Finally, we have the chance to scratch our Wild West itch – Red Dead Redemption 2 is here. We have been hard at work playing through this extensive open world filled with guns and grit. We have finally managed to tear ourselves away from the screen for long enough to write this review.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is clearly the sequel to Rockstar’s first Western-themed game, although story-wise it lines up as a prequel with the story perfectly setting up the first installment of the game.
Red Dead Redemption 2 starts out with a fairly scripted and cinematic beginning, which does an excellent job of setting the scene for the characters and the overall story. The amazing audio presentation really takes center stage during these first hours, providing dramatic music and rich voice acting which had US totally engrossed from the start. We had a flashback to Tarantino’s Hateful Eight which is an impressive feat for any video game.
The voice acting is excellent. Each performance really delivers an experience and does the great writing, justice. Everything from offhand comments to deep conversations between NPC’s – Red Dead Redemption 2 really delivers.
The world feels alive, with dynamic weather and beautifully modeled towns that truly capture the spirit of a bustling semi-industrial America. The thick mud you land in while having a fight outside a local tavern stays with you on your clothes and face until you have a bath or swim in a nearby stream. Coupled with the improved graphics and character models and you have a game that really feels like a realisation of years of what if’s.
One thing you notice almost immediately is the level of detail and shift towards a more realistic experience. The hunting mechanics, for example, include wind direction, animal skinning animations along with the need to roll up the skin and add it to you horse pack followed by adding the actual animal carcass to the back of your horse. You then need to ferry these items back to the relevant people in your camp/town to get the recognition or gold for them. It really adds a significant bump up in the realism of Red Dead Redemption 2, but does add some significant time to each task.
As always with Rockstar’s open world games, the best bits of writing are hidden in the margins. If you get away from the main story-line and explore some of the game’s rich side quests, you really do unpack what a massive game Red Dead Redemption 2 is. Whether you plan on extorting some owed money, tracking down a serial killer or becoming a master hunter – there is so much to do.
Let’s talk about time for a bit. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a massive game, a length story, tons of quests and things to do and a very large map means that you will be able to spend hundreds of hours within the game. This means great value for fans! However, this also makes the game less accessible for time-starved gamers (looking at you parents). Red Dead Redemption 2 is not great for jumping in for an hour here or there as the pace of the game is too slow and deliberate. This captures the feeling of the setting and unravels in a beautiful cinematic experience, but for a short fix it can be a little frustrating.
If you are looking for something to sink your teeth into, then by all means, Red Dead Redemption 2 is the perfect game for you.
Have you been playing Red Dead Redemption 2? Drop us a comment below and let us know what you think of the game.