After having played RDR2 a month report
This is one heck of a beautiful game. Rockstar has done a superb job creating the Wild West environment. I’ve spent more time in the online portion of the game than the solo game.
The online portion is most fun in story mode with friends. IMO the game is designed around coop play. As long as you can find a joint mission to do, it’s going to be fun, and it does not have to be your mission to be fun, or to get credits for it. There are professions in game- trader, collector, bounty hunter, and bootlegger. If you help somone do their trader mission, and you have established trader as a profession, you to will get points towards the trader progression.
The nuts and bolts of a profession are soloable. For trader, hunt and kill animals to turn into your handyman Kripps at your camp, fetch him other related supplies and deliver goods to buyers (soloable), but there are missions in the profession “getting established phase“ that can be difficult without help. Doing it with friends is the most fun, and the most successful because some missions are very challenging for one player to accomplish.
When doing the online phase, solo, it’s a grind. Hunting animals, (Trader) is the most fun at first, but after you get into the routine, it’s a grind. Searching the landscape for collectibles is a grind. Bounty hunting solo can be fun some missions (bounties), but other missions can be next to impossible such as apprehend 4 people alive with a timer runner.
There are group activities that pop up, some are PVE and some PVP, and when one pops up on your screen, it has a minimal description, so you don’t know at first what you are getting into, or if you are in over your head until you are committed.
At this point I don’t really know what the end game consists of, possibly endless grinding, better horses and gear, and endless group activities. How much trading can you do before getting tired of it?
There also some issues with forming posses. The Rick Star Social Club structure is a mess. You have to be a friend, have to be in a crew, and the online portion of the game is spread out over dozens if not more of instances/servers so joining someone’s posse means joining both their session(server) and their posse, and sometimes unable to join their posse for an unapparent reason, which is frustrating as hell.
There is a serious issue with hacking. On several occasions I’ve found myself and posse teleported and then murdered by sometimes invisible opponents.
Good news: Minimal death penalty, missions can be resumed, but maybe subject to a timer. This also applies when you are murdered by another player. Tip: Missions put you in offensive mode. After each mission, hit L, scroll to online, and put yourself back into defensive mode. In this way if you are innocently gunned down by an ass wipe, you can report them, which puts a bounty on them. My understanding is that if you are in offensive, your dot on the map appears red, and you can be killed by other players without consequence. So far my experience in game has been good regarding other player interactions. Most are not gankers.
Now, I’m getting my feet wet, with the solo game mode (not the online environment). This is fun and designed for solo game play. The first 2 chapters are completely guided, getting you familiar with the game mechanics and then you are turned loose in the sand box. It may seem a bit mysterious what you are supposed to do next, but there are yellow and orange icons in the map which will draw you to missions and activities, along with some excellent online guides. And note on one of the early missions you might find yourself left in town (Valentine) by your AI companions, whistle up your horse which will most likely be around.