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Kaz32

Red Dead Redemption 2 review. AKA: Oregon Trail + Red Dead Redemption. AKA a fucking brilliant game. (spoilers ahoy)

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I finally beat this game. And as expected, this game is Red Dead Redemption on steroids, mixed with a bit of Oregon Trail. In other words, HOLY SHIT THIS GAME IS FUCKING AWESOME!!!!

Image result for red dead redemption 2

 

I think it's pretty obvious to everyone who played the first game what this game's story is about. This is the story of the Van Der Linde gang in 1899, 12 years before the first Red Dead Redemption game and back when the gang is a powerful Robin Hood esque group who look out for each other. You play as Arthur Morgan, aka the one guy that should have been mentioned a lot in the first Red Dead Redemption game by everyone since he has such a big role, but Rockstar didn't have any plans for him back when they made the first game so oh well, he's pretty much the Iden Versio of Red Dead, only MUCH2 better written and not lazily shoe horned in to fit the overall plot like that Battlefront 2 story UURRGHHH WHY DO YOU DO THAT EA??? Such a shame because after playing this game, I want Arthur to be mentioned a lot in the first Red Dead Redemption. Oh well, maybe when the first Redemption remake is out, if there is any plan for it. Yakuza Kiwami did it perfectly so why not here?

 

You follow Dutch back when he's still a good charismatic guy and not an insane killer like in the first Redemption game, and you pretty much go through the gang's tragic downward spiral from a powerful and close companion group into the former shell of themselves, and it's a really good story to see through, even if it's a sad and depressing one. You can interact with many of the gang members in your camp and get to know them well. Like Javier and Bill before they become assholes in the first game, the badass ladies like miss Grimshaw, Tilly and Karen, or even the Marston family. I feel simpathy for these guys. They're good people who unfortunately have to rob here and there because the government screwed them over, and each time they try to do something that can potentially give them a good news, the corrupt gorvernment + other gangs has to come in and ruin everthing. If they live in the modern time, they could have been rescued by government officials who actually are honest and want to replace the current government to give the right chance for people, like Michael Townley from GTA V, but they don't have such luxury. Old west sucks ass.

 

The best thing about the game's story mode is of course, like the first game, there's an epilogue you can play. Which strangely enough is NOT an epilogue, but it's as if the whole 70% of the previous things you did are just the prologue while the epilogue is where the real game begins, if that makes any sense. It's like Assassin's Creed 3, but you play as Haytham for 70% of the game before finally playing as Connor. Or LA Noire where you play as Cole before playing as Jack Kelso for the rest of the game, but instead of playing as Kelso for just 3 missions, you play as Kelso during the middle of the Vice case. In this case, you of course play as John Marston, which segways beautifully into the first Red Dead Redemption.

 

I actually knew that this is going to happen considering that Rockstar did this thing all the time ever since the first Red Dead Redemption, so I purposefully skipped a lot of the Strangers quest so I can play them as John to get the best experience out of playing him, but I didn't expect John's section to be THIS GOOD! It's not just a 1 mission thing like the first game, but you actually go through his life that leads to him making the ranch from the first game. Ever wonder why Uncle is there even though all he does is lazying around all day? Now you know. And the best part is that if you actually started a Strangers quest as Arthur and didn't complete it, John will actually reference it to the quest giver. He'll say "my friend Arthur did this and he wanted me to complete the rest, so here I am to help" so it avoids awkard moment of the quest giver treating you as the same person as Arthur. THAT'S FUCKING AWESOME! Kudos for that attention to detail Rockstar, even though you worked your employees 100 hours per week.

 

Anyone who played the first Red Dead Redemption game should feel right at home here. The Dead Eye mechanic, buying and customizing weapons which is now elaborate like GTA5, the honor mechanic but no Fame mechanic, the tight gunplay, the various gambling minigames, strangers missions, the exploration, they're all here and so so much better. The most impressive ones though are the random side missions that's not a stranger mission, but they are still very elaborate. You know how in the first game the stranger missions are structured like: you go to the white circle and activate the mission? They're still here, but the random events are 10 times more varied and even better than the stranger missions. There's the simple ones like rescuing a kidnapped victim, fighting someone in a saloon, helping carriages to safety, helping a guy that's caught in a bear trap, helping people who got attacked by wolves, but there's the crazy fucking deep ones like helping a father and his sons build a house by giving them woods from helping a foreman in the forrest, finding out that a store owner trapped a poor man in his basement and dress him as his 6 year old child because he's a fucking lunatic, go to a house which has a hillbilly inbred couple

Go to a swamp which has a crying woman, only to find out that she belongs to a cannibal cult that immediately jumps for you, meet some dumbass KKK clan members

and SO. SO. SO. SO. SO many more that you can pretty much make an entire game just filled with these things, and that game would still be fucking awesome.

