Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Release Date: October 26, 2018
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Mode: Single-player, multiplayer
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a Western-themed action-adventure game developed and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on October 26, 2018, for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. The third entry in the Red Dead series, it is a prequel to the 2010 game Red Dead Redemption. Set in 1899 in a fictionalized version of the Western United States, the story centers on outlaw Arthur Morgan, a member of the Van der Linde gang dealing with the decline of the Wild West whilst attempting to survive against government forces and other opponents. The story also follows fellow gang member John Marston, protagonist from the first Red Dead Redemption.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is presented through both first and third-person perspectives, and the player may freely roam in its interactive open world. Gameplay elements include shootouts, heists, hunting, horseback riding, interacting with any non-player character (NPC), and maintaining the character's honor rating through moral choices and deeds. A bounty system similar to the "wanted" system from the Grand Theft Auto franchise governs the response of law enforcement and bounty hunters to crimes committed by the player. Red Dead Online, the online multiplayer mode of the game, was released as a beta version in November 2018.
Broadly anticipated and marketed before release, Red Dead Redemption 2 broke several records and had the second-biggest launch in history of entertainment, generating $725 million in sales from its opening weekend and shipping over 17 million copies in two weeks. It was universally acclaimed by critics, who praised the story, characters, visuals, soundtrack, open world, and considerable level of detail. Red Dead Redemption 2 received a number of perfect scores and awards, including the "Critics Choice Award" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards, and honors such as "Best Narrative" and "Best Score/Music" at The Game Awards 2018.
After the story of Red Dead Redemption, part 2 starts off right away in the high mountains without a dime due to the gang Van Der Linde abandoning Black Water with all the cash and several members from the gang dead. You play as Arthur Morgan, one of the veterans in the Van Der Linde Gang which is led by Dutch Van Der Linde. You first are sent to rob a train to gain your reputation back and to earn some of the cash. After Awhile, Arthur and his gang will then build up a heist in the location Valentine, there's a bank well known there and Dutch and you want to rob it, gathering all the money hoping it's your last heist. Arthur then flee to a town called Lemoyne but after Dutch makes some uncalled decisions here with some families. They then get ambushed by the Grays, kidnapping Jack, Johns son as well as injuring some others. Dutch is then already looking for another BIG heist, again, one of their last, trying to rob Saint Denis Bank, located in the middle of the city. This ends up killing Hosea and Lenny, 2 great members of the Van Der Linde gang as well as arresting John. After jumping over roofs and sneaking past guards, Dutch, Bill, Micah, and you, Arthur, flee on a boat that's heading to Cuba. While on your cruise, a storm sinks your ship waking you up on a mysteries island called Guarma. Arthur is then introduced with 3 other gang members until some intruders come and lock Arthur up and bring him to their base. You find out there is a war between the Tyrannical Sugar Plantation and Enslaved Local Population, You also save Jack, Get to use a cannon to destroy a fighters boat and several small boats carrying soldiers. Arthur escape with a called reinforcement boat and they are returned back to the United States as Dutch said: "isn't finished yet." Arthur and Dutch get into some conflict between each other not trusting one another and choosing separate decisions as a gang. In a mission, you discover Arthur as Tuberculosis, giving him only a short time to live, Arthur has to start thinking fast to protect his gang. In your new location, you are ambushed again by the Pinkerton Gang. After fleeing, you relocate near a Native American camp putting Dutch Mindset to create problems between them and the United States Army just to draw less attention to their gang. Dutch then says he has one more final heist, robbing the Army Payroll Train. Dutch then loses his mind and kills Cornwall due to thinking he caused the Pinkerton Ambush. During the Heist on the train, Dutch makes some unfaithful choices, abandoning Arthur to the army by himself, Leaving John for dead, and denying the request to help Abigail, Johns partner. Sadie and you don't follow Dutch's rules and save Abigail yourself as well as killing Milton, Finding out that Micah is a part of the Pinkertons Gang since Guarma. Van Der Linde Gang then falls apart after you accuse Micah of Betrayal. Most of your gang turns on you after the Pinkertons Gang arrives. All gang members manage to leave the area. You then get into a fight with Dutch but Micah ambushes and interrupts the fight, Arthur Convinces Dutch to Leave Micah but putting you into another emotional ride like the first game. Arthur then proceeds to die due to his medical problems leaving a huge 8-year gap showing John living a good life on a ranch while Abigail and Jack want to take a bank loan and purchase their own ranch. Out of Nowhere, Dutch Shoots Micah giving the gang all the money. John pays off all his bills, Sadie and Charles leave on another adventure and John marries Abigail.
