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Red Dead Redemption 2

Developer / Publisher: Rockstar Games
25 October 2018
Red Dead Redemption 2 - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.28 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
3,010 Ratings / 9 Reviews
#23 All-time
#1 for 2018
After a bank heist goes wrong, the Van der Linde outlaw gang must rob and fight against the law for one last big break during the decline of the Wild West.
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Red Dead Redemption II Ultimate Edition
2018 Rockstar  
2xBlu-ray
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2018 Rockstar  
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GB 5 026555 423045 CUSA-08519 / CUSA-11070
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Red Dead Redemption II Ultimate Edition
2018 Rockstar  
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2019 Rockstar  
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Title
Too Much Chaff, Just Enough Wheat
I've finally finished this game, and I am going to state one cold fact: Red Dead Redemption was a better game.
This game flashes between brilliance and drudgery. People talk about how great the story is or whatever, but I found the previous game more impactful on my emotions.
More importantly, however, is the fact that the actual game parts of the game can get irritating. Annoyances in the game's control scheme and its systems pop up time after time, mission after mission.

The game's controls are frustrating at times. Several times, I'd be running to mount my horse, but an NPC was too close when I pressed Y, so Arthur tackled him instead, and I got a bounty on my head. One time, I was standing next to my horse and someone else's horse, and Arthur naturally got onto the other horse, despite the fact that I was standing closer to my own horse. Also naturally, even though I dismounted immediately, I got a bounty for stealing a horse.
Most importantly, "look at someone to talk to them or buy something" and "aim gun" are on the same button. This is the main cause of frustration. Once, I saved a woman from a gang that was going to do something untoward with her. I wanted to talk to her, but I accidentally pointed my gun at her and she ran away screaming. Absolutely great.

You can only hold two long guns and one handgun at a time, and the rest are stored on your horse. If you get a gun you don't want, you have to scroll through it every time regardless, and repeaters, rifles, shotguns, and bows are all on the same line.
You can set a loadout at a gun shop that will make it so you end up with those guns every time you get off your horse. Unfortunately, the game never tells you this. If you don't set a loadout, you will not have any long guns when you get off your horse. This is ridiculous in missions, because they will frequently disallow you to get back to your horse, or make it a chore to get back to your horse.
Also, the game likes to decide exactly which guns you're going to use at any given moment. Nevermind that I have the best repeater in the game, the game just gives me the default one and says "tough shit".
I also find the sniping sections to be poor. Seeing through the scopes can be too hard, and the game again forces one of your weapons out for a sniper rifle that isn't of any use once the mission invariably sets you off to fight on the ground.
It didn't happen to me, but I've read about a glitch that can happen in the epilogue where you lose all your guns. If this happens, load a save before the mission Motherhood, where the Willie Nelson song plays.

The absolute biggest problem with the early game is the bounty system coupled with the complete lack of available funds.
If someone shoots at you, and you shoot back, you get a bounty. If someone runs in front of your horse (which happens frequently), you get a bounty. Sometimes missions will even saddle you with a bounty automatically.
The only way to get rid of a bounty is to pay it off at a train station. Going to jail forces you to pay off the bounty anyway. Dying does nothing, but you drop some money for good measure.
The side mission with Black Belle gave me a $100 bounty in that state that I couldn't afford to pay off. The only silver lining is that each state tracks bounties separately, and I didn't have to go back there for a long time, and by then I had enough money.

Your horse is your most valuable possession, but it never teleports to you. One mission, Arthur and a friend from camp get absolutely wasted, and Arthur ends up miles and miles from town. His horse is still in town, so I had to run all the way to town. I wasn't impressed.

