At this point, I think it’s safe to say that I’m filling out my cowboy boots with Red Dead Redemption 2 – it’s a great game, delivers an intense world, and an overall kickass experience with a thrilling story. We’re reunited with our gun-slinging outlaws, and life is good, despite the number of shootouts that we get caught up in.
However, as much as Rockstar has really knocked us for six with this sequel, there are some downfalls. Namely, the controls. There, I said it, and I know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. From the get-go, the controls just feel weird. They don’t make the game easier to play – and I know it’s not meant to be easy – but it just seems to complicate it all the more where it doesn’t need to be complicated.
The controls to put a complete damper on an otherwise extraordinary game. They’re just finicky and difficult to navigate, especially if you’re a player who tends to flick between games with typical controller layouts. In some way, it feels like Rockstar has asked themselves how they can make Red Dead Redemption 2 entirely their own – right down to the system controls, and that isn’t really necessary. We already know it’s a Rockstar title, we already know it’s going to be great, but can’t we have controls that we’re already used to?
That being said, the controls are very typical of Rockstar and very reminiscent of the typical GTA annoyance of having to mash a button just to be able to run. I feel like it imposes on the gameplay, at least to some small extent, and it’s generally just an element of the game that I’m not finding all that enjoyable. It doesn’t make the game unenjoyable or unplayable at all – your fingers just tend to get muddled up with the oddly placed controls.
Having to button mash yet again to get your horse to gallop somewhat takes some of the impressiveness out of the gameplay. If we’re comparing it to Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, I’d say the latter did a better job of nailing down the mechanics of in-game horse-riding with their auto-speed depending on where you’re riding in the world. Each game is one of the highest contenders for the game of this year, but the horse riding is where there’s a clear winner.
I could blame my many deaths on the controls of the game, but I won’t go that far. I will, however, say that the controls are the only thing preventing me from giving the game my all. I’m getting used to them as I progress through the story, that’s a given, but I feel like Rockstar could’ve easily still made the game their own by using controls that are easier to get to grips with.
There’s no need for further confusion when we’re already trying to battle our way through the law in Red Dead Redemption 2 – we shouldn’t need to battle against our controllers too.