RDR 2: The good, the bad and the beautiful


Hunter LyleReporter

After a year long delay, “Red Dead Redemption 2,” the long awaited continuation of Rockstar Game’s acclaimed western action-adventure sandbox series has arrived.

“Red Dead Redemption 2” serves as a prequel that portrays the struggle and survival of gangs in the dying Wild West.

The game surpassed $725 million dollars in its first three days according to Forbes.

This marks the second place largest entertainment launch in history, behind “Grand Theft Auto V,” which grossed over a billion dollars in three days.

The game is huge. Not only in minimum time to completion, estimated by Gamespot to be about 40 to 50 hours, or in size of download, around 100 gigabytes, but in the sheer size of the map.

The game takes place in the late 1800’s in the fictitious southern states of West Elizabeth, New Hanover, Ambarino and Lemoyne. The game included settings like familiar deserts and plains of New Austin and Mexico from the previous installment in the series.

Rockstar also added multiple new biomes and landscapes to the game, all made with breathtaking, top-of-the-line graphics. New areas include alligator infested swamps, snow covered mountain tops and densely packed forests.

The main campaign in the game creates a nostalgic feel with multiple call backs and tip of the hat moments for fans of the first “Red Dead Redemption” game.

It follows Arthur Morgan and the Dutch van der Linde gang as they roam and raid through the various states, desperately trying to outrun their troubled criminal past and present.

During the story, players will see many cameos of younger versions of characters from the previous game like the main protagonist, John Marston, and antagonist Edgar Ross. It also encourages the player to solve and explore certain mysteries from the past,including the wreck of the Serendipity, an old steam boat run aground near the city of Blackwater.

When attempting to portray the rough and tumble society of the west, it makes sense that Rockstar would make the gameplay equally as rough and tumble. The new game brings a new set of gory adventures and features, such as shotgun beheadings, a mysterious serial killer that fancies disembodied effigies and legendary bear attacks.

Along with the graphics and many possibilities that come with such a large open world game, which can keep players rustling through the brush for hours on end without a hint of boredom, there are also some aspects of the game that do cause some annoyance.

New to the Red Dead series is the possibility of dying horses. At the start of the game, Arthur’s primary horse, Tennessee Walker, is a decent horse, set at an average speed and stamina. While players can buy a new horse from the stables located in various towns and cities, that does not make them permanent.

Any horse other than Tennessee Walker, is susceptible to being killed, either due to gunfire or accidental damage. When these possibly expensive horses die there is no coming back. You may find yourself stranded in the middle of the woods, doomed to either steal a horse and run the possibility of a bounty being placed on your head, or run to the next town on foot.

On the same note, Rockstar added another new feature where trained killers on horseback will run players with bounties down and attempt to kill them – and they do not mess around. Countless times I have found myself with a prize hunting trophy, or with a satchel of freshly discovered supplies, only to have
it revoked by the seven horsemen of Red Dead apocalypse.

As of now, “Red Dead Redemption 2” does not have multiplayer. The online side of the game is set to begin, starting as a beta, sometime in November, according to Imagine Games Network.

After eight years of patiently waiting, players could certainly say it was worth the wait. The combined graphics, story, and opportunity offered throughout “Red Dead Redemption 2” could quite possibly land a spot as a contender for game of the year.

Photo Credit: Hunter Lyle

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