Those hard RDR2 turns on the Beastcast...

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#51 Posted by bmccann42 (414 posts) -

@wjb: I got that people loved the environment and just living in the time period but had story issues. And control issues, but sounds like it is just a "Rock Star" game as far as that goes.

I get that someone can start to hate something after a period of time, sometimes you can overlook the little issues, until they just reach a saturation point - like watching my dad have a temper explosion when I was a kid, things would just build and build until he just had it and started yelling at us (my Irish father). I remember getting that way with Darksiders 1, just got to one boss and just said "Fuck this! Fuck you game! I'm done."

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#52 Posted by gunflame88 (387 posts) -

@frodobaggins: I actually agree. GB's narrow scope of interest is its most glaring flaw. As far as new games go, they either cover the most hyped mainstream releases or the occasional underdog indie. Nothing in-between. I've been playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker since it came out a few months back, and man, that game is HUGE. Just SO much content crammed into one complex RPG of a game. I honestly think they are missing out by not giving these kinds of games a chance.

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#53 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2083 posts) -

@gunflame88: yeah but these games are "so big and take so much time" as the staff often say. My opinion is not every member of staff needs to play every new release, free up some members to play longer games from time to time.

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#54 Posted by bmccann42 (414 posts) -

@frodobaggins: You are hitting the problem of having limited assets in a constant firehoze of content - putting one staff member on 1 super long game that the bulk of the audience isn't going to care about come 3-4 podcast episodes later.

I would love them to go through a bunch of much longer games, Pillars of Eternity for example, that I am never going to get to play but what does that give you as far as "content" (talking like a biz-dev guy makes me feel queasy). Is it better to have a member go deep and spend 2 weeks of their work time on 1 PC game that gets a 1 hour video, or do you concentrae on going shallow and having that same staff member play 5 games and get 4-5 hours of content out of?

I have enjoyed the RDR2 and Hitman videos and sequences, but then I don't see myself ever playing them - not sure how much help that is though.

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#55 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2083 posts) -

@bmccann42: well I can obviously only speak for myself but I ALWAYS prefer deep dives than more frequent shallow ones.

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#56 Edited by bmccann42 (414 posts) -

@frodobaggins: I agree, but I think they have to look at what a deep dive brings versus a bunch of shallower dives.

I would love longer daily/weekly shows on specific games, I'm just not sure how it would work out and if it would even be cost feasible. There's only so many staff, so much recording time, and processing time (is that the right word?).

Edit - I work in Human Resources, so I have to focus on workforce planning and best ROI on use of staff time/assets. It's about as infuriating as you can imagine, particularly as I work at a non-profit.

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#57 Posted by stinger061 (476 posts) -

@bmccann42: You are spot on here. It’s easy to forget GB is a business so things like this are always being considered. People who want the deep dive on single games probably need to go to YouTube.

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#58 Edited by maartendc (21 posts) -
@fear_the_booboo said:

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.

I find it baffling that Dan hates Red Dead 2 so much. Because it is basically a bigger, prettier, updated and overall just better version of Red Dead 1, the game which he proclaims to love and was his "game of the generation".

I just don't understand it. I loved Red Dead 1, and I love this game equally.

If he hates this game, I don't understand why he loves Red Dead 1 so much. He is entitled to his opinion, but I just don't understand.

That being said, I did find most reviews of the game overly positive. For me the game is really good, but at the end of the day, it is still a Rockstar game with names on a map that you go to for missions. I would give it an 8/10 or a 9/10, not a 10/10. Similarly to every Rockstar Game, the story is all over the place, and incoherent (they can't just pick one antagonist and build a good story, no it is The Pinkertons, then it is the O'Discolls, then it is Leviticus Cornwall, then it is Fuzzar or whatever. They always try to tell 4 stories at once it seems, which diminishes the impact.

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#59 Edited by Fear_the_Booboo (1087 posts) -

@maartendc: I can't speak for Dan, but I think that's a weird criticism. We are not in the same space we were when Read Dead 1 was released, so expectations have changed. I also loved Red Dead 1 and don't like Red Dead 2 for three reasons:

  • Yes it's the same game, but it is stretched much longer. The first one was a 20 to 30 hours game, this is 60 to 70, even more, and I found the pacing to be all off because of it.
  • Red Dead Redemption is an eight years old game, things have changed quite a bit since then. I'm not judging anyone that is loving the game, but open world are much better at using their world nowadays than they were at the time. The challenges in the first Red Dead were cool because they gestured at something freeform you could do in the open world, they're still there, but many games did open world design better than this now. Breath of the Wild, being one of Dan's favourite, is the first exemple that comes to mind. It's mostly freeform in how you interact with the world, whereas Red Dead is still extremely linear in its mission design, and has barely anything worthwile to do in its open world except roleplay as a cowboy. Finding small house where something weird happened is anecdotal at best for me. I was OK with the linearity of an open world game eight years ago... today not so much. Again, not blaming anyone that is fine with that, I personally expected more from a studio that has the ressources of Rockstar and I guess Dan did too. Can't speak for him though.
  • I like Arthur a lot as a character, but I think the story arc itself is extremely poor. Big spoilers : It is just a fucking prequel, what I mean by that is that it only lives in the shadow of the first game and has basically nothing - except Arthur being a great character to it - to add to it. I personnally felt like I didn't need to be told that story because it was already implied in Red Dead Redemption one. By the end of the game, especially after the epilogues, it all feels like just a big, overlong setup for what the first game is thematically saying, which is much more interesting. Compare that to the epilogue of the first game, which was a short add-on about the cycle of violence continuing, and I think the first game has a much stronger story arc. Also, coming back to the point I was making about the game being 70 hours, chapter 1 through 5 are just repeats of what already happened before the game even started: the gang just tried to get a massive score, failed and painted a target on their back while doing so. Then the game just repeats that same story development four times. It's only when Arthur gets sick that the story kicks in second gear, and then it ends for the first time. After that you have the epilogues which I've found to add nothing, and the real end which I've also found to be extremely lackluster. Thematically, it's about Arthur trying to make amends before he dies and giving a chance for John to get out, but that only come into play at the very end. The rest of the game felt like a big void storywise for me, except for a few great moments the arc itself I have found to be uninteresting. I think they could've made a prequel without having so much of the first game's shadow over this one, but they fail at doing so.

