Deep into chapter 3 and I'm loving how weird it is.
I do have some gripes, which include how you hardly interact with any character outside of cutscenes. Most of the story is through typically long Kojimaesque cutscenes, or more often, holograms.
It feels like a Fallout game in that way, in that the story is told to you instead of always making you an engaged participant. It makes the world feel incredibly empty, and perhaps that's intentional, but it also seems like a product of the post-Konami Kojima, where he doesn't have the backing of a big studio and budget.
It puts some distance between me and actually connecting with the game's story and characters, because I can see how the daily grind can devolve into the "another settlement needs your help" monotony of Fallout 4.
It takes about 5 minutes and 20 button presses to do one simple action. There's a maddening tedium to this game that forces me to play it in short bursts. I remember feeling the same way during Phantom Pain. Like why? Why do you have to watch Sam put every single package on the belt and then sit through a "mission accomplished" review screen? Why do you have to confirm every little thing and then watch a 2 second hologram of a character thanking you?
I know there's supposed to be this like meta-narrative and 4th wall breaking (Higgs: "Aren't you getting tired of the grind ... isn't this what you been waiting for"), but I don't think that excuses it. I've only ever played this, Phantom Pain, and Ground Zeroes by Kojima, but it feels like his games use the self-awareness and self-commentary as a license to make it grindy and tedious.
Having said that, I'm having a blast now that you have all these cool upgrades and vehicles. Echoing Vader's words, it does make chapter 2 seem unnecessarily punishing. Like, I almost cannot blame reviewers for quitting at that point. The alienation doesn't seem to serve any purpose (at least not yet).
I also appreciate how the "grind" of the game kind of connects you to the environment, as RDR2 does in many ways. The landscape and nature isn't just something you walk over, it's an actual character.
I also like the apparent influences from Kubrick. Maybe some Interstellar, maybe some Blade Runner too.