December 1, 2022

Red Dead Redemption II

Red Dead Redemption II – PS4 Review

Well it has taken a while but our Red Dead Redemption II review is finally here!!
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Well it has taken a while but our Red Dead Redemption II review is finally here!! I’m sure by now most people are aware of just how big this game is so we hope you can forgive us for being so late in getting our review up. 

In today’s internet culture there is a lot of pressure to be first up with your review or you risk losing the momentum and therefore views. I didn’t want to give you and half arsed review so I hope you can appreciate that even though we are late I can really go in depth!

Normally we receive review copies a week or two in advance of launch day but Rockstar decided to be cheeky and surprise us with a review copy on the day of release. I was surprised to even receive a copy and loved the challenge of getting a decent, honest and worthwhile review to our audience in the quickest time possible.

Red Dead Redemption II

Story

Red Dead Redemption II see’s you take on the role of Arthur Morgan. A grizzled cowboy and outlaw with a distinct world view. You seem to be second in command of the Dutch Van Der Linde gang. A large collection of people that are not only cowboys but women, butchers, priests and children.

This wide and varied gang instils not only a sense of family within the game but a sense of responsibility too. No single person denies who they are or what the crimes they have committed but their steadfast “us versus the world” mentality combined with their iron will to survive in a world that has outgrown them adds a deep and meaningful sub context to the game. 

This sense of family isn’t the only story line in Red Dead Redemption though and I don’t want to go too deep and spoil anything but needless to say, this is an epic tale. Full of twists and turns, tragedy and victories.  At times it feels criminal to describe Red Dead Redemption II as a game. Its a movie, a book, a diary, an emotional rollercoaster and a deep look into the life of a cowboy hanging on whilst the world around him moves on.

Red Dead Redemption II

Graphics

Let’s not mess about here Red Dead Redemption II looks absolutely stunning. From the vast open plains, the scenic mountain ranges all the way down to the water in the streams and lakes. 

Probably one of the most impressive things on the long long list of beautiful marvels is the fact that this is a living, breathing world. From the wildlife that not only ranges but follows behavioural patterns to the delivery wagons and trains adhering to a schedule. The whole world feels alive and you are a tiny piece in it trying to claim your place.

Content

Probably the most used word to describe Red Dead Redemption is huge. Whether you’re talking about the games story mode, the world map it inhabits or the sheer amount of content. Huge is the word to describe it. 

Even after the main story line is finished and you are emotionally spent Red Dead Redemption II still has a lot to offer. Gambling challenges, hunter challenges, legendary beasts and fish to catch, dinosaur fossils to be unearthed, rock paintings, exotics, dreamcatchers and cigarette cards to find, treasure to hunt. Also add to that herbalist, bandit, explorer, horseman,  sharpshooter, survivalist and weapons challenges.

Once you are done with all them then there is the whopping 553 entry compendium to complete. After listing all that the word content begins to feel too small to describe it. I honestly don’t think I have ever seen so much content in a game. It is truly stunning.

Red Dead Redemption II

Criticisms

One of the advantages of been late to review is that I can address some of the criticism that has been levelled at Red Dead Redemption II. Some of it is unfounded and to be fair some is justified.

  • AI – Whilst the magnitude of a vast, open world is truly magnificent in Red Dead Redemption II and is populated by a large population it does often go awry.  More often than not an accidental bump into someone in the streets of Saint-Denis turns into a last stand at the Alimo with the law. It can often feel that at times the citizenry of Red Dead Redemption II can do as they please but you so much as step on someone’s toe you best be ready for a shootout. Even worse is when random people start on you, you defend yourself and everything goes to hell.
  • Controls – Red Dead Redemption II has taken a lot of criticism for its control scheme and quite rightly so. The whole release L1 to equip feels counter-intuitive. Having to search every single drawer in a chest of drawers is tedious and is really not necessary.
  • Slow Pace – There has been a lot of remarks online about the extremley slow pace of Red Dead Redemption II. I struggle to agree with this. The long horse rides seem no different to travelling the length of the city in GTA V. The sheer size and scope of the world lends itself to beautiful, slow journeys where you not only take in your surroundings but notice what animals are around that area, what roads are most travelled by wagons and generally just feel part of the huge world. As for the slow start, I feel it is an immersive and cinematic opening for what is to come and wholeheartedly enjoy it.
Red Dead Redemption II

Overall Thoughts

Whilst Red Dead Redemption II is probably the most amazing, complete and jaw dropping stunning game I have ever had the immense pleasure of playing criticisms like the controls and more importantly the AI stop it from getting a perfect score. 

This is a massive shame as I grew up playing on the Atari 2600 and the Spectrum 48k. I never in my wildest dreams thought games could ever be this beautiful, this big and this god damn good!

The frustrations brought on by loose AI, the alarming regularity that simple, accidental encounters escalate into massive city wide shootouts really take away from what should be the pinnacle of gaming in our time I can’t wait to see what red Dead Redemption Online brings. 

Red Dead Redemption II is a masterpiece…I just wish it was perfect

Overal Score – 9.8/10