1st Reactions on Red Dead Redemption 2

Welcome to the Wild West

Last month, Julian gave his predictions for this highly-anticipated sequel. Red Dead Redemption 2 has lived up to the hype, breaking a bunch of records along the way.

Neither of us have played far enough into the game for a comprehensive review. If looking for a more in-depth review, check out these sites:

We’ll probably do a more serious extensive critique of the game once we’ve progressed further, but here’s our first thoughts!

Julian’s Thoughts

I haven’t even cracked into Chapter 3 of Red Dead Redemption 2, but I can say that it is delivering in all ways promised. The game is bigger, bolder, and better than its predecessor in all ways imaginable. The map is enormous (which is saying something because the first RDR was already one of the biggest games on PS3).

Let’s go hunting

So far, the animals have been the star of this game. Riding and interacting with your horses feels more authentic and realistic than in the past. Hunting has been greatly expanded. There a ton more species you can track, hunt, kill, skin, trade or use otherwise. From rabbits to elk and alligators to bears, RDR2’s animals all behave like their real life counterparts.

One of my earlier deer kills wasn’t the cleanest of kills. After the arrow hit the deer, it dropped. About a second later, it got up and started limping away. When I caught up to it I heard the whines of the wounded doe. I was given the option to put it out of its misery (which I did, I have some humanity). Another time I intervened with a man being attacked by a band of coyotes. After I had dispatched of the beasts, the man was nowhere to be found.

The gunplay is mostly unchanged. That’s not to say it isn’t fun. The Deadeye system is great to get yourself out of trouble and I like now that you can refill it with items versus waiting for it to replenish itself. The rest of the shooting feels good as the guns, bow, knives, etc. behave as you’d expect. However, Rockstar’s combat system usually isn’t its biggest selling point. Rather, the story, characters and open-worldness are what brings people back.

And an open world game this is

The main reason why I am still finishing out Chapter 2 is because I have spent a couple gaming sessions simply hunting. Or at least trying to hunt. Often I set out to hunt and then a random encounter distracts me and next thing I know I’m riding halfway across the (explored so far) map. If I’m near a town I may check in for a poker game to get some of my gambling challenges out the way. Or I might try to complete a bounty hunter mission. By the time I realize where I am and what time it is, I now have to worry about food and sleep.

And not for Arthur. For me, Julian. So while I’ve logged enough hours to be well into Chapter 4 at this point, I’m taking my time and enjoying all the shenanigans this game has to offer.

Fred’s Thoughts

I hadn’t played through the first Red Dead Redemption. Crime, I know (although I don’t know many people who played Read Dead Revolver before that).

I vaguely remember one of my friends starting RDR1 about a decade ago and thinking that the game was too slow for me. There was a lot of walking around and this didn’t really interest me, especially at a time when Modern Warfare 2 was dominating the scene.

The gaming industry typically does a great job of building hype for AAA games well in advance of the launch. Our friend group had been talking about how Red Dead would be the game to pull us away from Fortnite. So far, it’s done exactly that.

Off to a great start!

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy the slower pace of the game compared to my regularly scheduled titles. It’s actually very enjoyable to hop on my horse, put the game in cinematic mode and listen to the stories of the gang members.

For me, the dead eye functionality is reminiscent of Max Payne gameplay. It’s OP while it lasts but doesn’t last very long. I’m really excited to increase my stats and buff my weapons to become the baddest gunslinger out there!

The only downside right now — and this is definitely a personal problem — is that I am way too polite to people due to my internal morale compass. I’ll admit, I ran and asked my fiancee if I should kill someone or let him go in the early goings of the game. I haven’t taken the opportunity to rob or antagonize anyone yet. Instead, I’ve been greeting all the partners and ladies out there while being respectful of their time. Hopefully, I learn to embrace the gunslinging outlaw mentality that I believe is best suited for Red Dead.

I can already tell that this game will eat well over 100 hours in the campaign mode. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the online multiplayer command another couple hundred hours of my free time. It’ll be a balancing act though, since I just started on Madden 19 (Eagles franchise, of course) and will soon be in possession of Super Smash Ultimate.

Red Dead Online is’a Comin’!

There have been leaks and rumors surrounding the release date and features to be included with the highly anticipated Red Dead Online. Since we already talked about what we’d like in the game, there’s no need to rehash them again. Red Dead Online was promised to be released this month so here’s to hoping they don’t push that back any further! Most of us should have plenty of time this coming Thanksgiving weekend to really put some hours into the beta in-between turkey leftovers. Hopefully, Rockstar is thinking the same thing.

Strong Game of the Year Favorite

If there somehow still some doubt brewing in your head, Red Dead Redemption 2 has followed through on its Game of the Year bid. We plan to release our full predictions a little closer to the December 6th announcement date, but RDR2 has obviously been nominated.

How are you liking the new Red Dead? Let us know in the comments below!

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