Red Dead Redemption 2 Review: Riding High in the Wild West

Ever heard of the phrase “You can’t tame the wild wild west; you can only try to survive it.

Because in the wild wild west, a quick draw could mean the difference between life and death

In a delightful twist of fate, Rockstar Games, known for its urban Grand Theft Auto series, has carved a masterpiece from the untamed wilderness. Back in 2010, Red Dead Redemption emerged as a breath of fresh air—a serene, sad contrast to the bustling chaos of GTA’s cityscape. Now, with Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar takes its most significant strides in world-building.

This open world is immense, a treasure trove of detail that defies measurement. Rather than diving into statistics, envision a canvas that rivals even Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in scale. It’s not just a city or state; it’s a sprawling country waiting to be explored, and if you enjoyed the GTA series and have a knack for the cowboys, then Red Dead Redemption is for you. Care to know more before playing, or some tips while playing? Then this piece is for you. Ride along!

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In the sprawling world of Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll immerse yourself in a Western epic. This tale delves into loyalty, conviction, and the consequences of infamy as a motley crew of Wild West Holdouts faces the encroaching forces of civilization and industrialization. Rockstar’s most authentic open world invites you to explore countless activities, meet diverse characters, and venture into uncharted territories. It’s a gaming achievement without compromise, and we’re about to dive into the remarkable journey, its rich history, and why Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game you shouldn’t miss.


In a spellbinding recreation of the American Old West circa 1899, Red Dead Redemption 2 invites you to step into the weathered boots of Arthur Morgan. He’s not your typical cowboy; he’s the linchpin of the infamous Van der Linde gang, and his story unfolds against a backdrop of relentless pursuit. Lawmen, rival gangs, and relentless Pinkerton agents are hot on their trail, spelling doom for this motley crew.

But it’s not just Arthur’s tale that we’re about to embark upon. The narrative takes us on a wild ride with Dutch van der Linde, the legendary John Marston, and the duplicitous Micah Bell.

In the gritty aftermath of a botched heist in the frontier town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan finds himself in a high-stakes game of survival. And with the notorious Van der Linde gang, he’s got more than just his past nipping at his heels. Federal agents and the most relentless bounty hunters in the nation are closing in fast, and the gang’s only way out is to embrace a life of crime, theft, and relentless battles across the unforgiving American heartland.

Amidst the chaos, internal strife simmers within the gang, threatening to rip them apart at the seams. Arthur must navigate treacherous moral terrain, torn between his convictions and unwavering loyalty to the gang that raised him.

Basically, in a Wild West saga like no other, Red Dead Redemption 2 kicks off in the wake of a disastrous ferry heist gone wrong in Blackwater. The notorious Van der Linde gang, led by the Dutch, begins a desperate flight through snow-covered mountains, leaving behind their fortune. The gang’s eclectic roster includes the likes of Arthur Morgan, John Marston, and Hosea Matthews.

To fund their escape, they target the wealth of oil magnate Leviticus Cornwall, triggering the relentless pursuit of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Amid mounting chaos, Dutch harbors dreams of one last grand heist, but the gang’s unraveling loyalties and moral dilemmas cast a shadow over their future. As Arthur grapples with his mortality, the gang’s fate hangs in the balance, leading to a climactic showdown, emotional farewells, and the first steps into the narrative of the original Red Dead Redemption game.

However, aside from the main storyline, this game is also exceptional in many off-mission stories that are as interesting and amusing. In the vast expanse of Red Dead Redemption 2’s world, the ability to stay endlessly captivating is nothing short of extraordinary. It’s not just the sheer size and diversity that keep things fresh; it’s the pulse of life coursing through every inch of this remarkable frontier. While this rural landscape may lack the bustling density of Grand Theft Auto V‘s urban sprawl, it compensates with an abundance of discoveries waiting to be unearthed.

Here, the wilderness teems with wildlife to encounter, individuals to engage with (and perhaps lend a helping hand), and locales that beg to be explored. The true magic lies in the feeling that this world exists, uncaring of your presence; it goes about its business whether you choose to intervene or not.

You can idly observe lumberjacks chopping timber in a bustling logging camp. While playing, I’ve, like many others, trailed a perplexed Englishman as he frantically searched for his missing friend, “Gav.” None of these experiences are pivotal to Arthur’s journey, the main story, but they craft a living, breathing world around him, making you feel like a visitor rather than the center of the universe.


In the rugged world of Red Dead Redemption 2, you’re not just a passive spectator; you’re the star of a gripping Western action adventure. This open-world masterpiece offers a potent mix of single-player and online multiplayer experiences packed with exciting new features that raise the stakes.

From wielding a bow and arrow to mastering the art of dual-wielding revolvers, wading through rushing rivers, and navigating waterways in a canoe, this game breathes fresh life into the Wild West. Hunting and wildlife have received a major upgrade, making your encounters with the untamed world all the more thrilling.

But it’s the power of choice that truly sets Red Dead Redemption 2 apart. Your decisions mold the story and dictate how missions unfold. Will you charge headfirst into danger or send in your gang members as sacrificial pawns? The fate of the frontier rests in your hands.

Your interactions with NPCs have reached a new level of depth. You can engage in friendly banter, make sinister threats to empty their pockets, or take the extreme route and leave no witnesses behind.

Shooting in RDR is so unreal..viewers discretion advised when playing

You can also immerse yourself further by maintaining your gear – a dirty weapon is an unreliable one. Customize your character’s appearance with a visit to the local barber, but remember, your style evolves naturally over time. Dress appropriately for the weather, stay well-fed, and maintain personal hygiene; every detail matters in this vast, living world.

