Red Dead Redemption 2 Catch-All

“Reverse the grapple” by pressing circle.

Press, press, press...

Nope, off the train I go.

“Reverse the grapple” - how?

Press, press, press, press...

Over the side again.

“Reverse the grapple” - *googles a video of it, 4 presses*

Press, press, press, press...

Over the side again.

“Skip checkpoint?”

You know the gameplay is good when they have to give you an option to skip over it because it is obtusely explained.

I have patience for maybe 3 more things like this.

Blind_Evil wrote:

“Reverse the grapple” by pressing circle.

Press, press, press...

Don’t mash circle. Hold it down.

Glad people enjoy it. I gave up in the end because I just wasn't having fun.

Higgledy wrote:

There has been a lot of effort put into to making games faster, more streamlined and generally less of a hassle to play which, over all, has been a good thing, especially for people who want very fast, frictionless gameplay. Playing Red Dead 2 showed me that some things were lost when everything became too quick and too easy. I was stunned by how much I adored the games slower pace and just how much I had missed that kind of experience (I also fully understand why people find it to be a massive negative.)

After realising how much I enjoyed Red Dead enforced pacing I thought back to older games I adored and realised that many of them were of the slow, deliberate, possibly even ponderous, variety.

Really well put. I'm in this camp. (hah!)

In a way, this scratched the same itch as sim games for me. Something about going through the details of doing specific actions.

RawkGWJ wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:

“Reverse the grapple” by pressing circle.

Press, press, press...

Don’t mash circle. Hold it down.

Tried that and it didn’t work either. Google results said to push the button rhythmically. I tried 12 times before skipping it, different patterns. Whatever.

The game should have explained it better, or executed it better.

I’m just starting at the first camp now, unsure what to do and where to go. I killed a deer and sold it at the nearby town for cash, then stumbled onto a quest about a drunken priest. I see potential as an adventuring and exploring game, so I’m continuing for now. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who cares much about the “feel” of a game though.

kborom wrote:

Only a few hours in myself and know how you feel. Also the controls which aren’t user friendly at all - I just hope they gel at some point. Do I press or hold, loads of different keys where E would have worked, different keys for the same activity at different places - hope I’ve got that wrong but that is what it feels like. Just slows everything down and breaks immersion.

Yet the feel of the game, Arthur, exploring, fighting etc is lovely and is keeping me going.

Yes! The controls are awful. You know they are awful because of the vast, number of videos showing the player doing stupid things because in one context a button push means Y action and in another context it means X action - like accidentally punching your horse or shooting someone when you mean to talk to them.

It is crappy, just plain crappy. Which is too bad because so much else - like almost everything - is wonderful

Spikeout’s hoping for a rationalisation of the controls in a next gen/now current gen version. That would be brilliant but I’m not sure Rockstar will do it.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I see potential as an adventuring and exploring game, so I’m continuing for now. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who cares much about the “feel” of a game though.

The feel of RDR2 is quite deliberate I think.

I’ve played it enough that the controls are second nature for me. It really makes a difference when you get that muscle memory happening.

I can’t get clean kills on snakes and it’s driving me nuts.

farley3k wrote:

like accidentally punching your horse

I keep telling Horseradish that it's an accident, I swear. But after the 12th time, I think he no longer believes me.

And, yes, I've been kicked to death by my horse, one of the ~20 different ways I've died in this game.

Punching your horse sounds like a euphemism for masturbation.

I didn’t expect to care about Arthur and the rest of the characters as much as I do as this game slowly comes to a conclusion. It’s breaking my heart.

RawkGWJ wrote:

I didn’t expect to care about Arthur and the rest of the characters as much as I do as this game slowly comes to a conclusion. It’s breaking my heart.

Agreed, even as I went into RDR2 understanding that, as a prequel to RDR and I know how that ends, this whole game

Spoiler:

was gonna be a tragedy.

