Minor spoilers for near the beginning of Red Dead Redemption 2
Well, got to Valentine, and instantly started liking the game a whole lot more. It’s amazing what quest markers will do for a game. I still feel like we’re kinda in the hinterlands here, but NOW I feel like a damn cowboy. No snow, quests, saloons, MUCH better. Did the “High society” quasi tutorial. Decided that a mechanic every game should have is chase scenes that end with the target just crashing if you don’t catch them. Would’ve made a couple missions in mafia better.
Did that, bought a newspapaer, unlocked another cheat-
Hmm? What’s that you say? You didn’t know about cheats? Cheats! Not using them yet, but yes. Cheats. I have to say, I was very nervous that this game doesn’t have the ability to lower the difficultly until I discovered the cheats. Good to know they’re there.
I have twelve metric shit tons of stuff to say about theme, but I also have a cold and I have to go take my car in for service and recalls and shit, so I’m back on the phone after this, so I’ll hold off on the theme. But, as we really must get back to bloggage, I’ll chuck this out there for now:
So during Shadow we talked on how it’s kinda silly when games go for realism when they also have supernatural shit. Well, it’s also silly, and, really, inexplicable, when a game goes for realism, CAPTURES so damn much realism so very well, then does weird things to muck it up. Here: They’re in the rockies, right? They are. They went east, and now they’re in the heartland. IT’S THE ROCKIES. So why call it the Grizzlies? Who do they think they’re fooling? Why do they feel the need to fool anyone? I read the newspaper, and it refers to “President MacAllister.” Why not just say “McKinley?” I can see if you were doing some alternate history, but having President McKinley in there and just calling him MacAllister and winking at the audience all “Yeah, we know, we’re being cheeky” is just weird. It’s not like “Rocky Mountains” is copyrighted. It’s not like they have to pay McKinley’s estate.
I had the same issues with “New Bordeaux.”
And before anyone is all “But there wasn’t an Arthur Morgan in the real Rockies” who cares? My kids just played the Spider Man game, and that takes place in New York. Not “New Amsterdam but it’s really New York.” New York. Geography and all. No one said “This game sucks! I’ve been to New York and there’s no Spider man there!” It’s a fictional work in a real place, which has been part of fiction since fiction was invented.
Changing details JUST ENOUGH is just precious and cheeky and completely unnecessary.
Ok, rant over.
I would definitely like more chase scenes to end in crashes if I don’t catch the target. That would be just fine.
I bought a newspaper, but I didn’t see a cheat code. Maybe I bought the wrong one.
I also wondered about the whole naming of things issue. Why, indeed, do so much to get the historical details looking so accurate–YOU! are living in history! in the real live American West! in 1899!–and then throw in the fact of “oh, and also this is an alternate universe where major geographical regions were named differently and important historical figures are ever-so-slightly off.”
I mean…what’s the point? As you say, it’s not as if they’re dealing with copyright issues here, and setting fictional events in real places is a long, long, long-standing tradition. Why not use the real Rocky Mountains and make up a few small towns? Is anyone going to sue? I imagine the worst that can happen is that you get some details wrong and put a bunch of seedy liquor stores in downtown Concord or something and a few bloggers make snarky comments. And after 120 years, the odds of even that are pretty darn low.
The crossover between people who are playing this game and people who are ardent American West historians and would be able to identify the precise area you’re claiming was Valentine and point out that actually this was a major military training ground in that year, is not likely to be large. Whereas the crossover between people who are playing this game and people who are aware that there is no range of mountains called the Grizzlies is…actually quite large indeed. I mean, people are bad at geography, but even so.
Possibly this is the same universe as GTA, and so since GTA’s cities are thinly veiled versions of actual cities (perhaps for the somewhat logical reason that there’s a large crossover between people who play those games and people who know the cities in question and would get nitpicky about the architecture or whatever), they figured the entire country should also be a thinly veiled version of itself? Only with the same name? I don’t think that necessarily follows, but…just grasping at straws here.
