As Nathan said earlier this year, all video games should let us pet the animals. That includes cats, Red Dead Redemption 2.
Like horses and humans, when you approach a dog in Red Dead Redemption 2, you’re given the option to interact with it. You can praise it or scold it, but you can also pet it. Arthur will get right down and give the good boy a good rub, and throw in some praise as well.
This is wonderful, and let it serve as an example to all other developers that this is the level of interactivity we want with a game’s NPDs.
And yet the joy of dog shoulder rubs is tempered somewhat when you realise the same courtesy is not extended to the game’s cats. Like dogs, cats are everywhere in Red Dead 2, slinking around its city streets and lurking behind its dusty saloons.
But when you target one, you can only praise or scold it. The former is cute enough, I guess; Arthur says variations of “hey kitty”, the targeted cat looks pleased and it’s at least a level of direct interaction beyond what little Zelda could manage.
I don’t want to just praise a cat, though. I want to pet it, scratch its ears, rub its belly then watch it try and murder me for daring to intrude on its personal space. And I can’t.
What’s the deal, Rockstar? Is this an act of animal favouritism from dog-loving members of staff? An oversight? A statement on the inherent asshole nature of the animal? Or are cats, like women, simply too hard to animate?
Whatever it is, please. If we can pet the dogs and horses, let us pet the cats as well.
And then maybe the chickens.