Surprisingly, RDR 2 turned out to have a slow pace of play.
In contrast to many open-world games, including even GTA, which moves fast, cuts the animation process for various activities such as booting and harvesting things for example to allow gamers to do everything quickly and precisely, Rockstar Games positions Red Dead Redemption 2 in the direction vice versa. He surprisingly appeared as an open-world game at a slow pace. There is animation for everything, there is a distance that you have to travel to just move to where you want, there is an inventory management that you have to arrange with your horse. There are many “hassles” which in other open-game worlds might end up being cursed. But for Red Dead Redemption 2, all of these things move slowly to form a clear playing experience – a sensation of the real western world.
That the pace of a slow game with the distance of a fast travel icon that is far from each other or just an animation of skinning a game that cannot be passed by just like that might sound annoying. But once it is integrated with everything that Rockstar wants to offer here, it seems to reinforce the sensation that the life you are living here is the life of an supposed Arthur Morgan – the cowboy who happens to be the Dutch right hand. It is not just an open-world game that focuses on shooting action or running from one mission to another to be completed. The distance and time you need to spend on the road will strengthen your sense of appreciation in the world that you want to offer RDR 2. Not only from the visual or cinematic side, but also the lives of the NPCs, the busyness, and interactions that can arise from being robbed by Bandits to find other random events.
It’s hard to imagine that your sense of pleasure in tasting RDR 2 will be maximal if everything goes fast for example, like what Ubisoft did with AC Odyssey, which the process of looting and skinning is without animation. If you take a similar process, RDR 2 will not feel as realistic as Rockstar wants or what you feel immediately. Slow motion such as movement in the camp makes you have more time to see and pay attention to what’s happening around you, especially from existing NPC interactions. Through it, you can see how the NPCs talk, sometimes have conflicts following the story, or just relax together. This makes the world of RDR 2 feel more alive. You can sometimes even react and interfere for whatever happens. Now imagine how immersive the world and Arthur Morgan’s story would be if you could do fast travel as quickly as possible on the closest icon, skipping all these little details.
The good news? As we discussed earlier, Rockstar offers enough content to “accompany” you while enjoying the pace of slow gameplay, especially on the travel side. There are many random moments that will offer the opportunity to gain Moral Points by helping NPCs who suddenly ask for help, for example, being bitten by a snake or maybe being robbed by other bandits. Sometimes you find camp smoke soaring in the sky and your curiosity to visit them can lead to interaction, peace or aggression, which can lead to certain rewards. You can sometimes find a valuable Wagon or maybe a train that is “stranded” in the middle of the rail, which can end up tickling your instincts as a robber. There are lots of Red Dead Redemption 2 shining moments that actually flow from this slow pace.
Cool again? Sometimes the consequences of your actions not only reward you Moral Points. There are certain consequences that can arise depending on the choices you make. One of our favorites? Find someone who is cheering for help and dying because of a poisonous snake bite. On behalf of our conscience we help by giving it a Health Tonic that can neutralize the poison instantly. The NPC thanked you and we went with extra positive Moral Points as an award. But who would have thought that this “story” of the NPC did not stop there. The same NPC suddenly called us on a stop in the city and thanked him for the incident the other day. Instead, he is ready to pay for one of the items we choose, free from the nearest weapons shop. A “random story cover” that is satisfying in our eyes. Imagine if RDR 2 has a fast travel system that is close to each other or you can access it whenever you want. Will you be able to enjoy this moment?
This slow pace also provides space for Rockstar to inject a unique mechanism related to the relationship between Arthur and the horse (whose name is free for you to set yourself). Instead of making it as a mode of transportation that only takes you from point A to point B, there is a new layer of gameplay here. To make it feel personal, Rockstar injects a system of relations between Arthur and the horse that will grow along with the frequency that you take him to drive while taking care of him with extra food and caresses. The higher the level of your relationship, the more responsive the horse is to your call and the higher your trust in staying calm when you shoot. A high level of relationship also allows a variety of new actions to be executed.
