So, by and large it's great, obviously. There's dozens of reviews out there that'll tell you as much….but there's really a lot of little things that make the game pretty annoying at times.
The survival elements, as has already been mentioned….frankly, they suck. I know there's people who get a kick out of that stuff, and find it really immersive. Personally, I find it obnoxious. I have absolutely zero interest in being forced to jump through hoops in order to keep enjoying the core gameplay loop at an optimum level. Being forced to worry about my characters weight, whether he's eaten/drank enough to maintain his "cores," cleaning and feeding my horse, going for regular baths, cleaning my guns, getting regular sleep, etc. It's all really just in the way. Sure enough, each one on an individual case doesn't exactly slow you down much, but the combination of the lot, and the frequency with which you'll be tasked to keep up with them….it adds up pretty quickly.
Then you combine this with the slow, often sluggish way that Arthur loots bodies, and searches through valuables….dear god. You spend an astonishing amount of time in this game not really doing much of anything. You take a nice scenic ride along the countryside (and it truly is gorgeous), spend maybe 5-10 minutes on whatever you actually had your mind set on doing there, and then probably an extra 3-4 minutes making sure you got everything….if you're afforded that time before more people wanna come and kill you that is.
Speaking of which, if killing people, and being an actual outlaw is you fancy….good luck. As if the time it takes to relieve people of their earthly possessions wasn't bad enough, the game is ridiculously unforgiving (and surprisingly unrealistic, given it's apparent obsession with it in all other areas) when it comes to people noticing crime. Just earlier, after finishing up a main mission and riding back to camp, I spontaneously decided I wanted to rob a train that passed me by. So, I rode my horse alongside the back, and jumped on. There was only one armed guard in the back, so I promptly ran up behind him, and sent him flying off. Cool. Now to slowly, and methodically work my way forwards, loot everything, and rob everyone I thought. Nope. Just as I was looting this back cart I was in, armed guards came running from somewhere way up the front of the train, ready to shoot me dead. There's no possible way they should have been aware of what had happened back there, but alas, chaos must ensue.
This chaos mind you, no matter how many people you end up killing, or how many goodies you snatch, before you either make it out alive, or die trying, is not worth it. It doesn't take much for you to end up with a bounty on your head that's exorbitantly larger than any haul you could possibly muster in the midst of any significant shootout. And these bounties never diminish over time either, so moving forward, you're either writing Uncle Sam some pretty sizable checks, or you better be prepared to have dozens of bounty hunters on your ass at any given moment. And no….changing your outfit, and putting on a mask isn't really going to help you out much. Even if you ride into a town in an outfit you've never worn before, with a horse you just caught, and your mask on the whole time.....if you get yourself a nice juicy bounty in that look, and later you're out and about hunting looking completely unrecognizable from when you committed those crimes…..bounty hunters are still coming for you, They know. Everybody knows.
I once held up a guy in a ticket booth for the show in that first town you get to (whatever it's called). Wore an all black get up of clothes I've never worn since, plus mask. Every single time I come back there, if he sees me, he's yelling a the top of his lungs for help, regardless of the fact that he shouldn't be able to tell I'm the same guy that robbed him.
I could go on, but I've already rambled enough. Basically though, TLDR, while this game is certainly a marvelous achievement in many ways, it's also strangely anti-fun in others. It impedes you for the sake of realism, and immersion...yet simultaneously features stupidly "gamey" AI that are hyper aware of every fucking thing you do, even if they're a hundred yards off, facing the other way, drunk, and blindfolded. The chaos that usually ensues as a result, is amusing enough - even when it's unwanted - but the bounty system will quickly discourage you from having such fun, lest you wish to find yourself in an endless cycle of violence (try hunting in peace when random bounty hunters are always just waiting to ruin your day), or constantly going broke from paying off your debt to society. Rockstar wants you to be a nice outlaw, only doing naughty things when the main missions require it of you.