red dead redemption 2 was no is a big game we’ve played it we’ve reviewed it we’ve talked about it but now years later as the dust has cleared let’s take a look back shall we it’s always more.
fun to talk about a game long after you and really the rest of gaming culture have fully digested it let’s dive into rockstar’s actual last full game
release believe it or not and talk about what exactly made red dead redemption 2 a big deal and please be aware big fat spoiler alert here uh some of the main points I want to make about this game have to do with the story.
so we’re going to go deep there’s a lot to it and of course, as you guys know a lot of it is down to opinion but let’s see here rockstar released red dead redemption 2 in October of 2018, and in a lot of ways it was exactly what people were expecting a lot of what people were hoping for a big dense open world to explore and a well-acted well-scripted story to play around infilled with memorable characters many returning from the original red dead
redemption as this was a prequel of course and in the game, you ride horses you shoot dudes you do story missions and explore the wilderness you hunt find secrets hop on trains explore small towns a really impressive big city, and take care of
your character by eating and bathing now like yeah if you want to be completely reductive it is grand theft auto in the wild west wanted levels robberies and just open-world chaos and freedom to do whatever you want is there and it’s fun to be a
dastardly evil man or a hunter or a hero rockstar had once again created a fun and an almost realistic feeling game where the shooting in the third or first-person just felt raw and weighty while still being fun fistfights had real good hits and character
movements were slow and deliberate and realistic from aiming your gun to climbing up something picking up a dead deer you hunted and throwing it on your horse this game was never in a rush because it wanted to make it feel like you were there in this world
doing the stuff like the main character Arthur Morgan and where the game takes its time is with the story man is this like a lengthy and compelling story with deep characters and just an overall uncommon presentation I’ll I’ll get into that like the story red dead two tells and how it tells it is really unlike anything we’ve seen in many games.
before and it’s where I think the game is the biggest deal, especially looking back years later whereas red dead redemption told a story of the wild west kind of winding down and the modern age cropping up red dead 2 takes place more
somewhat in the more root and tooting cowboy times you actually get to see the robin and the stealing and the travel in the west as Arthur morgan you’re a longtime member of dutch’s gang a group of rebels who roam the west in search of fortune often pulling off jobs and heists to make ends meet but after a daring train heist for the start that’s very classic.
western you are quickly slapped in the face with the sense of community you’re not just a group of bad dudes I mean like well there are definitely some bad dudes in the gang but you’re a group of all different ages and colors and genders from the old man to
the young lady to the immigrant every person in your gang is from a completely different walk of life and is just trying to make ends meet in this actual wild west they’re all in search of you know quote-
unquote the American dream one way or another and their own interpretation of it and they all just kind of ended up together traveling by covered wagons setting up camp with one another cooking for one another washing clothes for one another and looking for jobs in the towns to pay for necessities and finding out how all these people came together slowly through exposition and backstory is half the
fun at least for me and the gameplay loop reflects this you know it’s not just a background story thing I’m reading too much into a large portion of the game is centered around the loop of waking up at a camp checking your gear talking to your mates and then venturing out to the nearest town doing jobs
for money or hunting in the woods so at the end of the day you come back to the camp and help
contribute to your little community everybody has their own problems and demons that you can look into especially john Marston and you Arthur morgan and dutch the leader now Arthur morgan as the main character is really something else man I love him a lot of it is thanks to the incredible voice acting by roger Clark he’s iconic here and really ever since grand theft auto 4 rockstar has been exploring.
increasingly complex and unconventional and nuanced main characters and I think that’s where Arthur takes the cake there’s a lot you can read from him even if some of it is just up to interpretation you know he feels like a real lived-in character he’s not just a parody or like a symbol of a cowboy that you would imagine from a movie you know he’s
older he’s seen some stuff and one of my favorite character traits is that he’s just tired he’s tired all the time about everything that’s the main word I’d use to describe him but like he’s still capable and he’s still a total badass he’s not always the first to talk and despite being gruff every man he’s still
willing to listen and seems to have at least some gauge of right versus wrong and that makes every scene with him and every encounter with another character really interesting and unpredictable it’s like they took the gruff hardened protagonist and injected a slight bit of levity and humanity to it and it resulted in for me just a really really memorable character and overall the game just emphasizes a
story of community and also passing things on now it like it sounds corny but a game showcased it in ways we’ve never seen before like how it handles john Marston and Arthur morgan’s long-standing relationship and how it carries over after Arthur.
dies and the surprisingly long prologue begins have you ever heard a story from like an old person you know like oh when your father moved to this country or oh when I started out I only had five bucks and then I met so and so and you know or this person set me on the path or I worked for this you know really any kind of life tale like that the game does a
really good job of showing a real example of that and it only really works out and pays off because it’s a game it’s longer than a movie and you spend so much time in these characters’ shoes and in this world that the idea of one character passing
something on to another character or really helping them setting them on the path it actually really pays off it’s tangible Arthur kind of doing the right thing and setting up Jon for a better life it’s not just that bullet point like I said it’s a full story beat that the game let’s breathe and you get it and although it’s
surrounded by the tragedy at every level because you
know cowboys and guns it’s still something you can feel from both Arthur and john’s perspectives and it makes the epilogue thing that was initially on paper like
if you just describe it to someone it seems like bs fluff it actually really extends and strengthens
everything from Arthur’s whole character arc to john Marston’s and then john marston’s in the original red dead redemption it’s crazy that they pulled it off and even without that corny stuff it’s also just a badass story with the kind of like origin of dutch’s conflict seeing the cracks start to grow in his whole thing his whole facade Micah being an and the
the whole Arthur slowly dying of tuberculosis thing of it adds up to a really well told and unique thing we played a lot of games where the main character the protagonist has a death sentence they’re slowly dying they’re a ticking time bomb in one way or
another but we haven’t really seen a game handle it like this where it’s less about like uh oh you’re gonna die you better hurry up and more about the
the character actually contemplating that and although Arthur doesn’t really like to whinge or whine on and on
about it you get his processing of it in a way just all of it I keep using the word but all of it’s really unique and all of this is surrounded of course by living and playing in this world customizing whatever you want doing whatever you want wherever you want in a
really really detailed and varied map filled with like wonder and beauty and sadness and even spooky stuff to find all of this you know the atmosphere
here helps you get engrossed and wrapped up in this world especially thanks to woody jackson’s
composing work it’s all really beautiful and haunting and I think ties the bow on the whole package
there’s more to it you could say the third-person shooting of the combat encounters we can get into the nitty-gritty of the video game part but this is why we think red dead redemption 2 was a really big deal it sold a ton of copies it’s like a big massive.