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‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ is worth the $60 price tag. (via @RockstarGames on Twitter)

Video Game Review: ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ is one of the most ambitious games of the current console generation

Rockstar Games always sets out to top themselves with each new release, so when the company said Red Dead Redemption 2 would be larger, grander and more ambitious than its multi-billion dollar earning predecessor, Grand Theft Auto V, it came as no surprise. After finally being able to sink my teeth into more than 60 hours of story, as well as over 10 hours of side content, it is honestly shocking how ambitious this game is. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 follows the story of Arthur Morgan and fellow Vanderlin Gang members as they are chased out of the West by the Pinkertons through a sprawling open world.

Rockstar has truly outdone itself with Red Dead Redemption 2. It has created one of the most believable open worlds in a video game, and though it may not be the biggest open world in terms of size and scale, it is one of the largest in terms of scope.

There are seemingly endless things to do in this game, and even after spending almost 70 hours playing, I am still discovering new things to do and new systems to play with. What separates Red Dead Redemption 2 from other open world titles on the market is how seamlessly side content blends in with the world and the main story. It never feels like simply grinding a bunch of tasks of a checklist. Every activity feels natural and serves a purpose, not only to building the games world, but also its narrative. To get the most out of Red Dead Redemption 2, players will have to dive deep into everything it has to offer. That is one of the games greatest strength, but also one of the games greatest weaknesses. 

I sat down for nearly 10 hours and tried to break the walls of the game’s systems and side content, complex and robust alike, before I felt that the game let me explore the open world freely. This game is a slow burn, and that will likely scare away many casual players or players who simply don’t have the time to invest in a game like this. It also does not help that the game’s user-interface (UI) is often unintuitive, over-complicated and requires a major learning curve. 

If you have time, however, to dedicate to the game, it will reward you handsomely. Once I finally got used to the new systems and UI, the game got its hooks in me and did not let go. 

I spent countless hours in the game setting up my camp, interacting with my gang members and taking part in various side activities, all of which further developed each character as well as the game’s world. Red Dead Redemption 2 relies more on player choice than any other Rockstar game, so the side missions and interactions I chose affected how I handled them and how I viewed the story. 

I got to know each member of my gang in depth thanks to the game’s new, simple, yet intuitive dialogue systems. The optional missions I chose to take with the members of my gang developed their characters even further. Because of that, I finally reached the climax of the game’s main story and I was truly invested in each gang member. 

The game lets the player choose if they want to be a good guy or a bad guy. I chose the path of redemption, the good path, and it paid off. Arthur’s character arch felt earned by the end of the game and the story hit about every emotional note it was expected to. When riding with my gang to battle, my excitement was through the roof and my adrenalin was pumping. Some of the more emotional beats of the story actually made my eyes water. 

The game’s story rivals that of some of the best video game stories ever told, including The Last of Us, a game that is widely considered by critics to have one of the best stories in a video game. And when that story is sadly through, there is still an approximately 10-hour epilogue, as well as a vast, booming and beautiful open world to explore.   

Though slightly flawed by faulty UI and overly complicated systems, Red Dead Redemption 2 is truly worth its $60 price tag. Very few games give players this much bang for their buck, this much quality content and this much storytelling. It will likely be remembered as one of the best games of this current console generation, as well as one of the best Rockstar Games ever made. 

Rating: 4.5/5 


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