Hunting in this game is frustrating, but not because of the act of hunting itself. The problem is that only legendary or perfect pelts are of any use in crafting. To use these, you have to sell each pelt to the trapper. The trapper will store each pelt for an eternity until you use it. The problem is that there are only five trappers in the game, and none are very convenient to get to. Naturally, pelts rot and decay over time, so you can't just say "when I get to it". There are no trappers in the entirety of New Austin, either. Hunting up in the snowy mountains or in the deserts, then, requires a long jaunt down to the trapper.
What's more is that your horse can only carry a limited number of pelts. Small animals, like raccoons and beavers, can hang on the side of your saddles. Medium-sized animals, like wolves and deer, can be skinned and several pelts can be laid on top of eachother. You can also just pop the whole animal corpse onto the back of your horse. Large animals have to be skinned, and only one large animal skin can be carried at a time.
Perfect pelts can only be obtained by killing a three-star animal with the correct means, or else you'll get a damaged pelt. Oh, also, it can fall off of your horse if you crash into something, which will damage it as well. This ends up being way more tedious than fun, and I am not going to get even a quarter of the craftable clothing.
There is only one of each legendary pelt, and it is, luckily, automatically added to the trapper's inventory if you lose it. You just don't get the $50 you'd get from selling it. Hunting the legendary animals is about the only hunting that I did, but I had a good time with it.

In this game, Arthur's hair and beard grow as time goes by, and, like in real life, you can't add hair back onto your head or face. You can use a tonic to speed the growth, but every change is going to last a while. (luckily, they let you see the change before you do it)
There are also points in the story where Arthur's hair and beard will grow on its own due to a short timeskip. This means that if you found a style you like that isn't the max, you have to trek all the way to a barber to get back to where you were five minutes ago. Barbers aren't in every town; so far I've only encountered two. Arthur can shave his own beard, but the hair on his head can't be touched by mortal man. The system is more annoying than impressive.

The campaign starts incredibly slowly. Contrary to what you expect from a cowboy game, the first several hours take place in the mountains, in a blizzard.
Through the first half-dozen missions, you trudge through knee-deep snow, but I guess they wanted to keep you moving slowly to build up the characters. Once you get down south to the wooded area, the game opens up, and your movement improves. Except in camp, where you will always be walking in molasses.

One thing that bothered me in a lot of missions is that someone would tell you to loot the corpses or buildings, but then less than a minute later, he'd be yelling at me for taking too long. Looting is very important, because you'll need to eat any food you find to keep your stats up.
Your stat cores weaken over time, which makes you take more damage or run out of stamina faster. Eating, sleeping, or even smoking can increase these cores. Your horses run on the same system. It's kind of neat, and I've found enough food that it hasn't been a problem so far.

A problem with the overall mission structure is how rigid it is. You're never really given any meaningful freedom.
In one mission, a girl from camp named Tilly was being accosted by someone, and you're supposed to get him away from her. He threatens you, and says "what are you going to do about it?", so I shot him right between the eyes, as my cowboy instincts told me to do. Mission failed for "alerting the law". Because he comes back later, no matter how many times I tried to kill him quietly or away from town, I failed the mission. It's silly.

At the 35 hour mark, I got really tired of all the politics sprinkled throughout the game. It came to a head at a mission where you have to drive a cart full of suffragettes around to protest. I simply did not want to do it. I came back to the game a week later, and still didn't want to do it. I suffered through it, though, because every time I thought of this game, I wanted to continue until I remembered the suffragettes. I just want to be a cowboy and do cowboy things, not drive a slow-ass carriage around to hear political debates that were resolved well before I was born. There is absolutely no deviation allowed. You can't take the cart off of the main drag, or you will fail the mission. You cannot draw a gun, leave the cart, or throw punches at all. Those buttons simply don't work during this mission. All of your agency as a player is gone. At least they can't disable my TV's mute button.
I already strongly disliked the last two carriage missions, because the vehicle is completely anti-fun to drive. Then in the epilogue, there are more carriage missions than in the entire "main" story. I really hate that thing.

Sometimes, a character mid-mission will ask you how you want to approach it. For example, Hosea and I were attempting to rob a house and steal their stagecoach. He asked if I wanted to attempt it stealthily at night, or to do it during the day, while he distracted them. I chose the daytime option, and was satisfied with how it went. Other times, it will be a more simple "send Bill to kill guy/go yourself".

