First impressions of ‘Red Dead Redemption II’

Nick Whitmire

Red Dead Redemption II is the newest game from Rockstar Games. It serves as a prequel from the first Red Dead Redemption game and seeks to expand its story, gameplay and open world.

Red Dead Redemption II is a western, set in 1899, where the age of outlaws was coming to an end. America was rising in industry, and “civilization” was coming to the west. In the game, the player is Arthur Morgan.

Morgan is part of the Van der Linde Gang who, after a failed robbery attempt, go out into the wilderness and they must hunt, rob and fight across the American heartland in order to survive as the best lawmen and bounty hunters hunt them down.

But as tensions between the gang begin to rise, Arthur must choose between his own morals or the loyalty of his gang. While the game will be full of new characters to interact with, characters from the first game will also be returning such as gang leader Dutch Van der Linde and John Marston, the protagonist from the first game.

The world of Red Dead Redemption II is the most ambitious world Rockstar Games has ever made.

The world is full of open terrain that gives the player a ton to explore and see. It is a living world teeming with life with realistic weather mechanics and wildlife that you can hunt for your camp, upgrades and money. One of the most impressive aspects of Red Dead Redemption II is the physics of the game. Everything moves at a realistic pace. The level of detail that went into this game is extremely well developed.

When you fall onto the ground, the mud stays on you. Your tracks stay where they are. The guns have a realistic reload and recoil. Hunted animals rot after a period of time if they are not brought back to camp. If Arthur does not eat or feed his horses, their weight goes down and it affects their abilities. Even Arthur does not bathe, non player characters will respond to that. There is no detail left underdeveloped in Red Dead Redemption II.

Aside from the main storyline, there are multiple side quests that the player can take Arthur on. The world is full of colorful characters that can appear at random times in the game. There are tasks that the player can do for people, or the player can either ignore them or kill them. The player can rob banks, trains and use any means at their disposal to get rid of witnesses. The player can threaten, bribe or intimidate witnesses. The player can greet or insult any NPC that walks by.

Just like in the original Red Dead Redemption, there is a honor system. If the player does good deeds, their honor will go up and the people around you will respect you. But if the player goes the dishonorable route, the people will fear you. The player can also take Arthur hunting, fishing, gambling and treasure hunting amongst a vast amount of side activities in the game.

Combat and the dead eye system, which allow the player to slow down time in order to get more precise shots, has greatly been improved and will get even better as the player progresses into the game. One key factor that Red Dead Redemption II brings more to the table than the original game is choice. Arthur’s action affects how the world looks at him.

Every character remembers Arthur’s action. Also, Arthur can contribute food and money to his camp to increase morale among his fellow gang members.

First impressions, Red Dead Redemption II is a massive game that looks to be a great prequel.

It looks to answers questions from the original in terms of backstory, while also expanding and preserving what made the original game a modern-day classic.

Red Dead Redemption II has already broken the record for biggest opening in entertainment. It will be a game that will be talked about for years to come.