldn't expect advocacy from a critic that ultimately didn't love a thing. i think there's a distinction to be drawn between saying, 'this thing pushes the medium forward' versus 'this thing is the best of the medium.' we won't know for sure until the goty content hits, but i fully expect the gang to use language like 'technical marvel' simultaneously with 'mechanical mess.' superlative for sure, but that's the nature of the goty content.

RDR2 sorta is starting to feel like their impression of shadow of mordor- but on an accelerated track. the game was initially lauded, and aspects remain cutting edge- but once the early hype crested and receded, the gang's passion cooled pretty sharply.

Yeah, you're right. It still seemed unreasonable to dump all over the game for 20 minutes though, when there's so much it does right and that holds up really well. It's almost unfortunate that the release is so close to the GotY stuff and there's not going to be enough time for some solid reflection.

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#15 Edited by conmulligan (1862 posts) -

@sweep said:

And I think that's why the recent whining has felt so needling and petty; there are questionable issues of game design which, while valid concerns, shouldn't detract from what is a revolutionary game, both in terms of writing and technical prowess. If you don't like the plot then fine, if you don't like the characters then whatever, but it seems super short-sighted to compile a list of petty grievances and then stack them up against what is otherwise a triumph for the entire medium. In that sense it transcends review scores? Maybe?

I understand why people love the game — it's certainly going to be near the top of my list, even if I'm less enamoured with it than others seem to be — but I cannot comprehend this sentiment at all. Nothing about Red Dead Redemption 2 strikes me as revolutionary, except maybe the sheer scope of the thing and the breadth of resources required to realise it. That's not to say it doesn't move the genre forward in some important ways; the uniqueness and variety of random encounters is something that Ubisoft must be paying attention to, it sets a new visual benchmark for open world games, and the writing is often great.

But that doesn't change the fact that it's also deeply regressive. Just like GTA V, the aiming and shooting is maddening and, 40 odd hours in, I'm still tweaking the controls to try and make it feel satisfactory. The menu system, inventory, and in-game UI — basic things that you spend the entire game interacting with — are all terrible. A lot of the mission design feels dated and restrictive. Perhaps worst of all, huge swaths of the world are consistently a pain in the ass to deal with — I actually really like the deliberate animations, but some things like looting chests and cabinets are way too much of a hassle.

I also think the writing is hit and miss. I haven't finished the game yet, but there's a lot of lazy stuff in there that stands out just as much as the usually strong character work. It's certainly better than GTA V, but so far it hasn't landed quite like the first Red Read did.

Anyway, I don't want to sound too down on the game because I really am enjoying my time with it, but some of the rhetoric around it is way over the top.

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#16 Edited by liquiddragon (3168 posts) -

Maybe check out the 2 dozen other times they’ve talk about the game in the past 5 weeks. They’ve heaped enough praise on the game.

And come on, it’s RDR2, how many ppl are they actually convincing not to play this game.

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#17 Edited by SethMode (1754 posts) -

@sweep: I understand your passion here, I really do, but even the sentence "It still seemed unreasonable to dump all over the game for 20 minutes though, when there's so much it does right and that holds up really well." feels like your approach is more about your disdain that they disagree with you. The entire persepctive of Jeff, I would argue, is that it doesn't do ENOUGH things right to hold itself up well overall. At least, based on what we've heard him say so far. I've played more than he has, and I tend to agree. If that is how a critic feels, what are they supposed to do? Steer away from what they dislike for fear fans might get upset?

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#18 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8659 posts) -

Considering it's been featured prominently in, what, a month's worth of podcasts by now, I think it's fair to say they've given the game their due diligence. If they have quibbles with it, great. Get in there. Get messy. They've talked plenty about what they like. Being frank about what they don't is perfectly valid too.

