Red Dead Redemption 2 : Review

Red Dead Redemption 2 arrived on 5 Nov. and just one month later its digital debut. The Company has Announced.

If you played the original Red Dead Redemption, you probably don’t need to be sold on its sequel (or prequel, technically speaking). If you haven’t, know that it’s easily the biggest and broadest video game western story ever told – or you can totally disregard the story and just roam around being a mountain man as you hunt for pelts and fish up dinner for your camp. All that’s just starting to describe the single-player campaign, and it’s not even touching on Red Dead Online.

Playing on Xbox One X at 4K, this frontier fable isn’t just incredibly sharp, it boasts the most impressive lighting and weather effects around. If you’re lucky enough to own a high-end 4K TV, the visual splendor RDR2 routinely spits out is a match for even the most cutting-edge games on PC, Wait until you see a soupy morning mist coat the game’s southerly plantation fields or get caught in a screen-shaking thunderstorm, then try to disagree.

The Wild Bunch

The plot thread holding Red Dead Redemption 2’s astonishing array of systems and gameplay opportunities together is Rockstar’s most serious and earnest story to date, and certainly the best written. Arthur’s relationship with Red Dead Redemption protagonist John Marston here is also particularly fascinating to me as a fan of the 2010 game, and it’s very well-handled. Marston is a crucial part of the story but Rockstar has been restrained enough to not spotlight him at Arthur’s expense. It’s not essential to have played Red Dead Redemption to appreciate and understand what’s going on here, especially since this is a prequel story that takes place 12 years earlier, although I found it very rewarding being familiar with the larger plot as it connects to the eventual fate of the enigmatic Dutch van der Linde.

 

The guy lines up with us. We must make it bigger. As the train comes around again, another posse tries to take us out. Chen defends us but doesn’t make it back to the tracks. He falls a few paces away, screaming. A true warrior’s death.

Red Dead Redemption 2 can be the biggest, dumbest videogame ball pit for impulsive children, a harrowing story about the forced dissolution of community, or simply a serene and contemplative hiking simulator. It’s just about whatever you need it to be, and good at it too. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a masterpiece. No other game has ever tried and succeeded to capture a sense of a time and place long gone while also blending social commentary so well. The addition of a multiplayer mode that’s a real step up from Rockstar’s last effort makes Red Dead Redemption 2 unmissable on PC.

Verdict

Red Dead Redemption 2 stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Grand Theft Auto V as one of the greatest games of the modern age. Just how good is Red Dead Redemption 2? Over the past few years, I’d argue the only games that deserve to be considered at this same ultra-elite level are GTA 5, Metal Gear Solid 5, and The Witcher 3. This is a stone-cold 5/5 classic that combines brilliant writing – Rockstar’s Houser brothers deliver another affecting, scythe-sharp script – amazing tech, and one of the most boldly structured plots to ever grace a triple-A title.

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