Red Dead Redemption 2, the long-awaited prequel to Red Dead Redemption and the third game of Rockstar Game’s Red Dead series, was finally released last month (October 2018). Arriving some eight years after the hugely popular previous edition of the series, Red Dead Redemption 2 was always going to have a job living up to its predecessor.
The long development time of the game, however, seems to have been time well spent, with the prequel receiving glowing reviews from normal gamers and professional critics alike. Let’s delve a little deeper, then, and take a look at what Red Dead Redemption 2 is all about and what it offers to players.
Setting & Plot
Set back in 1899, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption and as such, the game has a different main character. Players take the role of outlaw Arthur Morgan, a member of the Dutch Van der Linde gang in a fictionalised version of the old west.
John Marston – the main character from Red Dead Redemption – isn’t entirely forgotten about, however. In fact, a younger version of the character is one of the many other members of the Van der Linde gang, which Morgan must live and work with as he progresses through the game and around its expanded world.
The Red Dead Redemption 2 World
One of the things which has impressed gamers most about Red Dead Redemption 2 is the sheer size of the wild west world into which players are pitched. The prequel to Red Dead Redemption includes the two states of West Elizabeth and New Austin in which the action of the first game took place, but has been expanded to also feature three new states named New Hanover, Ambarino and Lemoyne.
That means that the area which players can explore and in which the game’s plot plays out is extraordinarily large. Detail and attractiveness have not been compromised to achieve that size, though, with the game’s old west towns, Indian reservations and mountain wildernesses remaining easy on the eye. The AI citizens who inhabit the world of Red Dead Redemption 2, meanwhile, are equally interesting to investigate, even if most won’t offer much in the way of conversation.
The only potential downside of the large and comprehensive map and environs involved with Red Dead Redemption 2 is the fact that it does contribute to making the game really time consuming. Thanks to the realistic speed of travel of Morgan and the rest of the gang, after all, it can take a long time to get from one point on the map to another.
Main Missions & Gameplay
When players take control of Arthur Morgan, they have a range of options and alternatives as to what they wish to do. The main story arc of Red Dead Redemption 2 encompasses a comprehensive set of 104 main missions which must be completed.
Those missions incorporate all of the gunplay, robbery and general law-breaking action which players would expect from a wild west themed game, but also give them a chance to shape their own Arthur Morgan character. Certain missions can be accepted or declined, and other choices are also presented to players, to give them the ability to lightly shape the plot around their own conception of the character.
The main missions themselves are plenty high-octane and exciting enough to keep the attention, and Red Dead Redemption 2’s gameplay generally strikes a good balance between realism and entertainment. Just as was the case with the first game, though, the lock-on-based gunplay can be a little clunky and frustrating. An improved and enhanced ‘Dead Eye’ feature does pack a little extra punch, however.
Added Extras & Side Pursuits
Away from completing the game’s copious main missions – which will take a good long while by themselves – Red Dead Redemption 2 players also have the option to take on other peripheral pursuits and extra challenges.
They can, for instance, go hunting for wild animals and then butcher carcasses for food, hides and other materials that can be used for income. Keeping the gang’s camp well-stocked or upgrading its medical facilities can also keep a player busy and add an extra tactical element to gameplay.
Different challenges, too, are scattered throughout the Red Dead Redemption 2 world, and relate to different aspects of an old west outlaw’s life. There are, for example, no fewer than ten different gambling challenges which a player can complete, in order to receive exclusive in-game items by way of reward.
The ten gambling challenges must be completed one after the other and require a player to make their way all around the game’s map. The challenges encompass all of the game’s gambling activities, including playing poker, fiver finger fillet or betting it all on blackjack, some are much harder than others but their a welcome addition to an already feature packed title.
Red Dead Redemption 2, then, is sure to deliver hours of enjoyment for gamers, whether they prefer to stick strictly to the main missions or to be entertainingly distracted by the game’s many diversions. Fans of multiplayer play, too, will be delighted to hear that Red Dead Online, a multiplayer game based on the main Red Dead Redemption 2, is soon due for launch.