 

The new thing that this game have though is the RPG the horse caring mechanic & self management mechanic. Your horse is your best friend in this game. By increasing your bond with it, you increase its stats & it will unlock abilities which are useful for traveling later, and if a horse die, it dies for good and all that effort taking care of it is pretty much gone which will make you sad and angry, until you found out that you can just load a save file to save the horse. :D

 

You have to eat, rest, smoke and drink to fill up your 3 bars: health, stamina & dead eye. The inner layer that is, the outer layer gets replenished by drinking tonics like in the first game. You can increase them by doing stuff like hunting animals, doing trick shots to enemies, running a lot and fighting people a lot. Common sense stuff also applies here. If you eat too much, you'll get fat. If you eat to little, you'll get thinner. And if you don't sleep enough, you'll get dizzy and it'll make shooting harder. You can cook animal meat in camp to get items that restore these 3 bars the best instead of getting foods from the general store or looting which restores a few. So my advice is to cook a lot so you have a lot of these things to heal yourself.

 

Oh speaking of hunting....... holy shit does the animal skinning gets extremely realistic to the point of scarring me for life. You know how in the first game you don't actually see an animal get skinned? Now you can see the whole damn process. The first time I saw a deer got skinned in this game, I was shocked so much.

I didn't think they would actually go there, but then it got worse. MUCH MUCH WORSE!

Each time an alligator got skinned, I cringe from how painfull it looks.

 

There's also camping management, which reminds me of Oregon Trail. You can donate meat + goods + money into the camp, and then you can upgrade it to give you benefits, like having a fast travel, a medicine cart to give you health items and others. You can also do chores for the camp which increases you honor and core stats, and talk with a lot of the gang members like I mentioned before. By donating animal skins or carcases to the resident cook Pearson, you can customize your camp to make it more stylish and craft pouches which increases your items count. Unfortunately these things will be undone once you switch to John, and by the time you switch to him, you can just buy the increase inventory pouches from the black market, so you better off just selling these things to the market.

 

As much as I LOVE this game a lot though, this game isn't perfect. Because no game is perfect. I encountered several annoying things that fortunately are small issues. Like the fact that for some damn reason, controlling your horse in this game is so sensitive that I often smash into people in the streets even though all I want is to speed up a bit, which causes them to report me to the cops and I had to pay my bounty. How initially the gun control is tricky because you actually have to cock your gun by either pressing LT or the shoot button again before firing the next round, which thankfully you don't have to do with semi auto guns. Also these things:

It's also annoying that even though you have an auto horse ride feature if you go to cinematic mode and just let the button go, your darn horse can do something dumb like hitting other horse carriages and hitting a moving train, which killed the horse and causes me to reload a previous save.

 

The fact that other than Dead Eye, once you switch to John, your health, stamina, money and Honor levels are reset. I actually like this because that means I get to finally play the real Red Dead Redemption 2 game with him, but COME ON, I had $3,000 before! Which fortunately doesn't matter because you get MUCH more after you play the final main quest. But the worst part is that you can't swim after this. Which is a funny nod to the first game, but I like swimming damn it!

 

And for some unexplained reason, I encountered a lot of glitches in this game, like npcs popping up, items floating, Pinkerton agent badges floating in front of them, this

 

Or this

It's funny though so I don't mind. :D 

 

Overall, need I say more? Get this game NOW! I give this my rating of "so awesome you will play this again and again" with a badass seal of approval.

Image result for badass seal of approval

Potential GOTY for sure. I would not mind at all if there's going to be a DLC that continues after the epilogue, or even continues the first Red Dead Redemption's epilogue so it makes the game title make sense because Red Dead Redemption 2 is NOT a sequel. Yet. Let's see how the Red Dead Redemption 2 online is like.

 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to help strangers & complete all the strangers quest, while hopefully not getting my horse hit a tree head on. And play Hitman 2!

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