Behind 100 hours of time spent in the game, the title of the most (not) apt in the Wild West has been deserved, and a callus appeared on the index finger from endless attempts to capture the brightest moments of the game using screenshots. Perhaps now is the time to start writing a review of Red Dead Redemption 2. I must say right away that the new Rockstar Western is undoubtedly a success and has a mesmerizing property to charm in the first ten hours of the game. But the more you play, the more often you notice that RDR 2 is not devoid of offensive flaws that should not be in projects of this level.
American Robin Hood
Outside the window is 1899 and civilization is moving by leaps and bounds from east to west, crushing anyone who does not agree with the current order. Former criminals have no choice but to try to merge with the new society or go on the run. The Dutch Van Der Linda gang chose the second path, since for them murder and robbery is not just the only possible way to earn money, but a philosophy of life. How can you resist Dutch's sweet speeches and idealistic phrases like “We are not criminals, we are dreamers! We are just trying to survive by taking money from the rich! ”.
Nicely said, but when you see the chaos happening on the screen, you start to think about the justice of such speeches. And one of the main victories of the writers is the characters of Red Dead Redemption 2, the very accomplices of Dutch, who, at the same time with the player, question their own ideals and draw logical conclusions from their actions. They really want to believe, because we see not a gang of empty-headed dummies, but clearly defined characters, with reliable motivation, lively dialogues and developing characters. Each of them deserves to be the protagonist of yet another Rockstar game.
But the main star of Red Dead Redemption 2 is without a doubt Arthur Morgan. He perfectly plays the role of a village brute and even his incoherent speech speaks of incomplete secondary education. Does that make it worse? Absolutely not, on the contrary, the image of a simpleton contrasts perfectly with the white puffed collars that symbolize the civilized world, which creates a huge number of comic situations. And what to say about Arthur's sense of humor, just know that if the world's most popular stand-up stand existed in the 19th century, Arthur Morgan would definitely take his place.
True, it will not work to empathize with him in the first hours. As a character, Arthur will begin to develop only after a couple of dozen hours of play, and until that moment, the passage of Red Dead Redemption 2 is a sketch from the usual gangster everyday life. Where the main goal is to collect more money, and the methods of achieving the goal are already a secondary matter. However, if it seems to you that Dutch's gang behave like real scum, no one bothers to go even further in terms of misconduct in the open world of the game, or vice versa, become a saint, who only lacks a halo over his head from Fable. Freedom of choice is one of the main differences between RDR 2 and the GTA series.
The Witcher 4: Redemption
In almost every story quest, you have small forks, which are often primitive, but add an extra reason to replay the game. In this case, more global decisions occur: who should be spared, and who should be prescribed a lethal dose of lead in the head. And you can always count on seeing the consequences of your fateful decisions. In this sense, the nonlinearity is real and allows once again to believe in the world of Red Dead Redemption 2. At the same time, one should not forget the reputation system, which affects both the plot and the reaction of the world with which he meets Arthur.
True, often story missions can upset an abundance of scripts. For example, you already know that in a minute there will be noise, screams and deafening firing mixed with brutal action, but if you have a clear task to kill a secretly defined enemy and you decide to start firing a couple of moments before the moment set by the scenario, then the game will count Game Over. Situations like these aren't ubiquitous, but their presence really hits the final impressions of story missions.
Another thing is additional quests, which can be divided into two categories: random encounters and large-scale tasks with cutscenes, which often result in a whole quest line. In random activities, you almost always have a choice of what to do and if you do not leave a stranger in trouble, then after 10 hours he can easily be found in another corner of the map with a reward for the player or new problems.
Additional missions often provide less freedom of choice, but they are delivered no worse than the quests in the main storyline. In this case, Rockstar really kept its promise to blur the line between main and side missions. In the first dozens of hours in the game Red Dead Redemption 2, you catch yourself thinking that, indeed, if there were no divisions into yellow and white icons, you would hardly guess which quest is designed to move the plot, and the other is just an additional method to entertain the player in the open world ... Sometimes they may not be that big, but they are often done with creativity and offer completely unique game mechanics.
For example, like a standard quest to take a photo of a famous bounty hunter. You come to him at the ranch, and he sets a condition: you, my friend, will first remove the manure for the pigs in the pen, and then, perhaps, I will fulfill your request. Since the game is extremely uncompromising, Arthur will in fact have to remove manure after animals. A more specific spectacle for AAA games is only washing urinals in Mafia 2. But Rockstar does not betray their ideals and throw some comedy trash to defuse the atmosphere: after 5 minutes Arthur decides to harm the farmer to blow up dynamite manure and sprinkle him with rain from ... ahem, in general, you get the idea.
And this is the whole game of Red Dead Redemption 2 - you never know how the quest will develop and the Rockstars successfully juggle not only game genres, but also scenario ones, offering to face real sadistic maniacs in a couple of hours of gameplay, constructing sculptures from human remains, then chase the dwarf magician, and fly over the clouds in a balloon for the seed. The ball example is a spoiler, of course, but how else to convince skeptics that RDR 2 offers a lot more different types of adventures than unhurried dialogues, hours of horse racing and the usual robbery genre.
If we compare the elaboration of all, even additional quests with something, then only "The Witcher 3" comes to mind, except that in RDR 2, nonlinearity fell victim to an expensive production.
