Last week, I started replaying Red Dead Redemption 2. It had been quite a while since I last played the game and it’s been nice to be reminded of just how good the game actually is. At the same time, it’s 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 murderer. At least, that’s what I wanted to believe. I wasn’t going to rob strangers unless it was absolutely necessary. I wasn’t going to shoot any helpful shopkeepers. I was going to help everyone who needed help.
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 week, 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. 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 and a game like Grand Theft Auto is that when you kill someone in Red Dead Redemption, 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 drive to a new neighborhood. In Red Dead Redemption 2, 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 shooting anyone.
Of course, I’m taking my time with my replay so I’m just on Chapter Two right now. I’ve been busy exploring the towns of Valentine and Strawberry. There’s many more chapters and town to come. Hopefully, I’ll remember to push the right buttons and the violence can finally come to an end.