Last year brought the world tons of critically acclaimed video games, but few stand alongside Red Dead Redemption 2. The sequel to everyone's favorite virtual Western captivates with an engaging story, plenty of action, and a dense world to explore. The game features great performances, a massive open world, gorgeous graphics, and incredible sound design. There is little that people can hold against such a well-made game, but is that because it's perfect, or because people are giving it too much credit?
For this list, we're going to take a look at all of Red Dead Redemption 2's faults that players have come to overlook. Nobody is saying that it isn't a great game, it's fantastic, but it's not perfect. It has plenty wrong with it: we're talking plot holes, gameplay flaws, and some of the most bizarre quirks that the Wild West has to offer. We won't be discussing glitches or technical errors though (there are plenty of those for sure), but this list was created under the assumption that the game is working the way it should. Even when the game is working properly though, there are plenty that fans seem to ignore. Keep in mind that this list is all in good fun as we're not here to bash your favorite video game or take away from its well-earned praise. This list only serves to shine a light on the flaws that this near-perfect game has cleverly hidden away. So, it's time to saddle up, here are 20 Things Wrong With Red Dead Redemption 2 We All Choose To Ignore.
20 Trigger-Happy People
Is there any reason why the average Red Dead pedestrian is so easily agitated? Civilians in Rockstar games are notoriously aggressive as they love to antagonize the player and pick pointless fights, but this is just nonsense. Non-player characters get spooked just as easily as they anger, and they'll pull a gun on the player for the slightest perceived offense. Did you accidentally bump into somebody on the street? Expect a standoff.
Red Dead Redemption 2 mitigates this issue with new conversation options, letting you appease and antagonize NPCs with simple button presses. However, even though conversation can diffuse tense situations, people are still way too easy to anger and even quicker to enact violence. Not everyone in the Old West was a gun-slinging bandit, right?
19 Paying Bounties Is Too Forgiving
Committing crimes can rack up quite the bounty on Arthur Morgan's head. These bounties can really pile up, and the higher the bounty, the riskier exploration can be. Bounty hunters can track you down in packs and entire towns can even shun you on sight. Although paying off bounties can make things much easier, isn't it weird that you can do this to get out of any crime?
Real life can be similar, but Red Dead doesn't have Arthur paying off parking tickets. The gang can raid entire towns or leave tons of casualties behind and the entire episode can be forgiven with a simple payment at the post office. Where do these people draw the line?
18 Useless Bandanas
Red Dead Redemption 2 introduces the bandana, a new item that players can equip to conceal their identity during the game's various heists and shootouts. The item's tutorial suggests that wearing it will completely hide your face, but technically, that's not how it works.
The bandana doesn't hide your identity, it only lessens the chances of being recognized by bystanders and law enforcement. It also rarely works as described. What's the sense of using an item that only works half the time? Players might be better off wearing it all the time in the hopes that it works, or just ignoring it all together. At least it makes you look cooler.
17 No Running In The House
Players spend a lot of time in the gang's camp. Not only is it the starting location for many story missions, but it's where Arthur eats, sleeps, dresses, stocks resources, and socializes with the rest of his family. You'll often spend a lot more time there than necessary, though, because Arthur is forced to walk as slow as possible.
Once the player enters the camp's boundaries, running is disabled, and Arthur is forced to walk at a slow, all-too-leisurely pace. This makes walking around camp extremely tedious, especially when you need to accomplish simple tasks consecutively. Maybe, you need to talk to another character, but you need to donate resources and change your clothes first. You'll find yourself spending way too long traversing camp when these tasks could be completed in under a minute.
16 Relentless Lawmen
For a game all about living free from society's oppression, Red Dead is enduring if you don't follow society's rules. Gone are Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV days where the police officers are hilariously incompetent as the lawmen of Red Dead Redemption 2 are vicious and surprisingly effective.
Much like the other Rockstar games, you can simply outwit the law by avoiding them with strategic retreats and hiding spots. However, unlike their previous games, standing your ground against the local law is not for the faint of heart. They're plentiful, accurate, and extremely dangerous to tackle alone. We're not saying it should be easy to fight them off, but you would think a game so thematically opposed to “the law” would be a bit more forgiving.
15 The Gang Empties The Donation Box
Why is it that the gang never seems to contribute as much as the player? The campsite must be upgraded by donating to the gang's collection box where each donation is recorded. However, browsing the financial ledger shows that other gang members rarely contribute as much as Arthur Morgan.