Your fellow gang members are among the most important facets of the game. While I would have liked more optional bonding missions, most of the gang is well-realised and fleshed-out. Javier, however, gets little chance to shine, and ends up just kind of existing for most of the game. Even gang members who aren't around as long, like Kieran, have a big moment to remember them by.
One character I am particularly torn on is Sadie Adler. From chapter 3 through to near the end of chapter 6, she is insane. For those chapters, in every single mission she appears in, she goes on a rampage at the worst possible time, and in one case, gets the balloonist killed. I liked him a lot in the short time we spent together, and I was really sad to see him go, but more angry that Sadie couldn't keep herself from going on a killing spree for one hour. Then, toward the end of chapter 6, she mellows out a bit. She's still really gung-ho and enjoys killing way too much, but she seems to know where to keep it confined to. You could call this character development, but it's not gradual, and it just kind of happens. You could say it's because Colm O'Driscoll died, but she has another one of her psychotic episodes immediately after, and turns what should have been a peaceful walkout into a shootout. I really don't know how to feel, but I do know that I still don't like her voice.

The fact that this game is a prequel means that a lot of moments that should be "OH SHIT" moments are just "whatever" moments. I already know these characters will survive through the game, so I don't really feel much about it.

The original songs with vocals are really memorable parts of the game. There are a few, but they aren't overused in the slightest. Every time one starts, it feels like a point in the story where it makes sense. It's never just like you're on your way to rob a train and a song starts; it's always a moment that has a unique feeling to it. If I look back on this game in a few years, the most memorable parts will be May I? Stand Unshaken, Cruel Cruel World, and building the ranch house. Well, that and watching Lenny having sex with Lenny, and the mangoes.

The optional stranger missions are generally great, and you never know what you're going to get into next. You'll meet a pair of twins quarreling over a girl, a French painter (my favourite), a woman managing a pair of "medical miracles" as the game puts it, a photographer who wants to capture the wildlife in photographs before it's overhunted, and far more. These missions are nice tonal breaks from the main story, putting Arthur in sometimes ridiculous situations. Honestly, if the game was nothing but roaming the open world, encountering these strangers, and just robbing with your gang for the sake of robbing, I'd love it to death. These missions and the casual/side mission interactions with your gang members are where the writing really shines.

There are some neat details in the open world. One time, a guy limped up to me and said he'd been bitten by a snake. I did the nice thing and sucked the venom out of his leg for him, and continued on my way. Several hours later, back in the town of Valentine, I encountered him again, telling his friend about how I saved his life. He let me buy anything in the gun shop from his tab, and I got a $100 rifle I'd been hemming and hawing about. (glad I didn't buy it myself then)

The game tries too hard to be realistic, which will definitely be a turnoff for some. Hopefully, enough people will complain about some of these issues that they'll be fixed in a patch.
I enjoyed the game, overall, but there were a lot of moments where I really wished they'd done things differently. It's a game of highs and lows. The highs keep me engaged and anxious to see what's around the corner. The lows make me tilt my head back and groan, forcing myself to push through it, even causing me to stop playing for a while at one point.
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Rakitox 2018-11-19T06:39:24Z
2018-11-19T06:39:24Z
3.0
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Notes about Red Dead Online:
It's really obvious that they wanted to put in the ability to buy gold bars with real money. Everything in online mode is ridiculously expensive; way more than in single player.
Money hardly ever happens. You get $3 for every free roam mission you complete, and up to $5 for deathmatches and the like. They pay you 1899 wages, but charge 2018 prices. (the popular example: a Mauser cost $35 circa 1899, but it costs $1,000 in the online mode ($250 in single player))

Every competitive non-race multiplayer mode is shoved under the header "showdown series". There is no option to just do the multiplayer mode(s) you like; you have to subject yourself to the whims of fate. Most Wanted is my favourite game mode, but to get to it, I have to sit through everything else until it comes up.

King of the Castle is a game mode that appears at random during free roam. You have no option to start it yourself or add it to the "showdown series" pool. Not that you'd want to, because literally no one online knows how to play it. Everyone just shoots everyone else, rather than going for the objective and killing the guy who is holding the objective.
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Cinematic masterpiece, but may not appeal to Gamers
This “game” is really more of an interactive movie when you get to the true core of it. I believe the story rivals that of television and film’s greatest, and should definitely have the character lineup considered as one of the greatest ever written. The characters, including Arthur Morgan and Dutch Van Der Linde, have some of the most complicated moral dilemmas and plot lines in all of media history, and it’s more than interesting to watch unfold in the game as you play.

