Updated: Jan 20, 2019
Coming off Red Dead Redemption, the critically acclaimed western game that revolutionized the genre of both westerns and open-world titles, is a daunting task for any developer, even for award-winning Rockstar Games. However, Red Dead Redemption II, bluntly, is a worthy sequel to Red Dead Redemption, creating an impressive weaving of story, characters, gameplay, and one of the most developed and authentic worlds in gaming history. Like its predecessor, Red Dead Redemption II revolutionizes the genre and creates an experience that is raw and what future open-world games will be compared to. Weaving itself into an interchanged web of disparate parts, this latest release from Rockstar Games will be remembered for its iconic developing of an engaging, riveting story, deliberate gameplay, and an open-world that seeps throughout the experience.
Starring an entirely brand-new protagonist in withered outlaw Arthur Morgan, the game tells the story of Dutch Van der Linde, the iconic antagonist in the predecessor, and his gang’s pitiful downfall through the innovations of civilizations. Serving as a direct prequel, the writers implement similar thematic material as seen in Red Dead Redemption. It deals with the innovations of civilization, capitalism, and the lack of reverence for the old ways. However, Red Dead Redemption II hits these themes far better than the original as it fully explores the emotional turmoil that does arise when civilization determines it has had enough of the Wild West. Arthur Morgan and his voice actor, Roger Clark, are engaging thanks to Morgan’s authentic voice and the uncertainty that rides with the character throughout, finally boiling to a point in the heart-wrenching finale.
Returning character Dutch Van der Linde is memorable and given far more to do here. He easily steals every scene with his lustered charisma, but the story of both his and his gang’s downfall is constantly reminded of, making his transition from a heartened leader to a sore, withered outlaw all the more resonant. Possible one of the most anticipated returns from the original is John Marston, the main protagonist in the original game. While the character isn’t used much in the story, with most of the screen-time being lent to Arthur, Dutch, and company, what he is given proves to be outstanding and serves as a direct bridge into Red Dead Redemption. Marston isn’t seen as the caring family man in this game, but rather a shadow of what he becomes. Like Dutch, his transition from <