If you ever owned a console or have any interest in gaming, then you may have heard about or played a game called Red Dead Redemption which came out way back in 2010. It was an amazing open-world game with never-ending landscapes and stories that can rival Hollywood. Well, it just got an Upgrade.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is an incredible western tale of conviction, undying loyalty and the price of infamy, depicting the inevitable collapse of a motley crew during the American Industrial revolution era.
Being related to Rockstar’s most authentic lineup of games. Red Dead Redemption 2 is no slouch when it comes to open-world interaction.
Gamers properly experience the most authentic and ALIVE open world ever, where there are so many amazing things to do and so many interactions that sometimes it can be a bit too much but boy oh boy is that overwhelming sensation always welcome.
The game is so detailed and so immersive, that you would want to be mesmerized at every turn by different landscapes and scenarios and believe me it makes good on that promise.
RDR 2 is such a huge achievement for Rockstar and is so lacking in compromise, that it is incredibly difficult to know where to start discussing it, to give it justice.
So, let’s start at the very beginning…
The story is set in the American Industrial revolution era (1899) when the already cozy world of the outlaws is getting smaller and smaller.
Amidst these endangering times, Dutch van der Linde and his gang are on the run after a failed heist in a town called Blackwater. They have retreated high in the mountains where a vicious blizzard is protecting them from any following opposition, covering their escape.
We slip into the capable spurs of Arthur Morgan, an exceptionally cool and capable outlaw who was found by Dutch van der Linde as a boy and raised to live on the wrong side of the law and then strap in for a roughly 60-hour story.
It is a very self-contained introduction but it’s still a pretty clever one. The slick cinematic shows you that you are in the graphical big leagues now, and also embed you into the story and the gang who are huddled up close because of the howling wind.
The mountains are pretty tightly wound, almost claustrophobic, but once you pass the initial title sequence and get the full map opened up to you after a few hours later, you’ll truly get to know what the actual definition of open-world gaming is with this amazing new weapon in Rockstar’s arsenal.
The Immense Country
One thing you will never run out of and get enough of is the countryside. With beautiful and more varied than its predecessor from 2010, RDR 2 is a massive step ahead in the open terrain gameplay.
The countryside is extremely massive but if you keep riding anywhere in one direction, you will see some amazing shifts in weather and terrain that will mesmerize you to your gaming heart’s core.
With snowy peaks, alligator-infested swamps, thick forests and beautiful open plateaus that are home to grand plantations, streams, and amazing lakes, your riding experience will soon become your addiction.
But if you think that Rockstar has run out of terrain types for you to gallop on, then think again.
There are also dim caves and gulches to explore, and town buildings to visit who has a beautiful rustic charm just poured all over them, and if you love old western surroundings with their simple charms then you’ll be giddily mesmerized whenever you’ll visit the little towns. And then finally there is the modern city of Saint Denis, with its electric trams, paved roads, and Chinese restaurants.
The most amazing thing about this RDR 2 is that all of these ecosystems and environments are so seamlessly linked together, that you will never get tired of playing it and that is one of the most remarkable compliments a game could ever ask for.
The game does a phenomenal job in making you visit all of the little nooks and crannies of the map with different scenarios and missions. And even after 60 hours of gameplay, you would still get to find new places on the map that you hadn’t been to before.
The bigger the game, the lesser the boredom
Nowadays, it comes as no surprise when a particular game is long and filled with graphical magnificence but one thing that matters most is the game’s playtime. The playtime is the game’s ability to capture the gamer’s attention and not letting it go. Thankfully, Red Dead Redemption 2 delivers on that too.
While the mostly rural terrain is less dense than Rockstar’s other crown jewel GTA V, it’s full of interactive wildlife, people to be helped and places to tear apart.
An amazing thing about this game is that while you are a part of an amazing story, you are not made the center of attention wherever you go. You feel like a visitor when you move throughout the terrain because every place has its personality and it continues to function with or without you.
The game feels like it moves at a slower pace but not to us. It feels like that because the attention to detail in this game is so beautiful. From firing single-action pistols that need to be cocked every time prior to firing, to properly brewing coffee before you drink it sitting on a rock, in front of a soothing fire, this game will make you fall in love with experiencing and enjoying the little things rather than just finishing the missions and completing the story.
We know that some of you will say that it feels like a chore like situation rather than enjoying the game, but this attention to detail in minor dealings throughout the game also helps keep Arthur grounded and not just fly over the details. These details can even include robbing someone because Arthur has to do it manually or even pausing to fire a gun for dramatic effect.
You don’t have to rigidly stick to the missions
While the missions in this game are very expertly designed to keep you connected to every part of the map and the story, you should still take some time off of missions. Visit remote places or just sit by the fire and listen to people conversing, because that chatter is very interesting and sometimes it pays off to have that information.
For instance, while strolling around you can hear a heated-up argument between John Marston and his partner, Abigail, with Hosea Matthews about John’s latest fishing adventure.
These little instances where you get to know that the world encircling you is functioning just fine without your input, it certainly instigates a feeling of life into the whole gaming experience, which is very powerful.
Missions are OFF THE HOOK
The main story, as always, revolves around the missions, which this time around include heists that are incredibly high staked, shootouts to fill your urges of being a cowboy, desperate rescues and chases whose cinematography can rival most Hollywood westerns.