I don't want anybody reading this thinking they souldn't enjoy the game. There's some amazing stuff in there and it's easy for me to see how someone could enjoy it. That said, there's also plenty of good reason to be disappointed by it (hell it's my most disappointing game of the year but that's on me for getting hyped) and I don't understand why some act like this game should be above criticism.

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#60 Posted by Cure_Optimism (81 posts) -

I can totally understand why some people wouldn't like this game. It's super slow paced, it weirdly caters more to role players rather than people looking for quick and easy video game gratification. As someone who is a huge fan of RPGs and roleplaying in general, I absolutely adored the game's attention to detail and immersion. There are legitimate complaints to be leveled at the crime system, bumping into someone can just as easily get the law on you as it can be ignored entirely. The systems feel kinda random, but I personally never had any real problems with it, but some tweaking is always welcome. But yeah, one of the first thoughts I had while playing RDR2 was that some people are gonna fucking hate how slow it is.

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#61 Edited by Cerberus3Dog (1028 posts) -

I'm seeing a lot of comments bringing up the hyperbole of calling RDR2 revolutionary. I guess I'm gonna defend RDR2 here. The fact they recorded dialogue for every side mission/conversation *spoilers incoming turn back now* for both Arthur and John is "revolutionary" in my opinion. It's like brute forcing complexity and depth through sheer man power and time. It's crazy. For each unique diary entry, they also developed a different style of handwriting and a drawing style for both of them. That is nuts. There are definitely aspects of this game, like the scope and detail of the world, like the voice acting, to be deserving of all the praise it's received. This isn't to gloss over the annoyances I have with the game like the crafting system and the cumbersome menu navigation. It's these little things that remind me most often that RDR2 is a flawed game, though one I still enjoy immensely.

I can't comment on GB's criticism of the game. I'm a week or so behind.

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#62 Posted by TheHT (15870 posts) -

@cerberus3dog: Hm, that doesn't sound that nuts. Seems sensible to do those things if that's what their game's gonna have. Maybe it's impressive that they had the "means" to provide that level of detail in a big flagship release, but it doesn't sound like they did anything revolutionary, just that they did what you'd expect to be glossed over or avoided because of a more practical mindset. I think it was a Danny O'Dwyer tale of something he did in a side-quest that they wrote dialogue for. Really great attention to detail, for sure, but attention to detail isn't some novel thing.

It reminds me of the heavy dose of "manage your expectations" that came out around Cyberpunk during E3. The sentiment of "yo it's one of those games, just really fucking well made," seems applicable here. I've yet to hear anything revolutionary about this game. It just seems really well produced.

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#63 Posted by bmccann42 (414 posts) -

@cerberus3dog: I'm sorry but none of that is revolutionary - that's just extra work done on a game that had 8 years and probably an almost unlimited budget to add to it's world with more bespoke items and extra vocal work. It's interesting to contrast that with a questionable control scheme that seems to have no end of complaints.

I just don't see "revolutionary" (which is a loaded term honestly) as none of what RDR2 has done is going to be replicated anywhere else, mostly because there isn't anything that really needs to be replicated. The extra polish comes from Rock Star being able to make games on their own timetable to their own standards. RDR2 was going to sell millions of copies, so Rock Star can gamble on it essentially printing money for them, so they can take the time to really polish up their world, but ultimately failed to polish their controls.

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#64 Posted by someoneproud (604 posts) -

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".

Okay, seeing as you're "salty" over some people finding it revolutionary. Here are some things the game does that it does best:

1. The sheer amount of incidental dialogue that r* accounted for is something that has never been done before. You can insult or appease any NPC at any time and the writing is believable and entertaining. The camp members respond to and reference things I'd previously never have expected NPCs in an open world game to acknowledge.

2. The commitment to immersion is something that hasn't been done before, apart from the fact that Arthur can eat a can of peaches in 1 second flat, pretty much everything else is done in a believable way and pace that makes it feel more like controlling a realistic person in a realistic world and not just an abstracted avatar of player agency.

3. The game gives the player many more ways to interact with the world than just talking to quest related NPCs / shop keepers and attacking/not attacking everyone else. Name another open world game that does so to the same extent... I can wait...

