Frido is back with a review of Red Dead Redemption 2!
Red Dead Redemption was one of the best-developed games that I have ever played. There were so many things that I loved about it; the story, the graphics (at the time they were good, now not so much), the gameplay, the characters, etc. There were just so many aspects of the game that just pulled you in and kept you there. It was a game that I wanted to get home and play every day for a long time. Red Dead Redemption 2 has a lot of those characteristics as well, but the game feels like it’s being dragged on at points, and there are a lot of mechanics that I didn’t enjoy. The game overall was excellent; it deserved the awards it received at the Video Game awards this year, but there are issues with this game regardless. Buckle up folks, this is gonna be a long one.
To me, this is really a “do you want the bad news or good news first” kind of situation. Spoiler alert, we’re going to start with the bad news so we can end this review on a good note. One of the biggest issues that I had with the game was the warrant/wanted system. This was something that was a bother throughout a large part of the game. It’s so easy to get caught doing anything that you could have warrants in every city. And since in some parts of the game you get automatic warrants within the story, it is hard to keep that down. Even if you are doing a good playthrough, it’s still very hard to stay on the satisfactory side of the law. In the beginning of the game (especially when you don’t have a lot of money, and you have a $30 bounty but you’re only winning $.10 per game at poker), there’s not a lot you can do to get that paid off. The game gives you chump change but then asks for a hardy dollar in return. You can’t fully start to explore until you get to about chapter three. Even at that point, the game still throws you into the story randomly.
The second issue was the lack of a fast travel system within the beginning of the game. Fast travel was one thing that you started with in the first game; it’s a wonder why it wasn’t a start-out feature in this one. Sure, you have to unlock areas to travel to, but that’s a feature within most open world games. I just find it a little ridiculous that you have to upgrade the camp to be able to fast travel to and from there. Until you are able to unlock the fast travel, the game sort of just feels like horseback-riding simulator. It makes the game drag A LOT, and on top of that, you need to feed yourself, rest, and take full care of your horse as well. It took me a while to continue the game through to that point because it really felt very slow and the story did as well. The first chapter, getting through the “frozen tundra,” is just such a slow part of the story. I understand that this is to set up the story, but the way that was done in the first game didn’t take nearly as long, and I actually felt like I was accomplishing something.
To me the beginning of the game is very make or break. I’m not the type of person that’s like, “Oh, once you get to the 6th season of this show it really picks up!” No, you get 3 hours–if you’re lucky. I’m really glad I continued, but it was very hard to do so.
Another thing that I disliked was some of the challenges. Some of them just felt ridiculous and completely based on chance. At that point it’s no longer a challenge, more like a “wait and see if it happens.” One of the examples that I found was with the gambler challenges; the challenge is “Win three hands of blackjack with three hits or more.” It took me quite a while to achieve this, and by a while, I mean hours. I know a lot of people online are saying, “oh, I got this in minutes. Frido just sucks at video games.” This just proves my point further because it’s based on chance. It can take some people minutes and others hours; there’s no skill involved.
My biggest issue was really that the story just kept dragging on in the beginning. It hits a high note and continues forward once you reach chapter 4, though to reach that point is just a slow trek. I really enjoyed the characters within the camp; the loyalty that they all share was awesome. I know that there are four endings within the game. I received the good ending, but I have started a new play-through for a bad ending, although I’m not that far into it because of playing all of the new holiday games that are coming out. I really enjoyed the ending I received; there were obviously a few hiccups and somethings I felt were unnecessary, but the ending overall was good. It felt neat, like a lot of things were wrapped up nicely.
Now, to my likes, which aren’t as grueling as my dislikes. The graphics are beautiful, first off. Following a character to a mission is always slow, but that’s any game. The ride, however, looks beautiful. You can tell that a lot of love was put into the graphics. And with all of the different locations you travel to within the game, the diversity within is beautiful. The first game featured a lot of different areas, but this just feels more extensive.
Another thing that I really enjoyed was the shopping aspect. Turning the pages of the catalog not only felt cool, but it kept it organized. I didn’t feel like I had to switch between 50 menu options to find what I needed. It really just looked awesome as well; the pictures made it look like an old timey western catalog.
And to my final like, the characters. If there’s one thing that this game presents you with is cool characters. Though some of them aren’t great people, they’re all loyal to the group, and I find that awesome. We know a lot of the characters from the previous game, and now we are getting that back story. Seeing Dutch in his prime before the gang broke up and Javier before he took over part of Mexico was something I really enjoyed. And one character I think we were all glad to help throughout the game was the amazing John Martson. I think we can all still hear Bonnie talking to us in her southern twang, Mr. Marston. I really feel Arthur Morgan is on par with John. He has that finesse and nature about him that was something I loved with John. His no-nonsense attitude to get the job done was something that I found endearing.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game with a few hiccups here and there, but the game overall was amazing and well worth the wait. If you have a chance, I highly suggest playing this game. Push through the first couple of chapters and finish it. The game has so much to offer that it is well worth the time put in.