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My Journey With Red Dead Redemption II: Day 1

Day 1 of Red Dead Redemption 2, talking about first impressions in a bullet point list, with pros and cons

Tucker Wolfson, Blogger

July 22, 2019

7 Min Read

Day 1

May 31, 2019

Chapter 1


  • Took a hostage, dumped him on the campfire as a joke, and he burned and I failed the mission

    • I thought it was hilarious at first, but then I had to redo chasing him, but it did teach me that I could do things much faster on repeat playthroughs

    • Rockstar has really thought of anything you can do, and has planned accordingly

  • The cover system is a little clunky, with Arthur walking over to cover and then putting his back behind it, at least out of combat it feels weird

  • The first person mode controls better, but it feels like an insult to the animators who spent so much time animating Arthur

    • I tried the cinematic camera once, and it was terrible. I’m sticking with mid-third-person camera right now, because I want to respect the animators and modelers who put years of their lives into Arthur

    • The game generally feels a little slow, with the picking up, searching, and movement feeling a little slow and sluggish

  • The combat feels good, and the cover system works okay for it

    • I’m not sure how Dead-Eye works yet, I’ll work on it

  • The visuals are utterly fantastic, and even not running it in 4K or anything, the snow effects really got me the most - the way that the snow falls is mesmerizing

  • The controls are a little awkward right now, retrieving stuff from horses, and even things like crouching are annoying and hard to figure out

    • There is no controls menu in the options, just things like FOV and Head Bob

  • In the beginning, when I was told to hide behind a barn, I misunderstood the game and thought it was trying to tell me to hide in the full barn, when it actually wanted me to hide in the snow near a destroyed barn - though this could definitely be a fault of my own, Rockstar should explain objectives carefully to avoid confusion.

  • Running is a little awkward, holding a button to run can work in games like The Last of Us, where stealth and staying quiet is an integral part of the experience, however running should just be automatic for the more bombastic action of Red Dead II

  • I’ve only experienced the “Rockstar Lasso” once so far

    • Right before I found the detonated explosives and took them, we cleared out a camp of enemies

    • I was then told that more enemies were coming from the woods, which in itself was not very helpful because there were woods all around us

    • I thought, “Okay, I’ll climb up the tower and take them out there, where they can’t hit me easily,” and the game then killed Micah, failing the mission

  • I’m really impressed with the modeling and animation in Arthur. The way he moves around in cutscenes and gameplay is amazing, and near-realistic

    • However, some of the character model’s faces look a little waxy, with large eyes

      • Dutch looks a little waxy with his red cheeks. That might be intentional, because it’s so cold, but I don’t think it looks good

  • The story is okay right now, but nothing is really happening. I’m kind of getting Dutch’s philosophy, with him having to look after his gang as a family while also trying to get revenge, but I don’t understand Arthur’s motivation yet. I’ll probably figure that out later. 

  • Overall, the game feels slow, both in movement and gameplay, but also in story. I expected it to be that way, but wow. Cutscenes, while to-the-point, are so common that I’ve probably spent more time currently watching than playing. Hopefully it will pick up after winter, as it’s still tutorializing mechanics

  • The voice acting is really good, but they all kind of have the same drawl accent, which is realistic, but not necessarily distinct. Sometimes for in-game horse riding and such, I can’t tell who’s talking

  • Horse riding is a little repetitive, and a little hard to control. The lock on feels finicky, with non-noticeable voice prompts, and having to hold A instead of auto-riding seems like a mistake to me

    • Also, retrieving weaponry from horses feels a little awkward and clunky to navigate. Having to hold the trigger to cycle through should really just be a press thing, because it leaves one finger occupied, while you have to fiddle with the menus

    • Aiming on horses is weird too, especially shooting behind your horse at enemies, because you can’t see where the horse is going, and your reticle keeps bobbing around

  • Maybe it’s just the snow, but the horses feel a little slow currently. Might need to upgrade, or maybe weather really does affect them

  • The guns are pretty good so far. They all have a nice, distinct look. I really like the rifle currently, as well as the sawed-off shotgun

    • The lasso is really fun to see, ragdolling enemies and then tying them up is fun

  • I don’t like how you have to follow the mini-map to realistically get back to your base. A game always gets bonus points from me if they can guide the player without markers and dotted lines

  • Taking each individual item is tedious and slow. It blurs the line from realism to just plain boring and stupid

  • I love how the game comes with a physical map showing the world. It’s a really fun touch

  • The story is interesting, and I still want to see what happens with the train. I don’t really remember any characters but Arthur and Dutch, and the only other names I know are Micah (because he got killed and I had to restart the mission), and Kieran Duffy (because I kidnapped him and brought him back to my base. And had to do it again)

  • The hand-to-hand combat feels a little stiff, though I’ve only had to do it once. I prefer the gun combat

  • I don’t really like that I have to retrieve my hat. I also wish you could pick up enemy’s hats to replace yours

  • Making tactical decisions for the gang is cool, but it really doesn’t seem to affect anything right now. We’ll see about if it does

  • The eating and drinking hasn’t really affected me much, along with the clothing system and weapon degradation system - we'll see how those system are implemented

  • There was one visual glitch in the first-person mode crawling, where you could see through the rock face

  • The UI is really clean and stylish, initially. There’s just so much to do in the menus that navigating can be a bit of an issue

  • I turned off objective text. I find it distracting

  • The start-up loading screen is really long, but that might not be a fault of the games, and more on my hardware

  • I really enjoy the Wild-West aesthetic, more than I initially thought I would. The red and tan really make the game feel old, and all of the weapon models, UI, and environments all feel like they came out of a Western film

    • I do wish they added a sepia tone filter. It would make the game even more visually unique than just good graphics, and a little less AAA, focussed more on artistry than graphical fidelity




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