I'm frankly amazed you haven't come across these points in the many, many reviews and coverage surrounding the game (or indeed in the same points made ad-nauseam in these forums). Maybe these things don't add much for you (or even detract from the experience), that's fine, do you really not understand how this might be considered "revolutionary" to others though? The game has an outdated mission structure, the bounty system is inconsistent and arbitrary and the horses are limp legged tree magnets but does the game have to innovate in every aspect for someone to find it revolutionary without you getting salty about it for some reason?

The controls are fine for me, they're not the same homogeneous control scheme most 3rd person shooters use but they have to allow for talking at any time. I can't see how they could have achieved this without adding a layer to the control scheme. In the end once you're holding L2 it only takes pressing R2 to get to the same control scheme most shooters (certainly r* ones) use, without that being there we couldn't have the option to talk our way into/out of things without relying on contextual prompts which would be much messier and less open.

The shooting feels very much like most r* shooting and it works fine imo, if I want someone shooting in the head I can do so no problem, anything else is just gravy. I'm part way through a second play through and I have never punched my horse / shot someone accidentally / ran anyone down with my horse, the fact that so many people manage to is hilarious to me.

In the end, if you don't want to acknowledge or listen to the reasons many like the game so much, that's your beef. There are literally hundreds of other standardised shooters you could play and enjoy instead of whining about the one that does things differently that you happen to not like. Frustrating.

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#65 Posted by bmccann42 (414 posts) -

I'm sorry, aside from the obvious tone in your comment none of what you stated is remotely "revolutionary" (again a very loaded term that I don't think is the correct one)- the Camp is a hub with incidental dialogue and activities in the same manner (but of much increased amount of dialogue) then say the Normandy in Mass Effect; and immersion into a game environment isn't anything new and even then only works specifically for the individual playing it (you for instance). This isn't innovation, this is polishing and better implementing existing systems, most of which came from previous Rock Star games.

The increased amount of interactivity? Well Far Cry 2 would let you set fire to almost the whole map (I am exagerating) with effects to terrain, incidental characters, etc. Why is increased interactivity with non-essential characters considered to be revolutionary? And its great that I can interact in multiple ways with these characters, isn't a real selling feature or even something that other games have not done - that's even something that Rock Star has constantly tried to put into their games. The writing is standard cowboy/western, filled with cliched cowboy/western tropes that they did in RDR1 - and appease/antagonize of NPCs? A morality meter? Isn't that just a enhanced "Renegade vs Paragon" system?

I get that people really enjoy this game, and I am not in any way denigrating anyone's enjoyment of RDR2 - regardless of that is how you seem to want to phrase it. It's just that this game just doesn't do anything that I see as being any kind of "quantum leap" forward - this is a Rock Star game, with a Rock Star game budget that most other games don't get, or the sheer number of years that Rock Star can take to make a game like RDR2. They can fill the game full of as many systems and interactions as they can afford, it still doesn't change that none of this pushes the needle forward.

Your stated skill at the game, and the fact you are on your second playthrough (I envy the amount of time that you have!), speaks to your enjoyment but that's purely conjectural. I'm perturbed that you find it hilarious that others have issues with the controls, despite never having any issues yourself (which I kind of have to doubt, but will take your word for it). That doesn't have any real effect on how I see this game or even squares with the number of stories and anecdotes of issues others have had (including almost every member of the Bomb/Beastcast).

At the end of the day this is a very polished, obviously expensive open world game, with a linear (over long) storyline - that's extremely simplified. It has a ton of systems (which is about standard for Rock Star), but lacklustre/frustrating control decisions.

I respect the game as a whole and the work that went into it (the less said about their labour practices probably for the better), but am still inherently disappointed by what they accomplished (and it is an accomplishment). A lot of people put a lot of time and effort into this game (along with what must have been hundreds of millions of dollars), but there is very little that jumps out at me as "revolutionary" other than things Rock Star has already been doing in previous games.


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#66 Posted by hippie_genocide (2443 posts) -

Dan is really the only person whose opinion has changed much though. Jeff doesn't like it and was never going to like it. Brad, Alex, and Abby still like it a lot. And Vinny, Ben, and Jan always seemed somewhere in the middle. Honestly, I'm surprised it took Dan this long to come around. While in some respects I can admit it's impressive what Rockstar has done with the overall world, the controls are so deliberate and sluggish and the game just isn't fun to play. The controls are bad but not in a typical Rockstar way because I loved RDR1, but in a way that's wholly unique to RDR2. Running in the snow sucks in real life so it should suck in the game too? They've sacrificed playability for immersion, but does this actually serve the game in the end? Does managing my cores and pulling equipment on/off my horse and deciding which clothes to wear based on the weather actually make the game better? Not in my opinion. I'm comfortable with a certain level of abstraction in my games, every single action doesn't have to correspond 1:1 to a press of a button. To all the pro RDR2 people out there hailing the games immersion I would simply respond with a quote from the great Dr. Ian Malcom: "your designers were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should".

