Review: Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 takes everything the first game did and expands on it to an almost ludicrous degree.
The Wild West action? That’s here in spades, and there’s more than enough gunfights, bar brawls, horseback chases, train robberies, and wild animal encounters to satisfy any player. Gamers can, as lead character Arthur Morgan, pick a fight with almost anyone, and though living your life that way means repercussions like constant pursuit by the law, it’s up to the player to decide if that’s worth it or not.
The story also gets cranked up to 11, with late game theatrics that proved well worth pushing past all the distracting bounty hunter missions and other side content. Just don’t push past all the side content, as there’s some spectacular writing found in some of them – particularly the ones involving Mary Linton, an old flame of Arthur’s. That storyline, particularly its conclusion, left me stunned at the emotions Rockstar could evoke in the same game that has a baker’s dozen worth of bar fights in it.
And if that bit of writing left me stunned, it’s nothing compared to the number of times I’ve been floored by the game’s graphics. From snowy winter scenes to lighting storms on the open prairie, Red Dead 2 continues to leave me wondering how they’ve managed to capture the lighting so well. From forests to plains to busy cities, there’s some new detail popping out every few minutes.
That’s not to say this is a perfect outing, as cranking everything to 11 also meant the simulation factor. This is less of a ‘game’ experience than the original was, and more of a Wild West cowboy simulator, which means slow travel and the need to maintain your health and appearance in ways the first game simply didn’t even try. You can fast travel at points, but I found myself unwilling to miss out on the five-minute ride from point A to point B and the encounters along the way…