Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game which is available on the PS4 and Xbox One. It was developed and published by Rockstar games. The game is set in a fictionalised western themed American setting where the player will experience the life of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw and a bandit who is trying to survive in the harsh world of 1899.
One of the games I was looking forward to the most towards to the end of last year was Red Dead Redemption 2. The first game in this series was one of my favourite titles on the Playstation 3 and the Red Dead Revolver game was one I really loved as well on the PlayStation 2. On top of this, Rockstar has been one of my favourite video game developers for some time due to their ability to create some of the best single player experiences I’ve had in recent years, not just with this series, but also with their GTA series. So when I finally got this game last year, my expectations were quite high and I must admit, now that I’ve finished it, I am not disappointed at all.
The main story of Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the longest and most well done single player stories I’ve seen on this generation of consoles. The campaign will have you play as Arthur Morgan, who is a member of a group of bandits that are looking for one big final score so that they can retire one day. But the times are changing in the old west and slowly, cities are emerging, police forces are getting larger and the old ways of robbing banks or trains and only having the sheriff to escape from are slowly fading away. It’s not just that though, the entire lifestyle of camping out in the woods, having a group you camp with and live with out there is also going away. People are starting to live in cities, on ranches and civilisation in America is slowly eroding what the west once was.
I found that having the mixture of a changing time period and also seeing a character who was of the old ways, go through such change as his journey went on was quite interesting. In some ways the old ways of the west are really nice. There are sections of the game where you just spend time with your mates at the camp where people sing songs, share stories, go fishing or go to the saloon and it’s nice. Sometimes in the game you could actually just spend hours fishing with a friend, or alternatively you can just sit down all day and play poker. I loved that there was this aspect of the game that there was some sort of life behind what Arthur could experience aside from the main story missions. Having this helps the game world feel alive and full.
The gameplay for Red Dead Redemption 2 is a mix between gun-slinging, horse riding and walking/running. Your character usually uses a mix of these three in the majority of the missions in the game. The guns in Red Dead Redemption 2 are diverse in that there is a mixture of snipers, handguns, shotguns and rifles. Each weapon in the game unique and has its own reload pattern. Having the reloads be different for each gun in the game meant that switching between guns seemed quite authentic considering the time period of the game. This aspect helps to add the realism that the player needs to get immersed in the world of the game. Horse riding will see you paired with a horse early on the game, which becomes your character”s property. You are able to own more than one horse at a time and over time as you keep using one, it will slowly bond to your character and extra abilities will be unlocked. Much like the cars in GTA V, I consider the horses to mainly the way to get around best in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Extra gameplay within Red Dead Redemption 2 will see you be able to do things with your character such as cook food by a fire, shave, get a hair cut or choose from a variety of outfits and hats to wear. The shaving was an interesting one, as you play through the game Arthur’s beard grows longer and you need to cut it if you want to keep him looking clean. Or you can just leave it growing long if that’s what you want. You can also give Arthur a bath too.
Apart from the main story, the game will have various side missions/tasks such as collecting money from people owing your gang debt. There’s also things like animal spotting or hunting achievements which will literally take players hours to complete on their own. As a game, there is little not to do in there, a player can be busy for months with Red Dead Redemption 2. The main campaign on its own took me about 40 hours to get through with the occasional side quest along the way, but completing it to 100%, I could easily see it taking an additional 20 hours or more to get through.
The sound in the game is another highlight. There are many realistic effects used for all sorts of things in the world of the game to add authenticity to the experience. These range from things such as horse noises, gunfire sounds, carriage noise and many other things you hear as you explore the world. There’s also a decent mix of tunes that play in specific moments of the game which the player can hear, but are outside the world of the character. These musical sequences add to the cinematic feel of certain important scenes of the story, making certain moments feel both strong and impactful on the player. Within the game the player will also walk into certain areas such as the saloon or their camp and may find characters singing songs or playing music from the time period. Sound was a big part of the experience and it felt like a lot of work was put into making it all seem unique as you played through the game.
I am quite happy to recommend taking a look at Red Dead Redemption 2 and adding it to your gaming collection. Red Dead Redemption 2’s main story and plot is well told, with strong character development, not only for its main character, but also for a lot of the other central characters within the game. As a game set in a particular time period of 1899 and being a western, a lot of work was put into making the world of the game to make it feel authentic. From the sounds, to the music, to the way the guns reloaded, plus the variety of activities/side missions within the game. These all added up to make the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 an immersive and authentic video game experience. There is very little one could complain about when it comes to Red Dead Redemption 2, other than that while the game is big and will take you some time, I struggled to often find enough time in my week after work to get to the game as often as I would like. But when I did, the experience was always exceptional and one that I loved playing through over the last few weeks.