I'm role playing more in Red Dead Redemption 2 than I do in most RPGS

  1. Yeah, it's a game you can really "live in". Normally I don't like slow paced games that force you to walk about and do things meticulously, but I savoured every minute of it here for some reason. I spent ages at the campfires because I wanted to listen to everything the people had to say.

  2. They do a good mix of realism but not Making it ridiculous at the same time. They hit that sweet spot to where it's super immersive but not so immersive it caters to a niche fan base.

  3. I recently sort of took this same approach with Breath of the Wild. I took all main roads and did minimal exploration off the beaten path, and it seemed like scenery was placed in the most perfect spots.

  4. Crazy how different approaches can change a game. For my money, I found it the single most frustrating game I’ve ever played, and although I beat it, I uninstalled it immediately after (and couldn’t make it through the epilogue).

  5. I'm with you on that. I always appreciate when games give me an option to role-play the mundanity of ordinary life. I like making myself busy with everyday routine, especially if said routine has some gameplay behind it. I also like when this slow and relaxed moments are suddenly interrupted by you receiving a call to an adventure. It makes adventures feel like real adventures. Because when adventures is the only thing you do in the game they feel like a routine.

  6. I immediately thought about KDC. I role played the shit out of that. Changing out of armour and eating foods I liked morning and night (why I never took the perk where you have to eat less). Avoided fights often. Always ended the night at an inn with a drink and a game of dice. I love that game so much!

  7. KC:D is sooooo good. i think both and other games like The Witcher benefit from not allowing you to create a character. while creating a character is arguably my favorite part of RPGs, i find that the more freedom given to me is generally met by a greater feeling of being shoehorned into the world & its stories.

  8. Love this post! I totally agree about becoming an "inhabitant" in the world. Any other suggestions for increased immersion?

  9. One thing I've noticed when playing RDR 1 is how "video gamey" the actions and the shootouts are. Many of the missions has long gunfights that can gets over 20 minutes long, spanning large levels.

  10. Yeah the mission design is by no means the strong point of the game. Roaming around hunting game and living in the world is really what made the game special

  11. I completely agree with you and I play the same. On my second playthrough I even did not explore the map so that settlement names would not appear in the fast travel menu.

  12. I feel like a lot of the minor systems in RDR2 are there more for role playing purposes than anything else. You can pretty much ignore the majority of that stuff and still make it through the game without much trouble. If you want to engage with them, they're there. They add to the experience in a qualitative way, but in terms of how they affect the actual gameplay, it's pretty minimal.

  13. Idk, RDR2 brought me out of the game so many times. Like, yeah I get to skin an animal but like so often the game is structured in a way where I have to do things the way the game wants me to do it, not the way I want to.

  14. I'm having the exact same experience. I walk rather than run. I'm respectful to people. I crave to cause some chaos but I can't bring myself to do it because acting like an asshole is so realistic that it makes me feel bad.

  15. I used to love sharing a cup of coffee with Arthur. We'd both have full coffee pots and refill our cups at the same time.

  16. I enjoyed this game a lot more on my 3rd attempt to play it because someone told me to treat it like a cozy game. Just hunt, try to get outfits, go camping etc. The missions are honestly not often particularly fun, but the open world is pretty and the outdoorsy aspect is a good way to kill time and relax.

  17. I found RDR2 to be the complete opposite experience. Sure the game has a whole plethora of things you can do that will trigger fancy animations but it never felt like doing or not doing any of those things ever mattered. To me it felt more like living out a fantasy rather than role playing. Plus the GTA style combat and story would always ruin whatever immersion I had going.

  18. Yeah the combat is the worst thing about the game I hope Rockstar will one day do something new with it

  19. I'm on my first playthrough and I'm enjoying but I totally agree. I thought I would enjoy fishing and poker and camping but honestly it feels like a complete waste of time.

  20. There’s still plenty of meat on that bone. Now you take this home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you’ve got a stew going!

