Some spoilers for storylines in Red Dead Redemption 2
Well, played, but didn’t do much. Decided to head towards Mary’s thing, which was far away. Magpied up to a ranch, dude killed me. Got jumped by, like, 147855 O’Driscolls. Died. Got as far as Valentine. Got the free gun from the guy who I helped out with the snake venom (did you get that? Handy). Decided to eat, sleep, that sort of thing to get to a normal weight. Apparently oatmeal doesn’t cut it. Need better food. Said “I need better food, but I have no money,” so I…..
did a bounty.
It was kind of easy. Just really a ride out, figure out the trick (died twice, but reloaded the checkpoint right before I died, no biggie), bring back the bounty. Quick and easy. Not themey, per se, but whatever. Only worth 25 bucks, but after giving all my money away to chicken coops and bounties, I needed it.
Here’s something I’ll say for this game: it makes money matter. This game, at least in chapter 2, it’s important to feel poor. That’s the point right now, right? The gang is struggling. I figured they’d have a problem with this, because in most games a) money doesn’t matter because you find so much stuff in the world you never have to buy anything, b) you get so rich so fast that it becomes irrelevant how much things cost or c) both. Here, I really do find myself thinking through every little transaction. I get happy when I find $1.04. (More than a dollar! Score!) I find myself thinking “maybe I should go hunting so I don’t have to buy the camp food.”
That, in a game like this, is good design. I think they nailed it in the sense that I do feel myself thinking hard about my finances but I haven’t (yet) gotten to the point of not being able to get something I really need (except FAST TRAVEL) and, thus, getting frustrated.
More games should do that.
I’m with you on money and having to scrabble for resources, and how they set that up effectively. I think this would get old after a while, but as a first act, it does make you feel that money and minor loot (canned goods–I can eat those! a pocket watch–I can sell that!) are important.
And I’m sure the fact that it DOES get old after a while will help to explain the fact that the gang goes along with whatever bad idea Dutch and Micah (or whoever, but I’m betting Micah) cook up. I mean, first of all Dutch is the boss and we do whatever he says, but also we’re tired of living like this, counting up every four cents, having to hunt rabbits to keep ourselves fed…let’s go after the big score that will probably end in disaster!
Oh, no doubt. You can already tell, if you talk to dudes in camp, as I’m sure you do, that there’s already some people are starting to grumble about the accommodations, chicken coops or no. Indeed, that whole “It’s better here….have hope…” speech was given around a meager campfire, in the dark, to people with downcast eyes. Hardly a rousing “YES! Yes, Dutch! We believe!” crowd. More like a crowd that’s been sleeping in the dirt eating bad stew and is starting to not like sleeping in the dirt and eating bad stew.
It also exposes another fault line in the gang: Dutch’s thing with Colm O’Driscoll. We hear, early, Arthur and Hosea saying “I thought you said revenge was something WE CAN’T AFFORD,” emphasis mine. They’re saying “Dude, why are you wasting time with this selfish thing when we’re sleeping in the dirt and eating bad stew?”
This game does issues of class rather well.
And it sure is hitting close to home. Given our current situation, and certain pundits and politicians saying “No one cares about bureaucrats with cushy jobs not getting paid for once” and “This is like a nice vacation for these [pampered] people,” hearing Dutch, he of the “real Americans” say “Only weaklings with low IQs go work for the government” resonates maybe a tad more than the writers thought it would, which isn’t a bad thing, artistically.
Another aspect of this game’s ideas of class is how the poor/middle class/dying breed of Americans struggling to survive is eating itself to get ahead. I haven’t robbed a bank yet. Sure, there was that train robbery, but the ways I’ve made the most money are a) loan sharking other poor people and b) taking bounties on other poor people FOR THE GOVERNMENT. We’re not sticking it to the man. We’re sticking it to people like us.
This is two days in a row I thought I didn’t have anything and we’re doing well.
You playing yet?
No, I looked at Notifications > Uploads, as you suggested. Some things uploaded on and before Jan. 21, like it showed on the Application Saved Data Management screen. And then?
The next slot after Jan. 21 says “error. Failed to upload.”
Apparently it’s just been failing to upload for the past two weeks for some unspecified reason. Probably it has regularly popped up a notification about that failure…probably the kid has regularly ignored it while turning on the system in the morning to watch cartoons.
