Red Dead Redemption 2 doesn’t know how to handle realism

Luke Kemp writes: Like most people in possession of a PS4 or Xbone, I’m currently playing through Red Dead Redemption 2. That game has an incredible, generation-defining open world that is unlikely to be surpassed for at least a decade. It is also a fundamentally flawed experience. One does not preclude the other, nor does this fact mean RDR2 is anything less than amazing for many people who play it.

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ziggurcat32d ago

constantly having to eat/clean/maintain equipment/rest is more of an annoyance than it is offering any amount of realism to this game. I honestly think that that stuff should be an extra option you can toggle on/off if you wanted a bit more of a "challenge" while playing the game.

scruffy_bear32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

Yeah having the option would be the best option for everyone

Skull52132d ago

I think the game is just about perfect. I think the criticism comes from people who were wanting something else. I went in with the expectations that the game would be good, not how I thought it should play. I think the people not happy with the game are the Call of Duty crowd, people with little patience and a need for over the top action. The game is a masterpiece. It isn’t perfect, but it is damn close. I cleared my calendar to play this game, skipping every new game until probably February next year, I’m taking my time and it’s easily one of the best games I’ve ever played. Top 10 for sure.

neutralgamer199232d ago


You always jump to these conclusions almost all your comments are bashing someone or something

And don't even get me started on how you think anyone who likes physical media on games should be banned from playing games

There are a lot of actual non COD gamers who are probably bigger fans RDR2 with legit things the game could have done better its called having a difference of opinion

But to you either we all agree to how you think it feel gaming wise or we are not gamers. You spend enough time on this site defending all publishers and developers I don't even think you are a gamer

Dreamcatcher4532d ago

@ Skull

Come on man, you really think go fishing, petting cats and dogs, clean your weapon, camping, sleeping, eating, feeding your horse, chopping wood, shovel horse dung etc adds anything at all to the gameplay? It's just chores that makes the world more believable and that's it.

Skull52132d ago

Yeah I want the experience of being a cowboy outlaw, which wasn’t teleporting around the old west having constant gun fights.

rainslacker32d ago

I've often found that the people who like a game the most, are also the most capable of saying what it can do better with more specific examples of what the game comes up short on, and how they think it can be opposed to more vague reasons which could be pulled off of any general internet discussion about the game.

Unfortunately, nowadays, at least for some games, there is no middle ground, and you either love it unconditionally and its the best thing ever without a single flaw, or you're considered to be a hater.

JackBNimble31d ago

You don't have to do any of that. You make it seem like that is an essential part of game play when you can ignore pretty much all of that.
The eating is no different than taking health packs and you actually never need sleep.

Makes me wonder if you bitchers are even playing the game.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 31d ago
DrumBeat32d ago

But the act of doing this is nowhere near challenging, so the game would be better off without it, really. It seems like nuisance filler because that's what it is.

ziggurcat32d ago

hence why I put challenge in quotation marks. and you've nailed exactly what all of that is - a nuisance.

rainslacker32d ago

It's one of those things that makes for maybe one time in the game and its OK. Just to add a sense of realism. But when it's frequent, and having to do it when you'd rather be doing other things, it's bad design. Games should be varied, and have plenty to do if they're open world, but general every day chores or grooming oneself isn't what I want to do in games through the whole game. Heavy Rain you had to do this near the beginning after you woke up. I recall people said it was lame, even though I didn't mind that one time for tutorial reasons. But I guess doing it through the whole game adds to the realism.

In games like tomb Raider, I don't mind hunting to gain resources. But, I want to do it on my own time. I don't want to have to go through laborious acts to do that hunting. Realism is cool and all, but doing all this stuff in a virtual real time, is just not fun.

Nu32d ago

It's simple to fulfill these task from the weapon wheel. It takes getting used to but it's good that you have health potions they've saved my hide a few times.

b00mFargl332d ago

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like all the extra things are just optional. Besides cleaning a gun and bathing once in a blue moon. It's really nothing you HAVE to do. Just changes the gameplay slightly.

Count_Bakula32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

What's dumb, and maybe hypocritical, is it's not realism across the board. The article appropriately mentions "the world’s reaction to your crimes," but another example is that R* chose to make going to West Elizabeth while wanted DOA to be like GTA with infinite law spawns, and they know where you are no matter what. If they don't want us going down there early on, just do something else to deter us, or do what many games do and have a message pop up and turn the character around or something.

100% agree with the optional health care and whatnot. All it does is help every single person who got the game, instead of making it divisive.

rainslacker32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

There are plenty of things in this game that aren't actually very realistic.

