Red Dead Redemption 2 is out now, and after the success of Red Dead Redemption, a sequel eventually had to happen. After the tearaway success of GTA V, what could Rockstar possibly do to follow on from that? Almost anything would be pale in comparison! After an announcement in late 2017, Red Dead Redemption 2 was officially unveiled to much fanfare, and this had all of us fans wanting it to arrive sooner rather than later!
This time around you play Arthur Morgan who is one of Dutch’s gang members. The events of this game are set prior to the first game, and sees you on the run from the botched ferry heist. The gang has to flee from their hideout in Blackwater across the mountains and set up camp near a small town called Valentine. This is the first town you will see in the game, after your escape from the law. A rival gang named the O’Driscolls is holed-up locally during your escape. Dutch and a few of his men go to the cabin they are using and you end up taking out a few of the outlaws.
You rescue a woman who was being held captive whose husband had been killed by the gang. Unfortunately, the house burns down so you have to take her with you. A little later, you discover the fact that a train apparently has plenty wealth onboard so you set off to rob the train of it’s cargo. The robbery goes down well. These two events though sets the story into full motion as the bonds you steal from the train are from a wealthy oil tycoon who hires private investigators to track you down.
It is a great opening few hours to the game, introducing you to the characters and their plight to escape the law.
As with most Rockstar games you have a huge open world with plenty areas to explore & discover. The map gradually becomes more populated as you play and head out from your camp. The attention to detail is what really stands out; Each town has it’s own personality. Valentine, as an example, is a town that is known for livestock so looks a bit rough round the edges and the main street is a muddy track. Annesburg, on the other hand, is a mining town with a railway and is a lot more built up.
The main story takes you all round the huge map. I have played countless hours since the release, and still feel like I have barely touched the surface. The original game map is in the bottom left of this sequels map, and it is absolutely HUGE!
The main story can take around 60 hours to get through which – I won’t lie – I haven’t got through yet as it starts dragging a bit. Thankfully, there are plenty of other activities to be getting on with. Alongside your main story, there are numerous Bounty Hunter missions: given by everyday people who you’ll come across, such as hunting both standard prey, and legendary animals which are much harder to take down (see my video above!). You do have to get involved with these activities in order to put food and money into the pot for your camp to keep everyone fit, healthy and well fed. There are a few gangs which are rivals you will find out about, and go up against at various points in the game. This keeps you on your toes when in towns or exploring as you will run into them. Every time you kill a rival gang member, you gain more information on the gang. Hence, if you want to really immerse yourself in the world and unlock info, you have to put the time in!
Additionally, like the first – technically, second game as Red Dead Revolver was the first and an I.P. which Rockstar bought from Capcom – you have random things happening in the world. First time I went to Valentine, a 2-horse with cart broke free so I ended up having to capture the horse that broke away and lead it back to its owner. Another time, a woman had got herself trapped under a rock in the middle of nowhere. I heard her calling but couldn’t find her. She did however, after a few minutes, manage to free herself much to her disliking of you!
I must admit I do like the hunting, as you learn more about the animals you hunt, and reading the info in-game tells you the best way to take them down, which weapon to use etc. The bonus to this, is that if you get it right, you will get a nigh-on perfect pelt. The hunting does go hand-in-hand with crafting, where you can get a bag to hold more items and so on. There are also recipes you will learn, which you will be able to cook up when out in the wilderness and have to set up a temporary camp. These restore your health, stamina & deadeye cores.
There is a lot to take in and it can be a little overwhelming when you first start out!
Visually, Red Dead Redemption 2 is absolutely stunning. Rockstar excelled themselves with the sprawling city in GTA V, but I feel it pales in comparison to what we have here. There are huge forests teeming with various flora and fauna. Each town has its own style and type of people that inhabit it. The attention to detail is second-to-none, also. You will have heard already about the horse testes, so I won’t go into that, but instead, about things like facial hair. If you have a long beard and decide to shave it off, you can’t just go back to your mirror in camp and select the beard again. You, literally, have to wait until it grows back! On top of that, if you don’t eat at all, you end up getting really skinny or – conversely – really fat if you over eat. This adds an extra layer of depth to what is already visually stunning.
I have spent so many hours playing Red Dead Redemption 2 in the past 2 weeks. It gets under your skin and is such an amazing game. So many things to do and see it will keep you occupied for countless hours. It also makes a nice change of pace from all the other open world games out there with being a Western.
Multiplayer is yet to launch and I am genuinely interested to get in on the ground floor with this one. No doubt I will be joining the posse that Gaming Dads will create
This is a must have game of this generation alongside The Witcher III: Wild Hunt.
- Developer: Rockstar Studios
- Publisher: Rockstar Games
- Players: Single-player, multiplayer
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!