RDR2 Prioritizes Realism At The Expense of Playability

By prioritizing realism over playability, Red Dead Redemption 2 accidentally leaves some players feeling frustrated over completing minor tasks.

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most critically-acclaimed games of the decade. But even though the game has been praised for its expansive open world environment and intricate storyline, that doesn’t mean Red Dead Redemption 2 is without faults.

In fact, one of the most annoying elements of RDR2 is that it prioritizes realism above all else. The game forces players to complete a series of mundane tasks in order to accomplish bigger, but often still minor, goals, and though this may be reflective of the process an individual would have to go through in real life, it’s annoying when it’s incorporated so explicitly in a video game.

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Thanks to its detail and lavish animations, Red Dead Redemption 2 has the luxury of feeling like a full-fledged simulation rather than simply a video game based on the wild west. But this isn’t always a positive thing, especially for players looking to relieve stress and just have a simple, fun time while playing.

How RDR2 Prioritizes Realism Over All Else

arthur in red dead redemption 2

There are too many mundane, small tasks Red Dead Redemption 2 forces players to complete. In order to maintain the efficacy of their guns, players must routinely clean and inspect them, otherwise, they’ll get a notification on their screen informing them their gun is poor quality. Players also have to go to their horse in order to change weapons, something that’s easy to forget especially when players are about to start a mission.

The main problem is that while, yes, individuals would have to do these sorts of things if they were an outlaw in real-life, it’s annoying to be forced to do it mid-game. Many folks play video games to escape from reality, as a way to relieve stress or tension. But this is counter-productive if the game itself is leaving players agitated. RDR2 has been praised for being an extra-long game, thereby giving players a lot of opportunity to extend gameplay, but when much of the gameplay involves doing monotonous chores such as the ones described, it doesn’t leave players feeling enticed to keep on playing.

The quality of the game wouldn’t have been compromised had they made such repetitive actions more user-friendly, or even better, optional. RDR2 already stays largely true to history, from its immersive landscape to the various conflicts players encounter as Arthur, and getting rid of the smaller tasks that frustrate players wouldn’t compromise this accuracy. After all, there are other ways in which Rockstar didn’t prioritize realism at the expense of gameplay. The fact that players can have their gun chamber fully loaded is itself unrealistic, for example. Due to the risk of a gun backfiring, given how unpredictable they were at the time, most outlaws wouldn’t keep it fully loaded in order to prevent an accident. It seems arbitrary that an important historical fact like this was overlooked, yet players still have to perform realistic tasks like cleaning their guns. Red Dead Redemption 2 may be one of few games that has managed to escape major criticisms, but the game still has flaws, as evidenced by its commitment to realism at the expense of playability.

NEXT: Where RDR2’s Van der Linde Gang Ends Up After Red Dead Redemption


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