Sunday, April 7, 2019

Red Dead Redemption 2

I am currently playing Red Dead Redemption 2 on the Playstation 4. A game made by Rockstar, with nice graphics, an interesting story, and a lot to do. I am about half of the way through the game at this point.

The world of the game is a fictionalized version of the American West. Both using and satirizing the the cliches of "Western" media. This makes for an inconsistent tone, as the same cliches are played straight at times, only to be used for satire at other points.

You play as the member of a outlaw gang. The gang has many members, all of which have backstories if you are interested in getting to know them. Your gang is multiracial, and has men as well as women. In an anachronistic twist, the members of the gang all seems to be treated equally.  Throughout the game you are meant to give money to your gang to maintain and upgrade the camp. Other members of the gang will also donate, but not much.  

The map of the world is very large, almost to a fault. As there are times you will start a mission near one corner of the map, and have a goal that is set in an opposite corner. This is annoying in any game, but worse here as you are limited by the speed and stamina of your horse. Fast travel options are very limited, and mostly unavailable during missions. This can make a very simple mission last for over an hour, the vast majority of which is travel time.

The story is relatively simple: your gang is on the run, and your gang keeps moving form camp to camp as they keep having various crimes go wrong. Bigger and bigger risk keep getting taken, and more and more of the cast slowly dies off.

There are a huge number of things to do other than story missions. You can play cards, do some bounty hunting, robs home, steal stagecoaches, cook, and many other things. Most of which involves more time spent traveling than doing the activity.

The actual game play is repetitive. Most of your time is spent riding a horse to a place, then shooting up the place. Sometimes there is a stealth element. Sometimes there is a fist fight. Most of the time you take cover, and you shoot.

The best part of the game is the protagonist. Arthur Morgan is a good character. He spends most of the game clearly conflicted. I won't spoil the story. I will say he is complex and well written.

Overall, there is a lot about this game I don't care for. Most of what this game does was done better in the first game. However, the character of Arthur Morgan compels me to keep playing. I would say it is a worthwhile game to play, but is not likely to be on that will be replayed.

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