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#67 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (1087 posts) -

@hippie_genocide: Funny thing for me is I would’ve liked all that immersion stuff in a different context. Everything in the game gesture towards realism up until you get in a shootout, and then it’s the usual video gamey stuff where you shoot 75 people in one fight. Everything has weight and impact, except actually killing people. Hell killing rabbits is a more complicated task than killing people in this game.

The reach for realism strikes me as hypocritical in this particular case, and all the weight of the movement which wasn’t an issue for me become one when the game tries to be videogamey. I always found it misguided that Uncharted was the series blamed for narrative dissonance - I can accept mindless enemies in a world where a superhero like Nathan Drake exists. RDR2 goes for realism only when it really suits it and, like you said, for no particular reason.

Anyway, it doesn’t add much to the conversation, it’s just a thought I had while playing the game.

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#68 Posted by Humanity (18850 posts) -

@hippie_genocide: I would only argue that the sheer amount of people that enjoy the game despite the controls, the eating, the cores, the clothing, the everything, is very much a sign that yes they should have. The back and forth on this game has been going on for a while now and it really is just a matter of taste at this point. There are those who say this game is "garbage" and those who love it. Plenty of folk in between as well that acknowledge the controls can be an issue but still very much so enjoyed the experience. I mean if it makes some folk feel better to call this game bad then go ahead - it obviously isn't bad and the controls aren't irredeemable.

Only thing I would add, getting back to the heart of the thread, is that I've personally never experienced what Dan has went through. As in, I never loved a game and then became so upset with it that it not only stopped being fun but negated all the fun I was having with it up to that point. Plenty of games I didn't enjoy from the start and pushed forward for some reason, and they typically never got better. The worst case I can think of are some games that I absolutely loved from the start that dragged on and I grew tired of them - RDR2 being one of those. But never, never did I suddenly turn around and think "oh.. OH wait! This game is actually awful and looking back I wasn't having fun at all." It's like if I took three bites of a pizza that were good and then suddenly bit into a piece that had a topping I hated, those first three bites were still good, I'm just not gonna eat the rest.

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#69 Posted by someoneproud (604 posts) -

@bmccann42: You were the one who set the tone duder, I was just responding in kind. I can understand you personally not finding these elements revolutionary (and I'm not sure it's necessarily the word I'd use myself) but your unwillingness to accept that some feel differently seems deliberately obtuse. Your arguments for why they aren't seem to boil down to "It's not revolutionary because they just put more work into/spent more time on it." When in essence this applies to many of the "revolutionary" things done in games historically.

I think someone could argue that FC2's environmental interaction was revolutionary but that was just them putting more work into more accurate fire modelling. Ocarina of Time's Hyrule Field was just them spending more time making a bigger 3D area. Doing something that has been done before but pushing it to new limits is how the medium progresses, reducing that to just "polish" does it a disservice imo. I'd be interested to know what qualifies as "revolutionary" to you as I suspect we're just arguing semantics at this point.

You may have noticed I made no mention of the story or the morality system, I'm with you that these are pretty standard for the industry, but that has no bearing on the ways the game does push things forward in the points I actually made. I also made no mention of my skill in the game, just that I didn't personally have any problems with the controls. I can't speak to how others may have struggled with them and I don't appreciate the not so subtle insinuation that I'm lying just because other people had different experiences.

Who doesn't find the idea of a cowboy punching his horse or shooting someone accidentally funny? It makes me smile every time I think about it :)

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#70 Posted by SilverSaint (89 posts) -

The game is definitely good, but almost all of that goodness is in the explorations and first impressions of immersion in various activities. Sadly once you do start mainlining the story (by far the worst part of the game) there is quite a lot of pacing / why / frustrating stuff in Ch. 4+. Minor non-specific spoilers below regarding mission design.

I really wish they had just turned Ch. 5 into a 5 min cut scene cause man that entire chapter was the downfall of this game for me along with the story missions (namely later on) mostly consisting of: Go here, Kill more people per mission then the entire population of Valentine or Rhodes, repeat a dozen+ times. This mission structure occurs in the earlier chapters, but its considerably lessened and you are probably doing a large amount of exploration in early chapters, while pushing story in later chapters.

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#71 Posted by bmccann42 (414 posts) -

Sorry if my tone came out wrong - I'm at work so I am getting out a comment in between sorting out people's HR issues!

Maybe my view on "revolutionary" isn't iterating on an existing mechanic, so to me it just doesn't seem like RDR2 made any real change. I feel that the assets, time, and money that Rock Star have available to them also give them a leg up to implement things that don't feel like they are pushing any envelope. Lots of voiced dialogue doesn't impress in RDR2 anymore than a David Cage game (Detroit? Was that his last one?) with crazy amounts of character interaction and dialogue. It's definitely a case of what I see as "revolutionary" (ugh again!) doesn't match to the individual.

I have also not had a great experience with Rock Star's previous games, so I might get a bit punchy as they seem to always get a pass on things, or more praise than I would give them myself.

I still envy your time to sink into these games, I can't sink into a nice 100 hour undertaking like RDR2.

And yes a cowboy accidentally punching his horse is always funny (maybe not for the horse).

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#72 Edited by SirPsychoSexy (1645 posts) -

@omgfather said:

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.

