Red Dead Redemption 2


Personally I see a rift between Rockstar’s “brand” now. GTA5’s approach is different from RDR2’s. One’s more cartoonishly videogamey and the other goes for annoyingly realistic. I mean you could make the argument Red2 is the natural evolution of GTA but I don’t think it is. Guess we’ll only see that if GTA6 ever comes around.


I think Red Dead 2 is picking up where Rockstar left off with GTA IV, which was also largely considered “annoyingly” realistic by many but is now arguably considered the better game next to V.

I think over time the popular opinion will shift regarding RDR 2 much like how it shifted with Wind Waker’s cel-shaded art style, which had a backlash back then but is now widely recognized as the best thing about the game.


This is a massively false dichotomy, I play like one or two of these a year almost always on the basis of fun writing and/or fun movement


You’re not everyone playing these and talking it about online?


well no, the stereotypical Felix post is “I’m baffled that you’re not completely ignoring public opinion,” that’s why I run this place

But that’s still misleading because the ones I play are still expensive as hell and manage to get made


I don’t find it a controversial statement that most open world games out right now and on people’s minds follow the Ubisoft model more than anything else. There is a definite standard here and the only reason some people aren’t so enamored with RDR 2 is because it is bucking that standard in favor of doing something different.


Well, there’s no accounting for taste


Right, which is what much of the popular discussion around the game du jour boils down to.


GTA 5 & 4 were both weak games compared to 3/VC/SA so I don’t think it matters if 4 is “better” than 5 or not. 4 vs 5 is apples vs oranges in my opinion (I like 5 better)


I agree but the PS2 ones only barely ever didn’t play like shit, that’s part of why Jak 2 and Spiderman 2 were so refreshing at the time


They all play like shades of shit but sure the newer ones less so than the PS2 ones. Still the PS2 ones were more engaging and just brilliant in certain ways, which I can’t say about 4&5


Even the PS2 era Rockstar made games that were stylish and evocative of a time and place (also to the detriment of being immediately accessible) on a level that set them apart. A game like GTA IV or RDR 2 requires of the player not just an interest in the characters, settings or subject matter but also an active investment in approaching the game on its terms, not yours. If you aren’t relishing simply moving through the game world you’re kind of just not getting it.

Which is fine! But it’s not really a problem with the game.


Yeah - “simulationism” is the term given to an old guard of mostly western PC game designers like Chris Crawford, Warren Spector, and Richard Garriott. The essence of simulationism is designing a bunch of game objects that have a bunch of attributes, and designing behaviors for when certain attributes interact, such that novel interactions between objects, not forseen by the designer, are possible. Examples of simulationist games are Ultima 7, Deus Ex, Thief, Nethack.

The contrast is with the mostly eastern design philosophy of the consoles epitomized by Nintendo, with each game object having just one or two highly-defined attributes and put through the paces of highly-designed levels. Obviously these are broad tendencies and not a real binary but there you go.


are you all really going to get me to play GTA4 finally, 10 years late? cuz I got off the GTA/Rockstar train with San Andreas after scraping the resin of gameplay from 3 & Vice City, (never played RDR1) and I’m loving RDR2. I had no idea GTA4 was considered so different


So GTA IV was where GTA went from having RC toy car physics where you could turn on a dime regardless of speed to having real world serious racing game car physics where even in the sportier cars you had to slow down to corner or else your inertia would just keep you moving forward in a straight line.

In GTA V they went back to having more or less toy car physics but they do a lot better job of not coming off like it. In IV everything had a real heavy, weightiness to it that turned off a lot of people but it’s the same kind of weightiness that RDR 2 has. There was a real skill curve to getting good at driving the vehicles again. Some of them stuck to the road better than others but in general cars were a lot more “slide-y” than in previous games.

IV was their first game to use NaturalMotion’s Euphoria physics engine (which is integrated into their own tech now) and the first Red Dead was the second. So my guess is they’ve been kind of feeling out how much they want to lean into it on a per project basis. It adds a much greater sense of realism to the animations by adding procedurally generated tails to objects in the game, such as when you and your horse go flopping end over end down a mountain side or when drunk characters stagger and fall down realistically.

But with regard to GTA IV I think it’s still absolutely worth playing. However I would probably suggest playing either of the two expansions since their stories are shorter and more focused than in the main game. I played through Niko’s journey three or four times but if I were to go back to it today I’d rather spend that time with Johnny or Luis.

The expansions also had some updates applied to the tech so they run a bit better (they even internally render at a slightly higher resolution on PS3 so that it can now match the 360). I’d suggest playing on a PC if you can. They’re backwards compatible on the Xbone but there are some issues with inconsistent frame pacing and whatnot that make the whole thing a lot less smooth than it needs to be.


GTA4 is still a GTA game, it’s full of weird and gamey cruft and whatnot. I mean don’t go in expecting an absolute masterpiece. It’s just the best of the bunch. RDR1 is a better game overall imo.


oh man i think i might be bouncing off this ugh



fwiw I’m finding this best in small episodes than long sessions. Picking a destination, riding out from camp for the day, accomplishing my task and then heading back completes a nice little session. If I play this game for more than an hour my patience starts running thin. Just enough is wonderful though.


They should have used the money to make two really short cowboy games where all the buttons stare people down and the writing is so good it changes your life forever.