To begin with, I love Red Dead Redemption 2. Ignoring the abundant review, and people's literally calling it a masterpiece, I personally enjoyed it. So much so that I remember spending over 114 hours (fully upgraded) completing the game and getting the best possible ending for Arthur. I won't spoil it but Rockstar has really outdone itself, creating what I would say the most inventive open world game and engaging story with a very well-written characters.
But during this quarantine, I decided to replay the game. Starting over from scratch, I realized how mundane and a chore the whole game feel. Hunting was especially annoying. Half the time I have to spend around 15 minutes exploring just to find the specific animal I was hunting. Using baits help but half the time it was RNG and does not always work. And the annoying thing is, the pelt's quality system felt somehow broken. It's hard to explain but using arrows rarely ever awarded me with a perfect condition pelt. Maybe it's just me but hunting for upgrades is very annoying. Especially with how convoluted the mechanic is. And most upgrades required perfect quality pelts.
And then the story. First time playing, it was an amazing experience. But, replaying it, it felt very slow paced. Don't get me wrong, but the story, to summarise it "Arthur, we need MONEY! Arthur, we need to move and have no MONEY! Arthur, I got a plan but we need MONEY! Arthur, we still don't have enough MONEY! Arthur, there's a rat among us and John seems sus. Arthur, I'm sorry for ever doubting you and John." I mean, the story is good and is definitely more character-driven but I just wish they would just high-tail it and escape. They definitely overstayed their welcomes especially considering how much money they have hidden by Dutch. Arthur's redemption story is definitely done right. And honestly, I never expected that I will enjoy it much more playing as Arthur than I do John. But the story is very slow the second time playing it.
Maybe I could just ignore the upgrades, I mean most people probably do. It barely effects the game if you do. But certain upgrades like being able to carry more ammo with you is very useful. Perks is cool. Won't say anything about it.
The weapon condition degrading. Pretty cool at first but later became annoying especially when you're in the middle of a shootout and your weapon aim start swaying.
And the stranger missions, find the hidden markings for that one guy, or dinosaur's bones for that one woman. How can I complete them without a walkthrough?
I think what turn me off from replaying RDR2 is how slow the story is and convoluted some mechanic are. The exploration became more of a chore and the way the game is designed, I understand that this was a game that is meant to be played slowly. But I'm not willing to put as much efforts as I did the first time playing it on my second playthrough. Not after I've played the whole game in its entirety the first time.
What are your thoughts? The game is definitely a step up in open world game both in exploration and world building aspects. From an engaging character-driven story and abundance of side contents to go through, I wish more game's developers will take inspirations from this game. But I doubt I will play this game again. At least not until a few more years in the future. I sometimes wish I could erase my memories just to experience certain things again but alas. And please forgive me if I sounded petty but I suppose you just tend to be more critical of something the second time you experience it.
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