Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of my absolute favorite games of this decade. If ever an achievement could stagger, this game represents that achievement. I made a 40-minute video highlighting every tiny thing wrong with it.

Maybe it’s in your best interest to hate this game. Maybe you’re expecting it as a Christmas present, and you want to cool your hype. Or maybe you just hate cowboys because they’re always dusty, and you can’t stand to look at all that dust. Whatever the reason for your loathing, I have, as they say, “got” you with this video.

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Many of the bullet points I present you in this review are jokes. Many of them are not jokes. Many of the jokes contain sincerity. Much of the sincerity contains humorous turns of phrase. I can’t tell you which is which and what is where. You have to feel it for yourself. Such is the nature of a hater’s review.

Here’s a taste: Red Dead Redemption 2's horses’ virtual scrotums shrink in cold weather and expand in hot weather. That’s realistic. You can hunt, kill, and skin something like 500 different species of animal. This also is realistic. Why can’t you skin horses, though? Why can’t Arthur Morgan eat horse meat? You’re telling me this is a game about desperate, lawman-pursued outlaw cowboys who regularly decapitate their oppressors with shotguns, yet they’re too squeamish to eat a horse? I don’t buy it.

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If you should dare to click, expect to learn lessons about shaving tool history, turn-of-the-century glass blowing, Manifest Destiny, and American Exceptionalism.

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I make videos for Kotaku. I make video games for myself and my friends. I like writing fiction. Someday I will publish a novel. Who knows!

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DISCUSSION

MichaelSantos
Michael Santos

I don’t have 40 minutes to watch this video, but I can say I’m one of the only people in the world who isn’t a massive fan of this game. It’s AMAZINGLY detailed and can certainly have it’s moments, but it’s not very fun to play. It’s too slow, which I understand is on purpose so you can look at everything, but navigation is just a chore. Fast travel is more or less non existent unless you want to shell out money. The bounty system is just plain broken, I like being able to change clothes to commit crimes but I still end up getting caught. Want to rob a train? Hope you don’t mind taking 1/3 of what you stole since the rest will be paid back to the state for your bounty. Robbing camps isn’t worth the effort unless somehow you don’t have any snacks or booze on you to begin with. Hunting isn’t really worth it unless you want to craft. Keeping up with chores at camp is also pointless, they’ll get done one way or another and it just bogs down the pacing even more than just being in camp does. Half of the characters are unlikeable dumbasses who wouldn’t know how to steal candy from a baby given the opportunity, while the other half aren’t that deep. Why can’t I customize the controls? Why do I have to mash A/X to keep my horse going at a steady pace? Why do horses die after dropping 5 ft? Why isn’t there some kind of climbing system for the wilds? Why are there only 5 bounties to collect? WHY DON’T YOU PLAN ANY HEISTS BEFOREHAND? "Hey I got a lead on this, let's just do it, it'll be fine." Except it never is. I'm 1/3 through the story apparently and it's just a slog. I am really sorry for ranting, but I was expecting more freedom to do things. Instead we got a super tightly controlled sandbox that's oozing with detail, but it's like the forgot to make sure all of the systems are still fun to play when mashed together. I do not think it's a bad game, but it's closer to a 7 or 8 out of 10, not a 9 or 10. Not even going to touch online after what they did to GTA Online. Still have to thank the devs for all of their hard work though, it's a technical masterpiece and they really worked hard to push the genre to new levels. I'm just not sure if they actually succeeded in making a better game. 

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