Fourth Coast Entertainment -

Red Dead Redemption 2

 

Last updated 1/1/2019 at 11:10am | View PDF

Red Dead Redembtion 2

Best. Game. Ever? Rockstar Games has outdone itself with their latest prequel, Red Dead Redemption 2. The game was announced in October 2016, and two years and $265 million later, the game was released on October 26, 2018 for PS4 and Xbox One (single player only, multiplayer released on Nov 30, 2018). The game was immediately a smash hit, gathering in $725 million in the opening 3-day weekend, the biggest opening weekend in the history of entertainment (books, movies, television, games). To put this in perspective, the Boston Bruins paid $160 million to build their new home arena, TD Garden, and they bring in about that same amount each year in revenue. Another comparison would be the highest grossing opening weekend in film history, which was Avengers: Infinity War, which brought in $258 million. A final number to consider is the game's score on Metacritic: 97/100, trailing only Grand Theft Auto IV (2008: 98/100) in the modern era. There is every reason to elevate this game as a new high-water mark in entertainment.

Perhaps the strongest part of the game is the story, set in 1899, twelve years before the original game, and told from the perspective of Arthur Morgan, a long-standing member of the Van der Linde gang. The game picks up following a botched robbery in Blackwater, with the gang fleeing into the hills under the guidance of their leader, Dutch Van der Linde. There are a slew of other characters in the gang, most prominent being John Marston, playing a younger version of the main character from the original game. The game is centered around robbing and stealing, with the primary adversaries being Colm O'Driscoll, a leader of a rival gang, Italian crime lord Angelo Bronte, and Leviticus Cornwall, an Oil Magnate who hires the Pinkertons to protect his interests after a run-in from the Van der Linde gang.

The game mechanics are relatively unchanged from the original game, although there have been some incremental updates, especially the new Dead Eye targeting, allowing the player to target vital organs, which can be especially useful when hunting legendary animals like bison. The horse riding mechanic is also updated, adding RPG elements that allow you to better bond with your horse. There is also more of an emphasis on keeping track of your horse, as any extra inventory items are stowed in saddlebags. This adds an element of realism, as you can now only keep a few items on your person. Weapon customization and animal hunting has also improved significantly, adding the the overall realism of the game.

Rockstar really has really hit one out of the park with this latest release. And if you are not interested in playing the game, many fans have posted gameplay videos on YouTube, and there are a number of live streamers on Twitch as well. Rockstar is in a league of their own, and their latest release raises the bar both for video games and for entertainment in general. In the words of the Comic Book Guy "There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling."

Dr. Anthony Betrus, SUNY Potsdam

The Game Connoisseur

 

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