I haven’t seen many cowboy flicks in my life, but in more recent times, I have thoroughly enjoyed Westworld. The appeal of being a dirty outlaw constantly hiding from the government just wasn’t quite up my alley. But what if you could make the journey your own? That’s what really made me like Westworld. And also Red Dead.
One of my friends (thanks M!) lent me the first Red Dead game a little while back so I could give it a try and see if I’d consider getting RDR2. I’m so glad I tried it out because it is amazing. I’ve seen lots of random Let’s Plays of it online previously, but never enough to know the story. Only enough to know that I’d much prefer it to GTA.
So I pre-ordered RDR2 on Thursday and on Friday, I woke up at 6AM before work to give it a play. I was so sleepy, but about 30 minutes into the game, something happens that blew my mind and I found myself fully awakened. It wasn’t that significant of a moment, but it was enough for me to get hooked. I suppose the next 2 paragraphs are spoilers, but keep in mind that this happens in the first half hour of the game.
In my half-asleep state, I accepted a mandatory quest from some woman who wanted me to go out and find her “boy”—who no one had seen or heard from for two days now. I honestly had zero interest in rescuing some dumb kid who got lost, but our gang’s leader insisted we did that woman this favor. So off I went with another gang member to go up to the white-topped mountains during a snowstorm—probably almost killing my horse in the process. We find a dead horse atop the mountain and my partner decides to shoot off rounds into the sky to see if anyone hears it. And someone did! They cry for help and we follow his voice.
Imagine my surprise when I realized we were saving John Marston. We were saving ourselves from the first game! And I realized the woman who was asking for us to find John, her “boy”, was our wife from the first game: Abigail. It really did bring back feels and it suddenly made me feel cemented into the world of Red Dead once again. I ended up playing till around 3AM that night after coming back from work.
So far, RDR2 has been a joy to play. I’m definitely far from the end, and I do hope I enjoy this ending more than I did for the first one. My only gripes so far are that there are some bits that are supposed to add to the “realism” that I can do without. I don’t want to have to loot each drawer individually after having to open them one by one. I also do miss the old fast travel system where I can just hitch up a camp anywhere instead of having to upgrade my way to fast travel—and even then, fast-traveling is limited (i.e. you cannot fast travel BACK). I do appreciate the cinematic mode that allows me to just ride by holding down “A” on my controller though.
I initially thought I’d hate the cores system and how I’d have to keep an eye out on my stamina, health, and Dead Eye repeatedly. It’s actually not that bad. I also feel a much stronger bond to my horse in this game than the first. I started off the game trying to stay as “straight” with the law as possible, but I’m starting to lean towards maybe putting on my bandana and committing a few crimes just to really feel like an Outlaw. But I know my inherent want to be a good guy will likely kick back in before long.
I can’t wait to see what the multiplayer mode will hold! But even if it disappoints, I’m already very satisfied and happy with how the single player is going. The graphics are beautiful and I’m loving the story so far. There’s something so bittersweet about how my gang and I are outlaws that desperately want to hold on to the glory of living lives free from the restrictions of the law. But the world is changing. And I’m curious to see how we might be forced to change with it.