By: Austin Suther | Red Dead Redemption 2 is a favorite of ours here at The Leaderboard. Gunslinging in a beautiful western world, with a fantastic story and immersion out the wazoo what’s not to love? Still, I’d be a Dutch van der Linde (and by that, I mean a liar) if I said the game was perfect. There’s little, annoying things here and there that I think we can all relate to. Today we’re going to talk about 6 things Red Dead Redemption Players Hate. If you don’t have time to read our article, check out the video above, but remember, it’s all in good fun!
At times, it feels like Rockstar made Red Dead 2 a little too realistic. Life in the Wild West was undoubtedly hard, and it was best to take your time instead of rushing back in the day. Like, you don’t want to skin an animal too fast because you want to salvage every bit you can. Also, that can just get nasty and messy. Unfortunately, Rockstar sacrificed some video game conveniences for the sake of realism, and we fans have been complaining from day one.
Like, damn Arthur, can you walk a little faster in the camp? And those “chores” around camp? Well, I’ve got to hand it to Rockstar, they really do feel like chores when it takes a solid minute to drop a hay bale a few feet away from you.
The tedious nature of hunting is another thing that some players can’t stand. While the realism of tracking a beast and then hunting it is cool, it just gets old after a while. Once you finally kill that buffalo—or whatever it is you’re hunting—the unskippable skinning animation is just another annoyance in an already burdensome task. Admittedly, it would take much longer in real life to skin an animal (and we commend Arthur for being fast at it). But from a gameplay standpoint, it takes a very long time.
And then, of course, when you mow down a group of enemies, you’ve got two dozen bodies just laying around filled with loot. But those looting animations take forever. It’s easier to just walk away without getting stuck in looting animation limbo. Looting every enemy is mind numbing, and not worth the fistful of dollars you would get. At least Rockstar allowed you to pick up ammunition automatically, we’ll give them that. Still, it would be nice if the process was speedier.
There are plenty of random encounters throughout your journey. For this, I must start with a sad, true story. This is the story about Arthur Morgan and his new, extremely expensive horse. You see, I made my way into Saint Denis with the intention of spending a large sum on a new horse. The old steed I’d been using for a good part of the game? Step aside, I was about to buy a multi-thousand dollar Arabian–the Ferrari of Red Dead Redemption 2.
So I bought this Arabian, I named him Alan, and I decked him out in the most expensive saddle. I groomed him, I colored his hair. I thought I’d take him out for a joyride, like a 16-year-old who just got their license. Outside of Saint Denis, I saw a group of riders in the distance, and a wagon with a machine gun on the back.
My heart dropped, I ran for it, but Alan… poor Alan… he got caught in the crossfire. I couldn’t make it on time to revive him because I was overwhelmed by so many bad guys. It was completely unscripted, and quite frankly, unfair. That day, Alan died, but he still lives on in my heart. Everyone, can we press “F” for Alan?
I’m sure we’ve all got an Alan story, but there’s some things that are just bound to happen. Don’t even get me started on that guy that keeps getting bit by a snake. Dude, you should have learned your lesson the first time! Don’t go roaming around in the brush and not expect to get bit. I’m sure Arthur Morgan didn’t enjoy sucking the venom out of that guy’s wound. And okay, sure: this fellow gives you free stuff if you meet him later on… but it happens over and over. It makes me question how many random encounters there really are in the game to begin with.
Let me get on my soapbox to complain about this one woman whose horse keeps dying and wants to be taken to Emerald Ranch. Lady, listen, we’re about a 15 minute ride away from Emerald Ranch. You think I want to take you there? Maybe you should be a better rider? Ah, but the things we do for those precious “good guy” points. Or maybe you just ignore her and go about your business.
Oh, and speaking of ignoring… that “Where’s my friend Gavin” guy? Dude won’t shut up. You won’t find Gavin. Sorry, he’s never coming back. Now stop annoying the whole town and be on your way!
But see, perhaps the worst part are the damned O’Driscolls. Don’t even get me started on those O’Driscolls! You’re minding your own business, roaming the countryside. The last thing I’d want to deal with is a group of these dirty outlaw wannabes roughing me up for my money. Granted, they’re relatively easy to take out, but what’s the benefit? The slow animations are no help if you want to loot the dozen poor sods you just shot. Yes, I think we can all relate to these random encounters on some level. At some point or another, everyone’s gotten jumped by some O’Driscolls.
Speaking of shooting up dozens of foes at a time… Rockstar, your combat system needs an update.. Don’t get me wrong, the combat feels impactful Every bullet you shoot packs a punch. But the reliance on auto-aim can be annoying, to say the least.
The base aiming speed is already slow, and adjusting the sensitivity only does so much. Just accept the fact that auto-aim is the answer to all things in this game. Of course, sometimes when you’re trying to snap on an enemy, it might not even work right since they’re behind some cover. At least we have dead eye, which is as badass and handy as it was 8 years ago in Red Dead 1. But then, even when you’re in deadeye, you have to aim somewhat, and that can still be slow.
