‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ brings back the thrills of Wild, Wild West


Courtesy of instacodez via Flickr

Red Dead Redemption 2 follows the story of Arthur Morgan, an experienced member of the Van Der Linde Gang.

Rafael Aroustamian, Business Manager

When Red Dead Redemption came out back in 2010, the gaming community rejoiced. Many were waiting for a third generation Western game, as there was a deficit of them on the market. Not many gaming companies were up for the challenge of creating a successful game about the Wild West. Finally, Rockstar San Diego developed the very successful Red Dead Redemption. It won several game-of-the-year awards, as well as getting a 95-100 on Metacritic. The developers pushed for a sequel for Red Dead Redemption as soon as the awards started racking up. And finally, on Oct. 26, they released Red Dead Redemption 2.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is actually a prequel to Red Dead Redemption, in terms of story. Players follow the story of Arthur Morgan, a grizzled member of the famous Van Der Linde gang, led by Dutch Van Der Linde. The previous protagonist, John Marston, is also a member of the gang, and is a non-player-character (NPC). This feature gives people who played the previous game a sense of nostalgia. So many times when game companies create sequels or prequels to games, they tend to create a whole new character and a whole new world, and correlation between games is scarce. NPCs tend to not mention the previous protagonist, and when they do, it is usually in one line of dialogue. This move made by Rockstar makes gamers feel more connected towards the world that they create, and in turn generates more sales.

The game has a slow and leisurely start, as it starts out when the gang is trapped in some mountains, escaping from a unsuccessful robbery in Blackwater. Snowed in and isolated from the outside role, this may seem as a bad way to start a open-world game. But in fact, it gives the player a chance to catch their bearings. It is an innovative way of displaying the controls and teaching the players the basics without just showing the control scheme. The previous iteration of the game also used this type of mechanic, as it didn’t just shove the player into the open world.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The newest installment in the Red Dead Redemption franchise.

As soon as the player completes their first chapter and gets out of the mountains, they are finally put into the open world. Yet unlike most games, the computer gives the player the choice of which parts of the chapter to do first.

 If the player fights in a bar fight and then goes hunting with one of the other NPC’s, the NPC will mention in their line of dialogue about a “fight happening a few days ago around the bar.” This is extremely immersive and shows how up-to-date the new RAGE engine is. This also gives players choices; they don’t have to follow a specific mission list. They can start which missions they want to do first and the game will adjust to their choices.

As the prequel to Red Dead Redemption, the game takes place in 1899, a few years before the events of Red Dead Redemption, which takes place in 1913. The supporting characters of RDR2 become the main villains of RDR. Some of these include Dutch Van Der Linde and Colm Holfield. This again shows how the correlation between the two games and how they are related to each other. The supporting character of RDR2 is the main character in RDR, who also kills many members of his original gang. This shows how Rockstar believes in correlation between sequels, and as a result, are very successful game developers. This is shown in their other game series, Grand Theft Auto.

The open world of RDR2 comes in as very open and free. Players can do almost anything in the wild, wild West. You can visit bars, gun stores, ranges, stables, camps, ranges and much more. The enormous amount of random encounters also makes the game interesting. After a combined six hours of playing Red Dead Redemption 2, I have never come across the same random encounter twice. There is always something new and interesting happening across the world, and the likelihood of finding things twice in a single gaming session is borderline impossible.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a “sight for sore eyes,” as it combines the best of open-world with great storylines and amazing character development. The correlation between games also raises the game value. The fact that it racked up $725 million in sales on its opening weekend just proves its worth. Whether or not you are an avid fan of cowboys, the game of Red Dead Redemption 2 is a keeper.