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RDR2: Good Cinema Does Not Replace Good Gameplay

Eagle Eye's spiteful video game critic, Caden Brooks, is back once again to hate on another beloved, popular video game

Hailed+by+many+as+a+masterpiece%2C+RDR2+works+on+some+levels%2C+but+not+as+a+great+video+game.
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RDR2: Good Cinema Does Not Replace Good Gameplay

Hailed by many as a masterpiece, RDR2 works on some levels, but not as a great video game.

Hailed by many as a masterpiece, RDR2 works on some levels, but not as a great video game.

Photo Illustration by Caden Brooks

Hailed by many as a masterpiece, RDR2 works on some levels, but not as a great video game.

Photo Illustration by Caden Brooks

Photo Illustration by Caden Brooks

Hailed by many as a masterpiece, RDR2 works on some levels, but not as a great video game.

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Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is a colossal disappointment, and surely not a masterpiece. “Red Dead Redemption 2 is a masterpiece. 10/10…” wrote just about every video game critic on the internet. What? Has everyone been brainwashed? With all of the extremely high critical acclaim, it was natural for me to go into Rockstar’s RDR2 with extremely high expectations. What I was met with was an aggravating, boring, mess of a sequel. This is what everyone has been freaking out about? Are you kidding? What has the gaming community’s taste gone to? I cannot properly judge the entire game because I have not had the time to complete it yet, but I’ve already spent a great deal of time with its tedious introduction. The following criticisms are based off of what I’ve picked up in the first two chapters alone.

Let’s start by saying this: Red Dead Redemption 2 is great… for an interactive movie. That’s what a large portion of this game feels like: a cinematic experience over a gaming experience. Rockstar decided to make RDR2 a prequel to the first game. The first Red Dead Redemption didn’t involve much plot. You are given the protagonist, John Marston, and introduced to the hunted antagonist, Bill Williamson. It gets a little more complicated later, but it was generally simple. RDR2 heavily involves its innumerable characters, especially at the beginning of the game. The first chapter is nothing short of a long, dragging, no-fun zone.

There’s about five minutes of legitimate gameplay in the first mission. If you decide to watch the uninteresting cutscenes, then a great deal of time is spent watching them, and then riding your horse. Then the game gives you about 5-10 minutes of what would be considered fun: taking down enemies. Then it is time to loot and travel back to your camp again to repeat the same process. This introduction leaves a bad first impression that doesn’t improve much.

Character development and an interesting plot are great when you’re watching a movie or TV show, or reading a book, but Rockstar does not seem to understand that this is a video game.”

Back to the first point: RDR2 is fundamentally an interactive movie. Rockstar does not care much about the player at all. Rockstar tries to make you care about their characters. Character development and an interesting plot are great when you’re watching a movie or TV show, or reading a book, but Rockstar does not seem to understand that this is a video game. A player picks up their controller to have complete agency over their character. RDR2 has barely any, and it is so tedious with its brief animations, constant cutscenes, conversing NPCs (non-playable characters), and method of traveling that playing it feels more like a movie you have to press a button to once a minute to keep it running.

The purpose of spending lengthy amounts of time on your horse is to get a sense of the map, and to admire the beauty of the game along with its abundant amount of detail that Rockstar littered throughout it. This is something many critics and fans have been praising emphatically: the detail. Detail is enjoyable, but much of it serves no purpose other than just gazing at it. It’s not wrong for a game to look beautiful, but players still misunderstand that Rockstar failed to create an engaging experience by combining beauty and detail with enjoyable gameplay. The characters, detail, and gameplay are all incoherent with one another in RDR2.

Another factor that bruised Rockstar was realism. This explains every single brief animation and unnecessary task. At one point in the 2nd chapter, a message pops up on the screen telling the player that they should shave their character’s beard because it’s getting too long. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what video games have come to, this is what everyone is praising. Red Dead Redemption 2, the video game meant to be watched, the video game meant to mimic our boring lives.

Rockstar spent so much time polishing detail, writing characters, and worrying about realism that they forgot to make a fun gaming experience.”

RDR2 also disappoints in comparison to its predecessor in some ways. The controls are much more restrained and harder to handle than the loose, breezy controls of the first one, as well as the unnecessary addition of convoluted inventories for your items and practically useless horse commodities. Simple equals better, Rockstar.

Rockstar spent so much time polishing detail, writing characters, and worrying about realism that they forgot to make a fun gaming experience. Rockstar is not the only game developer who includes these elements in their games, but Rockstar stressed them so much in this game that they failed at making it fun to play. Again, I have not played it the entire way through, nor is the whole game like this, but it did not leave me with a good first impression. I only hope that the game improves, and that I have the patience to push through the tedious sections to complete it. And keep in mind that this is just my opinion. I am clearly in a really small minority.

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About the Writer
Caden Brooks, Video Editor

Hey, what’s up. My name is Caden Brooks, and I’m a big ol’ senior. This is my third year in Video Production & Eagle Eye. My hobbies include...

8 Comments

8 Responses to “RDR2: Good Cinema Does Not Replace Good Gameplay”

  1. guy who played it yesterday on March 27th, 2019 12:02 pm

    I dont really like it either but, I’m still going to play it because of how big the map is and the western feel to the game.

  2. mom brooks on March 27th, 2019 12:26 pm

    Wants her money back for buying this game you can’t stand.

  3. Concerned citizen on March 27th, 2019 1:05 pm

    Need to play it more.

  4. Dab on March 27th, 2019 6:09 pm

    NEEEEEEEEEEERD

  5. :^) on March 28th, 2019 8:48 am

    Stop being a gaming hipster. It’s a good game. Looks are part of a game, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to place some ridiculous text adventure over this game if it had more mechanics. For what it’s worth, it’s not better than Red Dead 1, but it’s still a very good. I wouldn’t try to compare it to the original, cause that may cloud your judgement on the value of this game.

  6. ninja on March 28th, 2019 10:04 am

    fortnite is still better ninja hype

  7. Mr. Epic Miles on March 28th, 2019 10:20 am

    If its got a six-shooter then its got good gameplay.

  8. J-BOB on March 29th, 2019 8:59 am

    Bruh, they stole Clint Eastwood’s look. We should 100% go on strike against Rockstar!

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RDR2: Good Cinema Does Not Replace Good Gameplay