That is what upsets me a bit, because we all know Dan likes to play things up some times and that appears to be at least somewhat of a factor here. I don't get how a sane person can have RDR1 be their game of the generation. Then play RDR2 and gush over it for a few weeks, to all of a sudden taking the stance that they Hate the game. I can understand getting tired of playing a very long and slowly paced game and have that leave a bad taste in your mouth at the end. But the turn he has taken is almost comical. It just makes me feel like at some point he decided okay maybe this game is only good instead of great so fuck it I am going to play the heel here and take a dramatic turn and it will be fun to piss off people on the internet.

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#73 Edited by musclerider (895 posts) -

@sirpsychosexy said:
@omgfather said:

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.

That is what upsets me a bit, because we all know Dan likes to play things up some times and that appears to be at least somewhat of a factor here. I don't get how a sane person can have RDR1 be their game of the generation. Then play RDR2 and gush over it for a few weeks, to all of a sudden taking the stance that they Hate the game. I can understand getting tired of playing a very long and slowly paced game and have that leave a bad taste in your mouth at the end. But the turn he has taken is almost comical. It just makes me feel like at some point he decided okay maybe this game is only good instead of great so fuck it I am going to play the heel here and take a dramatic turn and it will be fun to piss off people on the internet.

Well I think a factor here is Dan saying that he went into the game wanting desperately to love it as much as the first one. Even so he said that a lot of the things that he now says he hates about the game bothered him from the beginning but he thought he could "get over them."

I guess for me this doesn't seem all that much of a heelturn since I have plenty of games that I've sunk hundreds of hours into that I now absolutely despise. It's just death by a thousand cuts extended by going in with extremely high expectations.

This is just a reliving of all the Witcher 3 drama from a couple of years back. One of my absolute favorite games of all time and it was a huge bummer to see most people on staff seeming to not give it a fair shake.

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#74 Posted by bmccann42 (414 posts) -

@sirpsychosexy: Dan plays the heel pretty well (I'm honestly unsure where the act stops and Dan begins), but I don't see him going that way with RDR2 - I can totally see a point where the oddities/annoyances can just make some throw up their hands and say "Enough!"

I'm trying to remember the last game that happened to me with honestly - I know failing any number of "chase" missions in any Assassin's Creed has made me come very close to swearing off the entire franchise. I have limited gaming time these days, so anything that isn't respecting my time won't last long.

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#75 Posted by someoneproud (604 posts) -

@bmccann42: Nah it's all good, I can admit to my reaction being rather knee-jerk, something about the dismissive tone used sometimes by folk that don't care for the game gets my goat up. Yeah I suspected that's where you were coming from and I agree to a point but I also think that people calling it revolutionary does have some validity (even if it is iterative) due to the scale of the improvement. I think Detroit is much more of a controlled and small system to take into account and doesn't impress me nearly as much as something with the breadth of RDR2 achieving the same depth.

In the end it's a harmless difference of opinion, I was only really after an acknowledgement that what might not be "revolutionary" (sorry :)) to you or I may very well be so to someone else. I can respect and understand your frustrations with R* games, even if I enjoy them myself for the most part.

Hahaha, you really wouldn't envy me if you had my sleeping problems. I binge on hobbies a lot by necessity but it has a noticeable impact on my physical and mental well being (and my irritability it seems). Not sure I could work in HR if I'm honest, my work is very much behind the scenes away from people. Glad my enjoyment of cowboy mishaps isn't just down to sleep deprivation :)

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#76 Posted by Cerberus3Dog (1028 posts) -

@theht@bmccann42 I'm spoiler blocking my response for others who may be reading this thread.

I suppose how Rockstar accounted for the character change is what I find incredible. In most big budget games, if you play as separate characters, each character has a specific set of missions unique to that character, I'm thinking of Yakuza and Grand Theft Auto for instance (I can't think of any others right now, perhaps there are some text-heavy JRPGS that do this). These missions are written for that one character. In RDR2 though, either John or Arthur can do any number of these side missions/interactions and each one can have unique dialogue written for and actions performed by that character.

Sigh, I see what you mean with the word revolutionary, are these things a paradigm shift that the industry will follow like z-targeting or Left-trigger/right trigger? No, probably not. Its use is too specific, few will implement it just because of how intensive implementing all that stuff is. However, I believe it has risen the bar for the level of immersion in big, story games. To me, it is above impressive. It is so awesome that they could do that. So if revolutionary is the wrong word, I can't think of another term to use that expresses what I think of the game, based on how awestruck I was when I realized the complexity that went into the parts I have mentioned. I'll stick with super duper amazing or incredibly awesome for now I guess.

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#77 Posted by TheHT (15870 posts) -

To me, it is above impressive. It is so awesome that they could do that. So if revolutionary is the wrong word, I can't think of another term to use that expresses what I think of the game, based on how awestruck I was when I realized the complexity that went into the parts I have mentioned. I'll stick with super duper amazing or incredibly awesome for now I guess.

Fair enough, fair enough.

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#78 Edited by deactivated-5c295850623f7 (497 posts) -

@sirpsychosexy said:

That is what upsets me a bit, because we all know Dan likes to play things up some times and that appears to be at least somewhat of a factor here. I don't get how a sane person can have RDR1 be their game of the generation. Then play RDR2 and gush over it for a few weeks, to all of a sudden taking the stance that they Hate the game.

