Red Dead Redemption 2 Review - Is It Good or Bad?

Red Dead Redemption 2 Review - Is It Good or Bad?

Before we start with the review, I want to preface it by saying that I have no reason to be biased towards praising or bashing this game. The developers do not sponsor me, nor do I have something against them.

I review games by looking at what it does right and wrong and how those two sides balance each other to give a final score.

I) What is Red Dead Redemption 2?

RDR 2 is the sequel in numbers to the massively popular and critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption 1, but it's a prequel in terms of the story.

It’s an open-world 3rd person shooter ( you can switch to FPS mode ) developed and made by none other than Rockstars games on XBOX One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

RDR 2 was well received. It sold over 37 million copies and had the second-biggest launch week in the history of gaming, making over 700 million dollars in its first week. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 took eight years to develop, and it's now the most expensive game made with a budget estimated between 370 and 550 million dollars. That might seem odd, but playing a simple hour in its open world and that information will make immediate sense. 


II) Red dead redemption 2 Story:

Red Dead Redemption 2 doesn’t tell only the story of Arthur Morgan but the story of the entire gang, the group that has come to live in a time that is not suited for their ideals. 

Those golden days for criminals, you know... The good times are threatened with destruction by the development of human life with the emergence of security agencies and government forces, the wealthy and oil extraction projects, and things like the development of transportation. Now The cowboy life is having its last days.

This is how the game's story begins, the wonderful beginning that will freeze the blood in your veins. The gang members fled after failing a heist in Blackwater to find themselves being chased during a heavy snowstorm that surprised them in early spring. 

Among the casualties, the missing, and the pain caused by the bitter cold, the gang members are always pursued by the ruthless and fierce law since the beginning of the game.

The great strength of the story that Red Dead Redemption tells is that it is a particularly human story, that the gang characters live as individuals and as a group.

They have their suffering, their pain, and they have doubts and fears; all of this increases as you move forward in the game, and everything starts to fall apart; struggles and turmoil, wonderfully manifested as events progress.

After we showered the story with praise, we have to point out the problematic aspect in terms of storytelling, which contrasts the concept of Red Dead Redemption 2 as a game and Red Dead Redemption 2 as a story.

In this game, you will help people, save them from bandits, or even help them with their small special needs, which contradicts what Arthur does in the game's missions like robbery, looting, and killing.

It is unreasonable for Arthur to be tender and sympathetic to the common people and a bloodthirsty killer at the same time.


III) Red dead redemption's gameplay and the world :

The player spends several hours in the icy region, getting to know the gameplay elements and going on more than one mission that explores the different activities offered by the title. At first glance, anyone will notice that the narrative style and pace of action here are slower than any previous project from Rockstar.

  • Combat and control 

It has a perfect balance between fun and realistic open-world game experience with a third-person perspective and FPS mode you can switch to at any time; the character control is a little heavy, but it is excellent and has impressive physics. 

As for shooting, it is the basis of gameplay and the largest part of it. There will be many confrontations, and you will use various weapons and tools to eliminate enemies. 

You have the Dead Eye feature to slow down time and shoot enemies easily. Aiming is generally at the level of Max Payne 3 quality. As for the horse, it is well controlled when running and turning. And you can use an unusual movement that facilitates control.

There's also the aspect of familiarity, where if you use a certain gun a lot, Arthur will get familiar with that gun, and it will reduce recoil and faster reload speed, just like in real life where you'd use something for a while and get used to it.

This also applies on the horse where you can build a bond with your horse, and you can call it from afar, and it will come running to you.

  • Missions and world 

We previously mentioned the events with Arthur helping people and little side missions like that are the smartest addition in Red Dead Redemption 2 to the open-world category.

These events borrow the idea of random side quests that we used to get in games like Skyrim, but they are not side quests, and the player can ignore them completely, and if they respond to them, it may not give them any reward.

These events give the feeling that the game is dynamic and interactive and that many things are taking place in the game world. Much like in real life, you can interact with the homeless man wearing three headphones not attached to anything, or you can ignore that quest.

These small events affect Arthur's honor meter. The more benevolent and helpful you are, the higher the meter goes, and the more immoral you act (stealing and killing others), the lower the meter drops, which will directly affect the ending. You will get it. 

We advise you to play with the honor meter as high as possible to get a good ending because the bad end will make you very angry.

The main missions for the game's story will sound familiar to anyone who's played anything from previous Rockstar games. You will cooperate with the gang members in various looting, robbery, and those kinds of civilized activities.

