If there is something I like, it's a game that can give me a real emotional response, even when I think I know where it is going. And I love Red Dead Redemption 2.
Few games in recent memory have felt so full of promise like this. The pre-release material promised an extensive and rich experience as illegal, telling the tragic story of the origin of the Van der Linde gang in anarchy. And, for the most part, the final game has delivered on it – with a few small warnings.
Crash the View
You may have already read my colleague Nino preliminary review (and if you do not have it, it must). He and I had played the game for more than a week before his release (Rockstar gave us revision codes), but it soon became clear that we would not complete the story or even the majority of the game until we were allowed to publish.
Normally, it's not 100% – a game before giving an opinion about it is not a big deal. We will give it the best, but there are only a few hours in life and games as these are generally the commitment. And usually, it's very easy to get a feel for a game with 20-30 hours under your belt, since from that point you will have an understanding of the engineers and how the story goes, if not the overall graph .
But, given the way the first game ended and how deeply it affected it (and how everything changed for the game that came in front of it), it would be the height of generosity for us not to get as far as possible in history before making the final review. Therefore, we have divided most of our thoughts into these two separate parts. Since then, I've finished the game, even the two-part suite.
So consider this your early warning: I'm going to spoil the hell since the end of this game, as well as things that happen between the central quest line of history. Because, like his predecessor, RDR2 leads to a pretty strong note.
Allow me to welcome everyone to the Wild Wild West
The story follows Arthur Morgan, the supervisor of the famous Van der Linde gang, John Marston was in charge of sweeping Red Dead Redemption. Gruff, weather and more intuitive than what he lets, Arthur is a morally controversial character of Lee Van Cleef in the most conventional John Herbert John Wayne.
After a robbery, the gang goes to the mountains. There they try to rebuild and find their way to the path to prosperity, a bank robbery, train robbery and a long con at a time.
I think I should start by reporting my thoughts on gameplay. Nino covered most of his criticism, so I would just say it's the Rockstar brand open world polished in a mirror gloss and burst with things to do. In fact, I may finish the Arthur's story, but I am convinced that I left at least 30% of the game on platforms simply because I wanted to finish my story sometime before the sun's death.
As far as engineers are concerned, I have some reservations – like Nino, I did not really care about the kernel statistics section, as she felt very strange. I also had some difficulties with the mechanical weight, which Arthur's statistics will suffer if it is excessive or degraded. I ate as often as I thought in the game, and for me Arthur was constantly low – and I had no idea how much I needed to eat to keep him out of this state, so a little clarity would be nice.
That being said, every kind of game in this game, from hunting to criminal pursuits in minigames, feels necessary in character for Arthur. And even in half of the story, I still find new ways to do things. Imagine my surprise when I understand that I could shed deer and drag them to me for a clean, sad quarter kill – very neatly arranged by the bullets.
The game of the horse is particularly exciting for your writer, a former cowgirl. The movement, the reactions and the behavior of the horses are very lively. I named myself after several horses I have met in real life, which probably contributed to my sense of attachment. While the "welding" engineer feels like he has lifted the whole of Zelda's Legend: Breathing Wildlife, it was a pleasure to listen to Arthur's assurance in his mountain of going hurtful in a whispering whisper of "You're a good boy / girl."
But for a game with this great appreciation of realism, there are one or two places where I just want to grab it and say, "Hey, no that very realistic, buddy. "The biggest? After collecting the coups.
When you get to finish the fools, of course you want to pick their pockets for cash and trinkets. The problem is that Arthur can only do this literally by taking the bodies and smashing their clothes. After a decent workout, you will end with fifteen to twenty dead and convict if Arthur does not like each body separately to absorb his mouse.
That's what it should do if it was real life. But from the tenth body I found myself thinking how wonderful it would be if I could pick up a treasure running over the bodies as I have a gap blocked under my chaps.
Both for the game. Let's get to the story. It takes several months, when we begin to see how a series of bad decisions and malicious robbers send the gang to a downward spiral from which we already know that it will never recover. Arthur, who is one of the adopted sons of the Netherlands, is torn between faith and realism – condemned, as we supporters, to watch the fall of the gang and grab hold of it.
Despite this rather sad skeleton, the meat of history is in fact the other members of the gang, their relationship with Arthur and each other and how they react to the world around them. And I never thought I would say that, but a play from a studio that is not Bioware has managed to make me care about my teammates on a personal level. I also did this brand The Age of the Dragon/ /Mass result which I went around after each mission and I spoke to everyone, so I will not miss any fun dialogue.
These characters are by far the most powerful asset in the game. The whole story could have subsided if the Van der Linde gang and its twenty members were underdeveloped, unconvincing or unpleasant. Instead, we have a family full of intriguing, stratified, complex people. Even those who apparently appeared before, like Bill, Javier and John, are all compelling on their own beyond what we saw in the first game.
It's all in detail. For example, every character of the gang has its own name, unique horse, and each ride when it is out and about. (Dutch has a white stall named Numbered, because of course he does.) Everyone has conversations with each other that have nothing to do with Arthur. And they do things really, intelligent people will do: for example, having a sensitive conversation with another character in an open carriage, Arthur takes a moment to ask if the driver is in their plans. This observation is never done later – the driver does not betray them or show up again – but it is a sensible observation that a real person would say in this situation.
That being said, there is some inconsistency between this rather gentle depiction of the gang and the how the goals are RDR1 talked about the time of their gangs – in particular, the way they spoke about Abigail. From what I remember, everyone was talking about her as if she were the prostitute of the camp, with all its consequences. But here, we see that she is one of the women in the gang, all of them are treated with respect by men. Everyone also protects and puts Jack, who, again, makes the original play the emphasis on John and Abigail's desire to keep him a little confused.
