Red Dead Redemption II Xbox One Review
Posted on: 2018-11-02
This is easily one of if not the best game of 2018 and was worth the 8 year wait since the last game. Go out and buy this game, it is worth your time and money.
To say my anticipation for a sequel to the 2010 game Red Dead Redemption was high would be an understatement. I have an emotional tie with the original as I was 17 and doing my A-levels at the time which were stressing me out, what I would do is boot up Red Dead and explore the deserts of New Austin and Mexico. Playing Red Dead Redemption II takes me back and makes me feel 17 again, with its engaging and emotional narrative and fun gameplay and exploration of its graphically impressive open world.
The year is 1899 and the era of bandits and the gunslinger are dying, you step into the shoes of Arthur Morgan who is a senior gunman for the Van Der Linde gang. The gang has become the most wanted gang across the United States for their robberies as they are hunted by the Pinkerton Detective Agency. They are constantly on the run and Arthur starts to question if it is ultimately worth living the life of a criminal, as he sees Dutch the leader of the gang slowly descend into madness as he becomes angrier and blood thirsty. The story is spectacular with beautifully directed scenes, coupled with the excellent motion capture and voice acting from the actors that have weight and emotion with their performances. Sometimes I forgot that I was playing a video game that is how good the storytelling is in this game.
The gameplay is an open world game where you can explore the beautiful landscapes of the Wild West; this is the ultimate cowboy simulator. You can progress with the main story, or you can mount up and explore the world where you can rob banks, stage coaches, hunt bounties or one my favourite things to do get drunk and get into bar fights. The activities are varied and I never found myself getting bored, as you meet interesting characters throughout the beautifully rendered world.
Shooting has been improved greatly from the last game, the controls feel very tight and feels extremely satisfying gunning down waves of bandits and lawman. Guns have real weight to them and sound punchy, especially the shotguns which cause devastating damage in close quarters scenarios. You have to maintain your weapons too; now this is not Fallout levels of maintenance as all you have to do is clean guns with oil. If you fail to do so guns will do less damage and will be less accurate, fortunately it does take a long time for guns to degrade and does not get in the way.
You have a home camp when you are on the run, this where you rest, clean, eat and just spend time with fellow gang members where you can play dominoes, cards, sit around campfires and tell stories and do various tasks for them. Plus you have to make sure that it is stocked up with money, food and medical supplies. I like this feature because you really feel a part of a gang of outlaws who have been riding together for months, where you swap stories at night or hand someone coffee in the morning, it makes it feel believable.
The presentation and sound in this game is unbelievable, I was flawed with how amazing this game looks from the weapons, character models, environments and the animations. The world looks beautiful with open green fields with grass swaying in the wind, to the cold and icy slopes of the mountains with the slippery ascension. Character models look stunning, with fantastic motion capture from the actors bringing across a convincing performance from subtle twitches in cheeks to a sly smirk.
The sound and music in this game are noteworthy too; especially the soundtrack as it sounds like something ripped straight out of a Sergio Leone film from the 1960’s as if Ennio Morricone composed and wrote himself. The sound design is great from the thudding of horse shoes to the high impact bangs of revolvers, guns especially really pack a punch the shotgun being my favourite to use purely because of thunderous noise it makes.
Red Dead Redemption II is a landmark title, with its beautiful open world, fun and exciting shootouts and captivating narrative. This is easily one of if not the best game of 2018 and was worth the 8 year wait since the last game. Go out and buy this game, it is worth your time and money.
Sam has lived in Bristol all his life. A keen cyclist he speeds around the city but video games are his bread and butter. Whether the old Nes and Snes games or the XBox One and Playstation releases he loves them all. Sam runs his own gaming blog called Bristolian Gamer where he had been reviewing indie games, doing retro reviews and venting his anger at the industry when it does wrong since 2010. Sam joined the 365Bristol team in December 2014.