This makes sense, seeing as the player can make money way faster than the NPCs, but why does everybody start to complain when Arthur doesn't donate? If you haven't contributed in a while, gang members will often berate you for not pulling your weight, as if they're slaving away to pull theirs. The fact is that if it weren't for Arthur, Dutch's gang of criminals would be worse off. A little gratitude would be nice.
14 Virtual Hygiene Matters
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a surprisingly realistic video game. The attention to detail is astonishing, almost as if it tries to be some kind of western life simulator rather than a crime adventure. However, while the realism is appreciated, not everyone plays video games to simulate the mundane tasks of reality.
When's the last time you played a video game where your character had to bathe so NPCs would stop heckling you? Again, sure, it's realistic, but it totally lessens the pacing of the game. If you don't stay clean, people will insult you and sometimes, wildlife can smell your unbathed stench, ruining your element of surprise on a hunt. Do we really need to worry about virtual personal hygiene when we could be off doing something more fun?
13 Weapon Hygiene Matters
Just like the realism of personal hygiene, weapon maintenance also plays a major factor in your combating prowess. If you don't clean and maintain your guns regularly, their combat stats will diminish and they'll be much less effective. If your revolver seems like it doesn't have the kick that it used to, it's probably because you need to give it some oil.
It's another cool, realistic feature that sounds interesting in concept. However, having to take valuable game time to wipe down all of the guns in Arthur's inventory is a chore that players can do without. Can't we just play the game? If you want to skip the hassle of slowly wiping down each one, you can pay gunsmiths to do it for you.
12 Everything Is Animated
Video games often feature a kind of “shorthand” for simple, menial tasks. For example, characters rarely need to bend over and pick an item up off the ground to collect it. In Red Dead Redemption 2, though, even the slightest, smallest tasks are animated. Need to loot an enemy you just defeated? You won't just be walking over them and tapping a button, you'll have to slowly, painstakingly search each one of their pockets.
Sure, this might make the game “realistic” in a sense, but having to sit through tons of monotonous, identical animations just to do something simple is extremely grating. Even the process of skinning animals after a hunt is animated in detail — and yes, the bigger the game, the longer it takes to skin. Why aren't more fans complaining about this?
11 Lame Horse Whistling
Bonding with your trusty steed is important. To make them loyal companions, you need to feed them well, brush them clean, and treat them right. However, even the most loyal horse isn't above Red Dead's misguided attempts at being realistic.
At any time, you can whistle for your horse to call it to your current position, where in the previous game, whistling for your horse would summon it no matter where you were — a convenient “video game-esque” feature that saves the player tons of time. Now, if you whistle too far from your horse, it won't come to you at all. Do we get magical, all-hearing horses in real life? Of course not. However, whistling too far from our horse and having to hike back to it is a total buzzkill. Get ready for some long walks.
10 Fast Travel Sucks
The uncivilized United States is vast and takes tons of time to explore. You'll spend hours of the game just trying to traverse it all, let alone trying to discover every creek and mountain range. Unlike the original Red Dead Redemption, the game's fast travel system has been downgraded to the point where exploration is practically discouraged.
You can only fast travel from Arthur Morgan's tent back at camp, and only after you've purchased the fast travel upgrade. This means that to teleport anywhere on the map, you need to go back to camp. This feature is useless if you are out on a mission miles away from home! Red Dead missions take time to complete, and sometimes, we don't have playtime to waste on crossing miles of in-game map.
9 Horseback Inventory
When out hunting, your horse is your best friend, but it doesn't have the magical weight capacity that the player does. Horses can only carry one or two animal carcasses at a time, and a limited amount of skins and pelts. It's a minor quirk that will have you making frequent trips in and out of the wilderness to sell all of your goods.
What's even more criminal is the weapon storage system. Weapons are stored on your horse, and they do not come off the horse when you dismount unless you take them yourself. In emergency combat situations, this is extremely dangerous as you might dismount your horse in a hurry and find out that all of your good guns are still stowed away, leaving you unprepared and frustrated that the game won't throw you a bone.
8 A Question Of Morality
Red Dead Redemption 2 has a morality system, keeping track of Arthur's “honor” throughout the course of the game. Doing good in the world has subtle rewards, while being impolite has subtle consequences. The freedom to be whatever gunslinger you want to be is nice, but it's contradicted by the game's own story.
The story forces Arthur into dishonorable situations all the time, whether it be a bar fight over something trivial or a heist that ends in a massive shootout. Are we really supposed to believe that Arthur is an honorable man after all that? The honor system might have an in-game purpose, but players can't feel free to choose good or bad if the game tends to choose for you.