I truly enjoyed my time with Arthur and I think Roger Clark did amazing voice work for him, as well as the rest of the cast.

Spoiler:

The conversation at the remote train station with the nun was a stand out moment to me.

I adore this fan tribute to Arthur. Don’t watch it unless you’ve finished the game.

Higgledy wrote:
Spoiler:

The conversation at the remote train station with the nun was a stand out moment to me.

Spoiler:

Oh, the delivery of "I'm afraid" and how they got Arthur's facial animations to match is some of the best stuff I think a game has ever done.

Thank you for posting that film, Higgledy.

In the two-and-a-bit years since RDR2's release, I had started to forge just how big an emotional punch the game packed (and just how sumptuous it looked in parts). It really was and is an effing masterpiece!

Spoiler:

Seeing again, Arthur's quiet death. Alone, but not lonely. Finally at peace as the Sun rises...

I don't have the words to explain how that made me feel then and how it still makes me feel now.

My Arthur did the...

Spoiler:

farewell tour of all of the big side characters - like the photographer, Albert Mason.

I found those scenes incredibly touching too.

The other moment that really stood out, of course, was...

Spoiler:

Arthur saying goodbye to his horse at the end.

That was so simple. So beautiful. So 'in character'. So right.

Bloody hell, Red Dead Redemption 2 is good. I feel privileged to have been able to experience it when it was released. What a gamer's Christmas that was for me. I don't think I'll ever have a better one.

Spoiler:

The horse. Dear God. I died, myself.

I’m in the epilogue now. Why am I taking so long? For me, skipping the side quests is out of the question. I don’t regret it either. Many of the side quest strings are better than the main story quests. They help to humanize the entire game.

I want to play an alternate cut where...
(fan-fic stuff ahead)

Spoiler:

John gets TB instead of Arthur. John and Arthur are best friends rather than rivals. Arthur learns all of the same life lessons from helping John as John struggles with the illness and the gang politics.

John dies. Arthur lives. Abigail and Sadie fall in love. John, Abigail, Sadie, Arthur and Jack buy a ranch with Dutch’s treasure. Mary joins them on the ranch. Mary and Arthur get married. The ranch is a financial success. Karen and Pearson join them on the ranch, get sober, fall in love with each other and get married. Tilly comes to live on the ranch.

Willy Nelson shows up and plays a benefit concert. The proceeds are used to start a campaign to legalize recreational marijuana. The friends pivot their ranch to grow marijuana crops. They all become extremely wealthy. Unicorns ride rainbows which stretch and arch over the pot farm. Jesus appears and rolls a giant spliff to share with everyone. Black bears, brown bears, and polar bears dance together with garlands of fresh herbs in their hair.

to be continued

I felt the same, RawkGWJ. There is so much to surprise and delight the player when you're away from the main story. I decided to do the treasure hunts once I got to the Epilogue, and I was astonished to discover a whole cave system in the game.

I would imagine that most players would never come across it. But Rockstar still put it in anyway.

It's a sense of fun that I find almost entirely absent from the open world games that Ubisoft puts out. Those worlds always feel very functional. There never seems to be anything in those games just... because.

detroit20 wrote:

It's a sense of fun that I find almost entirely absent from the open world games that Ubisoft puts out. Those worlds always feel very functional. There never seems to be anything in those games just... because.

Yes. And it’s something that was missing from GTAV. Or perhaps I just failed to find that sense of fun in GTAV. Not that it wasn’t fun, but roaming the world yielded few hidden surprises. At least not to the same degree as RDR2.

I feel like GTAIV had a lot of hidden details which made exploring every inch of the map rewarding. But RDR2 has still got it beat in that department.

I’m dying to play Octopath Traveler (included in game pass) but I can’t tear myself away from RDR2. It’s just so good.

RawkGWJ wrote:
detroit20 wrote:

It's a sense of fun that I find almost entirely absent from the open world games that Ubisoft puts out. Those worlds always feel very functional. There never seems to be anything in those games just... because.

