Content of the article: "So I finally finished Red Dead Redemption 2 and I gotta say; I enjoyed the shit out of this game."
I started playing this game sometime last June or July and got about 18 hours in and then gave up on it. Even though I was really enjoying the story; it was moving too slow for me, and the gameplay grated on my nerves.
About two months ago, I decided to pick it back up again. I downloaded it and launched my save, but when I started playing, I had no idea what was going on or even how to play anymore. So I decided to start over.
I still struggled with the slower pace of the game. The cutscenes were long, and even though I enjoyed the character interactions, the gameplay—specifically when dealing with looting and such—was irritating because of the slower animations, and the fact that the game actively punishes you for being a prick. (I was playing as a bloodthirsty monster who killed everyone I came across)
So at some point, right around the time you finish things around Valentine, I decided to just slow down. Just relax and enjoy the scenery and story.
And that’s when this game clicked for me.
I’m so used to playing games where you constantly have stuff trying to grab your attention, and there’s constantly things going on. So in this game, when things aren’t happening constantly, it gets kind of boring.
But when I slowed down and tried change my mindset, this game really showed it’s strengths. The point of the game isn’t to run around doing whatever you want, killing innocent people and robbing everyone you see (though you can). The point is to immerse yourself in the characters and their story.
I decided to really put myself in Arthur’s shoes and experience the world as he did. I started doing everything at a slower pace. I started actively trying to be the “good guy”, and helped people I came across instead of killing them immediately. It became obsessive to the point that I was more concerned about being a good person than helping the gang.
When I did this, I started to appreciate the all the things that annoyed me before. I really felt like I was the one going through this story; like I was Arthur. Where most games it feels like you’re just an observer.
And I gotta say, this game blew my mind. The story had me sucked in all the way through. It was surprisingly emotional to me.
One scene that comes to mind specifically is one of the missions with Mary. You go to try and help her father, and then afterwards go to the theater. This mission in particular stands out to me for a couple reasons. It really showed the emotional stakes to the story.
Arthur’s farewell to Mary where he actually considers leaving with her was much more emotional than I expected.
The other thing it showed was the amount of effort the development team put into every facet of the game. The theater had actual acts that you could sit and watch that legitimately entertained me. Most other games I’ve played would have just had a cutscene of them walking in and then back out; but Rockstar actually voiced and animated it all.
The other thing that I loved about this story was the gradual shift in dynamic between Arthur and Dutch. And after Arthur’s diagnosis, his entire outlook on everything changes. It was a beautiful change of character that made sense in the context of the story.
The whole final act with Arthur doing his best to get John and Abigail out of harm’s way is very very well done. The very end of that where Arthur gives John his money and satchel and stays behind to cover his escape was excellent as well.
After Arthur’s death, where you’re playing as John working as a farm hand and buying his own property was very cool to me. I know a lot of people probably didn’t like it much, but it really did a good job of putting you in John’s shoes. He’s moving away from a very exciting life to something more tame and “boring”. When he decides to go find Micah, Abigail’s pleading with him not to go really works for me.
Anyway, this whole game is just a work of art and I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it. I haven’t played the first one, but I’m on PC and don’t want to buy a whole console to play it. Pretty please, Rockstar, will you do a remaster or at least port it to PC?
- I still remember when Red Dead Redemption II was announced and how I and many others reacted to Arthur Morgan.
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- I think the epilogue is my favorite part of the story
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