Review Roundup: Red Dead Redemption 2 – 2018’s game of the year?
Rootin’ tootin’ cowboy shootin’
It’s almost here. Red Dead Redemption 2 releases to the general public tomorrow, October 26, but gaming outlets around the web are publishing their reviews today, and boy, let me tell you, I’m ready to play this dang game.
There is a lot to take in with the title, and surely we’ll still be seeing new, interesting takes on the title and scenarios in the weeks to come, but we’re going to round up some of the release highlights down below. We’ll break it down by section, so if there is something you are particularly interested in seeing, you should be able to find it easily enough.
The story in Red Dead Redemption 2
You play as Arthur Morgan, a member of the infamous Van der Linde gang. Your leader is Dutch Van der Linde and Dutch and Arthur will spend quite a bit of time talking about the good old days and how the world is changing. This is made obvious by Arthur’s quips when visiting the main city, as The Verge points out.
When you first see Saint Denis, the game’s big city location, its skyline is dominated by smokestacks and factories, with dense, smoggy air creating a claustrophobic effect. Arthur can’t stop complaining about it.
Overall, the story branches and turns and follows your gang of 20 people through various scenarios and confrontations. Kotaku notes, “It tells a worthy and affecting story that weaves dozens of character-driven narrative threads into an epic tapestry across many miles and almost as many months.”
The open-world aspects of the title
Everyone seems to love just how big Red Dead Redemption 2 is, with The Verge making that frontline-and-center, with its review headline stating that “Red Dead Redemption 2 is the most convincing open-world game ever made.” That’s a big statement, but that does seem to be the general consensus.
Polygon echoes those thoughts, saying “when the open-world simulation works, it’s astonishing., affecting, and unintentionally funny in the way real life can be.” CNET agrees with the sentiment stating, “Red Dead Redemption 2 has undoubtedly raised the bar for narrative open-world games and will likely have a lasting impact on how they are made in the future.”
Controls in Red Dead Redemption 2
With RDR 2, it’s important to remember that this is a Rockstar game, and with that will come some issues with controls. It just seems like something that has always been a part of the games, whether it is Grand Theft Auto, Bully, or Red Dead.
The second serving of Red Dead Redemption struggles with those same issues, it seems. While the controls “work,” it can definitely feel clunky and out-of-place in certain instances. Again, Kotaku notes, “Its overwhelming visual beauty invites players in, but its sludgy kinesthetics, jumbled control scheme, and unclear user interface keep them at arm’s length.” (I highly recommend reading the Kotaku review, while many outlets were enamored with the exquisite wrapping paper, Kirk Hamilton takes a deeper look at the actual gift.)
Interestingly enough, very few other outlets touch on the controls, instead focusing on the immersive world and huge open-world gameplay. Having had issues with the controls in almost every Rockstar game I’ve played, I’m interested to see how I will feel about the controls once diving in.
While I’ll hold any definitive conclusions until I have the chance to play the game for myself, overall the internet seems to be extremely impressed with Rockstar’s latest offering. Many sites have given it perfect reviews, including IGN, GamesRadar, and The Guardian. Could this be our 2018 game of the year? It seems like many could definitely make the argument for it.
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