Yes. And it’s something that was missing from GTAV. Or perhaps I just failed to find that sense of fun in GTAV. Not that it wasn’t fun, but roaming the world yielded few hidden surprises. At least not to the same degree as RDR2.

I feel like GTAIV had a lot of hidden details which made exploring every inch of the map rewarding. But RDR2 has still got it beat in that department.

I agree with your comments about GTA, but I wonder whether that is simply a function of having to create a modern, urban environment based on a real city. It's probably difficult to indulge a designers flights of fancy in the same way as in a fictional, rural environment set in the past.

Certainly, I thought GTA V's world was more interesting outside of the city. Wasn't there a load of content set on, and in, the ocean, for example?

I agree also that GTA IV presented a more intricate and intimate portrait of a city. But my memory was that there a lot fewer frivolous things to do.

Part of the problem for all city-based open world games are the interiors. There are never really enough of them. It's quite jarring sometimes to discover what you can and can't enter and explore. Cyberpunk 2077 is a good example of this. A city of largely locked doors doesn't really encourage exploration or support playful design choices. As a result, explorable locations are almost always linked to missions or buying new items.

Whereas in RDR2, I never felt constrained in this way. There were so few large towns and cities that pretty much most buildings permitted some form of exploration.

detroit20 wrote:

I agree with your comments about GTA, but I wonder whether that is simply a function of having to create a modern, urban environment based on a real city. It's probably difficult to indulge a designers flights of fancy in the same way as in a fictional, rural environment set in the past.

Certainly, I thought GTA V's world was more interesting outside of the city. Wasn't there a load of content set on, and in, the ocean, for example?

Jeez! If that’s true about the ocean exploration then it went over my head entirely.

Part of the problem for all city-based open world games are the interiors. There are never really enough of them. It's quite jarring sometimes to discover what you can and can't enter and explore. Cyberpunk 2077 is a good example of this. A city of largely locked doors doesn't really encourage exploration or support playful design choices. As a result, explorable locations are almost always linked to missions or buying new items.

Yeah. Reminds me of GTA: Vice City. There are about a thousand houses and buildings and only a handful of them that you can enter. There is this one nondescript apartment in a slummy section that you can enter. Not highlighted. Total Easter egg. If you go inside, there’s a murder scene from Scarface. Or was it Dog Day Afternoon? I forget.

To your point about primitive, rural, and wilderness areas being easier to create than modern urban ones, this has got to be the biggest reason that Rockstar was able to pack RDR2 with so much more detail. There are lots of assets being recycled in RDR2 but it’s almost never noticeable. Just yesterday, I saw the same rotting tree stumps right next to each other. They were identical. It was jarring and took me out of the game for a second. The important thing to note here is that after several hundred game hours, that’s the first time I noticed something like that. Obviously not the only time I’ve looked at the same assets, but the only time that it jarred me out of my suspension of disbelief.

There are also lots of landscape details that have been reused. In particular, there are dry water washouts that look identical, but in real life they also look identical. That’s just what it looks like when rain water cuts through a muddy embankment and then dries up.

I am trying to play again because I have a bit of a lull until the Mass Effect remaster comes out and it is so clear from the get go that I have to think of this as an adventure game instead of an action game.

In the first area (snowy house) you are told to hold X to open the cupboards in the house but then when you go to the barn you have to hold Y to open the barn door. So different buttons for different types of things you are opening.

Then in the barn I get my gun and hat. I walk to my hat - hold X to pick it up. I walk to my gun and hold X because that is what the game explicitly taught me was the button for pickup...no it is LB to pick up my gun. So picking things up is done with different buttons based on the type of thing you are picking up.

Why did they spend so much money on graphics, so much on story, so much on voice actors but then just hire my blind cousin Lenny for the User Interface?

I’d imagine a blind UX designer would spend a lot more time and effort on consistency and intuitiveness, given how important these things are for accessible interfaces. Can’t count the number of times I shot my horse while trying to get on the poor thing, among many other confusing button mixups.