It can 100% happen. I was all onboard with Persona 5 for like 15 hours. The next 30 I spent convincing myself I liked it, then after this I realised I actually really hated playing it (and might always have?) and couldn't wait for it to be over. I uninstalled it at one point and watched the ending on youtube and glad I did. Persona 4 might be in my top 5 of all time too, so yeah. Can definitely see where Dan is coming from.

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#79 Edited by nutter (2190 posts) -

@cerberus3dog: I hate to keep beating the Witcher drum, but does RDR do side content better than Witcher 3?

I just replayed that game. The side missions, story, and dialog is better than most games’ main content.

I haven’t started playing RDR to see for myself, yet.

EDIT: Ah, I see your follow-up spoiler tags. I will return after I play this game. I think I’ll get to it by...March or so...too many games...too little time...

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#80 Posted by soulcake (2809 posts) -

@nutter: It's a lot off goofy stuff like you would find in a GTA game from, a little person who ran a way from a freakshow to a French dude who's "free spirited", a lot off wacky comedy with a pinch of satire.

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#81 Posted by Cerberus3Dog (1028 posts) -

@nutter: @soulcake said it well with it being a lot of wacky comedy with a pinch of satire. I enjoyed the funny, satirical stuff but I personally don't think the side content matches the Witcher in terms of quality for the more serious stuff. I was more highlighting the cool, labor intensive features Rockstar made to meet their vision. There is one set of side missions I liked that dealt with the consequences of being a debt collector. Arthur's characters changes and evolves as you complete those quests and that was a cool, novel thing to see. Looking at the Witcher 3 side quests (it's been a while), only that set of debt collector missions felt as interwoven as Return to Crookback Bog did in the Witcher, where more development is given to the Bloody Baron and his family. So I'd still give Witcher 3 the edge there, there are moments when RDR2 comes close though.

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#82 Posted by TheRealTurk (547 posts) -

RDR2 is kind of a weird experience. For me, the things I like the most are the things most on the periphery of the game. I really think it's at its best when you are just riding around exploring the world. The best moments I've had are the things that don't show up as icons on the map, like finding a Viking axe or chasing down a crazy serial killer.

By contrast, the closer I get to the "core" of the game, the less I like it. The main story isn't doing it for me at all compared to RDR1 and I am really starting to dislike how strictly a lot of the core missions are scripted. Part of that is that I've been playing Hitman 2 side-by-side, so going from a game where the missions are 100% about improvisation and being free to try different things to a game where putting one toe out of line means you insta-fail a mission is a bit jarring, but I also think it speaks to the staleness of a lot of Rockstar's core gameplay concepts.

So yeah, I can totally see why people could both love and hate this game, because I go back and forth on it a ton too.

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#83 Posted by WarlordPayne (823 posts) -

The discussion surrounding this game is reminding me an awful lot of Shenmue.

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#84 Posted by Chazzi27 (129 posts) -

@youeightit:This reminds me of my take of The Dark Knight. I loved that move so thoroughly, then when Joker is apprehended I was ready for it to be over...only to have to sit through another 45 minutes. What should have been a movie I was over to moon about, was one that I was consistently saying "The first 2 hours are great...but then it drags"

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#85 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4443 posts) -

RDR2 just doesn't seem like it's made to please a mainstream audience. A game that asks gamers to be patient, asks them to 'take in the vibe' and asks them to appreciate the narrative. In a world where the most popular games have people jumping in games that waste no time with shooting eachother down, and lets people leave as soon as their role is played out. Sure, a lot of people have bought it, after all it was one of the most anticipated games anyone could've released apart from HL3. But i just don't feel like a mainstream audience will even reach the halfway point of the story.

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#86 Edited by SethMode (2039 posts) -

@onemanarmyy said:RDR2 just doesn't seem like it's made to please a mainstream audience. A game that asks gamers to be patient, asks them to 'take in the vibe' and asks them to appreciate the narrative. In a world where the most popular games have people jumping in games that waste no time with shooting eachother down, and lets people leave as soon as their role is played out. Sure, a lot of people have bought it, after all it was one of the most anticipated games anyone could've released apart from HL3. But i just don't feel like a mainstream audience will even reach the halfway point of the story.

I definitely agree that that was their sentiment, but I think where it falls flat for me is that the "mainstream" aspects that they keep (overkill on mini game-ish aspects and a reliance upon murder-happy, by-the-numbers gun fights) I found both boring AND hard to control, but also necessary to engage with to see the things that I DID start out liking (the storytelling and the "role-play as a cowboy" pace), and as others have said, it just became an initial death-by-a-thousand cuts for me, to the point that eventually I just found nothing to really be any degree of exciting, interesting or fun.I additionally agree that I bet most mainstream people don't finish this. It won't matter, because I also suspect that the online will be pretty popular, but still.

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#87 Posted by maartendc (21 posts) -

I found someone described it very well when they said: this is a game best enjoyed like a fine whiskey, in small sips and taking your time, rather than trying to chug it down.

I am a busy person with a full time job, and so I get to play this game only in bursts of maybe 1.5 - 2hrs (a mission or two after work, and some small side stuff each time). It has taken me since release to get to chapter 6 now, still not finished.