The gameplay is like you are living a virtual reality life in the harsh conditions of the Wild West, and the choices that you make will determine the trajectory of your story in the game. It is an exciting world as if you are living in the game. For instance, at the start of every morning, as most people do in real life, you can get yourself a cup of coffee, which you would have to brew. The gameplay is as close to a real-life experience as games get.

Also, Rockstar made hunting and fishing a lifeline skill to have. These skills provide sustenance, crafting materials, and a much-needed source of income in the rugged frontier. Players face a diverse array of fish to catch, requiring the right bait and strategy.

When hunting, patience, precision, and weapon choice matter; an animal’s size determines the firearm to use or the stealthy bow for a clean kill. After success, players must decide whether to skin or transport the animal, with decaying pelts affecting value and attracting predators. These resources can be sold, cooked at camp, or crafted into items, including exotic goods from trappers, enriching the immersive frontier experience. You see? Very close to real-life experience. It’s way more realistic than other open-world games, even the GTA V.

Experience nature whilst living a brutish lif


When it comes to graphics, Red Dead Redemption 2 stands as a testament to Rockstar’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of gaming visuals. If GTA V was a visual milestone for the previous generation, RDR2 sets the bar even higher. The level of detail is nothing short of breathtaking, from the play of light and shadow to the intricate textures of plants and the lifelike facial animations. Whether you’re admiring the authenticity of clothing, the majestic horses, or even the swaying of hair, every element in this world is a visual feast.

But it’s not just the visuals that shine; the game’s auditory experience is equally exceptional. Sound effects resonate realistically, echoing through mountainous terrains, immersing you further into the rugged frontier. And let’s not forget the brilliant soundtrack that underscores the entire experience. From moody melodies that set the tone to perfectly chosen country songs during pivotal moments, the audio landscape is a masterpiece in its own right. While debates about gameplay and realism continue, there’s no denying that Red Dead Redemption 2 is a tour de force in both looks and sounds, a true work of gaming artistry.

Rockster never plays with their Graphics mechs; Red Dead Redemption is never an exception


Red Dead Redemption 2 is far more than just the tale of its main character; it’s a symphony of remarkable elements that elevate it to greatness. From unforgettable secondary characters who breathe life into the narrative to a captivating prologue that sets the stage and missions that keep you hooked, this game is an epic journey through the Wild West. But what truly sets it apart is the countless choices it offers players, making every playthrough a unique adventure. While these aspects make it incredibly replayable, there’s still more to uncover beneath the surface of this gaming gem. However, here are some very good reasons that aids the replayability of Red Dead Redemption 2:

Gold Medals:

During the first playthrough, achieving all 104 gold medals in Red Dead Redemption 2’s story missions can feel like a daunting task. The option to replay missions exists, but few are eager to revisit especially challenging ones. However, when players decide to embark on a replay, a world of possibilities opens up. Whether it’s aiming for the coveted Gold Rush trophy, requiring gold medals in 70 missions, or going the extra mile to secure all 104, the journey is in their hands. It’s a test of patience and skill, but replaying this epic adventure means seizing all the rewards that initially beckoned but were left behind in the pursuit of progress.

Opposite Choice Options:

You might not be the one to be so freaked about stacking all the golds; I am somewhat like that, too. However, you might be interested in what would happen if you do things differently. Well, since it is a game of choice, you might wonder what would be the possible outcome of the decisions you had taken at one point in the game.

Hunting All The Animals:

This was one of the reasons why I replayed both Red Dead Redemption and Far Cry 3: The Hunting. Beyond the enthusiastic animal hunters, many players simply engage in hunting when the game demands it, giving it little thought. However, during replays, a remarkable discovery awaits as gamers delve into the art of hunting and realize the genuine enjoyment it brings. From mastering the proper storage of pelts to discovering the power of intimidating bears through eye contact, a whole new dimension emerges. With a staggering 38 species and 234 animals to explore, including captivating challenges tied to their pursuit, the world of hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2 unveils its hidden treasures, enticing players to embrace this overlooked aspect of the game.

100% Heroic Completion:

In gaming achievements, obtaining 100% completion in Red Dead Redemption 2 is a very difficult feat that transforms players into bona fide heroes. The sheer magnitude of this undertaking comes to life when one considers the 107 story missions, 10 stranger missions, five bounty hunter missions, 25 chance encounters, gang ambush survival, and the clearance of 6 gang hideouts—each consuming a substantial amount of time. But that’s just the beginning; there are collectibles, the compendium, player stats, and miscellaneous tasks, each with their unique objectives. The reward for this epic journey? The prestigious Best in the West Trophy and an elusive secret cutscene.


Red Dead Redemption 2 is like a time machine, taking players on a journey to the 19th-century Wild West, where the rugged life of a cowboy unfolds before their eyes. It’s not just an ordinary game; it’s an extraordinary adventure that promises enjoyment for everyone who steps into its world. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just starting Red Dead Redemption 2 offers an immersive experience that transports you to a bygone era, letting you live the life of a Wild West outlaw, and it’s an escapade that you won’t want to miss.


  • Complex story with the ending beautifully handled
  • Best open world of all time with great variety of activities & is highly detailed
  • Great Graphics


  • Slow Burn is highly guaranteed. eg epilogue is 4 hours and 22 minutes long
  • Throwaway survival mechanic that brings nothing new to the open world genre

Red Dead Redemption 2

Very Good

Great game with bewilderingly beautiful. Lush, epic landscapes complete with weather and a believably full cast of flora and fauna. Kudos to Rockstar!

Joshua Daniel
PS4 version reviewed