So RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 is out, and even a cynical skeptic like me has to admit: it’s pretty damn good.

At this point, everyone’s talked about this game. There’s reviews, walkthroughs, and even detailed descriptions of horse balls.

But today I want to talk about something no one seems to care about. Something that quickly became the highlight of my RED DEAD experience. I’m talking about the first-person camera.

Most people look at this mode as a novelty at best, something you’ll use for a few minutes and then forget about.

But I’d argue that the first person is the best way to play. Believe it or not, switching the camera’s perspective improves every aspect of the game.

So why should you play RED DEAD 2 in first-person? How does it improve the game? Well, let’s take a look!

So Many Details

The world of RED DEAD 2 may be massive, but it’s also dense and full of life. When playing in third-person, it’s easy to miss all the little details.

Once you slow down and look through Arthur’s eyes, you’ll discover a world littered with props, advertisements and little set pieces. Every home feels lived in, every alley full of personality. Sometimes I’ll take a stroll through Saint Denis just to take in the atmosphere. Out in the wilderness, I’ll often find wolves hunting deer or cozy little campsites with friendly NPCs.

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There’s so much to see and do in this game. (Image courtesy of Rockstar Games)

Every inch of this game is packed with personality. Every asset exists to make this world as believable as possible.

Even the NPCs are surprisingly detailed. Even random people on the street display realistic animations and expressions, but you’d never notice it in third-person.

Once you notice all the details, you’ll realize just how immersive this world truly is. In first-person, everything takes on a new life.

The Most Immersive RED DEAD 2 Experience

Look, I know “immersion” has become a meaningless buzzword lately. But after spending hours in first-person, soaking in the details and exploring the world, I have to say: this is the most immersive game I’ve ever played.

In the game’s first mission, you need to threaten a bandit for information. You can intimidate him, punch him, and even kill him when you’re done. This was the first time I switched to first-person, and it immediately transformed my experience.

Suddenly, this wasn’t just another mission. I was staring a man in the face while my hands were around his neck. He was scared, struggling, with each punch leaving bruises on his face. It was a deeply unsettling experience and I even considered sparing his life.

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You just don’t get the same experience in third-person. (Image courtesy of Rockstar Games)

I mean, I didn’t, but for a brief moment, I almost forgot I was playing a game. It truly felt like I was staring another man in the face. Someone who, while a criminal, was still a human being.

A World With Weight

It’s rare that a game does that to me. Sure, plenty of games have endearing, believable characters, but this was just a random guy. So many games have you mowing down faceless enemies without a shred of emotion or humanity. These moments may be enjoyable from a mechanical perspective, but they leave little emotional impact.

For good or ill, I think death should always have meaning. Not just from a moral standpoint, but from a narrative one as well. The less value you place on life, the less meaningful death becomes. So when a game forces me to look someone in the eye while I kill them, it adds a sense of weight to the entire experience.

Any game that can make me feel bad about killing a random bandit is a breath of fresh air. And all I had to do was switch to first-person.

Moments like these transform the game into a genuine role-playing experience. Everything you do, from getting drunk at a bar, to skinning an animal, to dueling a rival becomes more “real” when it’s up close and personal.

By simply playing in first-person, RED DEAD 2 becomes a deeply personal and immersive experience.

But let’s face it, atmosphere and immersion can only take you so far. If the gameplay is shoddy, then none of it matters. This brings me to the most important reason you should play in first-person:

It Fixes Almost Every Gameplay Issue

RDR2 is one of my favorite games of this generation. It’ll likely go down as one of the best games of all time.

But it’s janky as hell.

Let’s face it: Arthur controls poorly. This has nothing to do with the slow pace of the game, or any reliance on realism. It’s just clunky to move around.

Aiming is also an issue. Even with snap-targeting and aim-assist, it’s hard to tell when you’ll lock onto an enemy and when you’ll be shooting at the air.

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Sure it looks cool, but it’s not the best way to play. (Image courtesy of Leafly)

All this changes when you play in first-person.

Just like in GTA V, you can freely run in first-person without pressing any buttons. This is so liberating.

First off, this makes it easier to aim while running, allowing you to pick off enemies while you search for cover. In fact, it’s easier to aim in general. By switching the perspective, it’s easier to see where enemies are in relation to the player.

In third-person, you can’t fine-tune your character’s movement while running. I got tired of walking around aimlessly, slowly changing direction while my character soaks up bullets. First-person movement is less restrictive, allowing you to quickly change directions.

Not only that but by simply clicking the right thumbstick, your character will make a 180-degree spin, providing a larger range of movement.

Because you can move around easier, this also makes the clunky cover system less important. You can easily hide behind a tree or a building manually and run out to take a few shots.

Playing in first-person turns RED DEAD 2 into an enjoyable shooter. Once I realized this, I never went into combat without switching the camera.

The Point

A lot of people dismiss the first-person camera as a gimmick. Others think it reduces the game to a “generic” shooter. But RED DEAD 2 was made for first-person. It enhances the gameplay in almost every way and provides a much deeper experience overall. It might take a bit of adjusting at first, but trust me. Give it a try, and let us know what you think in the comments!

One Comment

  1. […] you might expect, I’m absolutely obsessed with the game. Between its brilliant storytelling, diverse gameplay, and breathtaking environments, RED DEAD […]

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