“Red Dead Redemption 2” scratched an itch I’ve had for a while. That itch would be an open-world game that is good and actually has a lot to do in it.
A lot of open sandbox games boast about having a huge and open world to explore, but there is usually almost nothing to actually do in it. “Red Dead Redemption “2 always has activities for the player to take place in, and it incentivises players to do so.
The main story for the game takes place before the first “Red Dead Redemption” starring Arthur Morgan. Morgan is part of a gang of outlaws during a time when various large companies are starting to take over as main players in American influence.
The Wild West is slowly becoming less and less wild. One such factor being that a simple robbery turns out to have much larger consequences than the gang can foresee. The main story takes you to all of the different areas in the game and shows you how the game works at a steady pace that lets you learn the mechanics, then get tested on how to use them through various missions that follow.
Each section builds upon the last and never leaves a feature behind. There are plenty of side missions along with a plethora of challenges to accomplish and secrets to find.
Morgan can also choose to contribute things that he collects such as animals, money, and precious goods such as jewelry and other unique items to upgrade the gang’s camp. This can give the player benefits such as ammo, food items, and medicine that are readily available instead of having to be purchased or stolen.
There is also a sort of karma system in the game where if Morgan does more honorable things, then he will get good karma. On the other hand, killing innocent people will give him bad karma. This system affects not only the prices in stores, but it also affects how people interact with Morgan.
I had shot a gun store owner in the face and I came back a few days later to see he was still alive, had a patch over his eye, and was a little crass with me upon returning to upgrade a gun.
The upgrades for the guns in the game are pretty cool, but they tend to just be the same cosmetic upgrades copy and pasted for each gun. The player can choose to change the color of the metal, get engravings, and change the color of the wood for each gun.
Some also support part upgrades, but the upgrades are pretty limited at the start to barrel extensions and some scopes. I know that it’s the early 1900’s, but the scopes suck.
Combat is really fun and fluid. The game takes the usually cover system that most “Grand Theft Autos” and “Red Dead Redemption” have and made some improvements.
Most games before made it so if the player is aiming, they can roll if they push the jump button. They changed it now so that the player does a quick dive to the ground to dodge, then gets back up relatively slowly. This makes more sense for combat, especially once the online multiplayer releases.
The weapon wheel now consists of only two pistols and two rifle-style weapons. This makes sense and makes having a horse a must since all of the stowed weapons can be accessed and changed on the fly.
Horses have a lot of customization choices. Players can choose different saddles, saddle accessories, and how the mane and tail look. Having different saddles will have different effects on how the horse rides. Horses take time to bond with the rider. As the horse’s bond levels up, their amount of stamina and health go up as well.
Cores are the main mechanic when it comes to maintaining Morgan’s stamina, health, and Dead Eye gauges. On the screen will be three gauges for each of those things plus two more for the horse’s health and stamina if you’re riding one.
Eating and drinking different items and provisions in the game will maintain those cores, allowing the gauges to replenish to full. Failing to maintain a certain core has drawbacks like slower movement and less health. These are very easy to maintain, but still makes it so the player doesn’t forget to actually do things like sleep and eat food.
Weather elements also have a factor in health and stamina. If Morgan goes somewhere where it’s too hot or cold and he doesn’t dress accordingly, then those cores will be negatively affected unless he wears the appropriate clothing.
There is a huge amount of clothing options for him too. Jackets, tailcoats, suspenders, boots, and so much more are all different options. The player can make up to three custom outfits for Morgan and can have those stowed onto the horse, allowing there to be clothes for any temperature.
Some of my gripes with the game are the usual ones that come with open world games like “Red Dead Redemption 2.” I tended to get a little burned out with all of the things you had to do. Riding a horse for a long while felt a little boring after doing it so many times.
There are fast travel stations in the form of trains and carriages, but if Morgan has a bounty on his head in a certain region, then those things become unusable until that bounty gets paid. The guns are accurate in terms of how they operate. A single action revolver has to be re-cocked after each shot.
The only problem is that Morgan doesn’t do this automatically. These animations usually only really activate if you stop aiming, then aim back down sights. Otherwise, you have to press the trigger to fire once to recock the weapon and again to fire. This can take some getting used to and has costed me a fair amount of shots because I thought I had a round to fire.
“Red Redemption 2” is a wonderful addition to the series. A game like this that takes place in the wild west is something that isn’t usually done, and Rockstar did it and did it very well.
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