The importance of horses here is designed to be slow but sure, to build an emotional connection with you as Arthur Morgan. Given that if they end up dead, you will end up trying to build closeness again from the start with a new horse. There will be encouragement to continue to maintain and ensure that they remain healthy and excellent as possible. Moreover, two of your heavy weapons slots, both from the Repeater, Rifle, or Shotgun groups will be stored in horses and you cannot carry them at will. Unfortunately, this is also a source of annoying problems where Arthur has an animation to save both of these weapons on horses automatically. Situations that sometimes make you suddenly take you into the main or side story battle with only armed Revolvers.
The slow pace offered by Red Dead Redemption 2 may not feel suitable for many gamers’ tastes, even for those who are classified as “Veteran” open-world games. But for those who understand, understand, and explore the reasons why designs like this are taken, there is a certain sense of appreciation there. Without such a pace and the effort to simulate Arthur Morgan’s life as well and as realistic as possible, there will be no appreciation of all the world details, interactions, and any content that Rockstar Games injects in it. Encourage it in the style of AC: Odyssey, for example, actually injures the sensation of playing it should.
It is impossible to talk about Red Dead Redemption 2 without talking about the story he is carrying out. The story that according to us deserves a separate portion of the discussion without having to write spoilers of course. Character growth, of course, does not end with just the fact that Arthur’s hair and beard can extend and then you cut to a certain style.
As you already know, RDR 2 is a prequel of RDR 1. For gamers who have tasted RDR 1 and explored John Marston’s interactions with Dutch Gang members he found there, you seem to have understood how the end of the Dutch Gang story in RDR 2 will happen. Some of you may be curious about the fate of Arthur Morgan and why John Marston never talked about it in RDR 1, or maybe wanted to see what really happened with John and Dutch. Not all of these conditions will get an explicit answer indeed, but you will get the red thread you have been searching for.
With 100 hours / week for the script writing process, Rockstar Games deserves to be praised for the way they mix the Red Dead Redemption 2 story. It does not carry the GTA V three-character system for a variety of stories. You only meet Arthur Morgan as the only main protagonist in the main story. But what is offered here is character development that even exceeds a large budget action film. That every character you find in RDR 2 is not just a one-dimensional character. There is so much motivation, there are so many conflicts, there are so many situations that compel someone to make difficult decisions, there are many stories about loyalty, there are many stories about lies, and in the end – hypocrisy.
RDR 2 is indeed a story from the perspective of an Arthur Morgan. But the way that Rockstar Games mixes is to provide an opportunity for all the characters in Dutch Gang itself to have their own portion of the story, becoming a star for a different story. Good when you enjoy it in the main mission, side, or just an additional activity in the camp. Finding an open-world game that gives a large portion of side characters like this to grow and develop more complex personalities as the game progresses is a fantastic experience. There is a sense of pride, happiness, fear, and strong emotional attachment when this happens. Especially on several occasions you are also given the opportunity to react and deal with the consequences.
From seeing a figure like Sadie Adler who grew up from just a housewife whose family ended up being slaughtered, becoming a woman outlaw who could stand up to defend herself. Making a criminal head hunt or Dutch Gang action becomes a “job” that he enjoys. Seeing him grow from a weak figure to being strong at the end is something that is touching and frightening at the same time. Or take the example of another such as the moneylender figure in the alley – Leopold Strauss who collects a large waste of loan money to support the life of the Dutch’s Gang itself. Asking you to collect money and interest from one victim to another will make you face a dilemma of moral situations. Such conditions make you develop a moral standard for Arthur indirectly, but also know the figure of Strauss on the same occasion. You will also be able to enjoy character development from the figure of John Marston himself before he grows into a person you know in Red Dead Redemption 1.
Another thing that deserves praise is the characterization of every character who feels human. That each of them is not just a human who stands if not in black, then in white. Many characters grow in gray areas with their own imperfections. That there are many reasons why their personalities change, their motivations are extracted, why moral values and what’s important are distorted from what you know at the beginning, and how you can see that shifting values like this results in intense conflict. Combined with quality voice acting, you will enjoy and believe that a similar situation can occur in the world. The characters you love at the beginning, you can end up not loving at the end.
With the duration of the game tens of hours which is of course longer than similar Hollywood films on the market, Rockstar Games has the advantage and opportunity to change and mix these growth and change characteristics as detailed as possible. Shift moves slowly, rationally, and is understandable considering there are no time limits like in theaters. Combined with the slow pace of the game, you will fall in love with how each character is presented and then moves dynamically like a human being should.