  21. While RDR2 is definitely the big highlight from the last decade of games for me, I still wish they really leaned into the slower pace and simulation aspects. Half of the game feels restrictive and made to speed us along, while the other half tries to set the scene for us to take our time and live in the world.

  22. That conflict between main narrative and side content is a big issue in almost every RPG I've played. Cyberpunk especially had this super urgent, "the clock is ticking", sort of main story line and then all this side content trying to distract you from it.

  23. Same. It feels so real that it feels wrong not to roleplay as a real cowboy. I showered more in that game than in real life (I am kidding, or am I?).

  24. This is the first thing I've read anyone write about RDR2 that actually kind of makes me want to try it.

  25. You should have seen that coming when they abandoned any ideas of single player dlc for GTAV and went all in on online. Especially when Rockstar themselves outright said they'd likely not bother with single player dlc ever again thanks to the success of GTAO.

  26. It's why I couldn't make a lot of progress. I have to spend hours and hours with these awful people?? I hate them! No thanks, despite the amazing world.

  27. Yes! I thought about this, I think they kind of wrote themselves in a corner as John has to be the "good" one for the sake of RDR1. But trying to play high-honor Arthur feels awkward and wrong for the character. In GTA4 it was fine to be an asshole because it was obvious that everybody else was just as bad or worse. Whats the point of the honor system if the game will force you to do bad stuff anyway? I did the first usury mission and just felt bad afterwards, there was no option to just leave the poor guy alone.

  28. It's a tradeoff. Their hyperfocus on realism does make you more immersed, eventually - but there's a curve of getting used to it, and that curve pushed many people away. It took me two tries to bend my perception enough to like it - and when I did, holy shit I loved it.

  29. I got into it right away. When I first arrived at camp and heard the guy playing his accordion on the cliff I went and sat down next to him and thought "I am gonna take my sweet time with this game as ones like this don't come around often".

  30. I'm not sure that's true at all, and it rather implies that anyone who didn't like it just didn't give it enough time or leeway.

  31. As someone who is no good at roleplaying I just wish they had done more to commit to the things you talk about, in-game.

  32. The Last of Us at max difficulty is the only game I’ve played that did this correctly (ish). There aren’t massive power-ups and resources are actually scarce. There aren’t any survival mechanics, but staying out of sight is a necessity. Going toe-to-toe with groups of enemies leaves you dead or depleted of resources. IMO that was how the game was meant to be played.

  33. Yes it's like the story and gameplay teams to never met, first Arthur feels bad and conflicted about beating up a guy for money, and then next mission you are shooting 30 cops while spittin jokes

  34. I've been thinking about getting it for that exact same reason. I love any game where you can just take a horse and travel somewhere so I joke about it being my new Barbie Dream Horse if I ever get it.

  35. There is a very generous lock-on feature, where all you have to do is look in the general direction of a person, right click/L2 to aim your weapon, and it automatically snaps right to their body. Then you can let go of aim, then aim again to snap to a different person. You can even increase the aim-assist strength to a large amount and set the lock-on field of view in the settings to "Wide Mode" so you're given a very generous lock on area.

  36. I think it's due to Red Dead Redemption 2's immersion being some of the best, if not THE best I've experienced in a long time. I remember just exploring and going sightseeing around towns and forests for the fun of it. It truly felt like I was in 1899.

  37. I suspect we wont' see anything like it again for a long long time. Only a studio with hundreds of millions to burn, an immaculate vision, and obsessive attention to detail could pull this off. It's my understanding that the creative director in charge of RDR2 has left the company so we'll have to wait and see but I'll bet RDR2 is the best example of this sort of thing we get for at least another ten years.

  38. The one thing in that game that actually gets in the way is the story. My Arthur tried to put a bullet in Dutch early on and the game is like nope we got a whole story for you.

  39. Yes! I felt the same! This game just totally invites that kind of playstyle, and I think it lands way better for those who embrace it. Most of the criticism I've seen about it is from people who seemed impatient at the pace the game asks you to take.

