92gigs. I can still remember when floppies had massive games.
I could pay more for better download speeds, but I don’t need to. Netflix on 2 boxes is about the peak requirement, and that’s a really rare occurrence. Downloading on Steam + Netflix… well I need to throttle Steam. This sucker made my internet melt for 8 hours.
Slight gripe to start. I’m struggling to figure out why this isn’t on PC, or at least scheduled to be. It’s the same engine as GTAV…
The Start of the End
RDR1 is set after this game, so we have a decent idea going in how this thing will bookmark. The starting intro cards also speak about the end of the wild west, as the east’s laws start coming across. Pretty clear this story will not be a cheerful one.
The game proper starts you off in a blizzard. I’ve seen a fair my fair share of snow storms, and rarely are they well represented in games. The visuals here are super solid, really capturing the desolation of snow. No one sounds like they are in a Blizzard though. And the way everyone’s tracks are not only captured in the snow, but maintained for a long time…that’s got to be first.
(Sidenote. In Spider-Man, they recorded all of his lines twice. One at normal rate, another to simulate him exerting himself while moving across town. That touch was super immersive. So far, all the lines in RDR2 sound like they came from a recording studio.)
The first couple missions are just intro work. The starter has you enter a firefight while searching for food. In one, you see how John Marsten (main guy in RDR1) got his scars. In another you attack another camp with your seeming arch-rival. They are exposition quests that provide fancy tutorials.
I won’t sugar coat this; the controls are like molasses and the UI is attrocious. The number of button presses and menu options is so very high. It is so jarring as compared to pretty much any other modern game (God of War really hit a new benchmark for me). It’s almost justifiable since it’s not like the West had auto-rifles, or accelerators. It feels much more like a simulation in that sense. But then you get things like auto-aim, or auto-navigation. It’s a weird mix. I’m not sold on it.
You need food to stay healthy, you need to keep your horse in health, you need to keep the gun clean, you need to rest, you need….That’s the entry fee for just playing the rest of the game. I’m not a fan of survival games. Primarily because they do such a horrible job showing what survival really is about. Survival isn’t about eating one of the 100 cookies you have in your bag. Survival is about never having enough.
I am really early in the story, but that’s certainly the theme all around. Surviving in the world when your type of life is on the way out. The characters all have an air of desperation, of defeat, of one more hill to climb. They are somewhat sympathetic. Feels a bit like rooting for the most likeable bad guy.
I think the series Firefly did the best job of showing what it’s like to live out on the edge of civilization. Mal had his own way of thinking, but it failed as often as it worked. They never made it big, but were always chasing the next big score. They had their own set of moral code to follow. It worked because everyone was a bad guy. Mal is isolation would come off as a jerk – put him in a room full of jerks and he’s pretty OK.
I’m certainly looking forward to RDR2’s story moving forward. Rockstar’s characters have always been impressive, and I’d expect no less here. Going to take a long time to get through it all.