Rockstar rocks the casbah
Well, we had to suffer two delays but the results are in for Rockstar’s epic western prequel, but the results are in and it looks like Arthur Morgan is the star of yet another Rockstar classic. Expectations have soared for Red Dead 2, leaving it with a lot to live up to. So, rather than hunting from one review to another, take a look at our handy review roundup and get the facts lickety-split.
“It’s like a picturesque postcard that hasn’t been ruined by shitty WordArt” – Videogamer, 9/10
Videogamer was quick to heap praise on Red Dead 2, taking the most pleasure from the look and feel of the world. They were quick to justify the note that the world is one that feels “lived in”, drawing examples from the random encounters you come across that aren’t quite sidequests, yet impact the world in a surprisingly gratifying way.
And while they applaud almost every aspect of the game, they did feel that the commitment to realistic animations takes up unnecessary time at points. While the biggest drawback they noted was the aiming, suggesting that it felt “loose” when aiming freely, consequently making the auto-aim a must-use feature.
“It is defiantly slow-paced, exuberantly unfun, and wholly unconcerned with catering to the needs or wants of its players.” – Kotaku
Kotaku’s review, which is almost as long as the bloody game, refuses to pull any punches. Yes, it recognises the grand outcome of RDR2, but it never forgets the culture of the development process that left many of its employees participating in “crunch culture” whether voluntarily or not is beside the point.
On the actual game though, the review praises the journey of Arthur Morgan; initially seeing him “another grumbling white-guy tabula rasa” it notes that Morgan is a character in his own right by the game’s end. And this extends to the entire gang because as Kotaku notes, the gang is very much an extension of Morgan. They applaud the moments you have in getting to know your comrades, and while the inevitable crash is lurking in the back of your mind, the review notes that that foresight only serves to add an extra layer to the game, one that “routinely pays off in often subtle, occasionally thrilling, ways.”
“An astounding open world unlikely to be rivalled until well into the next gen” – Eurogamer, Recommended
Eurogamer couldn’t get over just how much of a role the world of Red Dead 2 plays in the overall experience of the game. It inserts itself into every facet of the character, suggests the review. The examples they give extend not only to the scale and beauty of the world but the effect it has on Arthur Morgan. They note that the mud you travel through can and will dirty up your horse, staying there until you’re forced to clean up your damned nag to appease the irks of the townsfolk. And this goes for your weapons to, Eurogamer note that mud can block up your guns which need you to clean them.
The most interesting point raised in Eurogamer’s review is the feeling of disconnect created by the game wanting to tell its story and leaving you to make your own. They note that while Morgan isn’t as well-realised a character as John Marston, Morgan leaves some ambiguity lingering, allowing you to interpret him as you want. And while the review says the game doesn’t quite match the likes of Witcher 3 in its “humanity and purpose” or the “integrity” of Breath of the Wild, but Red Dead 2 is still a winner for Eurogamer.
“RDR2 almost effortlessly delivers on its many promises.” – The Sixth Axis, 10/10
Our friends over at The Sixth Axis were quite obviously blown away by RDR2, making a point of the mission variety firstly. They note that the “most effective missions” aren’t the combat heavy ones but the passive expeditions that see you drinking with outlaw associates or taking the time to chat with charismatic leader Dutch. These moments all work to build that loyalty to your fellow criminals in a wholly natural way, suggests the review.
Of course, combat is a big part of the wild west, and The Sixth Axis address those points with aplomb. They describe the array of weapons at Morgan’s disposal as having “a kinetic power that cannot fail to excite.” Though, they were left a bit sour after it seemed that missions revert to the “player hiding behind cover” as you’re left to deal with waves of enemies. And while the review welcomes the return of both the auto-aim and the Dead Eye system, it suggests that the mechanics mean that “most shoot-outs are a breeze.”
“Like any good prequel, there’s an incredible amount of tension in knowing what happens without knowing exactly how.” – Gamespot, 9/10
Despite the score, Gamespot didn’t seem particularly moved by Red Dead 2. Though, much of that extends to the smaller details of the game, where they note that the “semi-realism” of having to eat to regain health and the lack of fast travel prove to be “counter-intuitive”.
Though, the story of the whole gang and the personal journey of Arthur Morgan is what stood out for the review. Gamespot notes that the power of the story is its timeline, as they comment that any players of 2010’s Red Dead Redemption will know what to expect of the characters who make up your criminal family in the game, so the thrill of the story is figuring out how the events you know are coming actually transpire.
There you have it, a quick roundup of what some of the biggest outlets are saying about Red Dead Redemption 2. But what about you? Have the reviews got you on board for picking the game up or are you still undecided? Let us know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: The scores listed above do not reflect our opinions at GGS Gamer (we don’t actually have a scoring system) and this is by no means a review of the game, it’s simply a breakdown of selected reviews about the game in question