First of all, I want to address all the people who are thinking ’Only the the second time? Pfft. I’ve finished it 15 times’. I picked the game up in late July, this year. So I have only finished it twice now.
The first time I played the game, I focused on the main story missions only. So, I missed out on things such as Marko Dragic and Brother Dorkins’ missions among many more. I feel as though these made me feel a lot closer to Arthur, and it felt weird knowing what eventually happened, but still dreading it and hoping it wouldn’t happen. Arthur Morgan is a great man, and I speak of him of a man – not a character – as I feel he is more than just a protagonist in a video game. Knowing that ‘Arthur dies soon’ in chapter 6 was heartbreaking. I’d experienced it once, and the first time I was pretty sure it was going to happen, but I wasn’t sure. The second time around, I was vaguely remembering which missions were getting me close to the end. I’d watched Arthur essentially kick Strauss out of camp and heard Uncle mention his LuMbAGo more times than ever. I watched as Arthur recommended Trelawny leaves when he did, as the place was quiet. I’d watched the gang fall apart and my heart ache; it felt as though it wasn’t a gang anymore, it was family.
Writing this during the credits having just killed Micah means I want to reflect on individual gang members. On my first playthrough, I still had hopes that Dutch would turn out fine after Micah had seemingly taken control of him. On my second, however, I realised exactly what Micah was doing in about Chapter 2. My hatred for Micah must have multiplied by about 10 and my feelings for Dutch worsened, but I felt sorry for him at the same time. I could tell that Micah was manipulating Dutch, and that Dutch couldn’t tell until it was too late, on the mountain, just before Arthur dies. I felt more betrayed than ever when Arthur finds out that Molly never talked, but Micah ‘was a good boy ever since he got off the boat’. Molly died in vain, Miss Grimshaw shouldn’t have killed her at least until she sobered up. I felt more sorry for Rains Fall when Eagle Flies died. And to think that the only reason Eagle Flies died was because Dutch was going to leave Arthur for dead was agonising. Then he did the same with John, while lying about the fact that he was dead, and ‘there was nothing he could do’.
Knowing what happened made me closer than ever before with everything in the game, including my horse. I was upset the first time Arthur died, but I was nearly crying the second time. Building John’s house was the only time I could stop thinking about Arthur the first time, but this time even that couldn’t stop me. I was attached to the game the first time. But the second time around, I couldn’t even stop thinking about it. If I got bored and turned the game off, all I wanted to do was go back and play it more.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is perfect, and that’s all there is to it.
I will now start the first one. And probably enter a never ending loop of Red Dead. Thank you if you read all of this, and if you didn’t, well, Uncle will give you Lumbago. Probably.
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