Getting into a gun fight for the smallest slight to another person. being chased by the law for no apparent reason. Suddenly being OK with the law for no apparent reason. Frequently being accosted by thugs. Traveling great distances in a short amount of time, even though it still takes a while. The KKK existing during this time in their iconic white hoods, even though they were disbanded before this game took place, and didn't use the white hoods until well after this game took place. Your horse being a nuisance unless you pander to it constantly. Aiming like you are moving through a tub of molasses.

The realism in this game exists in the art and some of the interaction of the game, but the overall world isn't really all that realistic. I think some people just built it up in their heads that this is what realism is like, instead of looking at it more critically. I have no problem who find it enjoyable, but some people do take it to the extreme and aren't willing to see any negative aspects to the game, or find ways to defend it.

TheSaint32d ago

It's the stunted fast travel that is bugging me the most, sometimes you literally have to ride for ten minutes to get to an objective. A more robust fast travel (like the first game) would have made it far more enjoyable.

As is the fun bits are insanely fun but it takes too long to get to those parts.

Gatsu31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

The game is not meant to be rushed. It's an experience and should be enjoyed with the realism. I think it's perfect with all the things you said. I also think many of these are nitpicking. Something like equipment maintenance takes only about 5 seconds to do...and don't need to do it very often. I think many gamers are just lazy and want to rush through game worlds with everything made simple.

RDR2 is meant for those who want to live as a outlaw cowboy, but that's not for everyone I guess. You need a certain type of a mindset to truly appreciate everything what the game has and makes you do.

DrumBeat31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

I think you inadvertently highlighted what many of us perceive to be an issue with the article "everything made simple." There's no complexity in these menial tasks, like eating, or cleaning your guns. They're simple, and they're simply a bore. They're superfluous and superficial asides. They're depthless and dumb.

JackBNimble31d ago

But you're not constantly eating, cleaning or maintaining anything.
If your health, stamina or dead eye is low, you eat and it brings everything back up.
Yes your weapons degrade but so seldomly that you can go for a very long time between cleaning any gun.

People seem to want or need to nit pic this game to death for some reason.

DrumBeat31d ago

"People seem to want or need to nit pic this game to death for some reason."

That's what happens when something that's got plenty of flaws is lauded to high heaven. I recognize what makes the game great, but I also recognize what makes it not so great.

ziggurcat31d ago

"But you're not constantly eating, cleaning or maintaining anything."

Yes you are. Your cores drain pretty quickly, so you have to constantly eat, etc... and you're wrong about sleep. You need to sleep, too.

"Yes your weapons degrade but so seldomly..."

Also wrong. They degrade faster than you think, and unless you want to turn your gun into something that's as accurate or powerful as a carnival midway peashooter, you have to constantly oil your weapons. They even degraded when I wasn't even using them (water will ruin your guns, and the game doesn't even tell you that).

"People seem to want or need to nit pic this game to death for some reason."

I don't know if it's nitpicking - there are issues with the game that need to be addressed, including this. This micromanaging stuff is an unnecessary mechanic, and it's one of my most-hated mechanics in video games. If I want to spend a few days (of real time) focusing on hunting/gathering/the challenges, I should be able to do that without being constantly interrupted with taking lunch breaks/naps in the game.

JackBNimble31d ago

I am not wrong, I play the game everyday and I have finished it.
Yes your weapons degrade but not as fast as you are trying to make it out to be.
It takes all of 10 seconds to clean your weapon

yoshatabi31d ago

You do realize you don't have to do any of that right? I played the first few chapters without doing those things and I'm perfectly fine. The only thing you do need to do is eat. Which is the same as health packs technically. And these "chores" literally aren't that big of a deal.

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Arty8432d ago

Nah needs more realism add diseases for being dirty too long or sleeping with the wrong prostitute, broken limbs from falls and
have the character fall asleep if you dont rest

Quetzll32d ago

Diseases would be cool. My Arthur would definitely have lice by now. Especially in his beard. And the smell of his clothes would knock the horned tits off a devil whore, but these poker players don't seem to mind.

ClayRules201232d ago

“And the smell of his clothes would knock the horned tits off a devil whore” LOL. For real. I don’t care to give Arthur a bath or even go in water. He’s muddy & dirty most of the time (minus missions where they change you into nicer clothes etc... He’s also got a long beard and long hair.

DEEBO32d ago

You're not to far off but finish the game and you will see what I'm talking about.

Skankinruby32d ago

Phenomenal game. People wanted innovation and they got it, as well as the best script of any rockstar game to date. If you prefer the arcade style generic bullshit then don't waste your time, this game is too brilliant for you to appreciate.

King_Noctis32d ago

You are right. There are many arcade style open world games out there that people can pick and play. This game is for those looking for something different.