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#19 Posted by acharlie1377 (61 posts) -

The problem is that not all people are going to enjoy this game, people like Jeff in particular. The issues they complained about on the Beastcast may be insignificant for you, but for them they were literally game-ruining, and those issues are things people should know about the game before they commit 60 dollars to a purchase. The primary thing to consider when recommending something to someone is will this person find value in this thing?, and many people will not find enough value in RDR2. It may be revolutionary, but consumers aren't the people who need to know about that revolution; it may be a technical marvel, but people who hate playing it aren't going to care.

I get why you would be upset--based on your posts, it seems like the game meant something special to you. That said, no one at Giant Bomb has a responsibility to recommend something they didn't feel was worth their time and money. In the end, there's no objective scale of "good" and "bad," and no opinions are invalid solely because they disagree with the majority.

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#20 Posted by Sahalarious (673 posts) -

I think the reason we have discussions like this so often for this game in particular is the way those of us that love it feel about this game. I remember seeing the same threads about weapon durability and rain in BoTW and being brought back to my 12 year old console wars flame war self briefly, and its because i LOVE these games. The immersion brought to RDR2 by these weighty controls and slow pace brought me 150 hours of pure tranquility. I observed a world I hadn't seeen before and learned it, the way I used to before games became so standardized (i.e. Ubi/EA collectathon open worlds). I understand the heft of Arthur polarizing some, but that is truly the only complaint that I can relate to. I think the shooting is IMMENSELY satisfying, with organs and arteries being considered, its some of the most visceral and punchy shooting I've ever engaged with.

The complaints about rigidity in story missions never manifested in my game, perhaps I was so enamored with the writing that I didn't try any funny business, so I can't speak to that piece, I did get confused on one mission where i was going up a ladder instead of through a door, but thats small potatoes. Jeff Gerstmann is an idol of mine that i frequently disagree with, and this one does sting more than others, but this game didn't resonate with some members of the staff, so we just have to be okay that people don't love something we love. I'm sure many people were put off by PUBG praise last year (Abby especially!) but that game cultivated some intangible tension and camaraderie and so it transcended. Let people love games and let people hate em, these conversations always get hostile after awhile.

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#21 Posted by Vortextk (855 posts) -

It just reminds me I don't like rockstar games because they aren't fun on the controller to play and the only reason I'm ever interested is the graphics and size of it. I won't play this like I haven't bothered with GTA's or bothered finishing red dead 1. I super want to see how good it looks and sounds but I know I won't like how it plays at all. I was going to "wait for pc" because I already don't care that much but now with my fears realized I don't think I want to play it at all. They're just saying outloud what I was worried about, and with dan having put dozens of hours into the game I tend to believe what he says.

That's not to go against all the positive things, but I specifically feel like dan and jeff's complaints mirror what my own would be here. I'm glad they said something.

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#22 Edited by blackichigo (429 posts) -

Dude this is a weird thread. There are so many games each year that go by the wayside on this website. Hell man Persona 5 was my favorite game of last year and it got almost no recognition from these guys. It didn't stop me from playing it two more times after I beat it last year.

This just sounds like whining to me. The game is already getting nearly Universal praise everywhere else. Just enjoy the game you love man and if people agree with you cool. If they don't, you really don't know them so you have no real reason to be upset at their opinion. It just comes off as sort of creepy to be so upset that people you don't know, don't agree you. Stop expecting people to rub their genitals every time they mention something you like. Just do you.

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#23 Edited by TobbRobb (6525 posts) -

Yeah I dunno, I'm not really surprised. The game has gotten a weird rep where a lot of it's flaws are being exagerrated. I personally like it quite a bit. Maybe I'm just more used to weird controls than other people (I have a history or learning the weirdest schemes) but it really wasn't THAT hard getting used to. I stopped doing things by accident in the first couple of hours. And I have no idea how everyone keeps running into people in the streets. I've played like 45h and It's maybe happened once when I was galloping through Valentine on a chase.

