In Red Dead Redemption 2, players can choose to be friendly or not-so-friendly with strangers. I decided to take numerous strolls down the main street of Valentine to take a look at the differences between those interactions and compare them. And then I made it into a vintage video that you can watch above.
When you approach characters the game usually gives you one of two options: greet or antagonise. If you decide to go straight to the sheriff and antagonise him like I did, then he almost immediately draws his gun on you. You can do your best to defuse the situation by selecting that option with a button press but you can also press a different button to surrender. I, of course, decided to further antagonise the sheriff and that lead to a shootout which killed me after a long hard fight.
In another session, I opted to kill with kindness by selecting greet when I encountered people. It often leads to a friendly hello. When I took this approach, the sheriff just ignored me and politely said goodbye. The same usually happens with other characters, but I also found that if you happen to knock out somebody in front of a police officer, like I did, you can defuse the situation and just walk away with a warning.
One time, after I harassed some poor women who were minding their own business, someone stepped in to intervene. After a rough scrap, I managed to walk away the victor, although my reputation took a hit. Doing good things in the game will raise it and,of course, being a jerk will lower it. This can affect your Honour Rank, which gives you access to store discounts and even new outfits.
After I picked on some construction workers at the end of town, one of them ran off to get help from the sheriff. The sheriff approached with his gun drawn yet again, only this time I was able to walk off with just warning.
It's fascinating being able to interact with pretty much everybody you see and I like that I can choose to be mean or nice to each of them. You can even pet or scold the dogs. I'm going to experiment some more with these systems and see what else I can dig up.
From tip to tail, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a profound, glorious downer. It is the rare blockbuster video game that seeks to move players not through empowering gameplay and jubilant heroics, but by relentlessly forcing them to confront decay and despair.