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Handyman wrote:

I cant wait until I can join you guys in this discussion!

It’s a remarkable game.

The random encounters are just so great. The world feels alive in a way that I’ve never experienced in a video game before, and I’ve played A LOT of open world games. It feels like stuff is happening regardless of whether or not you’re there to see it. It doesn’t feel like it’s crafted just for you, which is an immense achievement in an open world game, IMO.

An example is one I just came across. I was riding down the road, and heard some shots ringing out through the woods (by the way, gunshots sound AMAZING echoing up in the mountains, or in the woods). There was no dot on my map telling me I should go there, but I wanted to go check it out.

I snuck up behind 3 guys, shooting bottles on a log, target practice. They were making comments like “We’ll make you a real killer!” it was 2 guys teaching another how to shoot. I just got a bad vibe from them. I called out to them, and they were immediately hostile, threatening me to go away. I tried to diffuse but they threatened me again. So, I obliged and walked back the way I came. They watched me for a while, and when I was out of sight they bragged about how they scared me off. I was hiding behind a tree watching them, and after a few more shots they got on their horses and one of them said “Alright, let’s go raise a little hell!”

Before they left, I walked towards them again and called out to them again. This time, they immediately drew their guns. I went into Dead Eye and smoked them all.

Coming away from that interaction, I was thinking about how I could have either A) decided not to go investigate those gunshots at all in the first place, because the game never told me to go there. Or B) just left when they threatened me the first time, and they would have been free to go do whatever it was they were planning to do.

It’s a pretty remarkable thing, I can’t remember ever having an encounter like that before in any video game. It feels like your choices matter, and will have consequences, good or bad.

Another example, I stumbled upon a guy stumbling out of the woods, who had just been bit by a snake. I offered him some medicine to save his life. A few days later, just strolling through Valentine, I hear “Hey! That’s the guy!!” He tells his friend that I saved his life, then tells me I can go into the gunsmith and pick out anything I want, and put it on his tab.

I could have just killed that guy and looted him of whatever he had in his pockets, he was going to die anyway. But I chose to save him, thinking I’d never see the guy again, but at the end of the day I walked out of the gunsmith with a shiny new Springfield rifle for free.