Without a doubt Red Dead Redemption 2 makes most people’s most anticipated game of 2018. After being the underdog of 2010 the first game got people wanting more out of rockstar and this universe. After pleasing fans with GTA 5, Rockstar ensured us that Read Dead 2 is on it’s way and it going to be epic. I have now put in 24 hours of the game and want to give my first impressions of this game and if I think it lives up to the hype. I will be avoiding any spoilers in this post.
The way the story is told throughout the game is like nothing I have ever seen in another game and is easily my favorite part about this game. You instantly connect with the characters in which ones you’re going to love and which ones not so much. Characters and their stories are not just told through cut scenes but how they interact with other characters as you are doing things around the camp or you get to know them a bit more by where you may run into certain characters around the world, or even sitting down to play a mini game with them, their story is always being told and that what makes them lovable characters. Rockstar knocks it out the park with their cutscene work and writing abilities to bring this massive world alive, cut scenes are no longer just limited to important story missions but can be triggered in all situations whether it being a side mission, finding someone in the wilderness or having a drink at the local saloon, these cut scenes make the world feel alive and gives you a real sense of immersion whilst playing this game, you start to care about every action you make in the world because you truly believe that your actions have ripple effects in the world (and they do!). The main story missions gets you asking more questions and pulls you in to play more to get more insight about how this story will play out, with my experience I can tell I am still early on in the main story so I don’t have much to say about it now.
The combat is a find cover then shoot kind of system which again ties into the reality of the game because no-one in their right mind will start shooting first without cover. The shooting feels tight and responsive and very satisfying, this is mainly down the tightness of the hotboxes. The fights you face in this game are what you want from a cowboy shoot down, it will require strategy, precise aiming and the right weapon choice. From my time playing there has been a good few fisticuffs fights in which the pace of the fight changes dramatically and requires to change your change of mind of how to survive very quickly. Horseback shooting for me feels weird and hard to control, and have found myself in clunky situations because of it, but this is a minor complaint because it’s probably down to me just being bad at it.
The first thing I’m going to mention is the animation work in this game, because this is the best animation work I have seen in a game. Every frame of animation ties into the other perfectly, everything action you do feels fluid and none of it seems out of place because the way these animations marry into each other. I can not criticize anything about the way the animations are in this game. The graphics are hard to judge because I know I am not playing it on the system that will make this game shine (PlayStation 4 Slim). With that said though Games like Spider man and God of War which I have played through on the same system have looked in my opinion a lot better that Read Dead 2. Even with my lackluster view on the overall graphics I cannot fault the incredible attention to detail to make this world feel alive, things like the sun shining through cartilage on the body, Corpses don’t just de-spawn they decompose over time and local wildlife will feed on them and even the horses testicles shrink in cold weather! These little things give an immersion like no other game has managed to achieve.
The controls for me are a funny topic, because I’m not a huge fan of them but I get why they are like what they are. Controlling Arthur on foot feels very heavy and, almost delayed? I can’t quite put my finger on why controlling Arthur on foot feels strange but for it just does. Holding L2 to talk to be people is an odd choice especially in a game where you use guns, this can lead to some very bad situations when all you wanted was just to talk to someone. On the other hand controlling your horse is great and feels very responsive as well the gun control, the aiming feels on point and every shot feels deliberate.
Read Dead Redemption 2 is a great game but it doesn’t get me itching to want to play it but acts more as a great time when I’m in the mood to play it. Certain missions feel very repetitive and the overall pace is quite slow compared to other big games this year. But to counter the slow pace the storytelling is like no other and completely immerses you into the world and get you caring for the characters very early on in the game, without a doubt I’m going to carry on playing this game to completion but I can’t see myself going out of my way to fully 100% the game, but time will tell as I carry on my journey.