Red Dead Redemption 2 |OT2| For A Few Hours More

leng jai

Member
Nov 2, 2017
8,033
After the legendary panther killed me three times in a row by ambushing me, I found a suitable method for dealing with him; turns out a pump shotgun with explosive shells works a treat. He died on the first hit, but I had already tagged up four more in deadeye and I blasted that carcass to hell. But because he's legendary, no exploding, and I still got the pelt. Booyah.
Legendary hunts are basically the easiest content in the game. You can dead eye and just spam the shit out of them running straight at you with no penalty to the pelt quality.
 

SprachBrooks

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,026
Jesus Christ, I've just reached the Epilogue and what a damn game this was.

After delaying getting into it for a good three months after release because of the concerns raised over its core mechanics and fluidity of gameplay, boy am I glad I decided to give it another chance after what seemed to be a dissonance between the game's open world and narrative structure.

Arthur Morgan is by far my favourite protagonist in a video game ever.
I was absolutely devastated after learning he contracted TB, even though I knew that Arthur wasn't long for this world considering the fact the game is a prequel. It made playing the rest of the game so fucking depressing because you see a man that is not only deteriorating in a spiritual sense – mostly because of Dutch's latent true self surfacing – but also physically. I noticed the coughs during the Guarma section and questioned them immediately, for they stood out no matter how subtle Rockstar attempted to make the nascent infection.

I loved the world – it is one of the best realised worlds I've ever come across in a game. This is a game I dismissed as not coming close to my heretofore Game of the Year God of War, but this ended up not only surpassing it in that regard, but also being the best game of this generation that I've played – possibly of all time.

In summary, this game is a genuine masterpiece that I lament did not win the accolades for its narrative at least, in comparison to God of War. I personally cannot wait for the next Rockstar game, after everything they've done with this one. Oh, and did I mention? I hated Red Dead Redemption and found it incredibly tedious.
 

SprachBrooks

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,026
When Arthur is kidnapped by them, Dutch was never planning on returning to try and save him, right? I'm 99% sure that's the case – and buttressed by Dutch's behaviour later on in the game with John and Arthur again, but still, curious to see other people's view.
 

Strafer

The Flagpole is Wider
Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,525
Sweden
Is Micah suppose to be a fucking cunt? I wanna shot him so bad man.

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!!
 

Bonefish

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,842
wow, 80 hours in and still finding new shit I never saw before.

Just set up a camp near the Elysian Pool area, and after setting up it triggered a scene. A pair of Murfree Brood snuck up on me and threatened me letting me know this was their turf.

Had no idea there was random encounters even when you set up camp :0
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,231
Portland, OR
Is Micah suppose to be a fucking cunt? I wanna shot him so bad man.

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!!
The game is not necessarily subtle in certain areas. Micah being the worst cunt in the history of awful cunts is one of those areas. Even when you are nice to him, he is an irredeemable dick. Fortunately you've got some good people in your camp to make up for Micah's general dickishness.
 

Fishook

Member
Dec 20, 2017
244
I am about a third/half way into Chapter 4, how much longer have I got till finishing the game. As I am wondering whether to wait till the PC version is out.
 

Jimnymebob

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,615
I am about a third/half way into Chapter 4, how much longer have I got till finishing the game. As I am wondering whether to wait till the PC version is out.
You're quite a way off, in all honesty, especially if you want to go at a leisurely pace.

If you don't rush through it, and carry on doing side missions and stuff, I'd say another 25 hours.
 

Fishook

Member
Dec 20, 2017
244
You're quite a way off, in all honesty, especially if you want to go at a leisurely pace.

If you don't rush through it, and carry on doing side missions and stuff, I'd say another 25 hours.
Cheers for that, I will wait for the PC version as I only got my PS4 while my PC was out of action and haven't touch the game in over 2 weeks.
 

