Red Dead Redemption II

Tom Clark 2022/05/03 09:50

Game Review

This is a seriously flawed work of art. I love this game. I am really saddened by some of the game design choices though. The game is beautiful. A visual treat. I often don't care about visuals but this game, man it's gorgeous.

The main protagonist is Arthur and he reminds me of my beloved father who grew up on a fairly primitive ranch in the Salmon River country out here in Idaho and he lived the near the same rural lifestyle depicted at the smaller ranches. My dad won quite a few bullriding competitions as a young man and loved going hunting in the mountains with horses and a pack mule. I accompanied my dad on a few hunting trips but I never really took to it. So the hunting and fishing and landscape of this game really gets to me.

My dad was also pretty willing to share his opinion and get in the middle of a conflict and so the dialog and the fist fighting could have been modeled after my dad. My dad's scowl, they used it in this game for Arthur. Arthur even sounds quite a bit like my dad.

Problems I have with the game. The goofy shit. It's not too bad in the single player game, but it's really terrible online. The online game is trash IMO.

  • The gunfights are too easy. Arthur is a bullet sponge. Not cool.
  • Wanted system is FUBAR. Example: Law will kill you for minor infractions even if you are willing to turn yourself in.
  • Guns and horses you want are locked until you are near the end game. Stupid.
  • Some of the challenges are ridiculously retarded. Like winning three games of dominoes back to back can last hours.

But the game has two major, and nearly unforgivable flaws:

  • You have to play missions out exactly how Rockstar wants you to. For instance, if you take too long to give a lady with a bum leg a ride back to town, the NPC will just hobble off and you can't get her to change her mind. Or if you hogtie up a murderess and bring the murderess to the sheriff you can get shot for kidnapping because the game expected you to hogtie her up at the crime scene and leave her there. There's just a ton of examples of this where I want to solve the situation in a certain way and the game basically makes you solve it exactly one or two ways and that's it.
  • Arthur dies, and I really don't have a problem with him dying, but this is a game and as a player, I want to win. So, if I'm going to die let me win by killing my main nemesis under certain circumstances. There's no reason not to let the player beat Micah, since Micah dies anyway (thanks to Dutch). The epilogue with John could have concluded with a showdown with Dutch where they went there separate ways. Seeing John squander everything Arthur gave him, plus squander the Blackwater loot is pretty stupid in terms of endearing your characters to players. The resolutions of this game are easily the worst decisions made by the developers.I
  • At least let Arthur actually save many of the gang members. So maybe, Arthur could have given Tilly and Mary-Beth money, indeed any of the lesser gang members the player could have grinded in the game to get money to get them a new life and reward the player with cut scenes of them living a good life afterwards (or a piss poor one if you didn't get them out of the gang. I mean the story sort of scatters everyone to the wind anyway so let your players have their victories.


Well this game crashed a lot. I've tried various versions of Proton and a bunch of different settings and nothing really cures it. The most persistent crash has been reported a lot on ProtonDB.com, the “ERR_GFX_STATE” crash.

I tried putting in an Nvidia 1080TI to see if older driver and hardware helped. It did not.

Anyway, eventually, at times, I could get hours of gameplay without any crashes. If the game crashes twice in close succession I'd reboot my system and that would often clear things up for a long while. Also, changing textures from high to ultra and ultra to high each time I started the game seemed to help as well. Could just be a coincidence.

I settled on the launch options: PROTON_ENABLE_NVAPI=1 DXVK_ASYNC=1

I installed ProtonUp-Qt which is a great way to install and manage Glorious Eggroll forks of Proton. The latest GE-Proton7-15 worked as good as (if not better) than any other version for me.