Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) is a very popular game. It has sold over 17 million copies worldwide as of November 13th, selling more copies in 8 days than the previous game did in 8 years. After playing the first Red Dead Redemption (RDR) I did not think that I would like RDR2, but after getting gifted this game, I decided to give it another chance. After many hours of gaming and completing the story, I have been surprised to find it a huge improvement on the original. The game play is addicting and keeps me busy for hours with a well-put together story that serves as a prequel to the previous Red Dead.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is an action adventure game developed by Rockstar Games. The RDR2 story, follows a gang of American outlaws in 1899. The leader, Dutch van der Linde, and his gang, on the run from the law after a heist, retreat to the mountains where they get stuck in a blizzard. We are in the boots of Arthur Morgan as we explore a new and expansive map.
The huge map has a lot to offer, from alligator-infested swamps, to snowy peaks, and thick forest. It also reproduces the Great Plains from the original game. There are a lot of towns you can visit that have things like bars, banks and a sheriff’s office. There is also a growing city that is full of modern things like electric trams, paved roads and many shops. RDR2 does a great job at getting you explore each part of the map, making sure you don’t get bored of the seeing the same scenery.
The graphics look great and add a lot of pleasure to the game. The snow looks like a new white blanket right out of the factory and the green grass is vibrant and rich. If you look at the mountains, you can see the snow on them reflecting sunlight as well as the dark shadows on the other sides. The inventive animations help bring you into the world, with like gun smoke, hats that fly off when a bullet flies past them, and a wide variety of death animations. The cinematics that go with it are excellent and make shootouts look and feel realistic, showing details right down to the spark of the gunpowder igniting when you fire the weapon.
The main storyline missions involve stealing horses, doing heists, having shootouts, and more. The main plot is to move as far east as possible to escape the trouble the gang has started out west. Side activities you could do along the way involve helping out the community by hunting down people with bounties to receive some extra cash that you can put towards camp upgrades.
Combat never gets old when you activate “dead eye,” which makes a return from RDR. Dead eye slows everything down so your character can get that perfect shot to finish off the enemies or animals by targeting critical areas. Improvements in the melee combat make it feel more realistic than the original. Rockstar has added new ways to fight with big hook punches and elbow jabs. They also made knockout punches two to three hits instead of one.
Two new things in RDR2 are horse bonding, and an honour system. Your bond with your horse improves if you treat it well by doing things like brushing it and keeping it well-fed. The more you build trust with your horse, the less likely you will be thrown off when in a shootout, or in the face of a hungry predator. Another aspect that adds to the realism is that if your horse dies, there is no way you can bring it back. After having spend time bonding with it, seeing your horse die, permanently, in front of you really succeeds in making you mourn for its loss. You can buy another one from the stables, or steal one–but that would impact your honour rating.
The honour ranking rises if Arthur does good actions, like helping out a civilian in need, but goes down if he does bad actions like killing an innocent person. The difference between good and bad honour is seen in how you’re treated by other characters in the game. They might run in fear from you, respect you, attack you, or give you discounts on things that you buy around town. The honour system plays a big role in your story although it’s not obvious at first. I found myself especially appreciating the discounts I got by maintaining a good honour rating.
Rockstar did a really good job at finding the right cast to play these characters. The voice actors make you feel the heartache or pain the group of outlaws go through when something bad happens to one or more of the beloved characters, but also they make you feel the happiness the group feels when they pull off a bank heist.
RDR2 is a great addition to the franchise, and has provided storytelling and beautiful graphics that will keep players engaged in the game for a very long time, as you travel the map and explore everything this world has to offer. Rockstar is also working on a multiplayer version that my friends and I cannot wait for. It may be the game of the year and I highly suggest you get this game and add it to your collection of games.