Bonefish

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,842
I just realized I’m at 90 hours of playtime and am barely halfway done with chapter 6.

this game. God damn.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,231
Portland, OR
I just realized I’m at 90 hours of playtime and am barely halfway done with chapter 6.

this game. God damn.
I'm near the end of Chapter 6 on my second playthrough at 103 hours. I think my first playthrough was a similar time but that was through the end of the game. I've done almost all the side content this time through (still have some challenges left, along with exotics, dinosaur bones and cigarette cards). There's definitely a lot of content.
 

Bonefish

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,842
I'm near the end of Chapter 6 on my second playthrough at 103 hours. I think my first playthrough was a similar time but that was through the end of the game. I've done almost all the side content this time through (still have some challenges left, along with exotics, dinosaur bones and cigarette cards). There's definitely a lot of content.
I haven’t even found a single dinosaur bone lol
 

Strafer

The Flagpole is Wider
Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,525
Sweden
What I love about this game is everytime you launch it Arthur will be in a different place, today I was sleeping behind a rock.

It's like you turn the game off yet it feels like they are still doing stuff.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,231
Portland, OR
I haven’t even found a single dinosaur bone lol
I found one without using a map. As well done as I think the treasure maps are (I didn't need to consult a guide for any of them), basically all the other collectibles are very much "just use a map." The dreamcatchers are kind of discoverable, but mostly not; the rock carvings and dino bones are just ridiculous. You can be standing on top of some of the dino bones with eagle eye enabled and still miss them. And the exotics? Fucking hell. That one is less about needing a map than about needing an unlimited supply of patience. Fuck that, I got Game of Thrones to catch up on. At least you can cheese the cigarette cards by just buying packs of premium cigarettes (between selling duplicates and monetary rewards for turning in complete sets, you can actually come out ahead this way; it just takes a boatload of cash up front).
 

Strafer

The Flagpole is Wider
Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,525
Sweden
I need to learn to holster my weapon before talking to people, I just saved some poor fella from getting robbed, went to talk to him and accidentally aimed my gun at him, he ran away and I lost some honor.

:(
 

Kapten

Avenger
Nov 1, 2017
613
Anyone got some tips for a low-level online player?

I'd like to obtain the MVP 3 Times trophy, but I get wrecked in everything at all times.

It is just to hold out and hope for luck?
 

Dany

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,088
seattle
I’m jumping back in and really want to do everything except for the hunting. I just don’t have fun with it. I’d pay rockstar 5 bucks to unlock the best satchel
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,231
Portland, OR
I’m jumping back in to finish rdr2. What’s settings are everyone using for shooting controls??
Thx
There are settings quoted in the OP that work pretty well. Basically dead zone at 0, aim acceleration full, and then aim sensitivity and zoom sensitivity adjust to your liking. The post also suggests setting controls from third person to first person because it gets rid of tap-to-sprint (even in third person camera), but I actually prefer tap-to-sprint in this game.

I’m jumping back in and really want to do everything except for the hunting. I just don’t have fun with it. I’d pay rockstar 5 bucks to unlock the best satchel
If you're willing to play through to the epilogue, you are given the opportunity to buy satchels instead of crafting them. If you'd rather muscle through it, I would suggest hunting the legendary buck as soon as possible, as the talisman you get from it will make it more likely for you to get perfect pelts.

Is there a way to get the legendary alligator in character 4?
I'm seeing conflicting information. Some suggest that you can hunt it after completing the Chapter 4 mission Country Pursuits; other information suggests it won't be huntable until completing the Chapter 6 mission That's Murfree Country. I'm guessing it's the latter.
 

Fjordson

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,382
As someone who rushed to get the legendary satchel on my second playthrough early in chapter 2, I don't think the hunting grind is that bad tbh.

I remember a good hour or two trying to get a perfect panther pelt, but everything else was easy to find. Though as Atomic mentions above, you'll want to get the legendary buck talisman asap.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,231
Portland, OR
As someone who rushed to get the legendary satchel on my second playthrough early in chapter 2, I don't think the hunting grind is that bad tbh.