This is where the biggest problem with RDR and any Rockstar open-world game shows itself; The game is in conflict with itself. It tries to offer you a great deal of freedom, and it feels like you can go about doing anything unless it doesn't want you to.

This is especially annoying when just before you had a sandbox experience where you tied a random person, threw him on the back of your horse, and went to the lake where you threw him to the crocodiles, all for no reason other than just the fact that you can do whatever you want in this game.

That type of fun is kneecapped in the story mission when you walk to the left instead of the right side and get '' mission failed ''. It feels like the game developers didn't know which side to go with, scripts or freedom, which becomes very obvious during the story missions. 

It's hard to talk about all aspects of playing RDR2 because it would soon start sounding like a guide. Just the hunting activity, you can sit for hours hunting animals, skinning them, making a camp on your own, and cooking the meat.

Red Dead Redemption 2 gives you a lot of things to do in the game world. You can play dominoes, card games, horse racing, or shooting challenges; you can collect cards scattered in the game world, bounty hunting, or even you can track down a serial criminal. 

What's impressive is that these activities don't feel like a side 'job' to do; there's no filling a Quest List and selecting which one you want to do based on a title and some vague description.

  • Playtime 

As we've established by now, RDR2 is a huge game, so it's no surprise that it takes quite a while to finish it; the story alone takes about 50 hours, and to complete the game 100%, it would take about 175 hours.


IV) Visuals and Sound

  • Graphics and environment 

Red Dead Redemption is truly one of the best-looking games, if not the best; the developers of Rockstar managed to reach an exceptional level of visuals. 

This game looks incredibly realistic, Arthur's round hat, the strings dangling from it, vibrating realistically with his movement.

The characters look very realistic, and the level of attention is embodied in the smallest details of skin, hair..., even the macho mustache of the gang leader "Dutch" looks meticulously drawn. He has a very commanding mustache.

A lot of times, you'll find yourself marveling at the environment, that beautiful nature that preceded urbanization and civilization, those trees whose tops rise to the sky and farms stretching within sight, those beautiful huts and wooden houses, those plains, fields, prairies, valleys, and beaches.

This game is on another level in terms of graphics and the environment that injects life into the paintings of the nineteenth century. Still, it is also a game of beauty and colors, in contrast to what was in the first part with its faded brown colors.

There are elaborate physics in the game, like wood shattering when hit or fired at, the lighting is incredibly dynamic and realistic, and even the moonlight gets special attention. 

Let’s not forget the animals in the game; They have been carefully drawn down to the smallest details, especially in terms of leather or fur. 

Yes, Rockstar has invested a lot of money and made tremendous efforts in this game, and there is no doubt that this huge investment will serve it for many years to come.


  • Sound design and music

Of course, Rockstar has taken great care of the sounds as well as it did with the graphics. 

The music presented in this game is the best among all the Rockstar games so far, and it plays its part in creating the feeling of the American West as embodied in the movies over the years. 

Rockstar uses this music extensively in the story missions to give it a special character. The performance of the voices was high quality for some characters and average for others, and perhaps the best vocal performance in the game belongs to Benjamin Byron Davis, the voice actor of “Dutch Vander Lind.” 

One of the moments you will never forget in the game is the moment you control the character Arthur while riding his loyal horse, Arthur, who is under the weight of worries in the desperate circumstances of the gang that has suffered heavy losses: pursued by the law, followed by The rest of the gangs, the outcasts of society. 

In the midst of suffering, under reflection and doubts about the whole way of life, in living in a society where you no longer have a place, and the likes of you are from the past, this charming song "May I Stand Unshaken" plays. It's an emotional, poetic moment that only a masterpiece of a game can deliver.


V) Should you get it?

There isn't a game I would recommend more than I would recommend getting RDR2; not only is it a great game, but you also get 170 of great gameplay for 60$.


VI) Final Score : 



VII) Summary in Pros and cons 

  • Pros:

Amazing storytelling and a wonderful construction of the characters from the gang members and the complex relationships that bind them together.

The technical level is the best among all the games on the current generation devices. 

A huge world full of beautiful scenery.

One of the best visual experiences, if not the best.

Great music and sound design.

A world full of activities that will never have you bored.

  • Cons: 

The wanted system is sometimes broken.

The game feels like it can’t decide on a direction in the main missions.

Exaggerated slow movement and the inability to skip short animations.


You May Also Be Interested In:

Armed with a childhood trauma for comedy and lots of gaming to sustain high G-fuel consumption, Winston was bound to be a gaming journalist
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Forza Horizon, COD WARZONE,Biomutant
Top 3 Favorite Games:Batman: Arkham Knight, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Mafia II