You know what makes it worse? The hordes of enemies. Like, every combat mission has enemies basically falling out of the sky. You’d think that after that shootout in Valentine, the whole town would just be dead. Where’d all these dudes come from? How do the Pinkertons have this many men? “Let’s escape on horseback” someone might say, and then all of a sudden you’ve got people coming out of nowhere on horseback. They’re in hot pursuit even though they’ve got no reason to know where you are. Did someone stick a tracking device on my horse or something?
Ah, as much as I love horses, they’re not safe from my ire either. I just want to gallop through the countryside without my horse tripping on every pebble in the road. Maybe I’m just a terrible horseback rider, or maybe horses in Red Dead flop like they’re Neymar in the World Cup. I’ve found myself running into rocks, sending Arthur Morgan flying headfirst into a tree.
It doesn’t help either if you’ve got a new horse that isn’t bonded to you yet. I swear, one time my horse was so mad at me it wanted to jump off the cliff. I whistled it over, but it noped the other way and tried to kill itself. AI can be a finicky thing, but when it works right, horseback riding is thrilling in the game.
Starting out, it isn’t uncommon for players to find themselves struggling with the controls. There’s a lot to keep track of, after all. The mount button can be easily confused with the “punch” button. You’ll hear stories about this – and I can say I’ve experienced it personally – where players punch their horses. If you punch your horse though, don’t expect it to be kind back. It’ll kick you straight in the head, and you might not make it out alive.
Sometimes, if you’re trying to call out to a feller while riding your horse, you might accidentally draw your weapon. Well, if they see that, it’s game on and you’re suddenly fighting for your life. Trouble with the controls can lead to trouble in the game. Heck, if you want to help someone stuck in a bear trap, you might accidentally shoot them instead! And that’s annoying enough to be a whole other entry in this list. But honestly I’m still burned by accidentally killing the Trapper the first time I encountered him, only to watch my Legendary Bear Hide rot on the back of my horse as I waited for someone to take his place. So I’m just going to leave “the annoying controller layout” right here.
We’re approaching spoiler territory, folks. You’ve been warned, because we’re going to talk about the man with the plan.
If you played the first game, you’ll know that Dutch is not this god-like figure that everyone thinks he is. Sure, he’s charismatic and you want to believe him, but Dutch van der Linde is a liar. Throughout the game, things go from bad to worse. Once you mess with Leviticus Cornwall, his army of Pinkertons are going to be a constant thorn in your side. This leads Dutch to become more desperate and pull even crazier moves.
Dutch constantly talks about his plan, and if you’re like me, you’ll hate the guy by the end of the game. His plan for Tahiti sure sounds nice, but soon you’ll realize that it’s no good, and Dutch might not be as smart as he appears. That, or he’s lying to your face. In the end, you could easily blame him for the death of Lenny, Sean, Mrs. Grimshaw, Hosea and anyone else. I’m pretty sure Rockstar wanted you to like Dutch, then doubt him, then eventually despise him. Well to that end, they succeeded! Damn you Dutch, damn you.
Micah Bell is another guy we’ve got to talk about. Micah has got to be one of the most hateable characters this year. He’s got no morals, and he constantly criticizes Arthur at every turn. Wouldn’t it have been much better to leave him in that Strawberry jail to rot away? Ultimately, he’s the reason for Arthur’s death, and while Dutch is detestable, Micah is the worst.
Guarma is another story tidbit that many disliked. It feels more like “filler” content than a true part of the story. It’s certainly a pretty island with interesting sights, but the tonal shift seems strange. You’ve turned what was supposed to be a Wild West game into Uncharted! And, although it is a relatively brief sequence, it’s just a shooting fest. Like I said before, the shooting in this game can be pretty janky. Since Guarma feels like a giant combat mission, it can only be so fun. To top it off, you can’t even go back, so you’re not going to be able to hunt any of the tropical animals there!
Look, we had plenty of killer games this year. I might complain, but Red Dead 2 is still fantastic. You’ve got possibly the best looking game to come out… ever! Then there’s the stellar voice acting. Roger Clark in particular kills it in his performance as Arthur Morgan. You have an immersive experience like no other, too! Ugh, I guess God of War deserved game of the year, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t rooting for Red Dead Redemption 2 to win! All kidding aside, It’s hard to be serious and say “only this game deserves the award” And so, we’ll end the year off with lampooning Red Dead Redemption 2. If I’m being real, though? If you haven’t played it yet, you better soon!
Any infuriating stories you want to tell? How does that make you feel? Click the video above and vent in the comments. Also check out our Timeline of the Red Dead Redemption series! Thanks for reading!
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Credits for This Episode
Researched by: Austin Suther
Written by: Austin Suther
Hosted by: Justice Washington
Edited by: Phoenix Williams
Executive Producers: Carrie Miller, Fred Seibert, Jeremy Rosen
Producers: Adrian Apolonio
Project Manager: Jessica Ferrer
Head Writer: Casey Gonzalez
Graphics and Thumbnail by: Alexandria Batchelor
Programming Manager: Darrian P. Mack
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