Although I never finished this game, for a single person, this game can take up 35 hours just for the storyline, around 104 hours to complete everything. When a company likes to go on about all the activities you can do and adventures you can take in their game, I never thought there would be so much in one game. Red Dead 2 is set in the outlaw times so you won't be expecting much of "this" generation stuff. While playing, I find myself doing side quest after side quest, I find new back stories about your gang member, Arthur, and secret around the map. During your adventures around the map, you will come to Legendary Animal hunting's. These require skill and patience as one faulty step or noise, there goes your animal. These animals give you special perks towards your Arthur and a bit of cash for your goods. Throughout the game, you will find hidden hats that you can equip that will make Arthur look badass for example a Viking hat. While playing the Storyline, you have the mission challenges to complete for that specific mission, all missions come from easy to hard, just depends on how skilled you are. Around the map, you will come to towns with games such as poker, domino's, etc. You also have the Honor System like in the past game where if you kill random citizens or get caught doing the crime. You will have the possibility of getting a bounty on your head and becoming a criminal in that town. In the storyline, you will be able to upgrade your camp in different subjects. You can upgrade your food supplies having more food inventory, same as ammo. You can also unlock fast traveling in your camp so you can fast travel around the map. Later on, you are able to upgrade your camp to have a boat allowing you to go fishing. Rockstar went beyond and allowed you to showcase your gun, having the ability to clean it making it more powerful, take a rotated look at your gun, and more. Arthur stores his weapons in his horse so be sure to have your horse with you all the time so you have that chance to change your weapon when you want. Rare weapons can be found all around the map as well as killing certain people to drop them. The Map of Red Dead Redemption 2 is bigger than ever, having tons of new areas like Swamps, snowy mountaintops, lakes, forests, deserts, and abandoned towns. Animals in these locations have been upgraded to have a mindset of their own while you horse around Mother Nature, moving out of your way or attacking you. All animals can be killed and skinned for goods. If you haven't noticed, in combat, you can get your hat shot off as well as shooting other peoples hats off, and then you can go pick up your hat or change your hat to one of your dead opponents. Robbery is also another important thing in this game, throughout the storyline, you will do all these robberies with your gang. But, in free roam you can do all these heists yourself if you want to make cash.
The graphics of on this game blew my mind when I first started it. The game can run at 4K but I have the original Xbox and I still couldn't believe how amazing it was. Starting out on the snowy mountains, while you Gallup with your horse, you leave deep footprints in the snow leaving tracks and having the snow fly into your screen having almost no visibility. During your first battle scene with the bear, you can see how the improvement they did with animations, sounds, and looks to the weapons Arthur uses. Having a closer look at the bear, you can see every scar it faced and the blood dripping from his mouth, if the bear runs into you, he will grab you and literally eat you alive while you smash your buttons trying to escape, almost like real life. Exploring the map further, you can notice all the different types of areas on the map, with all different environmental hazards and problems, for example, walking to the swamp, you are led into deep water reducing your speed and having no sight of alligators or anything, you will also notice its a lot darker suiting the environment. You will also come across forests with a large density of trees, the best is to take a trail when its the afternoon so you can see the sunlight glaring through the trees leaving an amazing shadow on the ground and the trail you walk on, and, wildlife cross paths with you. Arthur also has some visual features that change during the game. If you haven't noticed, Arthur can grow a beard up to 10" long as well as his hair. Your hair grows depending on how long you play the game, you will also get crumbs of dirt or snow in your hair showing more visual effects on your character. Rockstar also redesigned the horse in this game allowing more precise reactions in the environment and the way you ride it. Lastly, everything in this game is up to what developers say about their games. The game runs on an amazing engine showing what we can actually do with games nowadays. If it was my choice, this game would have won the game of the year.
Overall, I thought the controls were almost the same compared to the first one. I felt like all the controls were in the right spot for this game. I wish there was an easier way to run automatically without your horse slowing down or Arthur. Weapon Select on your horse didn't work to well for me though, Whenever I pushed up to use my top weapon, it would never go to it so it has to select another weapon. Maybe a broken analog stick though...
Although the sound is never in my reviews, with a game this massive, thought I might want to briefly go over it. The sound in a game that's free roam may not always be the best, BUT, Rockstar outdid themselves. Having a jolly walk on a trail and having your sound all the way up, you can't just hear the wind and leaves moving, you can literally hear your horse skip rocks, hear Arthur talk to himself, the noises in the forest beside you. Stand still, you can hear everything, even better when you go to different located areas around the map. Battles are always the best as all the action and sound is upfront in your face, showing they wanted to try their best to make a game so real.