Red Dead redemption 2 also currently possess the most intricate and detailed open world to ever be created. With a technical marvel of an AI system, an artificially intelligent animal ecosystem, and incredibly dynamic and interactive NPCs, the technical aspects of what make the open world fantastic as truly some of the best to ever hit the market. All this, combined with the beautiful and detailed map are what really bring the world into fruition.

I could look on and on about the writing and how fantastically executed it is but despite all this, this isn’t a very “gamer” game. There’s no “double jump”, or points system, or fancy fantasy game mechanics, It’s very detached from gaming as a whole and a lot more focused on telling a story. This type of style appeals to me, but I can see why it isn’t as treasured on this site either. This is a game made to be brutally realistic, and that to me feels more relatable and embraceable than any other game will ever.
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Sgt_Meatball 2022-01-10T20:18:54Z
2022-01-10T20:18:54Z
5.0
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the horse is honestly pretty great. you guide it along, you dont control it like a car. you can let it navigate or you can steer it into a tree, but thats on you. really most horse frustrations i had were in the beginning before i learned how to properly horse, which i didnt mind with this being a huge open world game that actually invites you to just explore its huge open world. fragility aside, id rate these here horses as more reliable yet less thrilling than Agro from SotC. obviously both are vastly inferior to D-horse, the best horse in gaming.
horses aside, this is as sprawling and huge as youd want a wild west epic vidya game to be. firefights and such are like horses, theyre sometimes annoying but when they work you take it for granted.
rockstars game design is somehow at its best while exemplifying how out of date it is. respawning in some random location was fine in gta but never felt right here. then theres the whiplash between very open world to very linear missions. but hey, this game does both of those things better than any gta game with their vast expanse of boring nothingness.
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sameji 2022-11-07T08:44:27Z
2022-11-07T08:44:27Z
4.5
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One of the best games I've ever played
RDR2 is one of the best games that I've ever played. The story is amazing even though that I got spoiled. Group of outlaws roam around the country trying not to avoid the law. The graphics in this game are on a whole another level. Horse balls shrink in cold weather. Horse balls. I love everything about the graphics though, the scenery, animals, characters, etc. A small aspect that I love about this game is the hunting. You have to be super stealthy and silently kill animals in the wild, and it is always satisfying at the end: skinning them and selling it to the butcher dude. The replayability though is on a whole another level. I can always go back and feel just as excited playing it just as the first time trying to 100% the whole thing.
Overall, RDR2 is a fun game that I recommend everyone to play at one point.
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hydroblastii 2022-10-17T23:33:27Z
2022-10-17T23:33:27Z
5.0
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Beautiful wrapping, little substance
Why this game is constantly put by gamers among the best of all times (and better than the first one?), I do not understand. Surely, like GTA V, its technical aspects will stand the test of time for 10+ years: the graphics, the physics, the realism, the art design, the sound design, the cinematic voice acting, the sheer size of the world... the list could go on.

But the 'masterpiece' (the adjective used by many to describe RDR2) parts of the game end there, in the technical side. Yet they are so grand and overwhelming that they seem to hide the several lack of gameplay substance RDR2 suffers from. Hard as I tried to connect with it as I did with the first one, I never could. Perhaps I'm getting too old to keep buying into Rockstar's mediocre, outdated and robotic game design. Finishing the story (I'm refering to the missions, the idiosyncratic Rockstar missions which haven't changed one bit in two decades) is an awful, boring grind, which was energized only by my curiosity to know how Arthur dies.

