I didn’t unlock fast travel in Red Dead Redemption 2 until halfway through chapter three. It was an accident – I’d managed to amass a healthy stash of money, and after maxing out the rest of the gang’s lodgings, stashes, and other necessary accouterments, I finally bit the shotgun slug and invested in Arthur’s. Lo and behold, a fast travel map appeared, nailed to the wood of his caravan like a tempting will-o-the-wisp on a foggy night in the bayou. I used it once or twice and then never did so again.

To my memory, the game didn’t indicate that Arthur’s second upgrade would unlock fast travel in RDR 2. All I wanted was a ready stash of bullets to grab every now and again, though I’d always found plenty to loot from dead O’Driscolls, Pinkertons, and LeMoyne Raiders alike. Once upon a time I might have let out a victorious cheer, but for the first time in perhaps ever, I realized that I had not been missing this staple RPG-like mechanic at all. It speaks to a broader discussion these days about the role of fast travel in games, but it’s also a testament to the immersive storytelling power that comes with stopping to smell the horse manure for once.

Let’s go, boy 

Red Dead Redemption 2

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

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