Complaining about the format of: ride horse and talk > shoot > ride horse and talk, is a bit amusing to me. Because that's one of the issues I have with GTA games, because I don't give a fuck about the conversations going on, but in RDR 2 I'm really engaged the entire time. I could honestly do with even more flavor! I think it really comes down to how invested you are in the atmosphere and characters if you care about the slowness or not. I'm invested in the cowboys, I'm not invested in the modern gangsters. And it seems a decent amount of people are the opposite.

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#24 Posted by someoneproud (379 posts) -

I really like rdr2 and I'm touching my genitals if that helps.

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#25 Edited by Fear_the_Booboo (1040 posts) -

Dan’s problems with the game are far more integral than the nitpicky stuff like the townsfolks aggroing on you for running into them, it’s just that when you already don’t like the game small stuff like that can become infuriating and it’s easy to point to.

I think the main, and really valid complaint, is the rigidity of the main quest. To an extent, even the open world stuff is extremely rigid, the most interesting stuff you can find are also heavily scripted sequences (the stranger stuff and the random encounters). At the end of the day I felt like only the hunting used the open world in its gameplay, and it is not super fun. Sure you can go and steal shit or do some open world hi-jinks, but there’s no good reason to do so. There’s stuff to find out there (like the meteor stuff Brad mentioned) but those are completely anecdotal.

Like the game has the exact same structure as Red Dead one. It’s basically a linear game in an open world. It’s not surprising to me that, a year after he loved BOTW, Dan is disappointed with how antiquated the design is there. Especially that he's not that interested in mood or story.

I personally think the game is straight up mediocre and I have the opposite sentiment as you have. Reading every critics basically gushing about it, it just felt like an homogenous group of opinions. Obviously I’m not saying nobody shouldn’t like the game, but everyone repeating the same opinions is boring. One thing I like about GB is that they’re willing to differ from other sites that have become extremely predictable, whether it’s championing games that didn’t get their due (ZombiU or Syndicate) or be critical of games that get 9s across the board.

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#26 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3703 posts) -
@sweep said:

I think the most upsetting thing was a lot of the complaints felt petty in the context of a game that is so broad-reaching. I also felt there was an element of exaggeration and misinformation when it came to some of the anecdotal complaints that were leveled at the game. Sure knocking someone down on your horse when you're riding around St Denis will attract the attention of the cops, but to suggest that it instantly launches you into a full-scale firefight to me demonstrates an ignorance of the games systems - frequently I would bump into someone and be "moved along", essentially told to leave the area at my own pace, in full view of the police, with no consequent chase or bounty. Other times I would be caught by the police and told to surrender - doing so would mean a brief cut-scene in the cells and then a quick release back onto the streets to carry on my business without a lengthy chase. Or how about instead of blaming the game for punishing you after you literally trampled a pedestrian to death, you don't ride your warhorse around a crowded city at full speed?

Considering how impatient they seem with the majority of the game (or in Jeff's case the few hours he played) and how frustrated they are that everything moves slowly, this makes me believe that's exactly what they're doing.

I've been picked up by the police twice. Both times I just put my hands up and did a night in the cell. One time Dutch even came to collect me and told me to keep a lower profile. One of the times I got picked up I did feel a bit short done by. There's a guy in St Denis who owns a bar infested by rats. He wanted me to go in and sort the rats out before it became a problem. He'd no issue with me firing guns off at the rats, but towards the back of the room there was a door that lead into another room. I figured I better check that room for rats, tried to open the door, found it locked and that set him off accusing me of trying to break and enter. I just sat outside and waited for the police to show up.

One thing I'll say is that I'm willing to listen to Dan's view on the game much more than Jeff - who was so ready to be done with it before he even launched it. It's a similar vein to how he was talking about FO76 - a game I don't play but have spoken to people who play Rust, Ark and other "survival" type games. Abby is right - the context and main loop of that game is to build stuff with your buddies and go out exploring the world. It's not as Jeff put it, just going after audio logs and just building the bare minimum workspaces. That'd be like saying Terraria is just about running along the top of the world and never exploring it or building more than a single workbench.

