Red Dead Redemption 2 finally released on PC this week, and Rockstar is not doing well. Yesterday, Samit Sarkar on our sister site Polygon reported on various technical problems that PC players are experiencing, and I can confirm that I have seen a few myself last week.
Although in the beginning I had no problems starting the game, the biggest problem by far – and a problem that seems to be very common – is that the game often connects for three seconds in a row. It is shocking while playing and ensures that you miss crucial dialogue during story sequences when the game has to catch up with itself.
This is a particularly strange problem because Red Dead Redemption 2 otherwise it looks fantastic and runs pretty well on my pc, which is not super high end, but when I put it together three and a half years ago. It happens regardless of the graphic settings, as far as I know. My rig has a GTX 1080 GPU, an i5 6600K processor and 16 GB RAM, and I hover between 40 and 60 frames per second at 1440p with predominantly high settings. (I use a G-Sync monitor, so the frame rate drops are noticeable, but not that annoying.)
To be clear, that is not exactly a well-optimized port, considering how good Red Dead Redemption 2 looks at much less powerful console hardware. I usually have no problems playing games with higher frame rates and higher settings, and I would not call this a great port even if there was no problem with the link. But it does have the link problem: no matter what I do with the settings, it blocks a few seconds every few minutes.
That's enough to make it unplayable now, which is a shame, because I would have been looking forward to playing it again Red Dead Redemption 2. I loved the game on my PS4 Pro last year, but I don't know if I played it the right way – I bombarded it as quickly as possible to see the end without spoilers and hear what other people were saying about it. I am not sure if this was the wrong decision, but I would very much like to give it a longer, thorough run over a longer period. It wouldn't hurt to do this with better visuals and performance.
As Samit noted, Rockstar's response to date has been to recommend players to disable anti-virus software, which seems an unsatisfactory solution. Updates for the company's launcher and the game itself seem to have done little at best, or even made the situation worse.
Until Rockstar is resolved Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC, or at least gives an indication of what is going on, we really cannot recommend you to buy it. Because the link issues are out of step with the overall performance of the game, it seems that they need to be addressed. But without any confirmation that there is a solution on the horizon, this version of the game is a hard pass.