Most of these missions are an educational guide to understand the vast array of side hustles and countless activities that you can perform throughout the land.
The gameplay is immersive as it was in the last installment and we are so glad that it lives up to its name there.
Rockstar has introduced some new features in their latest installment that were not present in its predecessors such as the new animations that make the story feel alive and multiple levels of interactivity throughout the game.
Setting up the controls can be a bit difficult as it asks a lot of the finite number of buttons on your console controller but when you figure out which commands require a tap and which require a long press, it will get easier.
The shootouts and hassles are so cinematic with the added features like blood splattering and animations that came into Rockstar’s arsenal since GTA IV. You can even shoot people’s hats and pick them later to wear if you want. This tells you about the amount of detail this game has.
If you are familiar with the previous iterations in the series than you would know about the feature “Dead Eye”. For those who don’t know, it’s just the aiming dot for shooting but what’s interesting is that in RDR 2 the dead eye feature has undergone some changes. It can easily shoot two targets and can even track animals when you are out hunting.
Two things that are supremely interesting in this game are the horse bonding and honor system
Horse bonding is a feature introduced in this game where unlike in the last iteration, you can’t ride your poor horse a million miles before you get off. Instead, you have to treat it with real respect and take care of it, if you want to get on it ever again.
All the horses in this game are unique regardless of the already humongous scale of interactivity in this game and the ones that will trust Arthur will let you get on them and even fight off predators for you. It creates an intimate bond between you and your galloping companion because they even need reassurances in the dark or when they get startled at night or even during the day.
Meanwhile, Arthur’s honor is a very interesting thing introduced in this iteration. It is always active in the background and is very helpful for you if you play your cards right. If you are a soft-hearted outlaw that murders people but only the bad kind and helps the innocent, you get discounts at shops and don’t have to worry about lawmen being at your tail all the time.
How does it hold up in the graphics department?
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a huge leap forward from the graphics of its predecessor. The lighting is amazing, especially in the dark and dusty environments where moonlight cuts through the trees and you can see your reflection in the ponds and also see the dust shifting when you or your horse runs afoot.
The graphical elements that do proper justice to the game are the changes in weather as you move from terrain to terrain. The changes in night and day are also an amazing sight atop a mountain if you feel like exploring the mountainside at dawn or dusk.
The facial structures and graphical integration are a huge step up from the last graphical giant produced by Rockstar called GTA V. For instance, you can even see blood splattered on Arthur’s shoulder after putting a kill on the back of his horse when he is out hunting.
They have pulled out all the stops when it comes to detail this time around
The countryside and the massive array of different terrains are never-ending, but still every consumable you come across is properly labeled so that you can devise your gaming strategy as you want.
Every catalog in every shop throughout the land is filled with products that you can purchase. Hallways are properly decorated with unique picture frames that are never repeated anywhere in the game. Even horse testicles shrink when you move from hot to colder environments.
Everything is properly polished and handcrafted
All across the map, everything you see or interact with is so well crafted that you will remain mesmerized throughout the whole gaming experience.
Horses as being an integral part of the game are incredibly animated and feel like actual living creatures thanks to the Horse bonding feature. Apart from these, they swing their necks, stomp their feet and even get scared if there are close to shootings or something irregular.
The sound work is so beautifully orchestrated that you will feel like you are roaming through a Hollywood western.
From sound effects of bullets bouncing off the walls or stones to the metallic crunch of a weapon loading to different sounds of environmental changes like snow falling and wind blowing as you move across the ever-changing terrain.
The most impressive thing about the audio effects is that countless custom sounds have been created for the game to be played even just once or twice during the whole game. JUST ONCE OR TWICE. This just proves how little has been missed in the detailing.
The world of RDR 2 is prepared for anything you throw at it
You can perform any move out of a Hollywood western you want, and the game will deliver.
Whether it may be a deliberate pause while you shoot someone from a distance to even visiting the same shops quickly and the shopkeeper will comment on how you’re back so quickly. It can even be a ticket clerk leaving a comment about how you didn’t like the show if you leave the theatre too quickly. Heck, you can go fishing for more than 30 different types of fish in different terrains.
How does the story connect to the first iteration?
Well, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to the first part. This game takes place 12 years earlier than the first part and the story connects by the character named John Marston. The story of the gang of Dutch can der Linde eventually gets an end in this iteration, including the demise of the enigmatic gang leader.
The relation between John and Arthur is an interesting aspect of this game if you are familiar with the story of the Red Dead Redemption. John Marston is the lead in that one, to make a long story short. He is even a crucial part in this story too, but Rockstar has very cleverly kept his character at bay while promoting Arthur.
Combined with amazing direction and beautiful writing, the result is a fantastic game that is both filled with some very strong emotions while having a humorous side to it that balances out the gameplay, especially during the high points of the story and the epilogue.
Red Dead Redemption 2 stands side by side with Rockstar’s other crown jewel which is a little game called Grand Theft Auto V as one of the greatest games of modern times. It’s an incredible display of a brutally ugly era that is well crafted and polished with an amazing power of attraction that doesn’t let the gamer to leave their seat for hours and hours.
Even after finishing the story mode, you would still want to roam around freely in the plateaus and mountains because of so many independent elements that surround the terrain.
This is an incredible game with never-ending qualities and a true open-world gaming concept and if you want to be properly entertained while feeling a million times cooler, BUY IT.