_Edit_: Five months later. I finished the game. The story was weak and the characters not that good. The map was pretty fantastic but a map does not a game make. RDRO is a disaster.

I wanted to start gathering my thoughts on Red Dead Redemption 2. I’m at about 66% through the game and haven’t finished the main story.

Technically, there was a big bug early in the game where several of the main gang characters were AWOL from camp. They give out side quests in the form of favours. I missed several of those and thus have missed a trophy which I’ll have to start a second game for. Of course I would have played through a second time but that’s beside the point. It’s a pretty big bug for a Rockstar game.

Maybe it’s a bit premature to be talking about the story but I find it a bit lacking. Arthur, the main character, is a bit bland. There’s not much backstory time given to him. He is the main hero or anti-hero depending on how you play but I feel like I’ve learnt very little of how he got to the point of being in this gang, being an outlaw. The dynamics of the different characters in the gang are interesting and take up a chunk of the narrative space in the story but it shouldn’t take away from that bonding that should be happening between the player and the main protagonist. After all, we want the player to care about Arthur, right?

Arthur is up against it because, we the players who know the series and have played and loved the last Red Dead know Dutch and we definitely know this young whippersnapper, John Marston. (As an aside, the voice-acting for Arthur has grown on me slowly but the guys that do Dutch and John have more colour.) The honour missions and the whole huge load of random encounters would have been the places where Arthur’s backstory could’ve been explored.

june 9

I could say I’ve been beavering away at my master dissertation but I haven’t really. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and how I’m not concentrating on it as much as I would like to. I just contacted ze supervisor and confirmed what I was hoping, which is that the halfway point is kind of flexible so all is well.

I have been continuing to work my way through grand theft auto 4. There’s not much that can be said about that. It’s a kind of a singular journey. When I am talking to people on the phone recently I realise I don’t have that much to say, in part due to the fact that I have been playing the gta4, and it would be easy to conclude that this is making me a more boring person, but then what would have I been doing and saying if I had not started the game? “Hot tub time machine was funny/boring/depressing”, or “How about that new iPhone!”. In the end I think it makes little difference.

* * *

I’m on a B&W kick.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4684042666/” title=”IMG_5260 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1278/4684042666_95f934510c.jpg” width=”500″ height=”281″ alt=”IMG_5260″ /></a>

It’s funny how with normal settings I wouldn’t think of possibly intruding on people’s supposed privacy with my camera but when I think, ah stick it on black n white,  it’s arty, look at the everyday life of the bus-waiters watching free TV in the mild, pre-wall of humidity summer.