At this pace, none of the stuff that people complain about really bothers me: the long travel times (I never even use trains or stagecoaches), the forced slow walking, the slow animations, etc. I don't expect to rush through the game, so I just take my time with everything. I enjoy taking it all in.

I think some of the frustration that Dan mentioned on the Beastcast comes from the fact that he was trying to "100% the game" and probably get it played through as fast as possible (before GOTY etc). I could see those things being frustrating in that case.


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#88 Edited by totsboy (501 posts) -

@maartendc: I agree that taking the game slow is the best approach, I've been playing on a similar pace as you, couple missions every night, mostly enjoying the game, and I'm also on chapter 6 now.

But the more I play, the less I like it. I am already tired of it, every missions ends in a shootout. Also, who the fuck thought it was a good idea to put a 3 hour uncharted sequence with this controls in chapter 5? That was by far the worst part of the game for me so far, followed closely by a forced stealth section earlier in the game.

I never try to 100% any games, so that's not the issue for me. I saw some people saying that the story itself is not the strongest point of the game, but I really don't see an incentive to do anything else other than story and the stranger missions. I hate poker and the other games, and I don't find any fun in hunting.

I think I might take a break from the game because it's only getting worse and the lack of fast travel has been annoying me now because there are many way too long rides where I just put the auto pilot on (hoping it does not run over someone and start a problem) while I do something else.

One more note, I think some of the random events that are supposed to make the game more believable sometimes just make it worse when you don't follow the script. Once I saw a guy close to Saint Dennis asking for help because he was dying, I ignored him because the horse was on auto pilot, and after that I saw the same guy several times on the same stop, saying the same thing.

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#89 Edited by maartendc (21 posts) -

@totsboy: I actually enjoyed the game a lot at first, went downhill a bit in Chapter 5 (definitely the weakest chapter and didn't fit the story), but I am enjoying it more again in Chapter 6. I think Chapter 6 does a good job of expanding on Arthur's character. I would keep playing if I were you.

I do agree with you that the mission design is a bit repetitive and always a shootout. The game is basically a more polished version of the same game design they have done since GTA 3 now: just a map with a bunch of icons for people that give you missions, and a story that loosely ties it all together.

That is the game's biggest flaw in my opinion: Rockstar seem unable or unwilling to challenge themselves to make improvements to their formula. I guess it has been successful so far, but other games have since done a better job of giving you options on how to deal with missions, or give you diverse dialog options to deal with problems. It is antiquated at this point.

Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed the game. The "world building" is the best in the business. It is so immersive, not only the side events, but just talking to your gang in camp, people going about their daily lives, etc. If Giant Bomb has a GOTY category for "best world" this game should definitely win it (since it is already clear it will never be GOTY).

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#90 Posted by nutter (2190 posts) -

@maartendc: I don’t 100% games (maybe 1-2 a decade), nor do I have a lot of time to play games, these days.

The opportunity cost of Red Dead is what concerns me. I own a copy, but have yet to start it. I can play this, OR Spiderman, God of War, Tomb Raider, Hitman, and Detroit (I need to at least check it out) in coming months.

I’d rather have that variety, personally. I dedicated a season to Yakuza Zero and another to a Witcher 3 replay. So I CAN get absorbed and take my time, assuming the game justifies it.

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#91 Posted by maartendc (21 posts) -

@nutter: i'd say while the game is quite slow, if you mainline the story, it is not that long of a game. If you dont do all the side missions etc, you can finish it in about 40 hours or so.

The Witcher 3 for me felt a lot longer, more like 80 hours to complete. Totally worth it.

As a busy person myself, I thought RDR2 was definitely worth my time. (Really enjoyed Detroit as well).

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#92 Posted by nutter (2190 posts) -

@maartendc: Thanks for the insight. I just wrapped-up Spiderman, which really gets better as it goes. Great game.

Next is PROBABLY God of War, then Detroit, Tomb Raider, and Red Dead...

I’m trying to approach this from a perspective of GOTY deliberations story and moment spoilers...

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#93 Posted by mrroach (237 posts) -

@totsboy said:

One more note, I think some of the random events that are supposed to make the game more believable sometimes just make it worse when you don't follow the script. Once I saw a guy close to Saint Dennis asking for help because he was dying, I ignored him because the horse was on auto pilot, and after that I saw the same guy several times on the same stop, saying the same thing.

This aspect of how these encounters just show up in any random place really made the whole idea of exploring of the world seem inconsequential to me. It's technically neat that they figured out how to make those situations work wherever they dropped them in, but if events aren't tied to a location, why bother exploring the map when running in circles will accomplish the same thing?

I wasn't the biggest fan of BoTW, but at least there were reasons to go to specific places, there were specific things that were there and only there. Hrm, ok, maybe a bad example since the only thing anywhere is korok seeds.

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#94 Posted by LiquidPrince (17073 posts) -

This is the first time I’m hearing people complain about Rockstar games and the things that have prevented me from ever finishing one, despite having purchased them all since San Andreas, to this extent.

Rockstar games always have terrible sluggish controls and no matter how much I try to get past it, I always fall off because they just feel so bad to play. I’m enjoying everything about RDR 2 but the controls are still such a huge hassle, especially when you switch back and forth between multiple games and have to deal with that settling in period again.