I remember a good hour or two trying to get a perfect panther pelt, but everything else was easy to find. Though as Atomic mentions above, you'll want to get the legendary buck talisman asap.
That's exactly what I did. On my first playthrough, I found the hunting annoying because I wanted to advance the story. After playing through the game once and hearing the story, I was a lot more patient on my second playthrough so that I could experience all the stuff I had missed out on the first time around. And in that context, the hunting became a lot more enjoyable. I fundamentally disagree with the way the game restricts you to "perfect" pelts, especially for some of the satchels; oh, I have an entire elk corpse here, but I can't manage to find 6 square inches of usable pelt because I accidentally double-tapped it in the face. That makes no fucking sense. Meanwhile, my band of merry ingrates would rather sit on the dusty ground than me provide some ground cover in the form of an animal skin that has a hole in it. What the shit is that? "Thanks for trying Arthur, but if the law shows up and sees us sitting on this sorry excuse for a rug, we would be absolutely mortified." Pearson made you a table cover that looks like someone stretched a scrotum over a wagon wheel for fuck's sake!

I'd keep ranting, but I'm off to go find 10 perfect rat carcasses so I can bind them together and place them delicately atop my head.
 

Fjordson

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,382
That's exactly what I did. On my first playthrough, I found the hunting annoying because I wanted to advance the story. After playing through the game once and hearing the story, I was a lot more patient on my second playthrough so that I could experience all the stuff I had missed out on the first time around. And in that context, the hunting became a lot more enjoyable. I fundamentally disagree with the way the game restricts you to "perfect" pelts, especially for some of the satchels; oh, I have an entire elk corpse here, but I can't manage to find 6 square inches of usable pelt because I accidentally double-tapped it in the face. That makes no fucking sense. Meanwhile, my band of merry ingrates would rather sit on the dusty ground than me provide some ground cover in the form of an animal skin that has a hole in it. What the shit is that? "Thanks for trying Arthur, but if the law shows up and sees us sitting on this sorry excuse for a rug, we would be absolutely mortified." Pearson made you a table cover that looks like someone stretched a scrotum over a wagon wheel for fuck's sake!

I'd keep ranting, but I'm off to go find 10 perfect rat carcasses so I can bind them together and place them delicately atop my head.
Lmao, yeah the hunting and pelt system is a bit odd and I didn't bother with it on my first playthrough, I was too engrossed by the story / side quests.

But as you said, second go-round I didn't mind taking the time to search for certain animals. And I also wanted the convenience of the legendary satchel to streamline the second playhrough a bit. It's a massive game changer because of all the extra time you cut off riding back to towns to stock up on things (or sell things you don't want to free up space).
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,231
Portland, OR
It's a massive game changer because of all the extra time you cut off riding back to towns to stock up on things (or sell things you don't want to free up space).
The game doesn't do a good job explaining it, but there's no "freeing up space" so you can take on new inventory items. Technically, from the very moment the game opens, you can have one of every single item in the game and not run into any restriction on carrying things. You have a limited inventory for the number of each specific item you can carry (e.g. you can only carry three cans of beans), but an infinite inventory for unique items (carrying three cans of beans does not prohibit you from carrying any number of other items except for additional cans of beans). So never pass up the opportunity to snatch everything. If you can't pick something up, it's because you're full of that specific item, not that you need to sell off other things to gain inventory space. Also, for a game that prides itself on being realistic at all times, it's frankly amazing that I am able to run into battle with hundreds of tonics, medicines, cans of food, slabs of raw meat, whole carcasses, several thousand rounds of ammo, a few hundred pounds of solid gold, a fishing pole and a tent and be basically fine.
 