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#27 Posted by mems1224 (2439 posts) -

Most of their complaints have been pretty spot on tbh. If anything they might be a little too soft on it because it's a bad game. They're not always going to like the things you like. Also calling it revolutionary, even if you love it, is a major stretch

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#28 Edited by Chaser324 (8585 posts) -

I don't think there's any denying that RDR2 is an impressive achievement with respect to things like its scale and writing. However, I think the complaints are far from petty.

Early on, the cumbersome controls and the tedium of things like hunting and the general movement/animation speed had put me off to a point where I didn't really feel all that compelled to continue. After essentially forcing myself to come to terms with that over the course of a weekend, I have pushed through into Chapter 3 and feel like I might have enough momentum to continue through to the end at this point. Getting over that initial hump was difficult though, and even though I've kinda accepted the game's flaws, I'm still consistently aware of them and occasionally very frustrated with them.

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#29 Posted by OMGFather (974 posts) -

The way Dan worded it doesn't help. He's gone from loving it, playing what - 60 hours or more? Only to say that he "may HATE" the game. I dunno if that's just me, but I don't suddenly hate a game after playing 60 hours or more of it. Burn out maybe, have a slight dislike, but hate is a strong word. Just sounds like he was influenced by someone or something else.

Maybe they'll explain better in the GOTY deliberations.

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#30 Posted by loafofgame (136 posts) -

@jesus_phish said:

One thing I'll say is that I'm willing to listen to Dan's view on the game much more than Jeff - who was so ready to be done with it before he even launched it. It's a similar vein to how he was talking about FO76 - a game I don't play but have spoken to people who play Rust, Ark and other "survival" type games. Abby is right - the context and main loop of that game is to build stuff with your buddies and go out exploring the world. It's not as Jeff put it, just going after audio logs and just building the bare minimum workspaces. That'd be like saying Terraria is just about running along the top of the world and never exploring it or building more than a single workbench.

This is an important notion and vital in judging whether someone's opinion of a game is of value to you. Dan, Jeff and Abby all come with their personal expectations and preferences which are going to greatly affect their enjoyment of the game. Judging by how they experienced RDR1, their reactions to RDR2 can be considered unsurprising. Dan wanted to play RDR2 like he did RDR1, but after he got used to the very striking first impression he gradually discovered that he wasn't really allowed to play that way. It seemed like Abby simply enjoyed being in a cowboy fantasy in RDR1 and RDR2 doubles down on that. Jeff never liked RDR1 and in many ways this game is 'worse' in that regard.

The same goes for FO76. For Jeff, Fallout has never been about building stuff or exploring a world together with other people. In many ways, that is almost the opposite of what Fallout is supposed to be (to him). For Abby, who also enjoys games like The Sims, being able to customize and build is a plus.

This is why I can always rely on the GB staff to give me advice on games, not because they're neutral or good critics, but because I know them to a certain extent. Not as people, but as individuals within a certain context of preferences and expectations. That is so much more valuable than any random critic trying to be neutral, consider all sides and being verbose about it.

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#31 Posted by Ungodly (440 posts) -

I haven’t played the game. I’m kind of waiting for the PC version, but really I’m waiting for it to be twenty dollars. The game looked fine before release, but nothing jumped out at me, and I’m not a fan of Rockstar.

So for me, hearing Dan go from “I can’t wait to platinum it” to “I hate this game”, is probably the most damning thing any one could say about it, and actually means I will probably skip this all together. I completely disagree with Dan on his feelings for Breath of the Wild, but I know that he goes in to every game ready to love it. Especially this one. If you remember everything Dan has said about Red Dead before release, then you should remember that he was ready to dub it his game of the year. So it’s silly that say he is being overly hostile, when all I hear is incredible disappointment.