And that is how the entire universe conspired to make sure the game data I saved over is definitely, absolutely, really-truly gone forever.
Nice try, though! Your suggestions were good, they just couldn’t overcome the sad reality.
After that, I just tuned out. I have to work up to even being able to face loading this thing again.
Dude. That is some seriously cosmic shit. Cruel, cruel, cosmic shit.
You likely hit that ten gig cap at exactly the wrong time. Clean that shit out.
Spend the day working yourself up to play! For mr o! For the blog! For your own damn sanity!
Cuz the only way to put this behind you is a few good playing sessions.
Yeah, no doubt. No doubt.
Sticking it to people like ourselves is exactly what The Man wants us to do. And we’re falling for it!
Don’t do it, Arthur!
Play tonight! You’ll feel better.
And, in the irony department, as of today PS+ members, like us, are now allotted 100 gigs of cloud storage instead of the ten we had….uh….how to put this delicately….a couple of weeks ago.
Ok, back to blogging.
The Man wants us to, yes. And I think the game is trying to make a point by MAKING us do what the man wants us to do. We HAD to do at least two “collect the debt” missions. We HAD to shoot up Strawberry (which wasn’t us robbing the rich). We HAD to shoot up the O’Driscolls there, and that was after the O’Driscoll explicitly said we were just like us. The game is the same kind of puppeteer that the Man is. What’s interesting is that I haven’t read a lot of analysis of this game mentioning that, which makes me think that most of the people who are playing it are being manipulated into this and not noticing.
That, in and of itself, is interesting metaphor.
Even the optional stuff! If you lay off the bounties, that’s gonna cost you a bunch of money. I only did it because I needed to. I’m sure we’d be far richer (or, at least, a little bit richer) if we played all black hat and robbed everyone we could find. You know, the poor saps like us. The game is built to have a middle/working class that eats itself to survive, and reward those who eat the most.
You’re kidding. [Groan.]
Siiiiiiigh…back to blogging…
Yeah, true. I haven’t been robbing people (even the witness I threatened with brutal violence if he reported me!–I figured hey, he’s more likely to think A LITTLE kindly of me if I don’t take his money, and even a smidgen of goodwill could mean the difference between mentioning something to the sheriff someday, and not), and certainly I’m the worse for it, financially.
Even choosing not to completely clean out Wroble…that probably set us back $5 or $10. And when we’re counting the pennies, that’s not insignificant.
It’s not! I’m sure I could’ve gotten a pretty penny for that engagement ring. More than five, ten bucks, too.
Though last night I did get quite a windfall from being nice. The guy with the snakebite. I mean, a $100 gun? I felt like I hit the lottery.
I haven’t run across that guy again, but I did help him with his snakebite issue, so that’s something to look forward to.
Speaking of helping people, that gunslingers quest with the author? I went out of my way to go find all the gunslingers in a timely fashion, and then I wanted to find the guy and get paid, but now my journal just says “this quest will be continued at another time.”
So…no rush on that one.
I haven’t done any of them. Maybe that’s next.
Though I WAS gonna get Mary’s brother. Have you done that?
The dude with the snakebite was chilling on a bench outside the gunsmith in Valentine. It’s marked on the map with a gun. You talk to him again, he says “Go get a gun on me,” and you do. Nice little perk.
“Go get a gun on me.” Wow. Thank you, sir, that’s quite a generous offer! Most people would just say, “let me buy you a drink.” (And, to be fair, Arthur would happily accept that also.)
I’ll get the most expensive gun I can and then sell it back to the store and put the money towards fast travel.
Or food for the camp, I guess.
I did get Mary’s brother. You should probably go do that, actually. It’s themey. You’ll like it.
Wait…..you can sell guns? I don’t have that many guns, though.
It was quite the generous offer! I was half expecting the merchant to be all “The fuck you saying, pardner?” but no. Legit. Go get it.
Tonight. WHEN YOU PLAY. Tonight.
Figured that would be themey. But I’ll probably magpie. Or something.
I’m kinda running out of stuff, though. I have this feeling that the blackwater bit is going to be a “and now the next chapter” bit. Have you done it?
I have not done Blackwater, but that’s kind of the next thing on my list as well. There just isn’t really anything else going on unless I want to go back for that bounty that destroyed me the first time.