Fjordson

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,382
The game doesn't do a good job explaining it, but there's no "freeing up space" so you can take on new inventory items. Technically, from the very moment the game opens, you can have one of every single item in the game and not run into any restriction on carrying things. You have a limited inventory for the number of each specific item you can carry (e.g. you can only carry three cans of beans), but an infinite inventory for unique items (carrying three cans of beans does not prohibit you from carrying any number of other items except for additional cans of beans). So never pass up the opportunity to snatch everything. If you can't pick something up, it's because you're full of that specific item, not that you need to sell off other things to gain inventory space. Also, for a game that prides itself on being realistic at all times, it's frankly amazing that I am able to run into battle with hundreds of tonics, medicines, cans of food, slabs of raw meat, whole carcasses, several thousand rounds of ammo, a few hundred pounds of solid gold, a fishing pole and a tent and be basically fine.
Oh shit, I didn't even realize that. How weird lol
 

Strafer

The Flagpole is Wider
Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,525
Sweden
The game doesn't do a good job explaining it, but there's no "freeing up space" so you can take on new inventory items. Technically, from the very moment the game opens, you can have one of every single item in the game and not run into any restriction on carrying things. You have a limited inventory for the number of each specific item you can carry (e.g. you can only carry three cans of beans), but an infinite inventory for unique items (carrying three cans of beans does not prohibit you from carrying any number of other items except for additional cans of beans). So never pass up the opportunity to snatch everything. If you can't pick something up, it's because you're full of that specific item, not that you need to sell off other things to gain inventory space. Also, for a game that prides itself on being realistic at all times, it's frankly amazing that I am able to run into battle with hundreds of tonics, medicines, cans of food, slabs of raw meat, whole carcasses, several thousand rounds of ammo, a few hundred pounds of solid gold, a fishing pole and a tent and be basically fine.
Wow, this is huge, thanks for telling. :D
 

NowhereFaded

Member
Nov 11, 2017
341
Ridgefield, Wa
So basically it’s a waste of time finding pelts to upgrade our satchel because we can already carry infinite items, but only a certain amount of certain items? Am I getting it ? Thx
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,231
Portland, OR
So basically it’s a waste of time finding pelts to upgrade our satchel because we can already carry infinite items, but only a certain amount of certain items? Am I getting it ? Thx
Kind of. The thing is, different items have different utility. Being able to carry 3 or 5 or 99 cans of salmon is neither here nor there; it's useful, but it can be easily replaced by other things. Being able to carry 3 or 5 or 99 miracle tonics is an absolutely massive difference, because they are such a useful item that can't be immediately replicated with a single replacement. Similarly, being able to carry 10 or 20 of a certain crafting item is not inherently an issue early on, but when you find yourself doing a challenge where you need 60 of each to craft a certain number of tonics, being able to collect them all at once without having to stop to use them every couple minutes is a huge upgrade. But that's mostly side content stuff; for the main game, you really don't need to (ammo reserves are upped through purchasing bandoliers which you do independently of any crafting).

Also, there aren't an infinite number of items in the game. There's like 30 things that fall under provisions to restore cores in various areas. There are 8 or so tonics that restore your health bar, 8 or so for your stamina bar, 8 or so for your dead eye (a lot of those are duplicates, e.g. Health Cure vs. Opened Health Cure, but the game treats them as unique items). If you're full up, even with only 3 of each item, you have plenty to keep you going for many, many missions. But once you do unlock the satchel that lets you get 99 of everything, all of a sudden you realize that only having room for 3 of something does end up getting restrictive. It's a minor QOL thing that takes away any concern about inventory management.
 

Strafer

The Flagpole is Wider
Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,525
Sweden
There' s some interesting stuff happening in the camp sometimes which is hilarious, I just had one really good, won't tell exactly what but it involved Johns wheezy laugh. Dude is great.
 

