Red Dead Redemption 2: “It’s art.”

Red Dead Redemption 2: “It’s art.”

It’s art.

— John Marston (Red Dead Redemption 2)

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a Western action-adventure game released in 2018 by Rockstar Games with a score composed by Woody Jackson. The combined marketing and development budget for the game was estimated to be between 370 million USD and 540 million USD. Even after 5 years the game still has a large player base. 


The game has around 180 hours of content 50 of which are the main objectives alone. The game is split up into 6 chapters and a 2 part epilogue following the Van der Linde gang and their skirmishes. During the game, you play as Arthur Morgan a long-time member of the gang. Based on how you play the game Arthur has different commentary and reactions. This is based on the game’s honor system, different actions either help or harm your honor. The system is very straightforward; helping people gives you honor and harming people takes it away. 


Due to the game being mostly free roam outside of the story, there are many ways to pass time in the game. While a large part of the game is gunfights and shooting you can also take a more casual approach. Throughout the world, there are many collectible items. You can spend your time doing anything from hunting down the rarest animals and horses in the game to riding around the world enjoying the scenery. As you wander the world you can run into a large cast of characters that you can choose to help or harm. 


While Arthur is the protagonist there are many more colorful characters throughout the game. Some notable characters are John Marston, the protagonist of Red Dead Redemption who has more of his backstory revealed through Red Dead Redemption 2. Josiah Trelawney, a partial member of the gang who comes and goes as he pleases. Sadie Adler, a former ranch owner turned gunslinger after being taken in by the Van der Linde gang. All of the characters throughout the game have unique designs and personalities, no two characters are identical, although some do have very similar face models. 


On top of the many characters, hours of content, and beautiful scenery the game has a well-written storyline that ties in with Red Dead Redemption. Throughout the main story of the game, characters are consistently written while having thought-out character development. The story is tragic at times with character deaths in the majority of the chapters but none of the deaths are just added to be a death. Every event happens due to the decisions of the characters and influence from their environment. Overall the story is a tragedy but a well-written one that can be very heartwarming at times. 


While there are many good things about the game there are also imperfections. At times the game can get very overwhelming, especially during some of the large fights you run into. Some of these fights also come as a surprise such as when you are on the road wandering.  While you can pause the game whenever you want you still have to come back and complete the fight which can be hard for some players. If you are easily overwhelmed I recommend looking into where and when certain events take place so they are less of a shock. 


Red Dead Redemption 2 also takes a very long time to complete, especially in the first 6 chapters where you do not have an easy fast travel mechanic. Even with a fast horse, it takes a very long time to get across the map. This can be annoying for some players but it is inevitably unavoidable. You can counter this by using mods if you play on the computer or glitching the game on other devices but not everyone likes to do that. If you are someone who does not like to spend a lot of time traveling in games this can be extremely frustrating. 


There are also areas of the game that you cannot reach in the first 6 chapters as Arthur. This is frustrating because it means you cannot reach 100% completion of the game until you complete most of the story. However, there is a reason these areas are unreachable in the story. It is still upsetting that a large area of the game is locked for so long though.

Overall I highly recommend playing Red Dead Redemption 2. In my eyes, it is worth every penny. While it isn’t the perfect game it is still a beautiful and fun game with well-written stories and characters.