Brave New World
But even with a colossal amount of hand-crafted creativity, a boring routine cannot be avoided, which can be the main disappointment for those who decide to buy or download Red Dead Redemption 2, waiting for non-stop action. Rockstar took an unprecedented step and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a game that wasn’t designed for a wide audience. The gameplay of Red Dead Redemption 2 is extremely leisurely and avoids a huge amount of game conventions. Haven't eaten for a long time? Receive penalties to Arthur's stamina and vitality. Forgot to wear a warm fur coat in cold regions? How about frostbite. Did you leave your horse and run away on foot towards adventure? Then don't even whistle, the horse won't hear you and won't come to the rescue.
At the same time, any action is accompanied by long, detailed animations to the smallest detail, and at some moments, for example, in a camp, Arthur moves extremely slowly and even a simple walk around several characters on an area of 20 square meters. may take several minutes of real time. Not everyone will like this approach. The game is designed for those players who value dimension for the sake of showiness and will be able to accept the costs of realism in order to be able to live in a world full of possibilities.
No one forces you to torture yourself with horseback riding and explore the open world of Red Dead Redemption 2. There is no grinding required - just follow the yellow markers on the map and get 40 hours of storyline. But those who nevertheless decide to accept the inhospitable rules of the game and decide to study what some of the richest developers in the game industry have been working on for 8 years, the most visually impressive, rich and lively open world in history awaits.
And it's not only about a reliable simulation of the animal world or townspeople who lead a completely conscious life (an illustrative example), but about the total amount of content that is hidden in Red Dead Redemption 2. The game is constantly trying to surprise and you never know where you can get a new quest. For example, he gave a coin to a random beggar - he got a tip to rob an underground gaming club, and even such a petty task is replete with unique animation, nonlinearity and dialogues. Or the game surprises in those cases when you absolutely do not expect it - you decided to go to the play, and as a result became the main star of the number, and the action does not develop in the cutscene, but offers lively gameplay.
Or, when exploring the world, you can get on a family of maniacs offering to drink a couple of glasses with them - nothing remarkable at first glance, but in the final, an ordinary get-together with a couple of freaks turns into almost the best quest in the whole game, and he even map is not highlighted. The same goes for the smallest houses and abandoned huts scattered around the game world - almost all of them offer a mini story with notes and unique items.
And the last moment - just once again running along the same path, you can find unique orchestrated situations after 100 hours of play. The gameplay of Red Dead Redemption 2 doesn't offer anything new, but the insane attention to detail and the incredible amount of hand-crafted and expensively delivered content is undeniably, if not a breakthrough, then a new level for the entire gaming industry.
And as a bonus - great graphics with the most beautiful weather effects to date, crisp textures, phenomenal draw range, global illumination and nextgen animation. Red Dead Redemption 2 on PS4 makes The Witcher 3 look like a game from the last generation of consoles (of course, we are talking about the PS4 version). And this is not at all a stone in the Polish garden, for 2015 The Witcher 3 was out of competition, but the fact that Rockstar managed to create on the hardware of 5 years ago cannot be called anything other than a technical miracle. However, it was not without bloom blurring the environment, masking rare flaws, but with a general assessment of the picture, you can close your eyes to this fact.
Saucepan in a barrel of honey
If you've read this far and are still not tired of praising the merits of Red Dead Redemption 2, then you can move on to the disadvantages. For example, bugs - sometimes my faithful weapon disappeared without a trace, on which I spent a lot and decorated it to my taste, but this is nothing compared to the case when I lost several storylines from the camp for 2 chapters (40 hours of playing time) characters, and with them not only dialogues, but also unique tasks. Another point is that the game does not try to explain the numerous gameplay mechanics or does it in the case when it has already played more than 60 hours, and still do not understand some of the basics of the same hunt.
As much as I praise the elaboration and detail of the animations, after many hours of gameplay they start to slowly but surely annoy. And even taking into account the rich content of the world, you feel regret that the game does not have the usual fast travel system. Also the problem is in the economic system of the game. In one story mission of Red Dead Redemption 2, the developers pour such amounts into the player's account that there is simply nowhere to spend them, and the need to loot corpses, look for treasures and engage in robberies disappears by itself.
Random encounters are also a moment that fails after a long passage of RDR 2. As the game progresses, some of them begin to repeat themselves, and even different variations of the same event do not always help, since not only situations, but also dialogues. And the plot is not as straightforward as it seems at first glance.
In fact, trying to write a review of Red Dead Redemption 2 and disassemble the game, you can make more than a dozen claims to the Rockstar Western, and if you also don't like unhurried adventures, then RDR 2 can become the perfect punching bag for taking out anger. But at the same time, it's a real crime not to notice how much hand-crafted creative content the developers have incorporated into their game. This is simply colossal work and a real giant in the era of loot boxes, auto-generation of quests and locations, with which numerous developers are trying to disguise their own creative impotence and delay the player for a little more time.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game that, even after 100 hours and completing the storyline, not only presents unique stories, but also opens up new gameplay mechanics and generously encourages gamers who decide to explore the open world. An unprecedented level of attention to detail, quality and quantity of absolutely any content. While there is no guarantee that you will be delighted with RDR 2, but try the new project Rockstar should even those who any mention of the games "Rockstar" cause gagging, and the Western genre seems to be a mistake of nature.
See also Red Dead Redemption 2: Gameplay Secrets Part 1, Part 2 and 7 Tips Before Starting a Game.
The Topic of Article: Red Dead Redemption 2 Honest Review - Impressions After 100 Hours of Play.