So, for my birthday, my brother got me Red Dead Redemption 2, a game he's been trying to get me to play for ages now. This is the same brother who got me all of the Mass Effect games for Christmas, not because I wanted them, but because he wanted me to have them. Notice a bit of a theme here? He didn't even get me a new copy of the game. It was used, and didn't come with a case. Whatever. So I figured, I'd give it a try, I did end up enjoying most of the Mass Effect games, excluding 2, after all.
So, up front, I have to say that I have never had any interest in Red Dead Redemption 2 at all. I saw a bunch of trailers, tv spots, and ads plastered all over the internet, but I also heard some really, really bad things about the working conditions for the people who worked on it. They basically got paid slave wages to work 90+ hours a week on it, and didn't even get bonuses when the game did well, while the executives raked it in and kept it all for themselves. I'm not really huge into westerns. I'll watch an occasional one here and there if someone else suggests it, but I don't really watch them on my own. It's not a genre I've ever really cared all that much about. Except for High Noon. That movie is pretty badass.
So, I really liked the prologue of Red Dead Redemption 2. I thought it was fun to play. It had interesting characters. I liked the combat, which is kind of reminiscent of Mass Effect or Gears of War. The hide behind thing, shoot at things, move up to hide behind other thing, repeat, etc etc etc. I thought to myself, well, if the whole game is like this, I'll probably end up loving it.
And then the prologue ended, and the game turned into the EXACT kind of open world game that I hate. The kind where your main story progression quests are not marked out, if they even exist at all. There's a whole bunch of side quests marked out all over the map, and some of them are rather entertaining little stories, but there's no main story quest you can go do to progress in the game once you get bored with doing side quests. Look at the Witcher 3. You've got about 17 million side quests and points of interest splattering the map like a freaking Jackson Pollock painting. But where you go for the next leg of the main story is ALWAYS clearly marked out for you, so once you get bored with doing side stuff, you can move on and progress to the next part of the story. It's the same with Horizon Zero Dawn. And Final Fantasy 15. And Xenoblade Chronicles X. And Nier Automata. And Mass Effect Andromeda. All of those games are big open world games full of all kinds of side quests and things to explore. BUT THEY ALL HAVE A CLEARLY MARKED OUT MAIN STORY TO PROGRESS IN WHEN YOU GET SICK OF THE SIDE STUFF!!!
Red Dead Redemption 2 has no main story that I can find. It's a big open world with nothing to do in it but side quests. I did a bunch of side quests. I got bored of doing side quests. There was nothing else to do. So I quit playing, because I have better things to do. Sidequests do not a good story make. Frankly, I don't really care if a main story comes into it later, it bungled things so badly here in chapter 1 that I have zero desire to play any further than that. When there's no clear goal, or next step to progress the main narrative of the game along, what's even the point? Do they expect you to just sit around and do 300 hours of side quests and then tell you the game's over? Yeah, no thanks. Don't care. Just doing sidequests endlessly, no matter how interesting their own individual stories might be, just isn't fun to me. I want to be able to progress in the story when I get bored of side crap.
So yeah, did not like, would not recommend.