I am a firm believer in karma, rather than some arbitrary being that picks a favorite. In that there are direct rewards for an action, and indirect rewards. Life just finds a way to balance itself out.
Last I left RDR2, I was heading into Saint Denis trying to find the big score so the gang could buy some land and freedom. Well actually, I was there to rescue a kid that was taken from a mob boss.
There’s the adage of big fish, little pond that applies well to Dutch, the gang leader. He espouses some amazing views from his pulpit, but they are just hot air. From a player’s perspective, that seems somewhat obvious, but from the character perspective you can see the attachment. As the game progresses, you can also see the cracks start to show. Dutch’s plans never really work out, there’s always someone else a single step ahead. He’s never as bright as he thinks he is. Always trying to reach for the sun and getting burned at every step.
Every job in Saint Denis goes wrong, at different levels too. The one that seems to go well, takes a massive nose dive when the Pinkertons show up. You lose a lot of good people whom you’ve spent hours/days getting to know. Things go so awry, that you end up stowing away on a ship to Cuba, get shipwrecked, lose all your money, and end up freeing a slave camp to get out of there alive.
The trip back to town… the game throws you in a semi-dream state with the only voice-song that I’ve seen so far. (Neat effect – you see more deer if you’re honorable, you see more wolf is you’re dishonorable. Very reflective of native mythology.)
When this finished, I just stopped for a bit and started thinking. After all the hell that Arthur goes through, he’s still bent on finding his people and trying again. He’s doubtful of Dutch, but still trusts in his intentions. The entire gang really starts to question the sanity of the man, and the decisions over the past months/years.
Blackwater is the watershed moment. It’s when all the luck runs out and the dues start being called in. Where Dutch is focused on the micro, the world around him is just taking massive strides. Day by day, mission my mission, each previous decision has repercussions on the next set of events. When you find out why the bank job went south, it’s a really impressive piece of art.
I’m nearing the clear end point now. Arthur’s journey towards the grave is assured, it’s all about the timing. And for the walls of the house of Dutch to fall down.