I’ve not looked recently, have they patched in remappable controls yet?

The control scheme is total bat sh*t.

Personally, I never remapped the buttons and I’m pretty sure that’s not an option. What I did was embrace the suck. It took a long time to get muscle memory on those controls, but once I did, the game became infinitely less frustrating and more enjoyable.

Not sure if this will help, but here’s my take on the controls.

Holding Y opens things
Holding X interacts with things
Left shoulder picks weapons (possibly other things too) up off the ground

Right shoulder - if there are multiple items on the ground, this cycles through those items. Example: there is a dead body, two guns and a hat at your feet. It might prompt you to hit left shoulder to pick up or swap that weapon. If you hit right shoulder, it might cycle to the hat, then prompt you to hold X to pick it up. Hit right shoulder again, prompts you to hold X to pick up the body.

Here’s a move you should memorize and get quick at: hold left shoulder, move right stick to the right, release left shoulder. This holsters all your weapons. Just think of this as role playing the part of a gun toting citizen. You don’t want your weapons drawn unless it’s time to get loco up in this place.

With no weapons drawn you can hold left trigger and tap X to make friendly conversation with NPCs. This raises your reputation a little every time you do it.

Here’s one more move you should get quick at: hold left shoulder, tap right shoulder, move right stick to the right, release left shoulder. This equips your binoculars. They are useful for identifying and studying all the different animal species. While you have an animal in your sights, tap right shoulder. This will bring up a small blurb on the critter which tells you what weapon to use for a perfect kill. This practice will save you the frustration of ruining all of the 3 star pelts you might want to collect.

This game has systems upon systems inside of systems, but unlike your typical RPG, the systems can’t easily be organized into a mental spread sheet. IMO, RDR2 is more like an action RPG, than any thing else I might compare it to. It’s more about the relationships of the characters than anything else. It’s about people taking care of people. If you embrace that idea I think you will more easily find the joy in this game.

Oh, I loved the game regardless, still do. But I was agreeing with farley3k (and yourself) how bonkers the control scheme is. The odd thing is that many of the decisions seem fairly arbitrary or departing from fairly established standards common in other games, just to be different.

RawkGWJ wrote:

IMO, RDR2 is more like an action RPG, than any thing else I might compare it to. It’s more about the relationships of the characters than anything else. It’s about people taking care of people. If you embrace that idea I think you will more easily find the joy in this game.

I am seeing it as an adventure game with a bit of action more than an RPG. Like Sam&Max, or the Gabriel Knight games of old the controls are clunky and silly but the story is what matters.

The more you buy-in on an emotional level, the better your experience will be.

RawkGWJ wrote:

The control scheme is total bat sh*t.

Personally, I never remapped the buttons and I’m pretty sure that’s not an option. What I did was embrace the suck. It took a long time to get muscle memory on those controls, but once I did, the game became infinitely less frustrating and more enjoyable.

I didn't have too many issues with the controls, but I can understand entirely why other people did/do. A few buttons are made to do an awful lot of work.

But I'd argue that this has become a problem for all the modern action/adventure games, particularly the open world ones. I'm struggling to think of any games that don't use every button on the modern controller. And, of course, some use them more than once, depending on context

From memory, in Cyberpunk in the space of twenty seconds you might use Triangle to: (1) draw your weapon, (2) cycle through your weapon options, and (3) pick up a body.

Of course, the implementation is better in some games than others.

At 50, I'm old enough to get misty-eyed about the simplicity of, say, Madden '96. A d-pad and three buttons. The last time I bought a Madden was 2001, and it took me a very long time to become fully comfortable with the controls.

I don't know what the answer is. If we continue to demand/buy ever more complex games, then this problem will only get worse. Only this week on the Elite:Dangerous thread, I was asking whether console players would need to switch from HOTAS to controller when moving from flying to FPSing in the Odyssey expansion.