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Things About Red Dead Redemption 2 That Were Too Good To Be True

Rockstar Games' 2018 open-world Western Red Dead Redemption 2 was a massive success for the video game publisher, selling more than 29 million copies and completing the story of the Van der Linde Gang.


There's no shortage of things to do, people to meet, and places to go in Red Dead Redemption 2, which boasts Rockstar's biggest map to date. Rockstar's team of about 2,000 began working on the game shortly after the release of the original Red Dead Redemption. Originally slated for the spring of 2018, the game was delayed until the end of that year and came under fire for its "culture of crunch." Red Dead Redemption 2 and its online component have had its fair share of problems since then, including hackers, but most of the criticism stems from more specific issues.

More than two years after its release, some players and fans have expressed their disappointment that the game didn't live up to all the hype. 


Red Dead Redemption 2 is big. Maybe too big

One of this game's biggest issues is its size and scope. The list of things you can do in Red Dead Redemption 2 is long. There are painstakingly long animations for so many things and a meticulous attention to every detail that can make grinding seem, well, grindier. While the prospect of a massive map seems like it would make the game more immersive and interesting, it has had the opposite effect for some players.


Shooting your way out of small towns like Valentine immerses players in fight scenes that have the look and feel of Western cinema. The visuals are beautiful, the music is great, and the story is rich, but the long periods in between the action can feel like a chore for some — especially when the game makes you do actual chores.

This is less true for Red Dead Online, which can be much more fast-paced in its PvP environments than single-player gameplay. In 2019, Rockstar's lead online production associate Katie Pica said the company was "100% focused" on Red Dead Online. Rockstar began selling it as a standalone product in December 2020.

The DLC that could have been

Besides the main character, Arthur Morgan, there are many other characters with detailed backgrounds and motives that get fleshed out in the storyline. That's a lot of room for DLC to explore, which could expand the game into interesting territory. For a little while, fans waited patiently for news of just such an expansion. Hopes for single-player DLC were snuffed out in 2019, however. That's a bummer for fans of the original Red Dead Redemption's standalone zombie expansion, Undead Nightmare.


Some fans have theorized on Reddit that there is evidence of a zombie infestation in Red Dead Redemption 2 in the abandoned town of Pleasance. However, this may just be wishful thinking.

The zombie craze from last decade has been slowly fading and is probably better off dead anyway. In the meantime, Rockstar has mostly been focusing on expansions for Grand Theft Auto 5. The lack of any single-player DLC for RDR2 has led to fans starting a petition calling for new content.

Traveling into uncharted land

One of the weirdest things about Red Dead Redemption 2 is the number of restricted locations that players can sneak into via glitches, including Mexico and the snowy Tempest Rim.

There are a handful of ways to get to both Mexico, but this undeveloped part of the map is pretty sparse. To reach the Tempest Rim, players who set up a campsite near an invisible wall west of the Barrow Lagoon will wake up to find themselves on the other side, free to explore a beautiful cold weather biome. It's enough to make fans wonder if these locations have something else in store. Unfortunately, that's not the case.


An obvious explanation is that these locations were among some of the game's final cuts. Rockstar cofounder and former producer Dan Houser told Vulture that the team had to cut about five hours of gameplay from a 65-hour game, including some of the game's missions and a second love interest for the story's protagonist, which might explain why the game feels incomplete. 

It's far from perfect, but some of these quirks are what make its fanbase love Red Dead Redemption 2 for what it is.