Hit Start Review: ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’


In this installment of Hit Start Review, Justin Kucharski discusses “Red Dead Redemption 2.” Photo credit: Autumn Bohner

Justin Kucharski

After eight long years, the sequel to the 2010’s Game of the Year “Red Dead Redemption” has finally arrived. With so much hype surrounding the release of Rockstar Games’ latest game, living up to that hype is a daunting and seemingly impossible task.

I am happy to report that “Red Dead Redemption 2” not only lives up to its expectations, but completely blows them out of the water.

The age of outlaws

Gamers take control of Arthur Morgan, a gritty outlaw who is the righthand man of his gang’s leader. Without spoiling the story, missions in the game feature plenty of shootouts, high-stakes robberies, chases and more. Also worth pointing out is that the story is set a few years before the events of the first game, so it is not necessary to have experienced the events of “Red Dead Redemption” to enjoy its sequel. However, those who have played through it will see a few familiar faces along the way.

There is also a surprising amount of choice presented to gamers in “Red Dead Redemption 2.” Fairly often, gamers will be presented with more than one way to tackle a mission, which encourages replay-ability for those who want to experience everything the game has to offer. Gamers also have the choice to customize how they want Arthur to look, from his clothes to his facial hair, how clean he is and how he looks in the eyes of the public and the law. It all helps to make it feel like a story gamers dictate opposed to just coming along for the ride.

A whole new world

“Red Dead Redemption 2” features one of the most real and living worlds ever seen in a video game. People remember your face, the law doesn’t forget your crimes, lethal animals attack you, random strangers in distress can be found in the wilderness and so much more. Everywhere players look in the game world is some form of extreme detail that is bound to impress.

On top of playing through the roughly 60-hour main story, there is still so much more to see and do. Hunting for legendary animals, playing poker and raising money for your camp don’t even begin to scratch the surface of everything the game offers. For those who look to complete their games 100 percent, there is easily upwards of 100 hours of gameplay to sink their teeth into.

A lot of time is spent traveling America’s heartland alone on horseback, which sounds as though it can be boring, but it almost seems intentional from developer Rockstar Games. As a result, the game does feel like it is moving at a slower pace, but it’s not a bad thing considering all there is too see and do.

There is a feeling of solitude that gamers will get traversing an open field with nothing but their trusty steed. It is all tied together by the fact that “Red Dead Redemption 2” features some of the most beautiful graphics I’ve seen in a game. You can tell the developers want you to soak in this world and see everything it has to offer.

Final thoughts

“Red Dead Redemption 2” is a once in a generation kind of game. A lot of love and care goes into many games, but here it just seems almost insane how much time the team at Rockstar Games put into creating every minute detail. That on top of one of their best stories to date culminates into nothing shy of a masterpiece. If there is only one game you can play this year, make sure it is “Red Dead Redemption 2.”

Final score: 10 / 10

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Twitter: @JKucharskiTWW