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NPCs as puppets of Red Dead Redemption 2 face their meticulous world

Red Dead Redemption 2The excessively detailed world tries to suggest reality. It falls and you cover yourself with mud; While it is covered in mud, someone could make a shy comment about how they hope it is not crap. The world is full of little flourishes and behaviors that suggest that your NPCs are real people with genuine reactions. But the more I play, the more they feel like puppets in a show.

Red Dead Redemption 2 he wants to attract the player to a kind of simulated version (albeit too romantic) of times past when the natural world had less scars of industrialization and people always had stories or stories to share. The world reacts to the player. Shoot someone in the leg and you could end up with a prosthesis the next time you see them. Leave a corpse on the side of the road and come back a few days to find bones. The natural world of the game, with its detailed snow and its temperatures that affect the character, strives to feel realistic. Even Arthur himself emulates a real person through his need to groom and bathe, while his slow pace seems an attempt to separate him from the faster contemporaries of video games like Assassin & # 39; s Creed Odyssey Cassandra

On the surface, NPCs aspire to the same level of detail, acting what appear to be full lives. An angry sage throws someone through the window to sleep with his wife; a clumsy rider stops to calm his horse just to be kicked in the head. These moments try to suggest that the world is full of people who are dedicated to their lives, but in contrast to the rest of the game's level of detail, they are unfortunately artificial. The seams begin to show, and it's obvious that Red Dead Redemption 2People only exist in relation to me and are defined only by what I can do with them.

The interactions of the game are limited due to their inspirations. The Westerns are a complex and problematic genre linked to a violent history that gave rise to the myth of the weapon as an egalitarian tool (for example, the aforementioned "God made man, Sam Colt made them equal") and robust and self-sufficient. masculinity. As a result, interactions with Red Dead Redemption 2NPCs exist within that masculine framework. The actions of Arthur and the player are expressions of a mythical masculinity. We rescued minor women and men, after all, better men could fight bandits and manage their horses and compete against aspiring gunmen while using unique skills like Dead Eye for our benefit. We put on our hats like a gentleman and kill whoever we want. The game rewards those masculine impulses. The Western framework only leads to certain types of interactions, and those interactions inevitably lead to rewards: beat someone in an aiming contest and earn some money; Rescue a man from the wolves and he will give you a treasure map.

These rewards further underline that, despite Red Dead Redemption 2Meticulous details and animations, created through excessive, condemnable hours and strenuous work, NPCs only exist for the benefit of the player. HBO Westworld– whose main objective is that people can attend a theme park of the Wild West "hosts" and offer unique adventures – mocks this concept in a scene in which one of the artificial workers of the park falls off his horse. When a human protagonist, William, comes to his aid, the host tries to seduce him with stories of a treasure map and lost riches. William's partner rejects the prospective adventure as a transparent narrative of the park. They are things for children, a blatant attempt to attract park visitors to secondary activities and stories created for their entertainment. And yet, in Red Dead Redemption 2, these scenarios are developed with little irony. The details of the game are meant to evoke wonders, and these NPC interactions seem to suggest a larger world full of secrets and adventures. But those adventures are limited, always rewarding the player again. What a deeper and richer world, to have such people and such adventures on every ridge and road! However, they pale in comparison to the other details of the game, which makes them feel even more unreal.

Once, while riding the plains, I heard a man screaming in fear. He was going to die, damn it. Please, do not help someone. As it turned out, he was bitten by a snake. I could quit, I could suck the poison, or I could give him medicine. I opted for the latter, and then we separated. Almost five hours later, I heard the man call me while I was walking through the city of Valentine. He was sitting on the porch of a store with his friend. Why was not it wonderful that he saw me, his savior, again? He was so delighted that he offered to pay for what he wanted at the gun shop. I bought a Springfield rifle and scope; It is perfect for hunting deer.

This meeting was intended to give consequences to my actions, but the reward and the scripted nature of our interaction sounded false. For all Red Dead Redemption 2Attention to detail, this NPC was not an entity that existed before I found it. It spawned when I approached, only to be rescued by myself, and then again to reward myself for it. Dead redThe characters always take you somewhere, instead of just being people. The enemies are summoned magically for me to shoot; I have seen them appear on my radar during certain events. NPCs exist in the player's orbit, for the player. This is true to some extent in all games, but it feels particularly pronounced because of Red Dead Redemption 2 & # 39; s Aspiration to create a meticulous and credible space. As a result, Red Dead Redemption 2The open world often captures the beauty and detail of real spaces, but never managed to get the illusion of a functioning society to treat its citizens with empathy. How is it possible, when these people exist to serve me and when can I decide to kill them at the push of a button?

I avoid cities more often than not in the game. I get too distracted with animatronics and their dramatic lives. Maybe I've been playing games for so long that I can not help but see the strings of the puppeteer. It's not even about being more realistic; it is about allowing these entities to live independently of their service to the player. When I'm in the woods or riding on the plains, things seem calmer. Red Dead Redemption 2The detailed environments are sufficiently intoxicating to make me forget for a while. But that silence always breaks. Suddenly, there are broken stagecoaches of passengers on the side of the road, ambushes of Hillbilly or a man trapped in a bear trap. The world does not want me to forget all the things I can do or all the riches that its characters want to give me. There is so much content out there, everything for me, that the game can not help but brings together the actors of their theme parks and their created pieces. After all, the biggest crime I could commit would be to lose them.

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