Bears and Horses

Not so much lions and tigers.

Some folks have seen the videos about hunting in RDR2.  Aside from the fact that there are so many animals around, the actual act of hunting is relatively close to real life.  The location, light, movement, noise, and weapon type all impact the success rate.

One quest related to hunting a legendary bear.  It teaches the basics, and then drops you down to finish the job at your leisure.  You learn about hunting rabbits, making a campsite, cooking food, benefits of sleep, and how to craft bait.  Then the game give syou back control/

The seas were angry that day!  I plugged that bear at least 4 times with shots to the head and he still bull-rushed me.  Somehow I was able to get the hunting knife to take him out, then skin him for the pelt.

Apparently there are plenty of legendary creatures in the wild – they show up on the map when you are in their range (VERY large range I may add).  Kill, skin, then bring the pelt to the Trapper.  That then opens us some unique clothing options, based on the animal pelts.  But….

I mentioned before how things were slow in RDR2? The bear you find is next to O’Creah’s Run.  The Trapper seems close, but it’s a 5 minute canter to get to him.  During that time, I crossed:

  • A lady pinned by a dead horse, who I could not escort home due to the pelt on my horse.
  • A horse thief
  • A massive herd of deer
  • Was run over by a wagon

Trapper met, sold the pelt for $60 and didn’t buy the now-available $40 bear skin hat.  Looks sweet as heck, but I need the cash for something else.

Now the trek from the Trapper to anywhere I know is extremely long.  And there’s no way to speed up that type of travel except with better stats on the horse.  I had a large draft horse (War-type if I recall).  Strong but slow.  Internets to the rescue!

Polygon has a quick piece on the White Arabian, a top tier horse that I could simply capture in the wild.  Sadly, he is at the NW point of the map and the Trapper is pretty close to the middle.  It was at least 15 minutes of horse travel to get there.  Lessons learned on this trek.

  • Cinematic mode will auto-pilot your horse if you have a waypoint marked, and if you are on real road.
  • Cinematic mode will not avoid trains, or trees, or gangs, or toll bridges
  • Cinematic mode goes at the 2nd slowest possible speed.  Just above grass growing.
  • RDR2 seems to have random (?) events show up on the trail every couple minutes to compensate for the very long travel times
  • Drawing a weapon through a bad button press while at a toll bridge will kill you
  • Manual saves are located in the pause menu, under Story.
  • Finding a white horse in snow is hard
  • Taming a wild horse requires a very slow and deliberate movements
  • Riding a bucking horse in the woods is hard
  • You need to swap the saddle from your main horse to the new one, then manually call that original horse while travelling so as not to lose it
  • The travel time from anywhere to anywhere is directly related to your personal sense of urgency
  • It is oddly relaxing to pet/brush a horse


Going through this I’m reminded of the elevator scenes in the original Mass Effect.  They were glorified loading screens of just nothing meaningful.  RDR2 is astoundingly slow – and it’s clearly intentional due to the events you come across.  It feels like an ancient relic in game design.  It is my largest struggle with the game.  I find myself turning auto-pilot on and then doing something else for 5-10 minutes.  This isn’t FO4 or Skyrim, where you want to explore and find neat new niches that hide other environments.  There are no interior environments in RDR2 – what you see on the map is what’s there.  Exploring serves no larger purpose than expanding the map. You may find a random event, but that event starts and ends on the map (like saving someone from a wolf attack).  It doesn’t go farther (that I’ve yet to see).

In that sense, travel in RDR2 is a tax on time.  Staring at my character on a horse for 15 minutes at a time is not fun.  There’s bound to be a balance here to make travel meaningful without it being painful.  I need to change that mindset is order to find more enjoyment of the rest of the game.

2 thoughts on “Bears and Horses

  1. That’s crazy. And why most open world games have an instant travel mechanic to cover large distances. Heck, I’d even be fine with a “drop you out of instant travel” for those random events, to take away the boredom.

    I’m waiting for RDR2 on PC, which may be a while (or never) so will be interesting to see how long the community takes to this.


    • Yeah, and I can see why there needs to be a balance. The Ubisoft/Bethesda model for instant travel is a great example of the opposite effect – it makes the world inconsequential after the first trek. Instant travel to/from the towns would be a massive improvement, but would still force you to take the paths outside of town.

      I know there’s an upgrade for fast travel from your MAIN CAMP to towns, but that’s predicated on your horse being next to you and is only one way.


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