For me, I’m more annoyed by the needless hyperbole. Saying things like “This is the first game that I have ever played, that feels like I’m actually role playing”, or “It’s revolutionary”.

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#32 Posted by handlas (3346 posts) -

RDR 1 is between my favorite or 2nd favorite game... Ever. And I completely agree with Dan. And I think I've fallen off completely exactly where he has... A few missions into the epilogue. Shame I really wanted to enjoy it more.

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#33 Posted by nutter (1644 posts) -

It seems like there have been a lot of hard turns on games in recent years. I mostly listen to Giant Bomb shows (I’ve listened to others, but they don’t stick like my decade long Giant Bomb habit), but there’s been a lot being in on the hype until they’re not, in recent years.

Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey, Horizon, God of War, Red Dead, Spider-man, etc. It seems like there’s this best. game. ever. honeymoon that lasts 1-3 weeks before they all just don’t want to finish the games. The way they talk about them afterwards, it sounds like it’s more a matter of desire than time, too.

I’m not trying to slight these games, those I’ve played from the examples above are all very good. It just feels like new releases are placed on a pedistal for no more than a few weeks before being considered a past flavor of the week.

I’m tempted to say that big-budget games are generally too long and either the gameplay or story breaks, or something else comes along, before you can finish it...but I may be projecting.

Assassin’s Creed and Red Dead both SOUND too long (I haven’y played RDR yet, no interest in the grind that sounds to be the new AC).

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#34 Edited by pweidman (2820 posts) -

This 'turning on games' is common it seems, but in this case it was an eventuality because of the nature of the gameplay loop and it's awkwardness in RDR2. The world is gorgeous, the characters are fleshed out well with fantastic voicing and dialogue. The story is intriguing and the world has so many one off things to do and find. But the game's systems are just so irritating, and it's constant. It just wears you down. It feels bad and it's such a mix of cool and awkward frustration with the mechanics ruining so many moments. RDR 1 was sooo much more fun and satisfying for me. All this bums me out.....back to other games I'm digging now.

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#35 Posted by MindBullet (696 posts) -

The Bombcast aren't the only ones I've heard turn on the game after putting time into it, so it's not that weird to me. What's weirder is how upset some people have gotten over it. I get it's one of the biggest games of the year, but it seems obvious to me-as someone who hasn't actually played it and only has other people's opinions to go off of-that there is a not insignificant portion of players who just didn't feel great about it. It's all pretty much the same criticisms too: a lot of awesome spectacle, but the actual part where you play a video game is... Divisive.

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#36 Posted by lokihellfire2008 (153 posts) -

@pweidman: Your avatar image is Too Human...opinion disqualified. j/k I agree, I think the way people play games can add a ton to their enjoyment of said game. I play this game in short 1-2 hour spats a couple times a week, and I'm still loving it, but that is likely because by the time I might get frustrated with the controls or mission design, I stop in favor of something else.

Playing it in huge sessions or pushing through for quick completion's sake as reviewers do and some of us duders might do seems like it would cause me to also get irritated and frustrated.

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#37 Posted by robbparris (300 posts) -

Yeah, I am in a similar boat to Dan, albeit much earlier in it hit me just how much this game irritates me at points. I love that people have had a great experience with it, but that's not the experience a lot of us have had.

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#38 Posted by doctordonkey (1753 posts) -

You need only step outside of Giant Bomb to see the near universal levels of praise RDR2 has gotten since launch (the single-player, that is). This happens all the time with the crew, and the reaction is always the same. Last year had plenty of times where I was fuckin' bewildered by some of the criticisms being levered against some games. Divinity Original Sin 2 and Persona 5 are pretty much the two most impressive RPG's of their kind ever made, and they weren't even on the list, but middling games like Wolfenstein II: TNC and Dream Daddy were.

