So now that Red Dead Redemption II is out and everyone is out being a cowboy I wanna discuss the pace of the game.
Being a rootin’ tootin’ cowboy is probably my favorite thing that I’ve done this year other than being a cool ass Monster Hunter. I have always loved the cowboy aesthetic and I absolutely adore the first Red Dead Redemption but even then I knew it had some issues. It had the choppiest frame rate known to man, the random encounters in the open world would repeat way too often and a lot of collectible tasks got so tedious that I didn’t bother doing them.
So how is it, that the sequel to this game double downs on being slower than molasses being dripped off the Empire State Building and yet I am absolutely captivated by it.
Well, one thing for sure is that it has a lot more to offer, let’s put aside the 100 hour work week meme aside and just note that the team absolutely busted their balls to get this much content in the game. Now, them adding this much in the game and working this hard being their choice or not is a topic for another article I’d still like to give them a shout for being absolute mad lads and pulling this game off.
A lot of why I can sink hours into this game without noticing is because something unique is always happening. I haven’t seen a random encounter while riding my horse that repeated yet, I always stop to hunt some animal, rob a stagecoach or a train. Attention to detail is one thing this game has and I’ll give it that, but if you get down to it, there is just so much fucking content.
I usually cannot stand games that essentially just make you hold up on the analog while you look at pretty graphics and expect you to get some kind of pleasure out of that. Now I’m not saying that RDRII is that in its entirety but it sure does have moments like that and they come up often enough that I can make a point of it. But everything about the game up till has not felt like a game but a simulator. I always said that I preferred Red Dead to GTA due to it being essentially an RPG with a heavy emphasis on role-playing. You get to choose what kind of cowboy you want to be and all that jazz. RDRII, on the other hand, is a cowboy role playing sim. Every single animation, detail, and thing you do is so meticulously made in a way that makes you feel the weight of everything you do and every step you take. That’s the attention to detail right there and that’s why the game feels so slow. People used to complain about how Red Dead Redemption’s skinning animation would take too long. Well, they’re probably well pissed since the skinning animation in RDRII is so gruesome, long and detailed that hunting is going to be the bane of their existence.
And some are extremely put off by that. Some people like their games to feel gamey and wish to throw realism out the window and I am part of that demographic for the most part.
But for me right now, Red Dead II is the game that I play to relax. I’m enjoying the story at my own pace, I’m hunting, helping strangers and doing things here and there and I’m completely lost in the world Rockstar has created. I was talking to a friend and he asked me what I had done that day in RDRII and I had to think to myself a bit because I know for a fact that I played about 2 hours of it that day. But what I did was… absolutely nothing. And I had a blast.
Of course, I’m not saying the game is perfect and all that. It definitely does have it’s boring moments in the story especially and the gunplay is less than stellar. But when I can just ride my horse, hunt some deer, mosey on in on a town and fleece some cunts in poker. I don’t think I need anything else.
Red Dead Redemption II is slow and boring. And it’s amazing.