Rockstar Games has established itself as the numero uno in action-adventure gaming, with its Grand Theft Auto series being one of the most critically and commercially successful titles around the world. In 2010, it release the gripping Western adventure Red Dead: Redemption, which was hailed as one of the greatest games ever made for its incredible attention to detail and for providing a truly immersive experience.
Eight years have passed since Red Dead: Redemption and fans’ expectations for its much anticipated sequel are sky high. How does Red Dead: Redemption 2 fare against its predecessor? Does it level up in terms of the richness to detail and manage to provide the same, if not better experience than the original game? Also, with the burgeoning popularity of multiplayer games like Fortnite and PUBG, how does this single-player game match up? Let’s see!
Note: The game has been released for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the following review is for the PS4.
The Best Looking Video Game of All Time?
It might seem a lofty claim, but there is no denying that Red Dead: Redemption 2 is the most bedazzling spectacle in the history of gaming. Yes, even better than the likes of Uncharted 4 and even the new God of War. Whether you are playing on a 4K TV or in the standard 1080p format, the visual brilliance of the game simply takes your breath away. The open-world is vast and sprawling and characterized by gorgeous landscapes and environments.
The lightning and weather effects are out of the world and make for a truly memorable experience that you would want to relive more than once. The misty, humid mornings, the creeping chill of the mountains, or the majestic mesa-studded plains – you get to enjoy a lot of spectacular scenery that Rockstar has managed to conjure.
If it had been any other game, you would have probably been bored to death pretty quickly. However, Red Dead: Redemption 2 exhorts you to appreciate and savor every moment of the game enjoying the scenery, which actually constitutes more than 50% of your gameplay.
A Melancholic Saga of the Old West With Excellent Character Performances
If you have played the first Red Dead: Redemption then you probably have an idea of how the story of the new game (which is actually a prequel) will pan out. The outlaws in the West are in a state of decline and trying to evade the law, as they encounter con men, rival gangs and other interesting characters in the backdrop of the changing landscape of America, as the 19th century slowly dies out.
Topics like race and women’s suffrage are touched upon, though the major narrative revolves around the Van der Linde band and its twisted loyalties and relationships. Every character is very well-crafted and weaved smoothly into the overall narrative.
You play as Arthur Morgan, a key member of the Van der Linde gang (to which the protagonist of the first game, John Marsten, also belonged), a brooding antihero who ponders over his choices in life, usually makes the morally correct decisions, but also does not hesitate to kill anyone who gets in his way. A worn out man, burdened by his past, doomed to tragedy? You will have to play the game to know more!
Engaging Gameplay that Never Becomes Repetitive or Boring
A game that is nearly 60 hours long and involves a lot of wandering around alone with your horse would usually be dismissed a chore to play, with endless repetitive tasks adding to the monotony. However, Red Dead: Redemption 2 is a clear winner here as it offers a breathtakingly beautiful immersive experience that you have to absorb properly to better appreciate its depth.
The unbelievably lifelike characters become your companion for your journey, which includes robberies, hustles, and other expeditions and encounters. The dialogues are witty and the personal moments, as well as other mundane tasks like skinning animals, taking a bath or cleaning your gun sum up to an experience that draws your emotion deep into the game.
There are endless twists and turns to keep you on tenterhooks. For instance, you might be engaged in a side mission when you chance upon a train robbery. Or you get into a fight over a poker game in a saloon. Maybe get hunted by lawmen and end up in some new and strange part of the world. The possibilities are seemingly endless. I guess this is what differentiates a Wild West game from the popular movies made to date on the genre – you cannot live the thrills in a movie owing to the limited running time.
Final Verdict: A Must-Play Game That Will Leave You Exhausted With Elation
Red Dead: Redemption 2 is an indulgence you all must treat yourself to. It’s only once in a blue moon that a game comes along and grabs hold of you with a vice-like grip, dragging you so deep into its emotions and characters that you feel a part of you is still the game once you are done with it. Not only is this supremely accomplished prequel a landmark achievement for Rockstar Games with its vivid depiction of the Wild West, but it also redefines expectations of gamers from single-player titles and how a well-thought narrative and effort can still outweigh the headrush that a multiplayer experience offers. This one is not to be missed out at any cost!