The way the website is, its critique of games is on a very personal and individual level. The crew have their quirks, and it rubs some people the wrong way. They generally favor shorter length or stream friendly games, because they only have so much time in the day. If a game is short or they can find ways to play more of it by streaming at the office, that swings their opinion in a very large way.

I don't think RDR2 is anything new in regards to this, we've seen them turn and fall off of lengthy, slower paced games plenty of times in the past. It doesn't mean the game isn't outstanding, it just isn't really suited for the people on the website. Some of the crew can lack patience when they are playing games, and RDR2 is very much a game that can demand a lot of patience from the player. It rewards that patience, but also punishes a lack of it pretty hard.

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#39 Posted by cikame (2578 posts) -

I don't remember any games being this divisive per person who plays it, everyone agrees it's phenominal, lots of those people also hate it, can't wait to see how it fares in the GOTY discussions.
I legitimately have no idea what the GOTY winners will be, there have been lots of "good" games, but i'm not currently thinking of a game that everybody loved to the point of being voted number 1.

My GOTY is MotoGP 2018.... it's been one of those years.

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#40 Edited by SethMode (1754 posts) -

@doctordonkey: I don't think that RDR2 rewards patience at all. If anything I was punished for being patient because I stuck with it for as long as I did after my enjoyment waned. Regardless, the larger point remains that none of them are playing the game wrong or making petty criticisms. They have very legitimate reasons for not liking the experience. Making suggestions for how a person should play a game to increase enjoyment is one thing, telling them they're playing it wrong is something else. End of the day, they don't owe anyone anything with their personal opinions of games, and no one deserves to be told they're wrong for liking or disliking something based on how they played it.

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#41 Posted by nickhead (1252 posts) -

GB isn't alone in turning on the game a bit, media-wise. I've heard universal praise for the technical aspects but quite a lot of "I don't really like playing it" or "I probably won't finish it". I think the hype for this game was ridiculous too. At least for me personally, Rockstar does a couple things really well and a million little things very poorly and that's no different here. I don't think it's wrong to look at the broad scope of the game and, despite some amazing things it does, find the overall experience frustrating.

That said I have found myself sort of loving the game because of its awkwardness. My GOTY still this year (I haven't finished RDR2 yet) is Kingdom Come because the tedium and role-playing just really worked for me and I'm finding a lot of parallels with RDR2. I find the slow pace really appealing. I may have not hit that turning point where I realize I'm wasting time, though. I will also agree that this is Rockstar's high-water-mark in terms of characters/writing, so that's good.

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#43 Edited by Epidehl (668 posts) -

@blackichigo said:

Dude this is a weird thread. There are so many games each year that go by the wayside on this website. Hell man Persona 5 was my favorite game of last year and it got almost no recognition from these guys. It didn't stop me from playing it two more times after I beat it last year.

This is pretty much where I'm at too.

I'm a BIG TIME JRPG fan. I've had most of my favorite games be either mostly/completely ignored (P5, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Xenoblade Chronicles X), or routinely and actively mocked(Kingdom Hearts, or even FFVII in all the PS Classic discussion), that seeing people get bent out of shape about how a whole 2 (maybe 3) of them DARE to not like RDR2 is, quite frankly, hilarious. Especially when these same people would (and in some cases have) probably get on my case if I mentioned not enjoying any discussion they have about these games because it clearly just comes from a place of ignorance and mockery.

I deal with it. I think RDR2 fans can as well. Especially since, as people have said, the review on the site is a 5/5, and basically everywhere else is acting like the game is some revelation of gaming.

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#44 Posted by youeightit (228 posts) -

I was going to mention this in a different thread but this is a good place for it. At first, after hearing Dan’s turn on the game I thought “you know Dan, it isn’t the game’s fault that you spent a million hours doing side the side stuff and dicking around before you decided you didn’t like it,” but I just finished the game and boy, I’m kinda with him. I did zero side stuff and mainlined the story and I think this game definitely did not respect my time as a player, and a lot of post chapter 5 stuff was just bad to play, ESPECIALLY the epilogues. So many things that should have been left on the cutting room floor or made into single player DLC. Thinking back about how Alex said this game didn’t waste his time like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I’m certain I will never play that game.

