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The RP Potential of Red Dead Redemption 2 (Spoiler Free)

  • Member
    November 20, 2018

    The goal of this post is to discuss roleplay (RP) potential of Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2). I've always found this site profoundly helpful in immersing myself in the games we love. Of course, the genre tends to be fantasy (Elder Scrolls) and post-apocolyptic (Fallout). However, if you happen to enjoy historically accurate genres / westerns, RDR2 is an absolute blast to roleplay. 


    1. Character Selection - RDR2 forces you to play as Arthur Morgan, a trusted member of the Vanderlinde gang. So right off the bat, you are a dude of fairly questionable morals and you will be breaking the law as part of the Main Story. 

    2. Forced Questing - If you want access to the whole game, including certain weapons and upgrades it behooves you to actually progress through the story line. I will address this more in the next section. 

    3. Voiced Protagonist - Some Skyrim truthers will not appreciate this. 

    Now for the good:

    1. Moral Compass - As Arthur, you can choose how "good" or "bad" your character is. There is a scale system in place that actively updates as you either help or harm NPCs around the world. This also affects how you are treated by vendors and other characters. Good guy = better prices in town. ETC. 

    2. Bounty System - I like how you can either RP a wanted man and leave bounties in certain areas of the map, or choose to pay them off and clear your conscience / name. 

    3. Giant Sandbox - The game is huge. Super detailed. Well fleshed out in every way. No stone unturned. Lots of side quests, radiant encounters, etc. Literally the most in depth open world I've ever seen. Surely ground breaking. It took me 20 hours of just fun exploring to force myself back into the main story bc it's so damn fun to check everything out. You don't "have" to pursue the MQ. 

    4. Back Story / NPC depth - running side missions with your gang is a great way to feel immersed in this life and world. It's pretty amazing how far Rockstar has taken these relationships. 

    5. Beautiful World - the place is just flat out gorgeous. 

    6. Outfits - You can really customize your look in a wide variety of ways. Hair cuts, clothing, gun belts, holsters, saddles, it's all up to you. 

    A Few Role Play Suggestions:

    1. The Hunter - play as a master hunter in a world with immense animal diversity and options for tracking, hunting, pelt trading, cook and crafting. Find all of the Legendary versions and have the trapper craft you appropriate duds. 

    2. The Bandit - stick up townsfolk, rob stagecoaches and trains, cheat, lie, steal and sell to the local fence. 

    3. The Hero - help every damsel, every snake bite victim, every gang member in need. Be a good dude. Well, as good as a thief with a purpose can be. 

    4. The Man About Town - Romance your lost love, get involved in the big city politics, get to know every alley, drunk, trader, and NPC you can. 

    5. The Sharpshooter - Become a weapons master of all or choose your forte between bow, handguns, shottys, rifles and misc (fire bottles, throwing knives etc)

    6. The Horseman - bond with your best friend or track and collect the best of the best wild horses all over the land. 

    7. The Gambler - play poker, bet on your sharpshooting skills, play five finger fillet, dominos...

    8. The Explorer - this game has stopped me dead in my tracks with jaw dropping vistas so many times I've lost count. Explore almost endless nooks and crannies. Take pics, and share your finds. 

    9. The Really, Really, Really Bad Outlaw - You can get really evil out there. If fact, you can antagonize your own crew enough to get beat on lol. Seriously, if you want to see what a "kill everything" playthrough looks like, RDR2 is an interesting game to try it out. 


    For more RP discussions, check TechRadar's post, this Reddit Thread or this YouTube video from Bethesda friend Graenolf on the topic. 


    What are your thoughts? Have you tried it? Would you give it a go even though it's outside the usual genre?

  • Member
    December 11, 2018

    That is quite interesting, hell, when Red Dead Online gets out of Beta, we could RP even more there

  • Member
    December 14, 2018
    Yeah that’s a good point Chris. I haven’t tried the beta yet. But I can def see running RP with gangs of all types. From stone cold killing outlaws to peace keeping lawman to bounty hunters to backwoods survivors.