Red Dead Redemption 2 (out now on PS4, XB1) is a beautiful masterpiece of a game, writes Peter Hitchin.
You play as Arthur Morgan, an enforcer in a gang run by Dutch Van De Linde in the dying days of the Wild West.
The game starts with you fleeing to the mountains as you escape the law after a heist goes wrong.
As the game progresses you unlock more and more locations and upgrades as you try to keep the gang together through failed plots, conspiracies and tragedy.
Most of the missions are beautifully constructed and fun, although there are the occasional few that are a little repetitive and don’t live up to the same high standards.
Combat is expertly executed, with weapons being customisable with different attachments, metals and engravings.
The weapons also require regular maintenance to keep them at their best and prevent jamming.
Hunting animals also provides a fresh new take from the game’s predecessor Red Dead Redemption, with the ability to examine animals to see the quality of their pelts (either Pristine, Good or Poor) before you take them down, along with what weapon is needed to maintain the quality (the wrong type of weapon or failure to take them out with a single shot means it can go down a rank or even straight down to poor).
Fighting enemies can be a bit of an issue, however, since sometimes shots that are clearly on target just don’t hit for some reason.
Sometimes on certain shots you are given amazing close-ups of your character firing his weapon in dramatic slow-motion, which looks like a John Wu movie when using dual wield pistols.
In regards to graphics, Rockstar games have gone above and beyond. The game looks stunning and the two-minute loading times are well worth the wait due to the collosal size of the map. The incredible graphics emphasise how well they’ve used the Rockstar Advanced Games Engine to design the game to its full capacity.
Creatures make footprints in the snow and snow leaves traces on your clothes, while the water effects with waterfalls and rapids and even the realistic hygiene (you will get dirty unless you wash and your hair will grow) are incredible.
The ability to take photos with the in-game camera allows for some shots of cinematic scenery to be expertly taken. Your photos look good enough to be used by Rockstar for their promotional material.
In regards to the new online mode of the game, I can only talk about the beta which was recently released.
Rockstar have made a fun, unique and yet challenging environment and have promised to tackle toxicity in many methods which will be interesting to see when online officially launches, considering this was a massive problem with GTA Online.
My only problem is the money you make in game being too harsh as it requires hours of grinding just to get a new weapon or a new horse, although Rockstar have promised to change the rewards for completing online missions and events to be more in line with that with the story.
Overall, the game is astonishing and the hard work that the Rockstar employees have put in has paid off and, although I disagree with the 100 hour weekly shifts that employees had to endure, I know Rockstar Games will reimburse the employees with grand gestures as they always do.
Knowing this game has grossed over a billion dollars within the first week alone, it’s not like they can’t afford it.
There are some slight issues such as the occasional repetitive mission and the harsh online economy, but Rockstar are constantly listening to feedback in regards to online (something I will be playing constantly due to me finishing the story mode and the epilogue) and improving the experience for their loyal fans so I have no qualms that these will be ironed out in time.
GAMER GUY RATING: 9/10
Peter Hitchin is a Milton Keynes-based computer game reviewer. To send him a game to review for Celebrate:MK, email him on firstname.lastname@example.org