Linus815

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,526
There' s some interesting stuff happening in the camp sometimes which is hilarious, I just had one really good, won't tell exactly what but it involved Johns wheezy laugh. Dude is great.
Been replaying GTA 5 for the 4th time and even now I saw a few new character switch cutscenes ,despite there being quite a lot of repeats.
RDR 2, having played for over 100 hours, constantly new stuff. It's kind of insane.
 

Dragon's Game

Member
Apr 1, 2019
1,302
so a few people are criticizing saying Arthur isn't a good character because he is a bad guy and the game tries to redeem him for all the bad shit he has done, how do you counter argue that?
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,336
It should go without saying that some spoilers will exist in a conversation about Arthur's character. I'm not going to spoil any of the events of the major events of the game, but my post contains references to conversations and vague events in the story, so it's fair to say if you haven't finished the Chapter 6 and don't want to read any discussion about Arthur's character development don't read this post.

so a few people are criticizing saying Arthur isn't a good character because he is a bad guy and the game tries to redeem him for all the bad shit he has done, how do you counter argue that?
Arthur is a brilliant character, I'd say the best character of any game I've ever played, but he might not be a good person. He's a complex character with real, authentic motivations who is torn in different, believable ways. There is no character in videogames who is done as well as Arthur, especially because Arthur's motivations are of this world, not other worldly. For instance, the main guy from the Last of Us does bad things, but he does bad things amongst the zombie apocalypse... His complex choices are driven by supernatural circumstances. Arthur's aren't. Arthur robs a poor family of their money because he is part of an outlaw gang led by a charismatic charlatan, trying to raise money to protect their extended family. What Arthur does is undeniably bad and mean spirited, but his motivations make sense, and the game slowly brings Arthur around... In those final missions that I had to do for the money launderer, I -- the player -- didn't want to do them, for the same reason that Arthur -- the character -- didn't want to do them.

I don't think the game tries to redeem him for the bad shit he's done; The game shows how hes tortured for the bad shit he's done, that's different than absolving him for bad deeds. You don't have to feel bad for Arthur, and really, I think Arthur himself tells other characters that they don't have to feel bad for him, that he made his own choices and he has to live with them, "And for what... a few bucks?" In the case of the poor family that Arthur really wrongs, the one that he seemingly tries to make amends to as the game goes on... Arthur is motivated to help them for the same reasons that he's motivated to help Dutch early in the game. I don't want to go into much more than that because it'll be spoilerish, but Arthur's personal motivations are the same in both instances, but those motivations drive him to entirely different decisions in one instance from the other.

There's two scenes in particular that I think would be judgments of Arthur's character, his final conversation with the Nun before she goes off (presumeably) to Mexico, and one of his conversations with the Native American chief. Neither of these characters absolve Arthur of his bad deeds; they encourage him to pursue good, and not pursue evil. The nun remarks how Arthur sees himself as a bad person being punished for his bad deeds, but she only sees him helping people.

I think anybody criticizing how RDR2 handles Arthur is someone who can't handle complex characters. They're people who hate Tony Soprano or Michael Corleone and can find no redeeming qualities in them, or can't understand why both Soprano and Corleone are so well liked. I think it's probably part of this contempory/modern addiction with having to see all people and all characters in this "unblemished perfect" light, or "fuck them to hell" evil, where there's no subtly, no complexity. Arthur is a flawed person, it's those flaws that make him genuinely the best written character in any videogame that I've ever played.
 
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The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,336
So basically it’s a waste of time finding pelts to upgrade our satchel because we can already carry infinite items, but only a certain amount of certain items? Am I getting it ? Thx
I played through the entire game without doing much of the pelt accumulation/upgrades. It's a system in the game that I didn't even really understand how it worked. I never felt short on ammo, elixers, food, etc. Towards the end, I started doing some of those missions as a completionist and appreciated the additions, but it's not something you have to do at all... Like the other poster said, they seem like quality of life additions, not necessities. As a completionist for games like this, I enjoy doing them so now even beyond the point where I need them, I'm pursuing them just to do them.
 

