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Some minor side plots in Red Dead Redemption 2

Butch:

Second morning in a row that’s been so long I feel like it’s lunchtime and it isn’t even eight. Why does this happen oh right kids.

Productive session last night! And I didn’t do any story! I think it’s a mark of a good game when you can, essentially, magpie and still have bloggage.

So, being NOWHERE NEAR ST. DENIS I booted up by that abandoned town Limpany near camp there. This is about the third time I’ve been all “There’s GOT to be something here,” so I decided to give it one more look.

There’s something there. A recipe for horse stimulant….and a gold bar. A FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR gold bar!

So that got my attention. I rode off to the fence, sold it, thinking “FAST TRAVEL!!!!” Rode back to camp cuz “FAST TRAVEL!!!!” and got FAST TRAVEL!!!!

Then, I was going to FAST TRAVEL to Micah’s thing, but noticed an icon in camp from Javier, asking me to rob some dudes. At first, I thought, I dunno…robbing just dudes? But then…well…let’s just say I did it. Did you do it? Because if not, I won’t spoil, but if you did, I have thoughts.

I have thoughts and a LOT of money and a cool new shotgun because I did the robbery.

And then, I happened to be right by that legendary wolf I found earlier cuz of the robbery and I decided to….yup…go get me that wolf. And I did! And then back to the fence to get the trinket and the perk! BOOM!

I’m rich(ish), I can fast travel, I have a pump action shotgun, and I have a perk!

And thoughts, if you did that robbery.

Not too shabby.

Feminina:

Not too shabby at all!

I…did not do that robbery. I don’t remember ever seeing that robbery. Javier’s been holding out on me!

I did a robbery with Sean. Not the same thing, though.

Saw your note about fast travel. That makes sense. I was looking for it when I wasn’t in camp, but if you can only do it from camp, well, that explains that.

Butch:

No, I haven’t seen a thing about Sean. The only thing I’ve seen about Sean was his name in the ledger saying he donated an “empty bottle” to the cause. This game does the little touches well.

I dunno, man. I went back to camp and there was this white icon. I don’t even think it said anyone’s initials, it was just this weird icon. So I checked it out and it was Javier wanting to rob some dudes. So dudes were robbed.

Check for it when you’re next in Horseshoe overlook. It’s….interesting. And lucrative. And the pump action shotgun is SO COOL. Just ask the legendary wolf about that oh wait you can’t cuz he’s dead!

Have you gotten back to playing at all?

At least I’m still comfortably behind you, story wise.

Feminina:

I played a bit. Did that Sean robbery, which was pretty much as you describe the Javier one: saw a white marker, went over, he said he wanted to rob some dudes, Arthur said great, and some dudes were robbed. Got some cash, some food, a cigarette card. Can’t complain.

Speaking of comparing this to other games, it’s a bit like in Horizon where you often don’t actually decide to accept a quest, but even more so: here, you not only don’t choose to accept, you don’t even choose when to do it. Aloy could always say “yeah, I’ll look into it” and then do it later or not at all, but here, if you go talk to a guy with a quest, you are ON that quest. Not always, but many times. Arthur will say “sounds good, let’s do it,” and then the other guy is all “OK, come on, what are we waiting for?” and that’s your active quest.

Don’t even talk to people unless you’re ready to get dragged into their random robberies and murders, is the message I’m getting. This is why in real life, I avoid talking to people as much as possible.

Video games: so many lessons for life!

I mean, maybe I’m just taking “come on, what are we waiting for?” too seriously. I might be able to select another quest and say “we’re waitin’ fer me to be in the mood, and right now I’ve got a hankerin’ to go somewhere else instead,” and just leave Sean (or Javier?) waiting on their horses for two weeks while I did other things. But they certainly give the appearance of “if you’re going to do this, do it now.”

Which I don’t even really mind here…it’s kind of nice to just get a quest and take care of it and be done with it. It obviously works better for some types of quests than others…it’s all very well to say “hey, let’s go rob a house right now,” and less workable to say “you need to find Mary-Beth a pen right now,” when you could be searching for the damn pen for six months. (Of course, that’s also their choice, to make some quests short and self-contained and others vague and open-ended, and if they wanted to just tell you where the pen was and have you go there, that would be another thing.)

Anyway, remember these words and live by them…don’t talk to anyone unless you’re prepared to wind up murdering and robbing a bunch of dudes.