I know, this is just me. But it’s frustrating. This was my goty until somewhere midway through chapter 6 and in the what...20 hours since I thought the game should be over, the game has just fallen further and further down on the list for me.

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#45 Posted by bmccann42 (356 posts) -

I was very excited about RDR1 until I actually played it and then had the same reaction that Jeff did - just bounced off of it super hard and came away annoyed by it (that unfortunately has been all Rockstar games for me).

This reminds me very heavily of the Breath of the Wild discussions, initially it was "5 Star everything", "best game ever", etc - and then a few weeks after the issues and problems became more widely discussed when those issues should have been in the review.

This game took 8 years to make, and had I can only imagine how much in the way of assets and funding poured into it, so it isn't suprising it is extremely polished but that isn't any excuse for a game to control badly and have the issues that RDR2 seems to. It makes all of the 5 Star reviews extremely circumspect to me, especially in light of the information and issues that are coming to the forefront now, particularly the number of people just being turned off of it the more they play.

I'm feeling salty so I am going to ask exactly what this game does that is so revolutionary? It's a high quality but ultimately standard linear open world game, with good voice acting in the Rock Star fashion, with an over abundance of unnecessary systems incorporated into it. At the same time it is overly slow, controls questionably to badly (depending on the situation/player), is longer than it should be, buggy (its an open world game after all), and the key word I see in a lot of comments is "frustrating".

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#46 Posted by MeierTheRed (5835 posts) -

@epidehl said:
@blackichigo said:

Dude this is a weird thread. There are so many games each year that go by the wayside on this website. Hell man Persona 5 was my favorite game of last year and it got almost no recognition from these guys. It didn't stop me from playing it two more times after I beat it last year.

This is pretty much where I'm at too.

I'm a BIG TIME JRPG fan. I've had most of my favorite games be either mostly/completely ignored (P5, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Xenoblade Chronicles X), or routinely and actively mocked(Kingdom Hearts, or even FFVII in all the PS Classic discussion), that seeing people get bent out of shape about how a whole 2 (maybe 3) of them DARE to not like RDR2 is, quite frankly, hilarious. Especially when these same people would (and in some cases have) probably get on my case if I mentioned not enjoying any discussion they have about these games because it clearly just comes from a place of ignorance and mockery.

I deal with it. I think RDR2 fans can as well. Especially since, as people have said, the review on the site is a 5/5, and basically everywhere else is acting like the game is some revelation of gaming.

I really have nothing to add to any of this as these posts mirror my own opinion on this matter.

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#47 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1858 posts) -

I sure do wish they spent so many hours talking about CRPGs.

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#48 Posted by bmccann42 (356 posts) -

@frodobaggins: Character Role Playing Games? I wasn't sure what CRPG means...

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#49 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1858 posts) -

@bmccann42: computer role playing games. Thinking of stuff like Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland, Divinity.

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#50 Posted by wjb (2139 posts) -

I did have the same issue with accidentally running over people at Saint Denis, specifically not realizing a man or two leaning against the pillar across the police station.

The entire game was easy enough to avoid the law, but SD was just spawning cops all over the place -- even as far as the swamps up north. It got really annoying compared to the rest of the map. I dunno. After going into SD for the 10th time, I just wanted to get from one end to the other without slowing down to a trot or coming to a complete stop while NPCs figured out what they were doing.

That being said, I just didn't have as much difficulty playing as they seemed to have, save for the one or two times I accidentally pulled a gun on a stranger encounter or fell off a small hill during free mode.

I just think it's hilarious that Dan decided he hated it after 40+ hours, lol. And it seemed like Ben didn't like it from the very beginning, but was at least open-minded until he got further in.

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