Last month, I started replaying Red Dead Redemption II and it’s been nice to be reminded of just how good this game actually is. I usually only play for an hour or two a night. Since I already finished the game the first time I played, I’m taking my time with this replay and I’m trying to enjoy all of the little details that I originally missed. After a long day at work, it’s relaxing to come home and just spend a while riding my horse through the countryside. I might stop to do some hunting or just to relax at camp. Red Dead Redemption II is a thoroughly immersive world and one of the great things about the game is just how easy it is to lose yourself in the world that it creates. Even if you don’t feel like doing the missions or following the game’s storyline, you can still just ride out and enjoy the scenery. Rediscovering the visual beauty of Red Dead Redemption II has been a wonderful experience.
At the same time, it has also been downright traumatic to rediscover just how easy it is to accidentally shoot people.
From the minute I started my replay, I promised myself that I was going to play Arthur Morgan as being a good guy. He may be an outlaw but he’s not a cold-blooded murderer. At least, that’s what I wanted to believe. Unlike the first I played, I wasn’t going to rob any strangers unless it was absolutely necessary. I wasn’t going to shoot any helpful shopkeepers. I was going to help everyone who needed help. Though the game may require me to play an outlaw, my goal was to promote peace in the wild west and to only fight when I had no other choice.
It hasn’t worked out that way, though.
It’s not intentional. It’s just that it’s very easy to push the wrong button on your controller. Over the past few weeks, there have been so many times when I’ve thought I was pushing the “greet” button just to discover that I had accidentally pushed the open fire button. Just last night, I entered a cabin. The old woman inside the cabin asked me if I was delivering her groceries. I walked up to her, fully intending on telling her that I was the deliveryman and I’d help her in any way that I could. Instead, I hit the wrong and shot her in the face. I’ve felt bad about it every since. Tragically, it’s not the first time that I’ve shot someone while trying to do the right thing. Accidentally shooting the man who just wanted someone to help find his way back to the town of Strawberry is one of the biggest regrets of my Red Dead Redemption II life. I’ve even gone back and restarted the game a few times because I’ve felt so bad about shooting the wrong person.
The big difference between Red Dead Redemption II and a game like Grand Theft Auto is that when you kill someone in Red Dead Redemption II, they don’t come back. In Grand Theft Auto, you can run over a hundred pedestrians just to find them all resurrected as soon as you turn onto a new street. In Red Dead Redemption II, accidentally shooting the wildlife photographer means that you never see him again. It can be traumatic but, at the same time, it’s also emotionally rewarding when you manage to get through an entire mission without accidentally murdering anyone.
As I said earlier, I’m taking my time with my replay so I’m just wandering my way through Chapter Three right now. I’ve been busy exploring the towns and the countryside. There’s many more chapters and locations to come. Hopefully, I’ll remember to push the right buttons and the violence can finally come to an end.