It appears Red Dead Redemption 2 is so hot right now, even the in-game characters and animals are going up in flames.
There have been many videos and pictures circulating the net recently, showing unaware NPC’s and the player’s avatar, as well as the player’s trusty steed, bursting into flames. Players, after watching many NPC’s and horses get crisp, have learned that it seems to stem from a certain location– an area near the town of Rhodes– and so far there doesn’t seem to be any way of preventing it, other than avoiding the area altogether.
It’s really nothing but a glitch, but I like to think it’s on purpose– it creates a deeper myth to the game itself. As I’m sure most people are aware, there is a tale about meeting a man at a crossroads and signing your life away. If you want to get meta, you could consider yourself that lonely wanderer, Red Dead Redemption 2 the proverbial Devil, and you have signed your life away to play in this facsimile of the real world. Considering how some spouses of gamers, losing their SO to this game for the next couple of weeks, would feel, I don’t think that’s far off the real story. Or better yet, maybe Marston, the protagonist, is the wheeler-and-dealer, there to witness his failed supplicants turn to ash from being in his proximity. Or maybe it’s just a portal, a symbol for the hell that the Old West folk were living through, the hardships and uphill battles they were constantly engaged in with the landscape, nature and especially, each other. The ruggedness of the setting helps to underline the goofiness of the glitch, rather than undermine it.
There are many narrative tricks and role-playing options a player can use to get around such an issue, to avoid any frustration. But really, these types of things are what help make games so special. While most people’s memory of the story will be whittled away by and over time, random animals spontaneously cooking themselves will remain lodged–even more so if the player employs a reason, no matter how insane or inconsequential. That’s the beauty of video games– where else does the player have this much autonomy on how they perceive the story and characters in front of them?
People seem to be having fun with the glitch, which is the most one can really expect out of such a bizarre situation. An open-world game like this, even after so long in development, will always have an abundance of performance issues. How the player deals with them can be part of the interactive fun.
Now, please Rockstar, have a glitch where the horses grow beards.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is out now on Xbox One and Playstation 4