Saturday Morning Gaming: What Kind of Bad Guy Are You?
(If you want to know if Red Dead Redemption 2 is worth getting, it absolutely is. Get it now.)
In Red Dead Redemption 2, you start out as a member of an outlaw gang that has had a bad run of luck. A job went bad and you lost some members of your gang. Others are injured badly. You don’t have much money and you don’t have any food. What you *DO* have, however, is each other. They make a big deal out of how your gang leader cares about the members of his gang. There are women who are fellow travelers for the gang and there are even a couple of kids running around. The kids refer to the various men in the gang as “Uncle”. It’s a close group of people and they establish that you care for them and they care for you (though some people get on others’ nerves).
That closeness is what provides much of the driver for the tutorial. A fellow gang-member got lost scouting ahead. This gives an opportunity for a tutorial on how to ride your horse over rough terrain and how to shoot. There isn’t enough to eat and your hunting buddy has an injured hand. This gives an opportunity for a tutorial on how to track animals and how to use a bow and arrow. You meet up with a rival gang while looking for supplies. This gives an opportunity for a tutorial on how to get cover in a gunfight (and, at the same time, demonstrate how your gang is tight-knit compared to the other gang whose leader probably doesn’t even know the names of the people he hires).
And while they establish that you’re an outlaw, they give you some room when it comes to how bad you are. At one point, there’s a tutorial on how to fistfight. After you win the fight, the gang leader tells you that he’s leaving and you can do whatever you want with the guy you vanquished. Do you shoot him? Do you let him run off?
Later on, you rob a train. The caboose is the personal car of some bigwig oil tycoon. He’s got some of his accountants in the car. After you get all of the valuables out, your gang leader, again, tells you that he’s leaving and what you do is left to your own discretion. Do you put the accountants back on the train, safe and sound, before you start it up again to run down the tracks? Do you shoot the accountants execution style?
Now, by this point in the game, I had shot (and killed) somewhere around 30 or 40 people. So it’s not like you’re going to be able to say “my guy doesn’t kill people”. The game makes it pretty explicit that, yeah, you’re the type of person who could very easily shoot a harmless accountant because he is inconvenient.
So… what kind of bad guy are you?
(Picture is promotional image for Red Dead Redemption 2 from Rockstar’s twitter feed.)