7 Horsing Around
This isn't something that players have necessarily “ignored” (maybe downplayed amidst all the good the game has to offer), but horses in Red Dead are very unreliable at high speeds. Grand Theft Auto players know just how easy it is to speed into a guardrail and go flying out of their windshields, but horses in Red Dead go tumbling off the roads because they trip over small pebbles.
If you don't stick to the roads, horses will get confused near what you would think are easily avoidable obstacles and crash instantly. What's worse is that the game's ragdoll physics can create some hilariously goofy-looking crashes. Maybe you ran a little too close to that tree, but your horse will skim it, launch itself into the air, tumble off a cliff, and Arthur will go flying with it.
6 Dutch's Downfall
Why does anybody follow Dutch in the first place? The original game makes it clear that the former gang leader used his philosophy as an excuse to commit wicked crimes; he is even remorseful in his final moments. With that knowledge though, it makes it even more difficult to see him as a good leader.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, Dutch makes bad decisions that put the gang at risk. They push their luck at every new location, and Dutch is often the reason. Even his lengthy speeches and old-world philosophy seem hypocritical and bizarre. How can the other characters not see that Dutch is a psychopath? Throughout the game, Arthur has moments of doubt, but it never seems to hit anybody that Dutch isn't to be trusted until it is too late.
5 Not Sketchy At All
How can the gang possibly lay low when they pull all kinds of stunts? They're often chased out of entire towns for their crimes, and even when they're camped out in the forest, they're only a few miles away. It's astonishing that the law doesn't find them immediately.
This seems even more impossible given the unreliable functionality of the bandana item: if anybody can recognize Arthur at nearly every turn, how is it that the gang stays hidden for so long? Does nobody read wanted posters? Has nobody heard of Dutch's gang? Is it only Arthur that people recognize? We can only suspend our disbelief for so long, but when the gang attacks an entire town and moves a few miles away, only to be deputized as local lawmen, we need to draw the line.
4 Pay-To-Play Economy
Here's a glaring issue, and it's one that is ignored in both Red Dead Redemption 2, as well as most other big budget video games: microtransactions.
If you've played Red Dead Online, you know that it is extremely difficult and time-consuming to unlock content. Of course, if you've run out of patience, but have money to spare, you can buy gold bars that can be spent on unlocks. Otherwise, though, you'll be spending absurd amounts of time unlocking items. Putting microtransactions in any game that isn't free is insulting, no exceptions. If you're giving players a payable shortcut that makes them avoid playing the game, it means that there is something wrong with the way the game is designed. It's a bummer that this business practice has slithered into Red Dead Redemption 2.
3 The Gang Makes Plans
Dutch and his gang are always planning new heists on local banks, gangs, and elites to make more money, which often involves splitting the gang up into different crews to accomplish different objectives. However, it always seems like a key element of a heist has been botched.
Most of the gang's information relies on hearsay, usually from unreliable sources (looking at you, Trelawny), and most heists devolve into spur-of-the-moment decisions to save their skins. If the gang would plan things out more thoroughly, they wouldn't always end up running for their lives. One of the most glaring examples of this is during “A Fine Night of Debauchery” where a river boat heist goes awry. The escape plan (if you can call it that) is to jump into the river and swim to shore during a shootout. Really, guys?
2 The Pinkertons Are Bad At Their Job
It's one thing for the common lawmen to not catch Arthur and the gang, but this is too hard to believe. The Pinkerton Detective Agency is on their trail, made known to the gang early on the story. How is it that these supposedly skilled detectives don't find Dutch's crew immediately?
As stated before, the gang does little to conceal their identities and they do even less to lay low. That means that the Pinkertons either don't care, or they're just totally incompetent. Eventually, Arthur learns that the Pinkertons know more about the gang than they let on, but it only makes the player wonder why they haven't moved against the gang earlier. Private investigation was primitive in 1899, but this is just embarrassing.
1 John Marston Forgets Arthur Morgan
Perhaps the biggest flaw of all, why doesn't John ever mention Arthur's sacrifice after the events of the game? Without spoiling it (because surely some of you haven't gotten there yet, with all the side activities to enjoy), Arthur should be a major figure in the rest of John Marston's life.
The fact that John never talks about Arthur in the original Red Dead is bizarre, as if he had totally forgotten one of the most important members of his former family. While this is technically a complaint about the first game, Red Dead Redemption 2 is to blame. The prequel does so much to retcon the previous game that it actively undermines it, and in hindsight, the original game now seems like it has an underdeveloped story, all because of the plot holes this sequel creates.
What flaws have you ignored in Red Dead Redemption 2? Make sure to head to the comments section and share your thoughts!