An unforgettable experience – Red Dead Redemption 2 Review

by Sammy Chan
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Red dead redemption 2 was a highly anticipated title weighing on the hearts and minds of gamers since it was announced way back in 2016. Giving us but mere glimpses into its world, developer Rockstar left fans waiting, watching and hoping with bated breath.

Well, with its recent October release – we can rejoice with our long-awaited venture back into the wild west. But I must say that while waiting for a game we hoped would meet our expectations, Rockstar delivered a title that reinvented a standard for game development as a whole. Delivering not only a soon-to-be award-winning game but also an artistic triumph. Here’s my Red Dead Redemption 2 review.

In case you haven’t heard

Ingame Screenshot via Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game that follows suit on the classic Rockstar open world formula. That is to say, there’s no shortage of mayhem, madness, and chaos. It’s not long after we’re introduced to protagonist Arthur Morgan, do the bullets start to fly and the heads start to roll. But I’d expect no less from Rockstar. As Red Dead Redemption 2 at its heart, is an action-packed western shooter. Featuring bandits, train robberies, saloon brawls, and deadly standoffs in the age of dying outlaw culture.

Yet, through all the blood and the gore, there remains a subtle intent that lay behind every bullet. One that is crafted into a classic western fantasy. Brought to life through a colossal cinematic world, comprehensive character interactivity and an intense story. All which call you into following the dreams of your charismatic leader – the great Dutch Van-der Linde.

A home on the road

Ingame Screenshot via Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead’s main story will cast you on a spiraling 50-hour journey focused around the lives of the Van-Der Linde gang. Your group of friends, family and home-on-the-road travel the land, on the run and trying to make ends meet. While always in search of that final score to help them cast off the dying brand of their outlaw nature. As Arthur Morgan, loyal companion and illustrious felon, you are ever eager to serve the dreams of your ambitious friends and their charismatic leader. Each with a special talent for finding themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Every mission you undertake is a diverse mix of storytelling, scenery, and action.  Adding to the fun is a cast of truly erroneous personality. From the charming businessmen to drunken hicks and even a trigger-happy young wife just trying to do her part. Each plays its own role in contributing to making your group feel like a family. Ultimately so that at no moment does the west allow you to forget its presence.

Through the various story segments, each mission feels like another day in the life of Arthur Morgan. Some spent celebrating, some fighting but always with the gang through the good times and the bad. It’s to no surprise that after some time you find yourself engrossed in the troubles and dreams of the friendships you forge. In this lasting sense of family and connection, is the game’s story done justice. Throughout my playthrough, I (without realizing) had come to trust, respect and care for our leader Dutch and his special brand of honor amongst thieves.

A living world to explore

Ingame Screenshot via Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar’s painstaking attention to detail is noticed in every scene and on every step. Words simply cannot do the setting and scenery justice. From the light rays to the dust clouds and the dawning sun over an inbound rolling fog. Red Dead 2s landscape and beauty are brought to life through its littlest details and became a vivid part of my 60-hour adventure. As the story takes you through its realistic landscapes. Be it on foot, on horseback or being chased down and shot. I often could not suppress the desire to stare into what is nothing less than a world come to life.

When not gawking at the scenery or shooting through the main story there is no shortage of side quests and minigames to immerse players. Side quests and frequent random events introduce you to some of the west’s more curious characters. Along with showcasing some of the more unique and optional elements for Arthurs personal story.

But, if that doesn’t appeal to you there are plenty more options available. Red Dead’s open world shines even in free roam with numerous in-game entertainment activities. There are shows to visit, poker games to win, legendary beasts to hunt and dozens of challenges to keep you occupied. Not to mention the emphasis on realism. Cooking, eating shaving and customizing yourself and your horse all come with their own in-game benefits.

But where would a western shooter be without its crime?

Whether you’re playing the altruistic outcast or the disreputable outlaw there are plenty of ways to get your guns out and your heart racing. The honorable route features bounty missions, hunting, and helping those in distress. While a more notorious playstyle can involve robbing trains, stagecoaches, houses and even holding up stores. But then again you can always put your mask on and have the best of both worlds.

Ingame Screenshot via Red Dead Redemption 2

Beware though, getting recognized by the law will put a bounty on your head. And that means lawmen and bounty hunters alike will be on the hunt. Until it’s paid, or taken care of, they will be tracking you down to earn themselves a pretty penny. And a quick word of advice most don’t care if your shooting back or not. So, if you plan on throwing caution (and the law) to the wind remember to make sure no witnesses are going to report the crime.

So what’s the verdict?

Red dead redemption 2 is a stage of western shootouts, set in a time where an order of approaching civility is at war with the dying savagery of the west. The depiction of the fantasied legends of outlaws. The honor. The glory. The world that is brought to life. The constant chase of the perfect crime. All of this is enough to entertain any gamer for hours on end.

But Red Dead Redemption 2 is more than just a game that I can recommend. It is a staggering testament to the brilliance behind Rockstar’s talent. Featuring a truly unbelievable amount of content at a quality that raises the bar on the game development to date.

DEALS: Get Red Dead Redemption 2 with PSN Card (All region available)

Red dead redemption 2 in my opinion scores a perfect 10/10. It is a complete masterpiece from start to finish. Solidifying itself into the hall of gaming greatness as an instant classic.

If Rockstar were attempting to create a strong foundation for their upcoming online features. They have wholeheartedly succeeded. I hope you guys will enjoy the game as much as I have. Stay tuned for information and details on Rockstars Red Dead online beta which releases this November.

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