An epic narrative of loyalty, conviction, and the price of notoriety, Red Dead Redemption 2 tells the story of a group of Wild West outlaws battling against the onslaught of modernity and industrialization. So many things to do, so many new people to meet, and so many locations to explore that it’s a veritable cornucopia of possibilities. In Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar’s finest accomplishment to date, it’s hard to know where to begin addressing the game’s lack of compromise.
As a starting point, let’s begin at the beginning:
It’s 1899, and outlaws in the United States are on the verge of extinction. Blizzards are obscuring Dutch van der Linde and his band of criminals as they flee to the mountains following a failed robbery attempt in the town of Blackwater. We slide into Arthur Morgan’s spurs and settle down for an approximately 60-hour narrative about an extremely calm and competent bandit who was discovered by the Dutch as a child and nurtured on the wrong side of the law. I like that it’s self-contained and has a logical progression. Makes a great initial impression thanks to the stylish cinematics, which immerse you right into the group and bring you right up close and personal with the individuals. It also allowed me to focus on learning the basics of Red Dead Redemption 2’s controls and mechanics, which made exploring the whole landscape after a few hours all the more rewarding. The claustrophobic circumstances on the mountain are exacerbated by little visibility and heavy snow that suffocates Arthur. With this purposely harsh setting, it’s easy to forget just how liberating the complete map can be when you’re finally released from it. The Great Plains
Isn’t this a wonderful world? It’s a lot bigger, more gorgeous, and more diverse than the one we explored in 2010’s Red Dead Redemption by a wide margin. It’s a diverse landscape, including mountains and marshes. Open plateaus and dense woodlands. Spectacular plantations and quaint farmhouses. Great lakes and narrow streams. Caves and gulches are covered in a thick layer of dust. Two distinct towns may be found in Valentine and Saint-Denis: the mud-strewn cattle town, with its wooden houses and rustic beauty; and the modern-day metropolis with its paved roads, electric tramways, and Chinese restaurants. Here, you’ll find a stunning array of habitats and landscapes that have been flawlessly woven together.
A map to be explored
If you’ve ever wanted to explore every nook and cranny of Red Dead Redemption 2, you won’t be disappointed. Even at the end of its 60-hour main plot, I was taken to previously unexplored sections of the map. In order to keep the excitement of finding new places alive, the deck has a lot of cards in its sleeve. It’s not simply the richness and variety of the globe that keeps this game new after so many hours; it’s how alive all of those locations seem. Despite the fact that Red Dead Redemption 2 takes place in a primarily rural setting, it’s packed with animals, people to meet (and maybe help), and locations to explore. The finest open worlds are those that seem almost indifferent to your existence in them, as though life carries on regardless of whether or not you participate. At a busy logging camp, I’ve observed lumberjacks felling trees and followed a bewildered Englishman about town looking for “Gav.” I didn’t feel like Arthur was the center of the universe because of this; rather, I felt like I was a guest in this realm. In a manner that few, if any, games have done before, Red Dead Redemption 2 succeeds.
In the midst of a violent valley
Compared to GTA V, Red Dead Redemption 2’s slower pace enabled me to take in everything the world has to offer, as opposed to the more frantic GTA V. Arthur has to physically manhandle a corpse in order to steal bodies, which necessitates Arthur’s involvement. Before shooting, single-action handguns must be cocked. Retrieving the guns Arthur does not presently have on him is necessary. To enjoy a cup of coffee, it must be prepared beforehand.
I’m sure some people find this type of activity tedious, but I like it. It has a deliberate quality to it that makes Arthur feel more grounded in the world than if he were skimming through it. A lever-action rifle, for example, allows you to cycle a fresh cartridge with a second pull of the fire button, and you may even halt halfway through for dramatic effect. Rockstar’s designers didn’t have to think about this, but I believe they realize that little, seemingly insignificant moments of nuanced control like this unconsciously seat me into the world as Arthur even more. This is a fascinating design choice, but I prefer the risk-versus-reward loot cycle over the sluggish pace of examining defeated foes. My options are limited, so how can I decide which one to choose? Because your attention is required elsewhere or because loitering at the scene of a crime naturally puts you in greater danger of being detected, these are penalties you must be prepared to bear. It’s not always inexpensive to get a bounty. Is there a gold nugget in one of the guys’ pants? You may never know for sure.
One of the few things I have a problem with is the constant swapping out of weaponry. When a scoped rifle or bow is necessary, it is perfectly acceptable to use it since it is plainly mission-related. As a dual-wielding gamer, I find it more frustrating to be given handguns that don’t match my preferred weapon set. I was irritated by the little amount of time it took to switch back. Rockstar is aiming to establish a fast pace here, but it’s worth it since there’s a lot to take in. Conversations that take place in camp after specific missions, as well as other tailored pieces of speech that reference previous events, will be heard. From a fierce argument between John Marston and Abigail to Hosea Matthews regaling Jack Marston with tales of his recent fishing excursion, I’ve seen it all as I’ve walked about the camp. Even if you don’t stop to listen, this is all going on around Arthur. It makes the camp seem like a concentrated version of the world at large, a place where people are going about their business and engaging with one another without your interference. I can’t overstate the impact this has on my entire enjoyment of the trip.
Red Dead Redemption 2 vs GTA
There are still plenty of places in the globe where you may stop and smell the flowers. The aftermath of Arthur’s adventures and other global events are covered in newspapers sold on street corners. Like in GTA V, you may go to the cinema and see some old-timey movies. ‘ Patting a dog is allowed. I spent a lot of time wandering about, savoring the sights and sounds of the world like a virtual tourist. There’s just too much to mention. As for the plot missions, they’re a kaleidoscope of high-stakes heists, lethal shootouts, frantic rescues, and exhilarating chases. There are a number of pastimes and side hustles that may be pursued, from selling stolen horses to playing poker or fishing, that can teach us new skills.
