Red Dead Redemption 2, Six Months Later

Illustration for article titled Red Dead Redemption 2, 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.

  • 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.
Illustration for article titled Red Dead Redemption 2, Six Months Later
Illustration for article titled Red Dead Redemption 2, Six Months Later

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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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.