Though, again, it wasn’t the fights that did it, it was not being able to save the fights when it was bedtime. I’m sure it would be fine if I just set aside enough time to make sure I can get the corpse back to town.
Maybe, but I’m guessing you did that somewhere other than Valentine, right? Cuz the one I did last night was a lay up, and it was explicitly the last one in Valentine (the Sheriff is all “Well, that’s the last of ’em, gonna focus on street patrols….). So maybe that was a “Dude, you’re not supposed to be here yet” thing.
Either way, fuck that shit.
It was out by Saint Denis.
Oh, and that’s a good question, I don’t know if you can sell guns or not. I’ve never done it. Maybe you can’t. I was just thinking of games where I sell everything.
Yeah, see? I haven’t been anywhere NEAR St. Denis. No wonder it was hard.
I dunno, man. You need 25 bucks, go do the one in Valentine. Grab the free gun while you’re there.
I might do that. Might do.
I do need to do some sticking it to people like me. After all, The Man doesn’t enforce his rule all by himself: he needs our buy-in.
Watch: You’ll get jumped 19 times and be all “BUTCH! THE FUCK!”
I dunno, man. There was one trick, but it was ride there, grab, ride back. Didn’t see anyone else. Well, one guy, but he was kinda funny.
And the free gun is free.
“Might do.” We are starting to talk like cowboys, huh?
What did I say? When we first started, I was like “prediction: we will wind up talking like grizzled prospectors before we’re done with this.”
There’s something catchy about that old-timey drawl.
Now I tell you what, I figure I’m too ar-tick-you-late to fall for that kind of cow patty. And I reckon a lady such as yourself has been a part of too many cattle drives to let something as hare brained as cowboy talk turn this here blog into a wild doggone hootenanny.
Thank you, miss. Thanking you kindly.
Now you make sure you run on home after your chores are done and play those there vidya games the youngin’s enjoy so we can pass the time talkin’ on ’em after the next sunrise or I’m going to go as crazy as a June bug in July.
Dude, aren’t you the one who actually LIVED in the west? And “I reckon” is the best you can do?
People in the west don’t actually talk like grizzled prospectors anymore, as a rule.
Also, I don’t rightly know for certain, but more’n likely I’m just in awe of your command of the idiom.
Well, you know, not so’s you’d notice.
Nicely done there, pardner. Slipping it in all subtle like.
Please play this weekend. We need themes. Or, at least, nudity.
Which has been sadly lacking.
Yeah. I had a moment’s hope there when I paid for that bath in Strawberry, but no, it was just a bit of back. Siiiiigh.
Well, when I was checking why I only got a bronze thing (which I always get) for the boozy mission, one thing I didn’t do was “Catch Lenny in the act.”
Take that as you will.
Ah…interesting. I will…take that as I will. I guess.
I bet it was just a bit of back. If that.
Well, the box does say “Strong Sexual Content.”
That Sadie has eyes for me, she does.
I’m WAITING, box.
At least you got horse physics.
You know, ever since you told me the horses poop, I think my horse got the runs. I can’t unsee it.
This day really started well.
I told you that would happen!
And I sincerely apologize.
Jeez. Here’s a small sample of what we said today:
“Another aspect of this game’s ideas of class is how the poor/middle class/dying breed of Americans struggling to survive is eating itself to get ahead. I haven’t robbed a bank yet. Sure, there was that train robbery, but the ways I’ve made the most money are a) loan sharking other poor people and b) taking bounties on other poor people FOR THE GOVERNMENT. We’re not sticking it to the man. We’re sticking it to people like us.”
And now we’ve gotten to horse poop.
Yeah, well, we like to try to speak to the entire spectrum of peoples’ blog-reading needs.
Thoughtful, insightful discussion on game themes and their relationship to modern day reality…and horse poop.
Let’s not forget the pear brandy, burlap lingerie, and terrible fitness tips! We’ve got it all, folks!
One stop shopping. We aim to please.
We often miss, but we sure do aim.
“If you aim for the moon, and miss, you’ll still land among the stars.”
Likewise, if you aim to please, and miss, you’ll still land…uh…I don’t know. Probably not in prison. Not right away, anyway.
“Probably not in prison right away” is the best I’ve got. It’s time to go home.