Yes, the 'emergent gameplay' parts can, indeed, be found in the sandbox outside the missions. The 'cowbow sim' elements: the hunting, fishing, gathering, the NPCs 24h routines, bla bla. An eagle catching a rabbit? A house builder who takes work breaks and at the evening goes to his house? That's all pretty neat, I won't lie to you. But I don't think that's enough to call this game a masterpiece. It's nothing revolutionary, since artificial life was already present in the first game (yes, I remember you Herbert Moon, you degenerate gambler, closing your store at the afternoon to play some poker at the Armadillo saloon), and many games of the time, like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Where RDR2 game truly shines in the midst of the mainstream game industry is in its main character pool. Arthur Morgan is a beautifully, realistically written character, full of little nuances that make him an extremely believeble real human. Did I cry-shard-piss-cum for him like many other did? No, but that's not neccesary to acknowledge the brilliant way he was written. All the same can be said about Dutch Van der Linde, though his motivations, greyness, nuances and ambivalence were already well established in RDR1. Which leads me to, yet again, remark how the first game had already a protagonist who escaped the simplistic ethics of your average game. Oh, and should I remind you that RDR1 none only had Dutch questoning the morals of your actions, but also Edgar Ross a similarly compelling antagonist who is constantly reminding you that you are not the lawful cowboy you claim to be, and that you HAVE killed innocent people.
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mierdonardo 2022-09-26T03:07:33Z
2022-09-26T03:07:33Z
3.5
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I can't understand why people call this 'a semi movie full of cutscenes' to a goty. Yes, It has best story and atrractive characters. But the way RDR2 tells the story is too cinematic. The 'play' of missions is at the level of interactive movies. It's a waste of incredible open-world system.
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doral 2022-05-04T16:50:03Z
2022-05-04T16:50:03Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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GooeyGary Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-02T00:30:09Z
2023-02-02T00:30:09Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MianSwagger Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-01T22:32:53Z
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4.0
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4.5
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marcosniederer Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-01T17:29:51Z
2023-02-01T17:29:51Z
5.0
1
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Draegonuo Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-01T15:57:14Z
2023-02-01T15:57:14Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kidpetito Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-01T14:28:00Z
2023-02-01T14:28:00Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bgelinas Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-01T14:00:06Z
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5.0
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fedcoshark Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-01T13:26:50Z
2023-02-01T13:26:50Z
5.0
1
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xenealtal Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-01T12:01:12Z
2023-02-01T12:01:12Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
yeyewha Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-01T11:15:10Z
2023-02-01T11:15:10Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
3andnot2 Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-01T08:32:33Z
2023-02-01T08:32:33Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sstr1ke21 Red Dead Redemption 2 2023-02-01T06:53:54Z
2023-02-01T06:53:54Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (167) Loading...
  • Gem29 2022-11-09 22:15:10.534642+00
    Will I be disappointed if I go into this expecting a western RPG?
    reply
    • PiccoloZ 2022-11-11 23:04:59.419215+00
      yeah, the game has no rpg elements at all, the only choices you have is be good or be bad and depending on that you get a CHOICE (not a consequence) in the chapter 6, so you can again choose good vs bad choice one more time.
      the game has no depth whatsoever in gameplay but it makes up for it with other things like open world interactivity, physics, visuals, story and generally living a cowboy simulator.
      its a bit overrated but the praise is earned, the game has yet to be topped in what it does well. imo
    • Fowlawneeshafow 2022-12-28 04:16:04.949755+00
      Of course you will, it's not a WRPG. Like PiccoloZ said, it's sort of a binary "low honor or high honor" thing, but it did surprise me with how it diverges between the two depending on honor sometimes. It's divergent enough that it could warrant a couple of play-throughs at least imo. The core gameplay and gun-play is actually really fun. It's like a standard AAA cover shooter with stealth and survival elements but also a very detailed open world cowboy life sim in a lot of ways. Hunting and other open world activities are surprisingly in-depth and gameplay rich imo. My first playthrough I ignored hunting and fishing altogether, and on my second I was addicted to it.