The other thing I can think of that could make it make sense is if they plan to extend this franchise forward into the more recent past and at some point include events that everyone knows didn’t happen, like “in 1977, the aliens invaded, and ever since we’ve been trying to convince them to buy our excess soybeans” or something, and build on that as they move into other games. But I would tend to doubt this is the case.
In short, I don’t know, but I agree with you that it nags at one, slightly.
SOOOOOOO realistic and accurate! Except when it’s obviously, intentionally, unrealistically wrong and inaccurate on major details.
Maybe they’re just trying to cover themselves in case minor details are also wrong.
Like nitpick deterrent: “Hey, we clearly did some stuff wrong on purpose, so how do you know that little error you just noticed wasn’t also intentional? Don’t bother bringing it to our attention, we already know and it’s part of our larger plan. President MacAllister signed off on it personally.”
Well, if it’s nitpick deterrent, it backfired.
I’m gonna be at this car dealer all day. At least the coffee is acceptable.
If you bought a paper from the guy in valentine, it has one.
See, I found this cryptic message in the Adler estate, way back in chapter one. I puzzled over it. I thought it was some clue to something. Couldn’t make heads or tails of it. And then, poking through the menus as I do, I find the cheat screen, everything locked. I fiddled, and it’s all “invalid cheat phrase.” “Phrase?” I think. So I punch in the weird phrase from the estate and voila.
So now, I see a weird phrase I try it. And there was a weird phrase on the very bottom of the back page of the paper.
It does not say “cheat code.” It’s just there looking weird.
It did kind of backfire. At least with us. I’d have to read more reviews to see if anyone else was annoyed, but I’m probably not going to get around to doing that.
OK…weird phrase, menu, cheat screen. I’ll be sure to get right on that.
Check back in a couple of weeks and see if I’ve remembered it. I’m probably too busy going to vaudeville shows in the big city.
What, exactly, are the cheat codes for? Anything we actually care about?
There isn’t a menu option per se. On one screen, either help, story or player, there’s an option at the bottom to hit triangle for cheats. That calls up the screen.
I think they’re there in lieu of an easier difficulty, sort of a “break glass in case of reaper moment.” You can toggle them on and off. The two I have are “unlock a suite of stealth weapons” and “unlimited ammo” (that’s the one in the newspaper). Could be handy. There’s about twenty I haven’t unlocked.
I kinda like that. Instead of just “easy,” it lets you pick what advantages you want, to tailor how easy. Nice.
Vaudeville? Wait, you’re in a big city? How much have you played?
It is kind of nice. Sort of along the same lines as setting the difficulty for different aspects separately, as we just talked about with SotTR. Having problems with just one thing that drives you bonkers and makes you want to quit the game? Make that one thing less difficult!
I’ll be sure to check it out.
I haven’t played all that much, but once you get past the tutorial sections you can pretty much go wherever you want, and I sort of accidentally ended up on a train to the big city. While there, I obviously decided to take in a vaudeville show, because I enjoy fine entertainment as much as the next grizzled outlaw.
Oh dear. You can magpie by train?
Did you get the biography of a gunslinger quest?
I did get that quest! And that’s exactly what sent me wandering off looking for other gunslingers to interview, and ending up on a train. It’ll happen to you too!
I have a feeling I’ll have some stuff to say about that quest.
Still at the car dealership.
I can’t imagine why you would. It’s a nonevent, really. Nothing at all there about lies or legends or history and who writes it.
And someone with a thing for pigs.
Yeeeesss…the pigs. Haven’t talked to him yet. Anxious to get his side of the story.
I’m looking forward to anything at this point as I am still at the car dealership.
Well, at least there are no kids here. And I read a whole magazine.
Hey, sitting quietly reading a magazine! That’s a refreshing change of pace!
It’s gonna be great.