Yep, me too.
I gotta say, though...those visuals surprised the hell out of me. I knew they'd be good but DAMN it's the best looking open world to date, I think - better than Horizon maybe.
It's definitely better than horizon in terms of interaction with the world. Foliage responds to the player in RDR2 and snow and mud deformation work very well. (A bit silly now and then, a dead guy laying in mud looks very weird). Everything leaves tracks and light and shadows are fully dynamic. I was on a train at night and the lights were swinging in one of the cars casting shadows and all. After the train stopped they kept swinging until they slowly stopped, then jerked into motion again when the train left. The light and shadows of the lamps got slowly drowned out by the rising sun. It's pretty perfect.
Holy graphical god is this game the best looking thing I've ever seen in video game form. I thought this would be another janky surface level rockstar game and it is a bit but 90% of the time post chapter 2 areas it's unbelievable looking. I can't believe it's dynamic cause it looks hand crafted to a tee, in fact the whole game feels hand crafted. Ghosts of Tsushima and The last of us 2 will no doubt beat this but right now it's beaten even sony exclusives visually. Can't wait to see what that rockstar money does for GTA6 as it's clearly went above and beyond here.
As for the immersion, second to none out side of VR. I've felt shitty not one shotting animals, went to jail because I didn't want to kill some random stranger who witnessed me steal, almost restarted the game from the start after I massacred Valentine and the game au◘ato saved that in stone.
Can't wait for a spoiler thread to share the insane stuff I've came across aroubd the map and hear others to see of they match up as well as the emergent stories it has brought about and compare how we differed.
So far it's been a slow burn, a really slow build up but once you figure out what they are dishing out here and fall in the groove og the systems it starts, at least for me to become mind melting stuff ot's so next level. All these people saying the core systems are shit need to play further and see they really don't effect much, it's basically a padded out health/potion system.
One of the side missions ended on top of a train. Since my horse was left behind I just stayed on it riding around the map for over half an hour taking screenshots along the way. Just amazing how much work went into the world. Getting to a high spot and watching shadows flowing over the land as the clouds move looks amazing.
The weather system does glitch now and then though. For starters it seems certain missions force certain weather as I suddenly went from blue skies into a full blown rain storm in an instant. Then the storm lingered for a bit afterwards, actually turned into a thunderstorm with black clouds and I though I would get to watch it drifting away. Yet when I turned around it was suddenly gone and blue skies all around again. (I started talking to a stranger, side mission, which maybe triggered a weather reset) When everything is so perfect, that really breaks immersion at that moment.
That's kind of my gripe with the game. It's amazing to simply walk around in, explore the landscape, have your jaw drop to the floor when you get over the next hill, around the next corner or tunnel when following the tracks. However when you're on a mission things often mess up. The weather I mentioned above, the instant fails if you wander off a little too far, the clunky controls for shooting and walking, stealth getting ruined when the character decides that you wanted to climb on that wobbly chair and knock it over, the horse falling over on a slope or running head first into a tree or rock (that has happened plenty times now, hilarious to see, not so funny when being chased)
It also has the worst 'climbing' prevention aka invisible walls implementation. I tried to find a shortcut over the mountains which is apparently not allowed. Many slopes look like they are navigable yet just before reaching the next ridge he goes into slide / tumble mode back down. Apart from it being quite sickening in first person it also locks the view for a while. It's not a straight line either. I was trying to stick to the high side following the invisible edge, yet again what looks like you could simply walk over starts the slide / tumble down sequence again. It's like there is an invisible trip wire halfway up the mountain to send you back down when you cross it. Eventually I gave up as after trekking along the top of the Indian reservation it confirmed for me that there was no way around, end of map. I found many cool views though, not a waste of time.
Another gripe is the save and respawn system. Along the way I got to one of the legendary animal encounters. I tracked it, found it, however my gun had auto stowed away again (so annoying) so by the time I had it back out it was on top of me and thanks to my heath and stamina core being empty for quite a while I quickly died. Then it respawns you quite a bit away (at least you get your horse back with you) However when getting back to the area the option to track the animal was not available anymore nor was it anywhere to be found. Same thing happens with O' Driscall encounters. Die, respawn somewhere random, camp and everyone has vanished. It is useful though when you get spotted for a 'crime', die to prevent bounty nonsense. (For some reason dying costs money, yet you seem to keep items you picked up) Be careful around ladders as well. Trying to climb back down from a tower he simply fell through the hole and splat. Respawn somewhere off outside. Saving doesn't help as that also respawns you somewhere a way off.
Persistence has always been a problem with R* games and here it's still the same. When I was on the train I got off after half an hour when it was stopped at a small station to walk ahead for a bit. I was taking pictures on a bridge wondering if the train would catch up so I could jump on again. It seemed to take far too long, finally I hear the whistle and rumblimg. Look to where it should be coming from and suddenly get hit by a train coming from the other side. It's a single track lol. No logic. There was plenty space between me and railing as well, still dead, respawn somewhere off, train disappeared.
On the other had, the auto travel system is quite perfect. Set a target, enter cinematic mode, hold x at trot or gallop and he'll auto walk to the destination, smoothly avoiding all traffic and even stopping for trains and continuing again. The dynamic camera angles never get tiring as well in cinematic mode so beautiful. Too bad the most non interactive feature of the game is its best.
Correction: I just set off again. Set a destination for auto travel in cinematic mode. He clumsily knocks over someone while walking through Valentine, I'm instantly wanted, get 3 guys after me, auto travel just keeps walking, dead. lol. Nice welcome back!