      Where this game really shines though is the open world, narrative, environmental storytelling and immersion. Dutch is probably one of the best characters written in all video games, but really there are tons of great characters. The camp is amazing, with tons of immersive little interactions between the gang and opportunities to flesh out characters even more. There are valid criticisms to be made about this game for sure but it's Rockstar's best game by a country mile imo.
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  • Jewelofthesea 2022-11-15 06:40:32.637696+00
    I play this as a horse riding sim and it’s fun
    reply
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  • earthandspace 2022-12-04 23:00:32.610094+00
    i wish the villains were more complex and less boring/unsubtle. i think whitelight was bang on, you have micah, the western equivalent to that one prozd video of the character who's obviously going to betray everyone (though granted micah is extremely hateable), agent milton who's boring and one note, and cornwall who barely shows up and is kinda just a generic evil businessman. really jarring when compared to the other characters too like dutch who has a more effective descent into paranoia and showing who he really was the whole time.
    reply
    • Fowlawneeshafow 2022-12-28 04:03:46.346729+00
      Micah is a reasonably nuanced character written to be the lowest of low, and part of what really corrupted Dutch (or brought out his true colors). Dutch sees himself as a sophisticated criminal, but really he's a criminal the same as Micah. And you're listing villains, but excluding Dutch, who is absolutely a villain. Not only is he the villain of RDR1, but he's really the master manipulator behind most of the gang's suffering. Everyone in the gang is manipulated to do his bidding on the basis of owing him something. His misdeeds are why they had to flee Blackwater and started their downward spiral to begin with. Micah is just the one giving Dutch a nudge for his own personal gain. I think Dutch is so well written though that him being the villain isn't entirely apparent to the player.

      The Pinkertons and Cornwall are also written plainly as a point. They're not really antagonists, but just the result of Dutch's misdeeds. They're just supposed to represent society and the death of the "wild west", they are the inevitable. Their motivations clearly track with basic logic. The game's plot is not about them at all.
    • earthandspace 2023-01-07 06:16:09.535126+00
      yeah i mentioned dutch's arc, of the major villains i do think he was well written, maybe the best written character in the whole game, apologies for not making that clearer. he sort of has that walter white effect where it becomes so much clearer in retrospect that he's an abysmal human being.

      i think looking back, micah's influence definitely plays better into dutch's arc and showing who dutch really was. however, while i do think people as irredemably bad as micah exist, i still find it hard to believe anyone would've put up with micah's shit. i could see how dutch falls for him as someone who loves projecting an image of force and cunning and because micah spends most of the time licking his boots and being a yes man, but everyone else? he's just so irredeemably nasty to anyone not named dutch to the point it can't be helping him, he just barely joined the game and isn't even trying to integrate, and basically everything he suggests the gang to do goes poorly. it's not even an example of ends justifying the means, he's always a liability and his only redeeming trait is he can shoot well. at any point during a mission where it was just a few guys and micah it feels like it would've been super easy to have just killed him and have them be none the wiser.

      as for the government/elite-backed forces, i do understand their points, it's just that they're not much else to them besides the theme of "industrialization stamping out the wild west".
    • Fowlawneeshafow 2023-01-13 07:38:45.675311+00
      Well, on the point of why other gang members were putting up with Micah's shit, they kinda didn't in the end. The whole gang put up with him for a while because Dutch liked him for the reasons you stated (projecting an image of force and cunning). But during the final act, the good souls left in the Van Der Linde gang all left in large part because of Micah. The Van Der Linde gang was all built on Dutch, so whoever Dutch liked was welcome in the gang, and it didn't matter if the rest of the gang welcomed them or not. Micah was also a brown-noser who stole credit for the rest of the gang's work wherever he could. And there's also the Blackwater Massacre, where Dutch apparently killed an innocent woman, but only Micah knows Dutch's secret. So Micah could also have dirt on Dutch. In short, the gang dislikes Micah, but they put up with him because Dutch says to.

      And also "the end of the wild west" is sort of the theme of the series in a nutshell, the Pinkertons and Cornwall are just financially motivated to advance society past the wild west era.
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  • TheGrindingWheel 2022-12-22 20:11:11.992369+00
    Suggestions

    Lego City Undercover
    reply
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  • passenger_aleph 2022-12-23 16:00:30.016756+00
    So boring.
    reply
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  • Arutemu64 2023-01-19 21:17:49.80772+00
    As someone who get easily bored by many things, this game is surely not boring, but it's really slow paced at some moments at it's tiring, but not boring.
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  • tiddysopinion 2023-01-31 18:25:45.978126+00
    You're okay boah
    reply
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