Red Dead Review about Red Dead Redemption 2

Colin Dodd

More stories from Colin Dodd

Dispenser despair
April 23, 2019

Colin Dodd

Every copy of the game should be stored with a cowboy hat.

The day has finally come and passed. It’s been five years since Grand Theft Auto 5 came out. Rockstar, the developer of the game, has finally put out their next open world game with the ever so creative title of Red Dead Redemption 2.

Rockstar boasted about the size of the map, the beauty of the land, the effects of small choices and inadvertently about overworking some of the staff. Rockstar didn’t lie.

The game starts out with the main character, Arthur Morgan, and his gang on the run from a boat heist gone horribly, horribly wrong and currently waiting for the situation to calm down by heading East. All stops are being pulled simply to survive.

It isn’t just about going against the world — you have to deal with the in-betweens such as the creation of a camp that can sustain people, the relationships between members, as well as personal upkeep. Even the smallest of things have major effects on the game — things, like saying “hi” to people around town and eating frequently, can change the experience completely. I would forget to eat, so Arthur would become anemic and I ended up having less health, but the relationships I would make around town led to people actually helping me in fights rather than just ignoring them.

I will admit sometimes this does cause the game to feel a bit like a balancing act. Restocking supplies like food costs money, most ways of getting that involves crimes and presumably injuries, which requires medicine all the time when you’re a malnourished cowboy, and then the camp runs out of medical supplies. This is really the only problem I’ve run into with the game, and it’s not a constant, but when it rains it pours.

On the topic of getting money, it’s more independent than I thought Rockstar could even comprehend. Anyone you see is able to be robbed, any horse can be stolen and most houses are up for grabs, as long as you can deal with possibly armed citizens. But that doesn’t always get you the amount of money you need.

That’s where heists come in. Grand Theft Auto Online set up the precedent that heists take time and planning, but Red Dead Redemption 2 threw out that notion. Most heist types have missions in the story or audible rumors that introduce you to the opportunities available, still with either an inside tip or a bit of initiative you can get some big bucks.

See a train? Rob it. Does the store have an underground poker club? Rob it.

But things don’t always go right, and ever since the botched heist, the gang’s luck has been running out. People might get shot or you might forget that the “underground poker club” is actually three stories up and you faceplant in front of a lawman.

These types of actions, in addition to being embarrassing and causing your family to laugh at you, can rack up a bounty or lower your honor. Both are bad and in some way will cost you money down the road.

But so is the life of an outlaw, always on the run from something, but that’s where the fun of this game is. And oh if it isn’t fun. I said “Yeehaw!” so much my baby brother has started repeating it just as incessantly.

If you played the first game or are simply looking for a new game that caused some writers to work 100-hour weeks, I would completely recommend Red Dead Redemption 2.