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First impressions


Faelwolf
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Just my initial thoughts for what it's worth:

Finally got the download to finish this morning.  WOW!  Definitely going to back this up to an external hard drive, don't want to go through that again! I would definitely like to see a DVD set made available for those of us stuck with DSL.  Started the game a bit nervously after hearing about all the issues, and knowing how outdated my system is.  Pleasantly surprised to have it launch without a hitch.  Game installer's chosen settings seem to be a perfect match for my old system, surprising mix of low to ultra, but it works so am not touching it unless I am forced to.
Character creation was interesting, I am not great at this, definitely no career as a character designer in my future, but ended up with a character I liked well enough. I am always impressed with those who can make their character look just like Lee Van Cleef or something. I struggle not to look like a circus freak! The "story" mode of it was a nice touch I thought.

The Good: Launched into online play (Saving offline for the week-long internet outages we have around here at times)  Picture quality better than I expected, even on my old system the level of detail is amazing at times.  Fog is not just a haze hanging in the air, it actually moves and billows like the real thing. NPCs react to my character in differing and realistic ways. Animals actually react to me too, not just standing there waiting for me to play the usual MMO whack-a-mole.  Heck, I even startled a frog that leapt away from me in the swamp!  Overall the world has some real depth.  No auto-target and target lock either.  Limited fast travel, food really matters and isn't just a stat buff, none of the gimmicks modern MMO's rely on so heavily.  Feels like a world that requires me to make my way in it.  This is going to be a fun challenge. The cut scenes were well written and acted, I have seen much worse movies in theaters.  Well done!

The Bad: Initial tutorial missions leave something to be desired.  This game doesn't (and shouldn't) hand hold a new player the whole way, but there should be a mini pre-tutorial applicable to either game-play mode, to help with learning the controls, and more step-by-step of the basics.  The tutorial mission wants me to follow an NPC on my horse, when I don't even know the key binds to change speed, etc. I am not asking for total long-term hand-holding, but they made the learning curve pretty steep, which could put some new players off.  My first gun fight is against multiple opponents, when I haven't even figured out how to brandish a weapon and aim!  If nothing else give us a small practice area, and add a target range and ammo, and work into the story that they are giving us a change to limber up after being out of action for a while, or something. Some social aspects could use improving as well, it seems hard, at least at this point, to get together on the map with friends in this game if you don't have a persistent posse camp to log into. (And I am not at the point yet to know if that's even possible.)

The Ugly:  The interface and key binds.  This is a port from console, I get it, but the system is clunky and counter-intuitive in places.  It feels jumbled, and unnecessarily complicated at times, there seems to be little consistency to the layouts. Added to this you have to remember if it's a tap or hold, etc. It feels like they just tried to substitute keys for controller buttons rather than create a true PC UI.  This seems to be a trend with console ports, I'd have like to have seen Rockstar break out of the mold on this one. 
I would feel better served if my health, stamina, and deadeye icons were in a row along either the top or bottom of the screen, and always visible, with a separate similar set of persistent icons for my horse. Having them as a border around my mini-map slows data acquisition, and feels cluttered. Having to pull out my weapon to see them is annoying. I can lose health and stamina out of combat, I should be able to monitor them easily when out of combat as well. If there is an option to re-arrange the placement of the HUD items, I haven't found it yet, I'd definitely want to place them differently.

I haven't included any bugs or glitches in this because those aren't design elements, and RockStar seems to be honestly working on at least most of them.  I ran into a few minor ones, such as my hat lagging behind in cinematic mode,  (I admit it, I chuckled) but nothing game-breaking so far.  From what I read while waiting for my budget to allow me to purchase the game, plus the 3.5 day download (groan again) I have seen more action on the bugs from RockStar in the past month than some other larger game companies have done in years.  So long as they keep up the honest effort, I can be much more forgiving of them than those other companies.

In closing, I'd rate this game 8/10, the immersiveness and level of detail easily outweighs the UI/Key issues, IMO.  Fix those, it would easily be a 10/10.  The only remaining issue is that I am terrible at this game, but having so much fun right from the start that I will enjoying improving.  Unlike some games, even low level doesn't feel like a chore, or feel like a slog I have to get through to get to the "good part"  The day has flown by, and everything I learned or discovered felt like an accomplishment. I have already brought a friend into the game, and he is having as much fun as I am.  This is definitely on my short list of games I'd recommend.

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14 hours ago, Faelwolf said:

In closing, I'd rate this game 8/10, the immersiveness and level of detail easily outweighs the UI/Key issues, IMO.  Fix those, it would easily be a 10/10.  The only remaining issue is that I am terrible at this game, but having so much fun right from the start that I will enjoying improving.  Unlike some games, even low level doesn't feel like a chore, or feel like a slog I have to get through to get to the "good part"  The day has flown by, and everything I learned or discovered felt like an accomplishment. I have already brought a friend into the game, and he is having as much fun as I am.  This is definitely on my short list of games I'd recommend.

This is about what I gave it both times. I know when I first played it for console, I was saying 10/10 but afert the magic wore off and the issues started popping up, it lowered the score. With everything considered (happening for PC versions) I think 8/10 is more than fair. 

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Depends on what your rating, there are so many different aspects to the game to give it a overall score is hard, I know it's pretty new to PC but getting players to do the early missions is extremely hard, I was trying for ages yesterday so gave up and went back to PS4.

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