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Red Dead Redemption 2 review
Meh
by kahden_bricks

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is a colossal disappointment, and surely not a masterpiece. “Red Dead Redemption 2 is a masterpiece. 10/10…” wrote just about every video game critic on the internet. What? Has everyone been brainwashed? With all of the extremely high critical acclaim, it was natural for me to go into Rockstar’s RDR2 with extremely high expectations. What I was met with was an aggravating, boring, mess of a sequel. This is what everyone has been freaking out about? Are you kidding? What has the gaming community’s taste gone to? I cannot properly judge the entire game because I have not had the time to complete it yet, but I’ve already spent a great deal of time with its tedious introduction. The following criticisms are based off of what I’ve picked up in the first two chapters alone.

Let’s start by saying this: Red Dead Redemption 2 is great… for an interactive movie. That’s what a large portion of this game feels like: a cinematic experience over a gaming experience. Rockstar decided to make RDR2 a prequel to the first game. The first Red Dead Redemption didn’t involve much plot. You are given the protagonist, John Marston, and introduced to the hunted antagonist, Bill Williamson. It gets a little more complicated later, but it was generally simple. RDR2 heavily involves its innumerable characters, especially at the beginning of the game. The first chapter is nothing short of a long, dragging, no-fun zone.

There’s about five minutes of legitimate gameplay in the first mission. If you decide to watch the uninteresting cutscenes, then a great deal of time is spent watching them, and then riding your horse. Then the game gives you about 5-10 minutes of what would be considered fun: taking down enemies. Then it is time to loot and travel back to your camp again to repeat the same process. This introduction leaves a bad first impression that doesn’t improve much.

Back to the first point: RDR2 is fundamentally an interactive movie. Rockstar does not care much about the player at all. Rockstar tries to make you care about their characters. Character development and an interesting plot are great when you’re watching a movie or TV show, or reading a book, but Rockstar does not seem to understand that this is a video game. A player picks up their controller to have complete agency over their character. RDR2 has barely any, and it is so tedious with its brief animations, constant cutscenes, conversing NPCs (non-playable characters), and method of traveling that playing it feels more like a movie you have to press a button to once a minute to keep it running.

The purpose of spending lengthy amounts of time on your horse is to get a sense of the map, and to admire the beauty of the game along with its abundant amount of detail that Rockstar littered throughout it. This is something many critics and fans have been praising emphatically: the detail. Detail is enjoyable, but much of it serves no purpose other than just gazing at it. It’s not wrong for a game to look beautiful, but players still misunderstand that Rockstar failed to create an engaging experience by combining beauty and detail with enjoyable gameplay (the fact that the "cinematic camera" exists doesn't help). The characters, detail, and gameplay are all incoherent with one another in RDR2.

Another factor that bruised Rockstar was realism. This explains every single brief animation and unnecessary task. At one point in the 2nd chapter, a message pops up on the screen telling the player that they should shave their character’s beard because it’s getting too long. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what video games have come to, this is what everyone is praising. Red Dead Redemption 2, the video game meant to be watched, the video game meant to mimic our boring lives.

RDR2 also disappoints in comparison to its predecessor in some ways. The controls are much more restrained and harder to handle than the loose, breezy controls of the first one, as well as the unnecessary addition of convoluted inventories for your items and practically useless horse commodities. Simple equals better, Rockstar.

Rockstar spent so much time polishing detail, writing characters, and worrying about realism that they forgot to make a fun gaming experience. Rockstar is not the only game developer who includes these elements in their games, but Rockstar stressed them so much in this game that they failed at making it fun to play. Again, I have not played it the entire way through, nor is the whole game like this, but it did not leave me with a good first impression. I only hope that the game improves, and that I have the patience to push through the tedious sections to complete it. And keep in mind that this is just my opinion. I am clearly in a really small minority.

Other reviews36

Rockstar really outdid themselves with this one. When I picked up this game, I was expecting business as usual. But was I wrong! Red Dead Redemption 2 is a technical, visual, and narrative accomplishment. As I have written in past reviews, the testament of a good sequel, is that it somehow furthers the things that were established in the first game. Gameplay, story and characters, and visuals are all major elements that a good sequel manages to push and make better. The game is a prequel to 2010's Red Dead Redemption. Set in 1899, the age of outlaws is coming to an end. The Van der Line gang struggles to survive as they against nature, government forces and outlaws. The character you play as is Arthur Morgan. Initial footage of this character bothered me because I found his voice to be far too exaggerated. But for whatever reason my mind was changed. Arthur is similar to John Marston in Red Dead Redemption. Both of these characters can be cruel and violent men, but the narrative pushes the player player give the character some redeeming qualities or some sort of arc that goes from bad/apathetic to good. Other familiar faces from Red Dead Redemption are prominently featured in this game. The gameplay has dramatically improved. The gunplay and action isn't as rudimentary and choppy as it was in Red Dead Redemption. The survival aspects of the game have taken front and center and prove to be quite vital in your survival and the survival of the gang. The alarming and hilarious amount of detail this game has both visually and technically is quite impressive. The open world is much bigger than Red Dead Redemption with various diverse regions to travel through and a plethora of random encounters that border on the frightening to the hilarious. This is probably one of the best games ever made. I maintain that God of War (2018) deserved its award for Game of the Year. But that does not diminish this game by any means. It is truly a remarkable game that has hopefully changed things forever. If there is one game that everyone should play, it is this game.

 Rating- 5/5 A Masterpiece
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Enjoyed every second of it
«Blew my mind»
«Sit back and relax»
🌹
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Amazing.
«Blew my mind»
One of the best open world games ever, with great gameplay and awesome story.
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Best game ever, period.
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
9.5/10

There is not much to say, this game is an epic, it really leaves us speechless with what it managed to achieve. Only the epilogue has a lower quality, because it is also too long in my opinion.
«Blew my mind»
«Constantly dying and enjoy it»
a truly amazing experience
«Blew my mind»
«Time-tested»
It's the best game I ever played. You absolutely fall in love with it, have compassion for Arthur, greatest character ever made. Absolutely amazing! 10/10
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
This game is what everyone wants on GTA V 
- Nobody bothers anyone
- the game chat is pretty funny considering the fact everyone talks with country accents
- no op weapons for no reasons
- gives everyone what they want
only flaw is that we cant have private sessions or director mode which is fine considering how everyone is in the lobby
8.5/10
«Blew my mind»
«Sit back and relax»
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the greatest video game ever made. I’ve never been more immersed in a game than in this wonderful western world.  The story was fantastic. Arthur Morgan is the best character a video game has ever had. The visuals of this game were spectacular (minus a few character models that weren’t bad, but were not great). The sound is great. The level of detail in this game has never been done before, whatever game is second place isn’t close.

Some people complained about the controls or feel for the game. I did not. The game makes you take deliberate actions but I found my Arthur Morgan was a badass gunslinger who didn’t have difficulty completing his tasks. Some people complained that this games pacing (specifically the opening) is too slow. I did not. I think the slow beginning forces you to pay attention to the incredible detail this game has to offer, and it does it in a way where you just think you are discovering things on your own.

This game took ~45 hours to complete and usually I am fatigued at that point and just pushing towards the finish line. I wasn’t fatigued. This game kept me fully engaged and entertained for that long, and it barely has any rpg mechanics. I wasn’t grinding for the next perk or upgrade or piece of equipment that makes my character better and gives me a sense of accomplishment. I was buying Arthur a sweet jacket and trimming his beard. I loved every minute of it. I don’t know how they pulled that off.

Final Score: A++
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Probably my number 1 of the decade.