Voice behavior is generally good enough. The stand out is Benjamin Baron Davis as a Dutchman, whose well-bred sounds betray hypocritical familiarity with the culture he despises. Of the newcomers, Harron Atkins as the willing Lenny was my favorite. And of course it's a great pleasure to hear Rob Wiethoff return to the role of John Marston.
That is why I convinced him to admit that he did not like the performance of Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan. I did not hate it in any way – it just does not sound right. I want to explain.
In RDR1John's gravely design was perfect for him. Not only does it not fit with the character, it sounds perfectly normal – it is no surprise when you learn that it is Wiethoff's real voice. He did thatit should not make an accent so much as to rely on what it has already taken.
On the contrary, the Arthur's actor sounds like he's trying a little hard to do it that there is cowboy voice, notorious. If I could compare it to anything, it would be Jeff Bridges's comic book series as Rooster Cogburn in Real Tea. I can not point out the exact problem in the rhythm or tone. It's like listening to grinding on my car engine – maybe I do not know what the problem is, but I know it should not sound like that.
Be sure your sin …
In the beginning, the player has Red Dead Redemption 2 to a disadvantage, because we all know that this story will end in one way or the other. This is the hard part to make a prequel. But I can tell you this very much: RDR2 is a masterclass on how to make such a story because it takes advantage of what we already know from the first game to make a story that is both tragic and very tense.
The fall of Van der Linde gang and the leader's descent from a sure, good sense pater familias in a twisted, crushed tyrant there is wonderful justice in this game. Anything else I can say about this, the dedication to this late-burning epic is brilliant, it pulls you slowly and makes you feel every stitch being pulled as the whole gang slowly gets unwound.
Things really start to make a move to the worst around the middle of the game when the Dutch partner and the other dad Arthur, Osea, are killed. After that, the focus of the game becomes clearer as the gang is compressed in stricter and stricter conditions. There are some questionable pacing issues – for example, there is a short chapter that takes place on a tropical island that makes me wonder who the devs have gone through too much playing Exact cause 3 – but besides that, the story moves along with a steady, if glacial pace.
Well, the environments parallel parallel to the down spiral of the gang. The gang opens the adventure camped on a beautiful, sunny slope, and as things get worse, it is forced to move to a swamp, then to an eccentric town and eventually to a cave.
And every time things start to look up, I have a feeling of fear in my instinct, an inadvertent reaction that has not given me the game for a long time. I already knew how this would end, but the characters themselves were so determined, so that would certainly be their last great work that really worked. If it had for a minute the fourth wall broke and included a nod is equivalent to "yes, you know how that will end", the whole thing would be destroyed. But he did not, and that was what made me more.
If there is one thing that does not feel totally natural for the tragic descent of Holland in madness, it's the addition of Micah Bell. An ugly piece of work does not really have cash and is pretty much teleported to be the rat of the team. Most of the time, when the Dutchman has a bad thought, he is given to him by Michael. I can only feel that, if you cut it off from history, it would look a little more poetically tragic. We would watch the brilliant mind of Holland to try to justify bad decisions and careless planning rather than listening to the devil on his shoulder.
Moreover, by the way Mihais attacks Arthur in the camp and makes passively-aggressive good-paid words when he is alone with Arthur and the Dutch, it sometimes seems like jockeys to be his last friend and not his adviser. I do not mind having an average character in the camp – anyone can not be a diamond like Arthur or John – but I do not like being the catalyst for the whole distribution and I will definitely hope for more than a Wild West version of a Average girl.
… They will find you
For a game by the company that created a whole series to have good time as a criminal (Grand Theft Auto), RDR2 is at heart a game about how difficult it is to get away from being really bad man. Even the game reflects this fact: crime is unjustifiably punished, Arthur away from bulletproof, and all the effort to try to escape the police, feels more arduous than fun.
Arthur's efforts to balance the bitterness of Holland with the prosperity of the gang come to the head in chapter 6 when it is diagnosis of tuberculosis. Knowing that he has some time to live, Arthur goes out of his way to do right from the rest of the gang. His final act before dying about four-fifths of the way through the game is to help John, Jack and Abigail escape an attack by both the Dutch and the law to live a better life.
Do this even if you play him as an ugly, dog-kicking sonuvabitch so far. It feels like the player is trying to share the desperation of Arthur – and anyway, it worked. Honestly, what's the point of Trevor Phillips's continuation? It has not taken us any good so far.
The termination of Arthur's story is parallel to John. He grasps himself kindly shortly before the end of history to open the epilogue to another character – John himself, in that case. And while I like the epilogue (which could be called "Condensation of Loose Ends"), It really feels the game is over when Arthur breathes his last.
That being said, even this epistle contains the same feeling of gloomy apathy and reflects John's inability to overcome his past – and we all know that he is going to pass. At the very end, there are a few missions of the poor old John, who takes his mischievous ranch to Beecher's Hope, running with the help of his wife, son, uncle and Charles. This section could be transferred so easily to a tanned knife-screaming show screaming full of reports on the first game. However, as with the prediction of the fall of the Netherlands, this is done with such a heartfelt honesty that I found myself wanting to finish the whole story there.
If I had to find part of the game that summarizes my thoughts, it would be the mission that contains the beautiful song D'Angelo. In this, Arthur rides a stolen horse through the night night, careworn and half-dead from a failed mission to the Dutch, and desperately trying to reach the damaged remains of his just-close family now scattered in the winds. It's amazing. It's tragic. It somehow assures the top beauty of the "Far Away" series from the first game, even more so because we already know there is no happy ending waiting at the end of this route.
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