  40. I love your post and especially your conclusion. That is role playing at its purest form and what I love in games. I especially like games that allow me to play out a specific role from another universe (Omar from Wire, Marv from Sin City, etc).

  41. I really like this approach and you are making me want to play it again. I sort of did this for a little while. I made sure to hunt every few days to keep my camp fed. Once the story really started to unravel I eventually stopped doing that. That and I would be away from camp for long periods of time.

  42. If any of the role play aspects the game let's you play with actually mattered, I'd have had way more fun acting like a rough and tumble cowboy. As is, though, it's just window dressing. Things that just pad out time.

  43. I spent the whole day yesterday just riding around looking for campfires in the wild. I find that following the smoke generally leads to something interesting.

  44. It's the same with Ghost of Tsushima for me so I get it. Although it doesn't go that deep into the various mundane systems I still immersed in Jin's persona.

  45. This is how I try to play most open world games and none come as close to fulfilling the immersive roleplaying experience as RDR2. It’s a wonderful game to exist in. Death Stranding was a similar experience in that regard, where you are making decisions in sync with the main character rather than “above” them through abstractions like XP or other game mechanics.

  46. While I love RDR2’s open world, I wish it didn’t feel so isolated from the main story. Playing RDR2 feels like playing two games simultaneously; a beautiful open world game with a metric ton of detail, and a restrictively linear series of missions with a good story. As a result it’s like Arthur is leading two lives; the one you, the player carve out for him, and the one the game’s designers have set in stone. RDR2 is so two faced that I have mixed feelings every time I think back on it.

  47. Same. They wanna be a naughty dog styled on rails story experience, while having this bethesda styled "see that train in the distance? You can rob it" adventure. And neither work because the game is constantly fighting against itself.

  48. Yeah, I think the main story would've worked better as a non-open world linear game, it's feels really weird all the freedom in the world outside the story, and having to walk the dotted line in the main story.

  49. Love this post, it’s not an ‘rpg’ but it is a role-playing game. I do exactly what you do, sleep when Arthur would. Stay up all night gambling when he would.

  50. It's crazy. You could remove stats, exp. and levels entirely from a decent RPG without it affecting the core experience, whereas everyone raised to think that something like Assassin's Creed or Witcher is an RPG now thinks that those superficial aspects are the defining characteristic. It'd be like someone refusing to believe that Assetto Corsa is a racing game because there are no blue shells.

  51. What you're doing is everything I hate in gaming hahahaha I hate when games have mundane task/chores like IRL. I'll give a simple example, do you know how your character gets tired after sprinting on these games and you need to stop to take a breath? That's already too much for me and is really annoying hahaha

  52. I feel like RPGs haven't really been about roleplaying ever since JRPGs have been a thing. I wasn't there to see that but looking at how the games evolved, that's how it looks to me.

  53. I suggest you also try this approach in Kingdom Come Deliverance. Even better suited. Edit: never mind people already suggested it.

  54. This is one of those reasons why I am always drawn to RedM. Way more than FiveM. Getting an amazing community and then tell stories together while being in this immersive world is just amazing.

  55. Arthur Morgan is the only protagonist I've ever missed after putting the game down. He was so easy to roleplay as that it felt like he became a part of me. I need to play this game again. It's so damn good.

  56. It's not even a cowboy Sim cause you get punished for doing cowboy shit. Omniscient cops who know exactly who robbed that train way out in the mountains and can see right through your disguise. Taking honor hits for doing cowboy shit to provide for camp etc.

  57. I find that I do a lot of role-playing outside of RPGs. Many RPGs only have the option to role-play in conversations, and I have a hard time doing something that I wouldn't do. Some of my favorite role-playing was Ghost of Tsushima. Without getting into spoilers, I started off playing as a combo of samurai/ghost, switched to all samurai after meeting a major character, and then switched to pretty much all ghost after the milk incident.

