Through Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar has aimed to create an open world gaming experience like none other that has come before it. According to the newly-released reviews of the title, it appears as though the developer has been very successful.
The Red Dead franchise first kicked off with Red Dead Revolver back in 2004, but it was with the Rockstar-developed Red Dead Redemption in 2010 that the series truly found a place in the hearts of gamers. Combining Rockstar's mastery of open world gaming with a stunning Wild West setting, the game was a smash hit, both for its hard-hitting action and its surprisingly deep story. With that, a lot was expected of the title's sequel.
Although many suspected that the game would end up being one of the best of the year (and certainly one of the most anticipated of the hectic fall release schedule), there's been a lot of change with the title in comparison to previous entries. However, based on the reviews of Red Dead Redemption 2 that have been released, it looks as though the game provides a thrilling experience, and one that may be a revolution in the realm of open world gaming. Read on to find out more.
IGN: 10/10 - Luke Reilly
Red Dead Redemption 2 stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Grand Theft Auto V as one of the greatest games of the modern age. It’s a gorgeous depiction of an ugly period that’s patient, polished, and a huge amount of fun to play, and it’s combined with Rockstar’s best storytelling to date. Even after finishing the lengthy story I can’t wait to go back and play more. This is a game of rare quality; a meticulously polished open world ode to the outlaw era.
GameSpot: 9/10 - Kallie Plagge
While Red Dead Redemption was mostly focused on John Marston's story, Red Dead 2 is about the entire Van der Linde gang--as a community, as an idea, and as the death rattle of the Wild West. It is about Arthur, too, but as the lens through which you view the gang, his very personal, very messy story supports a larger tale. Some frustrating systems and a predictable mission structure end up serving that story well, though it does take patience to get through them and understand why. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an excellent prequel, but it's also an emotional, thought-provoking story in its own right, and it's a world that is hard to leave when it's done.
Variety - Arthur Gies
Red Dead Redemption 2 was the first time playing a Rockstar game where my reaction went past interest to investment. I cared about what happened to these people, I cared about their stories and their lives, and there were moments where I was genuinely saddened or excited by what happened to them. And as the story winds toward its various conclusions, I was completely invested in them, hoping for the best, and fearing the worst.
The Telegraph: 5/5 - Tom Hoggins
This is a powerhouse of a video game, one of the finest, built by people at the top of their game and under intense pressure, lest we forget. As it is, they remind us of what games can be, creating a majestic sense of place and time and allowing you to play your role in the way only this medium allows. So, if you’ll excuse me, I have another train to, er, ‘catch’.
Kotaku - Kirk Hamilton
This game has heart; the kind of heart that is difficult to pin down but impossible to deny. It is a wonderful story about terrible people, and a vivacious, tremendously sad tribute to nature itself. There is so much beauty and joy in this expensive, exhausting thing. Somehow that makes it even more perfect—a breathtaking eulogy for a ruined world, created by, about, and for a society that ruined it.
The Guardian: 5/5 - Keza MacDonald
There can be no doubt that this is a landmark game. It is a new high water-mark for lifelike video game worlds, certainly, but that world is also home to a narrative portrait of the wild west that is unexpectedly sombre and not afraid to take its time. With very few exceptions, the many stories that Rockstar’s writers have set out to tell about this group of outlaws land perfectly, the enjoyable twists and turns of individual missions and chapters feeding into an exciting, sophisticated and absorbing larger narrative – and the stories that you discover yourself within its world are no less compelling.
The Verge - Andrew Webster
Across all of its games, Rockstar has aimed to make experiences that are both massive and lifelike, and in a lot of ways Red Dead Redemption 2 feels like the culmination of the developer’s long sought after ambitions. Even better, it does so with a level of maturity and care that has often escaped the developer. It’s still a game largely about fighting and killing, but also one that explores topics like racism and urbanization in a way that feels both natural and thoughtful. You can look at it as a Western take on GTA, but it’s also much more than that.
Destructoid: 9.5/10 - Chris Carter
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the epitome of ambition and like most things Rockstar, will meet the expectations associated with it. With all of the advancements since the last Red Dead and everything they've learned from Grand Theft Auto V under their belt, the series is in a better place, able to provide a more natural and less gamey world to explore.
All in all, then, it looks as though Rockstar has once again triumphed. Red Dead Redemption 2 perfectly living up to the hype was always going to a tall order, given the sheer amount that gamers expected of it, but the game has managed to be more than (perhaps unnecessary) technical intricacies, and instead delivers both stunning gameplay and a deep and engaging story to those who pick it up.
This suggests that the legacy of the game will be one of a title that enwraps gamers in all that it has to offer. That said, recent concerns about long working hours should not be forgotten, and hopefully discussions will continue about the fair treatment of employees in the video game sphere. For now, though, it appears that the sheer quality of this end product with be the focus point.