MrH

Member
Nov 3, 2017
2,374
Was performance ever improved? I plan to rent this after I finish Spider-Man but the frame rate worries me, it was dropping to the low 20s in the videos I watched, but they were from launch. I’ll be playing it on base PS4.
 

Bonefish

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,842
I have to agree with that description of Arthur. He's absolutely phenomenal, and the progression through the story is convincing, believable and very well written. It's the best and the most sophisticated view of a character battling between his inner demons and trying to find any remaining good inside him that i've ever seen in this medium. Avoiding the pitfalls of trying to find an easy way out for the most lowest common denominator type of storytelling.

To think people were pre-judging his character as "boring" based on the reveal of his character design in the original trailers. Laughable.

I'm really hoping the guys at Rockstar take the approach they did with this game and Arthur in terms of how they handle the lead(s?) in GTA6.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,231
Portland, OR
Is there any way to roll back to the patch before they downgraded the graphics in single player? I'm on Xbox.
Not if you want to use any online features obviously. If you own it digitally, I'm pretty sure you're SOL, but if you have the disc, you can install (while not connected to the Internet) and then disable updates. The game will prompt you to download updates upon boot, but I believe you're given the option to defer to a later date (I was on PS4, not sure how Xbox handles that). Worst case scenario, just install and play while not connected to the internet. Now, I will say, the "downgrade" is essentially unnoticeable with the most recent patch. I don't know that it even is there anymore. The game looks phenomenal, and nowhere better than on the X1X. You won't be thinking "well this looks like shit," believe me.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,231
Portland, OR
<snip>

I think anybody criticizing how RDR2 handles Arthur is someone who can't handle complex characters. They're people who hate Tony Soprano or Michael Corleone and can find no redeeming qualities in them, or can't understand why both Soprano and Corleone are so well liked. I think it's probably part of this contempory/modern addiction with having to see all people and all characters in this "unblemished perfect" light, or "fuck them to hell" evil, where there's no subtly, no complexity. Arthur is a flawed person, it's those flaws that make him genuinely the best written character in any videogame that I've ever played.
Excellent post all around, but I specifically want to comment on this bit. Our media is filled with stories of "protagonists" who are, frankly, evil people. And we view their stories from their perspective and see how the battle between the desire to do good and the nature of evil plays out within them. I was having trouble thinking of examples when I read the post you were responding to, but mob movies/tv is a great example. I'd also offer Breaking Bad; Walter White is the character we're meant to root for, but we also see him descend into a path that renders him almost irredeemably evil by the end. You've also got movies like Heat, where DeNiro plays a criminal who is softened in the audience's eyes because of his desire to be a "just" person; meanwhile, Al Pacino's detective is a deeply flawed individual who is ostensibly the good guy, and yet we don't necessarily want to see him win. The dichotomy between good and evil is a battle we see played out in iconic characters like Han Solo, or Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, or even Robin Hood (committing an evil act to benefit deserving people). The nature of individuals confronting this battle within themselves dates back to at least Odysseus, and probably long before that.
 

Strafer

The Flagpole is Wider
Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,525
Sweden
I really really hate that Rockstar insists on disabling saving when using cheats, if I wanna cheat then I should be able to without some weird repercussion.
 

Strafer

The Flagpole is Wider
Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,525
Sweden
I feel like the PS2 GTA games stopping 100% completion as soon as you use a single cheat is probably why they started doing that.
Yeah I guess, but at least you could save, I remember using the give all weapons a lot.

Also, I should probably stay out of this thread until I've finished the game, I don't wanna be spoiled.
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,336
does Arthur surpass John for you Albatross?
Yes, but I should preface it that while I like John and I'm a huge fan of RDR, I've never been enamored with him as a character... Or at least, I like him (love how the voice actor portrays him and he's a very likable protagonist), but John has major flaws in how simple he is that I think gets ignored because RDR1 is such a good game.

