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Red Dead Redemption 2, Six Months Later

Illustration for article titled iRed Dead Redemption 2/i, Six Months Later

Red Dead Redemption 2 launched six months ago today. In those past six months, developer Rockstar faced criticisms over crunch, the main game released to great reviews, Red Dead Online launched and grew, and a country-trap hybrid hit song used the game in a music video. Here’s what’s happened in the last six months.

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  • In the weeks before Red Dead Redemption 2’s release, Rockstar’s culture of crunch is criticized. An interview with the co-founder of Rockstar Games, Dan Houser, causes outrage after a comment implies that he and his staff are working over 100 hours a week. He later says that this was just a small group of writers and that Rockstar didn’t force anyone else to work that many hours.
  • Kotaku’s Jason Schreier releases a report days before the game’s release that reveals the crunch problems at Rockstar weren’t relegated to only a small group of writers, as Dan Houser claimed. Creating RDR2 involved many individuals and studios spread across the world, with each studio and team having their own experiences with crunch.
  • On October 26, 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 is released for PS4 and Xbox One. Reviews are mostly positive, with many critics praising the game’s visuals and storytelling, including Kotaku. The game grosses $725 million in its first weekend of sales, making it the biggest opening weekend in entertainment history.
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Illustration for article titled iRed Dead Redemption 2/i, Six Months Later
Illustration for article titled iRed Dead Redemption 2/i, Six Months Later
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And that’s where things are at. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a wonderful single-player game that fans are replaying and enjoying to this day, but Red Dead Online is still in a sorry state for most fans. Some players are leaving the game, and how many will come back remains to be seen. Grand Theft Auto Online had a rough first year or so too, but eventually got better. Perhaps Red Dead Online will seem similar improvements.

Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.

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DISCUSSION

conker1985
Conker1985

I just finished it a couple days ago. Took well over 2 months (I bought it in February). Several instances I considered quitting (work full-time and have a kid, so free time is limited), but I kept pressing on, doing one or two story missions a night, and on the rare occassion, I got to binge play for a few hours at a time. I’m done with the story. I probably won’t touch it again for years, and I’m totally happy with that.

I still loathe the control scheme. Even after 60+ hours, it’s still unnatural, and I find myself aiming my weapon accidently at people, or running into things. The overwhelming amount of completionist filler is insane, but I ignored almost all of it (hunting, fishing, skinning, crafting, etc.), because I just don’t have the time. My wife played as well a bit behind, and she managed to find at least two side missions that I missed as well.

The story was great, as were the characters. At first I absolutely hated the pacing, and almost considered returning it, but it does reward patience and a willingness to just play through it. Even the Epilogue, which starts out gruelinngly slow, is worth seeing through to the end. It’s satisfying and everything is wrapped up nicely.