Baza32d ago

True, but the time it takes to do the “realism” activities is a little too much. It feels like a chore sometimes. I’d rather be spending more time doing the fun stuff. Quality of life update would go a long way. Maybe a mode you can turn on or off for a more realistic gameplay. It’s been done before!

CarlDechance31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

What are you considering to be "arcade style open world game"?

ClayRules201232d ago

I agree, in the sense that it’s the best script of any Rockstar game to date. I have no issue with people giving their opinions on the game & their issues with it, it’s all good. But the comments about cleaning your guns (to maintain them & keep them functioning properly) was talked about before the game released in articles, Along with eating. Essentially (if I’m not mistaken) much of the realism was detailed by Rockstar or game journalists, which got me personally excited. I get it, it’s not for everyone, and all who don’t like it, give your opinions. But many knew of those details, and are now upset with having to do those kinda things. I have a few complaints (on my 10th flipping horse) lol. Realism and cliffs/ledges have killed many of them. It’s annoying and I don’t like it at times, but I appreciate the more realistic approach.

rainslacker32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

Realistic would be a horse that doesn't let itself fall off a cliff. Horses won't go where they aren't comfortable.. They will throw their riders off a cliff before they would go over themselves. Accidents are different of course, but horses as finicky as the one's the character gets, aren't going to be that stable on dangerous terrain, and realism would dictate you wouldn't put yourself on a horse in a situation like that.

But I guess most people that talk about the realism of this game don't really know that guns don't need constant cleaning like in this game, or anything about horses.

Obviously a game often isn't completely accurate or realistic, and it shouldn't be expected, but I'd say in this case, that people are talking up how realistic it is, and saying its fun, when I'm saying that the more realistic a game gets, even if stylized, the less fun it gets.

Some of the videos of the horses are rather hilarious though. Like one that rams itself right into the side of a stopped train.


It's not too brilliant to appreciate. If you break down the games core mechanics it has many significant flaws. There's a fine line between immersive and annoying, and this game spends a good amount of time being annoying at the expense of aiming for immersion. I am really enjoying it, and I find it hilarious how so many people think they have a superior gaming IQ who don't agree that this game has flaws.

CarlDechance31d ago

I think it is hilarious that people like you try reduce anyone who doesn't find this game "brilliant" down to generic arcade fanatics. Innovation is great.....until it isn't fun. While you may be having a great time with a cowboy simulator, there are things that a lot of us want and don't want in a VIDEO GAME. I can pick out maybe three games in my entire library of 200 or so games that are simulators and about the same number of arcade games. There is a huge gap in between those that obviously you are not aware of.

DrumBeat31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

Right. We just don't "get it" do we? We're all uncultured, uneducated, slobs who can't appreciate Rockstar's brilliance. We don't understand that we're supposed to bring our steeds to a trot so we can 'sup' on Rockstar's fine wine of a creation, for if we move too hastily, we won't be able to "take it all in" like we're "supposed to."

Oh, and we only like twitch shooters.

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Elda32d ago

Guessing why the game is meh to me.

DevilHunterDante32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

Has an amazing narrative. But thanks for sharing your unpopular opinion.

neutralgamer199232d ago

Not so unpopular if you actually read comments from YouTube and other sites who have played the game

Even the reviewers are now pointing out things. It's one of the best game ever made but that doesn't mean there are things it couldn't improve via patches or future games. Just because someone brings up a negative point doesn't mean they opinion isn't valid. Where in the comment did he or she mentioned narrative? Most gamers have no issues with narrative its some of the other smaller things that should be fixed or improved

Elda32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

Unpopular to you but you're welcome!!

PrematuaProcrastin8a32d ago

Spoiler * Rdr2 is the best game I have played on any platform for many years. The ending to the main story was a gut punch, and I mean that in a good way. Then the ending to the epilogues was bittersweet, but we all knew how John's story turns out in the end. SPOILER ALERT* A story isn't good if it has a happy ending, a story is good because it takes you on a journey, and in the gaming medium, makes you immersed and feel like you are the character you play as. Everything in rdr2 sucks you deeper in to the characters story, and I don't think I have ever played anything like it before.

DevilHunterDante32d ago

Completely agree. I balled my eyes out at the ending. 11/10 narrative, characters and music.

xenz32d ago

After playing through the whole game it absolutely sealed å 10/10 for me. Narrative and conclusion is so good.

The game has it's flaws. Gunplay could be smoother, a few annoyances could be prevented, but if you look at the game as a whole, it's amazing even with it's few flaws.

DEEBO32d ago

The best ending in a game since metal gear solid 3&4
Morgan is one of the best protagonist in a video game.

This is game of the year maybe the best of this generation of gaming.

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