I'm not through the opening yet, played for 2 hours so far. It's slow, controls are the usual mix of bad aiming and steering. The body 'maintenance' mechanic feels unnecessary and seems to merely be an excuse to gather a ton of food crap to carry along. Body count is silly again, it took forever to loot all the bodies after the first big shoot out.
However it's so full of atmosphere and detail it feels like I'm in the hateful eight. There is a sort of auto follow, hold x down to stay with the group, or enable cinematic mode and it will follow by itself for a while. You can also switch views in cinematic view with R3, or easily switch back to 3rd person, it's like shooting your own movie. Characters are great so far although I'm sometimes confused as to whether Im talking or if someone is talking to me. That's kind of a problem with first person mode, can't see when you are talking. Yet after a while I should start recognizing my own voice :)
First person mode is a mixed bag. It's great on horseback and while walking outside in the open. Inside and near buildings it highlights the low res textures (playing on ps4 pro) from simply getting too close to things. However in 3rd person it's hard to target things you want to interact with. At least it's only a simple press of the track pad to switch which I have been doing a lot.
Beware of lack of checkpoints. I actually played for close to 3 hours, had to replay most of an hour after the console auto shut off when I had to do something else. I had already cleared the whole camp and figured that I could leave it in the traversel to the next section. Instead when I started the game again I was all the way back at where you select who to talk to first. (which starts the mission) No clue if saving it manually actually saves progress in a mission, I hope so.
Anyway, it looks amazing, draws you in, just don't expect anything new for core game play mechanics or mission design.
Yeah, it definitely feels unnecessary. I didn't buy RDR2 so I could have a DayZ/Rust like survival experience. I hope they patch in an option to turn that off in the near future.