My biggest criticism of John as a character (and it's really a criticism of RDR) is that John is supposed to be a world-weary gunslinger, rough and tumble, whose led this life of crime but now has to do the law's bidding for a higher purpose ... but ... JOhn gets taken advantage of by every dumbass idiot in the West for ~40 hours of story. Like, every two-bit hustler, crooked grave robber, idiot shop keeper, low-level Mexican bureaucrat, and even up to the primary antagonists the G-men in the final chapter, they're all easily taking advantage of John to have him do whatever they want, and almost every encounter plays out the same:

John: "Hey you, I'm looking for this guy and I'm told you could help me. Don't trifle with me, because I'm a cold blooded killer."
Dumbass: "Oh, hello there, yes, I know about this guy and I will bring you to him, but you have to help me."
-- 5 missions go by with the same script where John is doing stupid tasks for them --
John: "Hey! You told me you'd bring me to this guy and you haven't I'm not going to help you anymore! I'm a cold blooded killer, remember!?"
Dumbass: "Oh, well now I'll really take you to him if you help me one last time!"
-- FInal mission with that dumbass that doesn't bring you to the guy, but introduces you to another dumbass who takes advantage of John again --

Nearly the entire game is this structure, from Nigel Wes Dickins, to Irish, to Seth, to the Mexicans government officials, to the Mexican rebels, to the Mexican towns folk, to the FBI guys in Blackwater, to the Yale college professor, and on up. There's only a tiny handful of major characters in the game that don't take advantage of John and who aren't idiots:
  • Bonnie McFarland
  • The Sheriff in Armadillo
  • Landon Ricketts
  • John's family, of course
Every other character just takes advantage of John, which would be fine, except prior to every encounter with these people John usually begins with some monologue about how he's killed people before, and he's done things he's not proud of, and he threatens them in some way to show that he's not someone to be trifled with. And then they trifle with him for 4 or 5 missions, before he's really like "Listen man, I know I've said it before every mission up to this point, but you've got to stop trifling with me and this time I really mean it!" And then, in that final mission, they stop trifling ... and the objective of his original encounter gets away, or something. I think it really sets in in the final act when John/the Player finally meets the FBI guys who have been forcing him to do all of these tasks for the whole game, and within one mission, you see how useless they are ... they bicker like idiots, their car breaks down, they get jumped by two-bit loser outlaws (TWICE, IIRC), Dutch's gang gets the jump on them multiple times, and the only thing that really motivates the final encounter between John and Dutch is that Dutch comes for John. So, these G-Men who are these imposing characters, the invisible hand in John's life through the whole game and the reason he has to do the bidding of every idiot in the West, they're hapless idiots themselves who aren't imposing at all. They're not good antagonists and they never show you how they're dangerous, and really for nearly all of RDR1, Dutch never shows you how he's dangerous either... You're told he's dangerous, John tells you he's dangerous, the FBI tells you he's dangerous, but you don't really see how Dutch is dangerous until basically the last handful of missions (honestly, I'd say it's the encounter in that bank building in Blackwater where Dutch kills the bank teller woman).

For instance, I'd juxtapose Officer Tenpenny from GTA:SA against Dutch or the FBI at any point in RDR1 and he's 10x the antagonist of anybody in RDR, and Tenpenny being so good (he's everything that Dutch or the FBI isn't) is what makes CJ and his motivations so convincing. Tenpenny being so good is what sells you on guys like Rider and Big Smoke abandoning their family. But, up until Dutch in RDR2, I would have said that Tenpenny is my favorite character in just about any game, and now I think it's probably either Arthur or Dutch, but I also love almost all of the main cast of RDR2, I think they're all sooo well done and beyond almost anything else in any other game. There's only a few characters that I think should have more depth, Micah, for instance... He's just a dead give-away as a "bad guy" from the instant that you meet him.