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#95 Posted by totsboy (501 posts) -

@mrroach I agree. The only thing that makes me go out of my way to "explore" is when the stranger icon appears somewhere far. Some of the collectables seem interesting, like the Dinosaur bones or the rock markings, but I have not stumbled on ANY of them, and I have absolutely no clue on how to even look for them.

@maartendc: Yes, the world is amazing, more specifically I find incredible just how real the land formations (even small stuff like level changes) and vegetation look. And I also love spending time talking with people in camp, drinking my coffee every morning and so on. But on the other hand, the world looks super orchestrated, and that's the thing with most games, but since they try so hard to make everything so real it just highlights the issue, like with the random encounters that always happen exactly on your way, or how a train always happen to pass by when you go over/under a bridge. I would really love to see some westworld thing at the end of the game because it would make a lot of sense.

And boy, the story is bad. I like Arthur as a character, and Sadie also (she's my favorite, but they don't use her nearly as much as I hoped), but the whole story is super shallow. The only thing it has going for it imo is that it's not the usual "save the world" bullshit that's in every other game.

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#96 Posted by Atwa (1690 posts) -

I would recommend you skip the game of the year stuff completely if this is how you feel. As there is where this type of criticism reaches the boiling point, where everyone is simply trying to nitpick every single game they don't want atop another. Where extremely minor things gets completely blown out of proportion. I got myself a good laugh from the RDR2 complaints, they are all so very minor as to not even cross my mind most of the time. Yeah I rode into someone once in Saint Denis, its pretty easily avoidable and even if it happens you can just stay and the cops will even let you go after capturing you. Even then I lost at most 10 minutes of my time, is that really worth even bringing up at that point? Sure, when its hard to find flaws in a game you have to go out of your way to look for them.

Its all good though, its not like it affects my enjoyment out of the game. RDR2 is one of the greatest games I have ever played, its a technological milestone of what can be done in gaming.

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#97 Edited by nutter (2190 posts) -

@atwa: I’m assuming this was maybe directed at me, since I recently mentioned GOTY.


EDIT: Oh, the hyper-critical GOTY process vs. some perceived sensitivity to criticism here...missed this on my first read...


I’m usually fine with having stuff spoiled on me in games because, c’mon, most game stories. I’m happy I made it through Spider-man and into the DLC. There were some nice moments and turns in the story and some cool gameplay beats I didn’t expect, too.

God of War, I’ll see how much I get around to, but it’d be nice to have that under my belt.

Red Dead is so vast that, whatever. I knew about the ending of RDR1 before I got to it, and it was fine. It could have been better, but Rockstar has a habit of overstaying their welcome, so how much do I care about the ending anyhow.

Detroit, I figure they might spoil some shit to dog on it. Hitman’s story isn’t the appeal. They seemed to largely bounce off Tomb Raider...

I love GOTY (2017 was kinda painful, but there’s still a great track record), and I’m cool having most stuff spoiled. Speaking of 2017, I’d have been bummed out if I had heard it before playing Wolfenstein. That game is all story and moments (since the gameplay took a nosedive), and to know the places it goes before it gets there would have been a bummer.

So yeah, GOTY is a priority for me. Most games won’t get in that way.

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#98 Posted by larmer (1102 posts) -

I’ve been getting really conflicted about this game myself. I’m the kind of person that loves to play games the way Red Dead wants you to play it. I walk around in Watch Dogs at a slow pace, observing the environment and what people are doing around me. I love to bask in the atmosphere and role play like I’m living in it instead of rushing to complete objectives. For Red Deaf Remption 2 I really love those slow parts. I think the animations are beatifully crafted for that style of play. I know that if I bump into someone in Saint Denis I’ll need to defuse an officer and quickly get out of his sight. I actually kind of love that I can do that in this game.

What I don’t love are the controls when things get spicy.

I just killed a legendary coyotee and skin it, but I can see on my minimap a some red on the northern edge. Some bounty hunters are on my tale. Well I’d rather not have to deal with them if I don’t have to do I call my horse. Unfortunely the hunters are approaching sooner than the horse so I know what needs to be done. I try to take cover behind a tree. Except for some reason Aurthor runs around and takes cover on the wrong side of the tree. Well fuck, the hunters spot me. I try to pull out of cover and defuse them so I can buy myself time to take better cover. Nah, they ain’t taking any of my bullshit and open fire. So I scramble for proper cover and take a fortifying potion. Wait for the animation to finish... now pull out my guns to shoot! No, that auto aim didn’t work and I’m aiming at nothing. Okay, move the stick to get a proper aim. Wait, wtf, I’m moving the stick but the game is barely responding to the movement. Relax the trigger and push it again to re-focus the auto-aim. It works! I get a headshot. But now I need another health potion. Oh wait, now I’m dead because the potion animation took a split second too long. Fuck. Dead. Wake up, “it appears you have abandoned a legendary kill. Go to a fence to retrieve the parts.” Baaah fuck this. Now I need to turn this off or I feel like I’m going to break something.

Fuck that. That wasn’t my fault. That was the game fucking me over. The controls just not working as they need to when I need them to. It’s not constant, but these things happen consistently enough to be very frustrating.

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