  58. That’s the reason why I started with Red Dead Revolver, I know RDR2 is dope so I will play through till I get to the dope graphics and storylines. Speaking of Revolver of course

  59. Rdr2 would be a better game imo if it focused on this kind of gameplay the OP mentioned, and scrapped all the scripted missions where you need to do what the game wants or it's game over

  60. Why metaverse is becoming a thing, so such virtual experiences and existence isn’t limited to gamers. I remember a time where plugging in to RDR2 Online was what I looked forward to most in a day. I would get work done and meet up with my friend and just shoot the shit. It became our hang out.

  61. i relate to this so hard!! I just bought the game on PC 4 days ago and have been non stop playing and I can’t stop. It’s one of the most fun role playing games I’ve ever tried

  62. Red Dead is one of the very very few games I ever role played in. Loved getting stew at camp. Walking around with my coffee and talking to people. Sitting at the fire. Camping at nice spots.

  63. As beutiful and immersive as the world is I could get immersed (played it during lockdown) because the player controls are animation driven first. To me that's a huge disconect when I input then have to let the puppet perform the animations which have priority over my input.

  64. That sounds lovely. I've never played any of the Red Dead Redemption games. Is RDR #1 worth it, or can/should I just skip ahead to RDR #2?

  65. I did this to the extreme! Went on brutal camping trips for days roughing it, scavenging, etc. one of my favorite gaming experiences ever. :)

  66. Same, I don't know how many hours I spent just exploring the world and setting up camp, eating, and living like real life. I tend to play many games like this but no game has ever satisfied me as much as RDR2

  67. Yes this game is the only exception where slow gameplay is not an issue. It's Hardest to explain for someone who has not played it.

  68. One of my favourite pastimes in RDR2 is to dawn a creepy mask, equip the hatchet/machete and roleplay as a serial killer up in Roanoke Ridge. Although the roleplay elements in the narrative are limited, I 100% agree that this games allows for A LOT of imaginative roleplaying.

  69. These are the kinds of “rpg elements” I would like to see in more games. Not randomized loot with pointless numbers attached to them. Save that for Borderlands.

  70. I wish the gameplay lived up to the rest of the experience. I was mesmerized by the world and story but felt like I was playing GTA on rails every time the action started. That said, I think it is one of the best westerns ever made. Up there with Deadwood, Unforgiven, and the Good, Bad, and the Ugly.

  71. This. I get the same feeling sometimes in GTA V role playing random things like waiting in traffic and laying on the horn as Michael. RDR2 definitely gives you more tools and systems to play with though. I wish more games had the facial/hair growth over time thing as well.

  72. I remember doing that in GTA IV. I'd obey traffic laws unless I was in a car chase. I'd avoid hitting civilians in any way possible. I'd steal a car to commit a crime and then dump it somewhere remote after the mission ended lol

  73. Agreed RDR2 is one of those games where I feel really bad for hurting NPCs because they feel like real people and the ones that feel real and evil I feel such hatred for them

  74. I like it. It feels more like playing in childhood, where you might have some toys, but real fun and experience of timelessness comes from using imagination to enchant the game

  75. I wholeheartedly agree. In addition of being set in place much resembling a historic period of time, the last days of the Wild West, where tensions rise between the expanding government and business men, against the natives, local farmers, while stone brick cities are build, and industrialization is really starting off.

  76. I enjoyed Rdr2 way more than I would've just cause of this. Even the supposed boring parts like horse riding and the long animations for interactions which alot of people disliked, I especially enjoyed them cause I was role-playing as Arthur.

  77. Theres literally no point to doing any of that except liking the animations. I wanted to rob banks and trains but that SUCKED. And the world is too empty too.

  78. This is what I meant when I recently said that the roleplay part in Disco Elysium barely exists. Yes, you can really live a new life in RDR2.

  79. I thought the role playing was really weak in it - is Arthur good or evil? You can decide to be good but then you kill dozens of (often innocent) people in missions without him batting an eyelid

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