Now... I get it... Rockstar games are generally structured this way, and it doesn't prevent me from still loving the original Red Dead Redemption, and still liking John, but I generally don't think John is a great character even though he's a very likeable character, I think when you really break down his motiviations and choices from RDR1 alone, I think John's character is just one sided and kind of weak. He's a good example of how to do a bland character and still make that character very likeable. I also think that Red Dead Redemption 2 does a good job of making John in RDR1 a little more .. understandable. BAsically everyone in RDR2 constantly talks about how dumb John is, and I sort of wonder if Rockstar ever really thought about how everyone takes advantage of John in RDR1 and decided to make that a characteristic of him in RDR2 now that you see John from another perspective.

John and Niko from GTAIV are very similar characters. They're playing 'fish out of water' characters for most of the game, and despite that they have this history of being cold blooded ruthless gangsters/outlaws (Niko: "I've killed people... I've hustled people..."), they can get easily taken advantage of by, say, a necrophiliac grave robber or a steroid-junkie dumbass weight lifter, and ultimately there's not a strong motivating bad guy in either story (RDR1 is better at this than GTAIV for sure). Rockstar fell down a similar pit with Michael, Franklin, and Trevor in GTAV. I think Trevor has authentic motivations throughout most of the game, but Michael in particular, gets conned and hustled by characters who just aren't convincing like his FBI buddy, or the other head of the FBI, or all of these other kind of low-level losers; Franklin makes a little more sense, he is just in the pursuit of his vision of the American dream, which makes sense for him to go along.

I was so pleased with Red Dead Redemption II, and it's a total about-face for Rockstar. Since GTA:SA, they really missed the mark with character motivations for almost 15 years, and despite that I still really liked RDR1 and GTAV (I didn't really like GTAIV, and I'm critical of it now, though I enjoyed playing it for most of the game at the time), Red Dead Redemption II has really surpassed anything they've done before and, IMO, anything that any gave developer has ever done.

Excellent post all around, but I specifically want to comment on this bit. Our media is filled with stories of "protagonists" who are, frankly, evil people. And we view their stories from their perspective and see how the battle between the desire to do good and the nature of evil plays out within them. I was having trouble thinking of examples when I read the post you were responding to, but mob movies/tv is a great example. I'd also offer Breaking Bad; Walter White is the character we're meant to root for, but we also see him descend into a path that renders him almost irredeemably evil by the end. You've also got movies like Heat, where DeNiro plays a criminal who is softened in the audience's eyes because of his desire to be a "just" person; meanwhile, Al Pacino's detective is a deeply flawed individual who is ostensibly the good guy, and yet we don't necessarily want to see him win. The dichotomy between good and evil is a battle we see played out in iconic characters like Han Solo, or Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, or even Robin Hood (committing an evil act to benefit deserving people). The nature of individuals confronting this battle within themselves dates back to at least Odysseus, and probably long before that.
Yeah, totally agreed on Walter White.

Mobster and 'true-crime' movies are probably the easiest to find similar characters. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is another one, and RDR2 takes a lot of nods from Butch Cassidy as well (I mean, one scene in the game is near 100% replication of it, and I love that they did it... I just wish they said "ohhhh shiittttt" going down). Butch & Sundance are both more likeable and you never see them do anything genuinely evil in the movie, it's all mostly hijinx, two-bit bankrobbing, and I suppose general emotional abuse with their shared love interest, where as you watch Arthur, Dutch, and the gang do genuinely bad things to innocent people. Stringer Bell from the Wire is another, a guy who you can't help but root for despite that he's involved in really bad things, he does things that makes him a bad guy, but it's hard to not sympathize with him in some way.
 
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Dragon's Game

Member
Apr 1, 2019
1,302
the question is.....

will Dan Houser revert back to the silliness of GTA 5 after this game for GTA 6? or will he continue to build on what he accomplished with Arthur and RDR 2?