Butch:

Except…I dunno. It wasn’t so much the robbery itself being interesting, but my reaction to it all. The robbery was a pretty simple case the joint, shoot the dudes, find the stash thing, yes. But there were variables to it that made me have one of those “Wait…why did I make those decisions?” kind of moments one gets in games sometimes. You know the ones. And it’s hard to say why unless you’ve done it, so hopefully you do it. It’s quick, and there’s a shotgun in it for you.

Yeah, that is a little off putting that you have to do it immediately. Especially as this often plops you somewhere far away from what you meant to do in the first place. This one, he was all “Let’s go!” and I was all “Really? I don’t want to ride way the hell off….” but then it did that cutscene it does sometimes when it doesn’t want you to ride and listen to dialog and poof. There we were. “Hooray!” I said, “how convenient!” And then I did the robbery, and he was all “Ok, I’ll meet you back at camp” and Arthur was all “Ok…I’ll wrap up here…” and my heart sank. The shotgun made me feel better, but I did have to ride back. By way of the wolf. And the fence.

It was a LOOOOONG way.

That’s why you’re really the only person I talk to, and that’s over email. The other four people I do talk to, I’m always getting dragged into their random entreaties for milk and clean laundry. Nothing good comes of talking to people.

It is a rather interesting line, when to make you do it now, when not to.

One thing I really do like is splitting some quests up into multiple bits. The “Noblest men and a Woman” thing became each gunslinger (even when you save during it, it says “Emmit Granger” not “The Noblest of Men and a Woman.” The “Pouring forth oil” and “We loved once and true” took pauses so they’re not there filling up the quest list. These are good touches.

Speaking of love, the intricacies of romance in the camp are great. Did you read Arthur’s journal about Abigail and Jack after the fishing trip? He was all “I should’ve married her….damn you Mary….” Last night, Mary Beth (little confusing, game, but ok), who I danced with and promised a pen to, was all “So…you saw Mary?” and Arthur was all “It’s in the past…” and she’s all “I hope so….” So Mary liked Arthur (and may like him again), Mary Beth likes Arthur now, Arthur can’t decide between Abigail, who likes John, and Mary, and poor Mary Beth, who I like, is over there all sad.

Pick Mary Beth! MARY BETH!

(Heist, check. Romance, check. Fancy dress ball, close e-damn-nough.)

I have to do laundry today. And get dry cleaning. Cuz I talked to people.

Feminina:

Thank you for providing a valuable example of why we should never talk to people. It sucks that you have to suffer, but it will really drive home the point to our readers, and hopefully they can learn from this.

All right, I have a lunch meeting so I’ll be off for a bit.

At least there’s lunch!

Butch:

Yeah, but there’ll be people. So you’ll have lunch, then come back to more shit you have to do.

I just had a sandwich in blissful silence.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to check the laundry.

Feminina:

True. You can’t trust a gathering of people. Although…sometimes they ‘re less likely to give you a quest when there are a bunch of other people around, because they’re distracted or whatever.

So maybe it was safer than if I’d had a sandwich with just ONE other person. That would almost certainly have resulted in additional quests.

Speaking of quests, have you robbed John’s train yet? Because that’s certainly another one of those multi-step ones where even if you find Arthur saying “oh yeah, let’s go!” to the first part, you can then take a break before going back to the next part.

Also, there may be some Sean in that. You know, just in case you wanted to get to know him better.

Butch:

I have not. Well, I’ve gotten him his wagon, and now he’s over there waiting for me to do whatever it is we do with the wagon. It is one big no save rush after that?

It’s either that or Micah. That’s all I got right now. Unless wildlife man poofs back into existence.

That is, after I find the trapper so I can do whatever I’m supposed to do with this fetching legendary wolf pelt.

Hey, have you gotten that “You can’t harvest everything from this animal cuz your satchel’s too small” nonsense that I get all the time? How can I expand my satchel? I WANT A BIGGER SATCHEL!

And can you put things on Roach besides pelts and rabbits? Like, I dunno, carrots?

Though that would be rude to store carrots in a saddlebag. He’d be all “I’ll show you…I’ll tape that chocolate bar to that part of your back you can’t scratch…how do you like them apples?”

Feminina:

I saw wildlife man on the map the other day!–but I was in the middle of something else and couldn’t go over there.

I’ll check it out next time. Or the time after that. It’s not my fault he always shows up when I’m busy and/or far away.

Butch:

It must be a time of day thing. Time seems to matter more in this game than others.

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