In many aspects, it’s a lot like the original, but with an abundance of new animations and numerous levels of participation. Once I learned the difference between tap and press-and-hold instructions, I had little issues with the limited number of buttons on my controller. Gunsmoke and on-the-fly, ever-changing death animations have been hallmarks of Rockstar games since GTA IV, and they’re back in Grand Theft Auto V. Shooting someone’s hat off isn’t the only thing you can do to get your hands on theirs afterward.
A lot of people assume Red Dead Redemption is simply Grand Theft Auto on a horse, but that’s a little too simplistic. Although the GTA DNA is still there, gun engagements are smaller and more chaotic due to the lack of modern weapons. In combat, I like the close-range battles, when I’m crouched down behind a piece of cover trading lead with foes who are frequently just a few yards away. It’s exhilarating and enjoyable. There’s nothing quite like seeing poor saps go limp and collapse from the saddle in an almost unlimited variety of ways as combat from atop a horse does. I suppose Arthur is a little heavier than the other GTA V characters, but his mobility wasn’t sluggish. Arthur’s connection to the world fascinates me. In general, I dislike games with a retro, skate third-person aesthetic, but here, that lack of impetus is absent. Since Red Dead Revolver, Dead Eye has always been a part of the franchise. Now it shows crucial hit zones on a target, which is quite helpful (very useful for clean kills while hunting). Even while it’s no longer as efficient as it once was, the gory dance of slow-motion death-dealing remains a strangely pleasurable experience.
I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at the many camp upgrading choices that were offered to me – at least in terms of aesthetics. A fishing boat and a chart in Arthur’s quarters that allows speedy travel are only two examples of practical modifications that have gameplay advantages connected. Not having animal skulls, carpets, and the like in my home doesn’t seem to have diminished my sense of well-being. A lot of this seems like a teaser for Red Dead Online’s multiplayer component, which is still in the works.
The fact that I didn’t perform a lot of crafting was never penalized on me. Tonics and satchels may be made, and recipes can be found throughout the tale. Even so, I was able to get by primarily buying supplies, refilling at camp, and ritualistically robbing the dead for booze, health remedies, and smokes. (I made a lot of corpses.)
Horse bonding and the honor system were two new aspects that I took very seriously. As a result, you’ll be more likely to treat your horse with respect rather than chucking it off mountains or parking it on railroad lines for the sake of a laugh. If a horse trusts Arthur enough to remain calm in the face of a predator or a gunfight, then only that horse can be trusted. Trust is earned via riding, grooming, and feeding a horse. A physical-to-digital link is established between you and your horse when you must click on the thumbstick when your horse is afraid. If anything happens to your horse, there is no way to bring him or her back. It wasn’t until the end that I realized how much I cared for that enormous horse. Some of the other folks here have had to deal with the heartbreak of having to euthanize their horse companions (always pack some horse revivers, people).
The main character
Arthur’s personal honor, on the other hand, is a moving target that rises and falls in relation to his activities in the real world at all times. Because outlaws serve the common man across the globe and abstain from murdering in cold blood, they obtain discounts in stores and typically don’t have to be on the lookout for bounty hunters and law enforcement officers. It’s also conceivable to play as a terrible monster, although I’m not exactly sure whether such an approach would harmonize with Arthur’s real narrative. Despite the fact that I still need to study deeper, I’m pleased with my playing and the Arthur I selected to play. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a very stunning game. Even in the darkest, mistiest scenes, when the moonlight pierces through the trees and beams of light pierce through the mist, the lighting is spectacular. As the weather system changes, the sunsets seem to change as well. Warm and delicate contrasts with sharp and blazing. The degree of granular detail is nearly comical, from the way blood spreads on Arthur’s shoulder after carrying a kill to the way individual strands of his beautiful mutton chops tremble in the wind. The face movement is a notable improvement over GTA V’s. The way the mud builds upon the wheels of the wagon. The rate at which rust accumulates on a neglected weapon. It’s a big, long list that shows a great deal of attention to detail.
Everything looks and feels like it was made by hand. Labels are placed on each item, making it easy to pick it up and check it. Products for sale or vintage adverts may be found in every shop catalog, thanks to the use of personalized language and graphics throughout. Throughout the globe, hallways are adorned with framed photos that I’ve never seen before. Keep in mind that this is the game in which the testicles of the horses shrink in cold weather. The muscle and skin wrinkles of my horse’s butt have fascinated me on several occasions. There will be plenty of time to examine the buttocks of horses while reading this bizarre statement. So it’s a good thing that impresses you.
When a horse moves its neck, stomps its hooves, and shakes its body of its own, it feels like a real live thing. The same self-preservation instincts horses demonstrate while galloping down a ravine might be useful when careening towards an obstruction in front of them, but that’s just a wish. There were several collisions between my horse and other riders before I realized that he was incapable of avoiding them on his own.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Conclusion
As one of the finest games of our time, Red Dead Redemption 2 ranks with Grand Theft Auto V. A beautiful, polished, and fun-to-play picture of a horrible era that is patient, polished, and Rockstar’s greatest narrative to yet. Although I’ve finished the long tale, I’m already looking forward to returning to play more. An open-world tribute to the days of the outlaws, this game is one of a kind. Is this generation’s finest single-player action experience what you’re looking for? Your huckleberry is at hand.