Red Dead Redemption 2 is the biggest example ever in the old ways to build video games. It is based…
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the biggest example ever in the old ways to build video games. It is based on the Rockstar Foundation, but it does nothing to shake up or question the underlying elements. I think it’s the best game that the developer has ever done, but it achieves it because it’s also the “most game” Rockstar has ever done.
I enjoy Red Dead Redemption 2 (it is also the dean who wrote our review), but it is also often disappointing. I was expecting something else. And I’m not talking about better controls – even if I’d love it. What I mean is that I thought Rockstar would build a world that would react to players. But instead, the studio built an astronomical number of static scriptures. And while impressive, I can not help Red Dead Redemption 2 be stuck in the past.
Rockstar also picks up realism and tries to give the players choice without building the systems that would really do that work.
Early in Red Dead Redemption 2, you and your gang descend a rival band of convictions. After the end of the shot, Dutchman ̵
1; your leader – you order to rob a nearby home. So you guide Arthur Morgan, the hero of the game, over to some boxes that look promising … and the game stops so Morgan can slowly open each box one by one. When you find an item you can take pick it up slowly and carefully. You’re the same with everything else you find in the same box.
It’s a painfully hard process, but worse – that’s not how I’m looking through boxes.
I get what Rockstar is doing with this. The search animation Morgan does not seem like a stiff robot like in many other games. But as the person controlling Morgan, none of this feels lively to me.
When I look for my keys or something, it’s a messy process where I move things like two hands. And it’s in my own home. If I plundered a hook in the middle of the mountains after killing a lot of rival gang members, I will not slowly hold up a packet of cigarettes as it is a lot of precious possession. I will tear the boxes out and touch them and look for something valuable.
The problem is that the more animations you add a character, the more I will notice when it does not match my experience. I think that’s why Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey does not even try to animate many such kinds of actions.
To be clear, my problem here is not that it’s sad to search through things is boring. It is. But the question is that it does not even achieve what Rockstar thinks it achieves. This is not realistic.
And you are always seeing the division of realism. This is especially noticeable regarding the player’s choice. Red Dead gives you more options than ever, and yet it always suits me.
Interactions with animals and humans are an important source of the player’s choice in Red Dead Redemption 2. One of the most impressive features is that you can lock on living things without pulling out the gun on them. You can either choose to greet someone, counter them or shoot them. I like this system in theory, but it does not give you many more options for approaching the world. And it makes me realize all things I can not do.
Sure, I can counter someone until they want to fight me, but I can not heal them until they want to go with me. At least I can not get through the first 20 hours. I can rob them, but I can not mutter them, fool them to do tasks for me, or cause them to cause a distraction by lying to them.
Many things that Rockstar has added to the game is very cool. It’s amazing that I have the ability to hijack a train, kill all the guards and then tear off the passengers one by one. But then why can not I also set the engine to top speed before jumping on my horse so that the authorities must try to stop a running train?
The choice of paradox is that the more options you give a player, the more they will notice they can not do certain things. And it’s not just big things. For example, Red Dead Redemption 2 has locked doors that you can not open no matter what. You have all this choice, but Rockstar will decide for you which doors are working and who do not. And many windows in the game are indestructible. So if you rob a place and want to break out the back window, chances are you can not.
To be clear, I do not necessarily say, “Rockstar would have added this or that.” But it’s impossible to ignore the things you can not do in a game where you can do so many things.
The paradox is the worst when you get to the main business assignments. Rockstar has built these events to play in very specific ways, and your job is to review these movements.
This is especially frustrating when you get to a scene where one of your coworkers rattles in a prison waiting for his execution. I expected the freedom to approach this problem, but I wanted it, but it was not allowed.
The reason why Red Dead Redemption 2 is disappointing and has all of these problems with intuitive design and choice is that it’s not a system-driven game. It has some systems, but the thing that drives this world is Rockstar’s authentic design.
I’ve seen many people compare Red Dead Redemption 2 to HBO sci-fi drama West World . And while I know it fits to even show that performance in relation to Red Dead Redemption 2, I think it’s important to note that this game is nothing like West World .
Both are intricate ghosts with written stories, but that’s not why people go to the West World theme park. They go to it because they can affect it. Robot signs that make up the ride have deep systems that respond and respond to the players’ decision. This allows unique experiences to come from the written stories.
Red Dead Redemption 2 does not.
Red Dead is an animatronic show. The characters stand on stage to dance and sing at specific times for your entertainment, but Rockstar limits your participation to push any buttons that lead to specific results.
You are the audience. You are not really a participant. And Rockstar constantly reminds you that you exist to witness the things it has created. Morgan can not run through the camp because you may miss something. Also in the camp, other characters will have plenty of lines, and they will recognize your existence, but you can not really say much back to them. They will do their thing, and you can not do anything to control it.
The good news here is that the show that these characters put on is excellent. By far the best part of this game is the actor and writer. And that’s one of the reasons I still like what I’m playing. In addition, Rockstar has built so much game that, even if you are just a tourist, you will earn your money.
My disappointment with Red Dead Redemption 2 has everything to do with my expectations. I thought Rockstar would define the future of games with this, and I do not think it did. This is still the same game as always. And it’s no different than something like a Watch Dogs 2 or The Witcher III.
I’ve done well not to mention Zelda’s legend: Breath of the Wild to this point, so I’ll reward myself by doing it now.
Breath of the Wild built the Nintendo system and a world that serves as the basis for everything else in that game. It is always consistent and fair. If you stand out in a lightstorm with metal on, you can get electrocuted. But if you throw a metal weapon by an enemy, they can be electro-cut instead.
And everything in Breath of the Wild serves to give your experiment with these systems. When the world pushes back – as it does with rain or super hard enemies – the game invites you to retreat or become creative.
Red Dead lacks these systems. Everything in that game is to earn you more authored content. And when the game picks back on the player, it makes you stop and watch more of that content.
I think Zelda is closer to how developers will make games in the future. That said, I’m sure Red Dead will sell well. And people seem to love it. So maybe I’m wrong. But I hope not.