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"Red Dead Redemption 2": The masterpiece shows a gigantic problem of the game industry

One thing in advance: "Red Dead Redemption 2" is great. Really. Losing yourself in the wild west of the late 19th century, attacking the gang with trains, or simply hunting and marveling at the beautiful world is unbelievably fun. Unfortunately, it also makes it painfully clear that the games industry is less and less successful in doing its most important balancing act: the one between hardcore gamblers and occasional gamers.

If you only want to get in the saddle for half an hour, RDR2 will quickly disappoint you as the fans shorten it. Even the entry alone is more cumbersome than you are used to from games today. First of all, you see one thing above all: white. At least an hour you have to drag through the snowy area of ​​the tutorial, and then finally be released into the gigantic freedom of the opulent gaming world.

The gigantic playing worlds of modern top titles often leave casual gamers at a loss

Pleasantly slow or simply too lame?

And there is hardly any fast action. RDR2 plays much slower than other current titles with its long rides and initially rather rippling action. A conscious decision that adds weight to the rare but intense action scenes – of which there will be much more later in the storyline. Bringing the appropriate time with you, it is quite pleasant that the game lowers the tempo.

After all, that fits much better with the atmosphere. Those who rarely play, however, remains confused. The fact that you spend a lot of time in the game, with food, baths and enough sleep to take care of the well-being of his character and their gang, provides for immersion, but the time problem does not make it better.

Depending on the context, the buttons of the controller are assigned differently

Other elements of the game are likely to appeal to the rompers. The controls, for example, are enormously complex with their buttons assigned different degrees depending on the context and thus offer countless possibilities to interact with the detailed game world. But at the beginning you get confused by it all the time – and then suddenly threaten innocent people with your gun instead of talking to them. Suddenly you have to flee from the ensuing, unintentional shootout with a high bounty in front of the sheriff.

If you play for a longer time – preferably in one piece – you get used to the complexity, at some point the controller goes into the blood. If there are days between the half-hour game sessions, the mix-ups remain frustrating. The fact that the controller can be adjusted in the menu in detail, the average buyer should not be aware.

The countless side tasks such as the poker in the saloon are a welcome change for those – and simply overwhelming for the others

The industry thinks too big

With his problem developer Rockstar is not alone. More and more big games with their open game worlds with dozens of hours of play are aimed primarily at players with a lot of free time. The plot becomes just one element of many, the places, characters and adventures hidden in the gigantic game worlds take more and more time. If you just want fast action, you will be overwhelmed by the countless possibilities.

In the last generation it was still different, the action-heavy games and the Open World games even clearer separated. For some, it was about the story, they were mostly complete by gamblers with little time. The others invited to explore, the real attraction was the experience of the world. Due to the new technical possibilities, the genres mix more and more. Whether "Witcher 3", the new Tomb Raider games or the current "Assassin's Creed Odyssey": all combine a complex, detailed storyline with a huge open world – and thus become gigantic epics. This ensures that you can spend time with the games forever. Who does not stubbornly follow the main story, but quickly loses the thread.

Leisure hungry stories

Some games even force you to deal with the sideline jobs. In Assassin's Creed Odyssey, you only have one chance in certain areas when you reach the appropriate level. This is only with the pure expiration of the main story but hardly to create. Even with "The Witcher 3" you have to deal with a lot of side tasks to get ahead.

The atmosphere benefits from the slow pace

Since it is "RDR2" pleasant that you can usually just work off the main tasks, if you want. Unfortunately, the game does not always tell you which story missions you really need and which are not. But even those who only play the main story have a lot to do. A good 60 hours of story are in the game – if you can not be distracted by the countless side tasks such as hunting, raiding, gambling or chance stories on the wayside. That's a lot of time if you have to take a job and or even a family life by the way. The emotional end should therefore be seen only a fraction of the players. Actually, that's a pity.

Playing time as purchase criterion

The background of the steadily more expansive game worlds, in addition to the will to create something big, should also be that a long playing time is increasingly seen by some of the buyers as a measure of fun. This is also understandable: Anyone who can spend hours daily in games, will be entertained for a long time with the new giant works. The casual players come under the wheels.

The manufacturers are dependent on the same – after all, make such large-scale projects only profitable. Ambitious games like "Red Dead Redemption 2" cost hundreds of millions of euros – and of course have to flush them back into the coffers. Accordingly one sees main character Arthur Morgan also felt on every advertising pillar. In the long term, however, this could backfire: If the casual players are deterred by the giant games again and again, they may not buy them anymore. The new FIFA or a fast lap "Fortnite" are finally much easier to enjoy. And the pile of unfinished games will not be smaller.


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