Red Dead Redemption 2, the long-awaited prequel to the 2010 game Red Dead Redemption is finally here after eight years being in the works. It is Rockstar’s first game available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Red Dead Redemption 2 or RDR2 in short, is Rockstar’s third installment in the Red Dead series and has been one of the best-selling games so far this year. The critically-acclaimed game has generated $725 million already in sales!
For those new to the series, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an action game set in a fictional American Wild West in 1899. The central character is a top member of the Dutch Van der Linde’s gang named Arthur Morgan. Arthur is a far more nuanced character than the protagonist of Red Dead Redemption, John Marston. The incredible plot of RDR2 follows Arthur and his gang as they roam across America’s South by pulling off exciting, successful heists, fighting off rival gangs and playing a cat-and-mouse game with law enforcement. The player has to follow Arthur as he needs to make nuanced choices between his moral convictions and loyalty to the gang he grew up with.
RDR2, like the original Red Dead Redemption, is famous for its incredible depiction of the mountains, prairie lands and the characteristic red clay roads of the Wild West. You start with the gang fleeing to the mountains of the icy tundra, taking you through to the prairie lands of New Hanover and the last mission is set in Lemoyne with its endless rivers and tobacco fields.
It’s not just the geography that is set with great detail, all the characters are well thought out and nuanced, especially Arthur Morgan. His incredible story develops gradually over several missions and interactions, completely engrossing the player in the tale of Arthur Morgan and the supporting characters.
RDR2 engages so well with the player with an array of exciting activities set in the Wild West. If the player gets bored of performing heists, they can veer off the story to engage in shoot-outs, hunting, gambling and other interactions with the supporting characters. In each of those activities, the player must be creative and think about the outcomes and think in depth about the techniques to carry it out. For example, hunting provides a source of food and earnings for the gang. Players need to think about the type of weapon and shooting technique used to take down different animals. They also need to think about how to deal with the dead animal to maximize the price and quality of the meat that can be sold to traders. Red Dead Redemption 2 has so much real depth that it can be quite overwhelming to Red Dead Redemption newbie.
Red Dead Online is the multiplayer beta version of RDR2 and was released in November 2018. Here, you can have a posse of characters and customize each one. Each posse can have up to 4 characters in one game session. RDR2 Online also lets you use gold bars in addition to cash which are rewards for successful completion of challenges.
All this is great, but the big question is, Is Red Dead Redemption 2 worth the $60 price tag?
RDR2 has about 60 hours of content meaning you spend $1 per hour, which in my opinion is a pretty good bargain especially for a game with hyper-realistic graphics, incredible detail, and an epic storyline. So, if you own a PS4 or Xbox One, it is definitely worth the money especially compared to similarly priced games that were released with minor tweaks from their previous versions. But, if you want to play on PC, it’s better to wait as there is the talk of a PC version being released soon.
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