Red Dead Redemption 2 is the newest Rockstar game released 10/26/18.
I will start off by saying, I totally believe that this is the best video game made so far, in history. The simulation is amazing, it accomplishes everything it sets out to do. I would not say it is perfect, but it is the closest we have seen in a long time.
So this western epic begins at the end of the west in 1899, where the outlaws are fighting for their survival against the new age of civilization. We meet the Van Der Linde Gang, a well established group of self righteous outlaws. They have run into a lot of trouble in the west and are fleeing east. We meet the player character Arthur Morgan, and Dutch, the Van Der Linde Gang leader, and namesake. The storytelling in this game is amazing, it uses subtle, indirect storytelling, instead of in your face exposition. The game makes you feel like you are Arthur, you know what he knows, you hate who he hates. and you love who he loves. You are also the only person who can look in Arthur's personal journal, giving you a great bond between you and him. Arthur is a good man with a bad man's job. He is very conflicted and it makes it a fantastic character, even better than Red Dead Redemption's John Marston. Who also makes an appearance as one of the Van Der Linde gang's newer member's. This is a great prequel to Red Dead Redemption, because it ties in almost perfectly, and has just the right amount of fan service. Want to see how John got those scars on the side of his face? Or how everyone got to where they are in the first game, good, because this game delivers on that.
If you want to experience the west, this is the closest you are going to get in the current year. You can gamble, drink, fight, have a duel, shovel manure, break horses, and even milk cows. The open world is amazing, it feels like a real living world, you feel like you are interacting with the world. Also townsfolk will remember you if you shoot up their town and then come back 2 days later. It makes it feel like people care what you do and creates this feeling that the world wasn't created just for you.
I heard one criticism of this game being that is is long, slow, and depressing. Which could make it less enjoyable for some players. I believe however, that this was fully intentional by the developers, the west was a mostly slow time, with some moments of insane violence, and that's how this game is. But since you are a band of outlaws, you find violence pretty easily. Also, this game is really long, I finished it at about the three day mark, and I felt like I rushed through the story. I also took time to enjoy the little things, like camping in the woods and going hunting for an in game day or two. This game is captivating, even my dad wants to play more.
Let's talk about the depressing part, the story, the story is amazing, and it is definitely sad, just because you are with a group of people choosing to make their life more difficult, but staying pure to their ideas of freedom. This game almost made me cry multiple times. (almost though, cuz real outlaws don't cry) The story makes you hate the many antagonists, and it crushes you when they progress their agenda. The game also has this overwhelming sense of doom, you know that you can't fully win against the US government and their good friends the Pinkertons. The outlaws know their days are numbered, and they will fight to extend that number by just one day. They know being a gun slinging outlaw, is something you are for life.
The gameplay is also somewhat clunky, but they have made it so much smoother, also the gameplay makes it feel like the original, which makes it feel so nice to see updated controls, without taking away that Red Dead Redemption feeling. I never had any problems with the controls being too bad, sometimes I would run into a tree or walk past a door, but most of the time I felt like it was my fault if I tripped my horse, or caved my head in on a tree branch.
The audio and visuals are astounding, the nature and fur almost look real, the face graphics are good, but they still seem a little off. The music is amazing, and it is an original score, so the music feels so good, they have figured it out so the music can portray emotions. Sometimes just riding listing to the score, I felt so isolated in the world. Especially when the music starts playing and you know something is about to happen, and your skin starts tingling, that is when you feel totally immersed in the world.
My one big problem is that I don't want to play it again, it felt completed when the credits start rolling, I don't want to rewrite history, One play through felt perfect. I don't think this is really a problem but it is something I only feel with some of my favorite games.
I do still play because of the excellent online mode, but that is far from finished, so I don't feel it is fair to write about at the current stage.
All of these details contribute to the idea that this is a western epic. Imagine watching 13 three hour westerns, and you would probably see half of the stuff that you would by playing this game. If you love the west, play this game. This game is also 100% worth the price tag. I purchased the $100 ultimate edition and I don't regret it one bit. I would go out and say, I would not be upset if I had to pay $100 for the standard edition, this game is an immense masterpiece, and every little detail is appreciated.