Red Dead Redemption 2

The follow up to Red Dead Redemption is almost upon us and it looks great. Is anyone else here looking forward to it? Here’s the trailer if you haven’t already seen it:

Out of the last generation of games, Red Dead Redemption stood out due to it’s unique setting in an ocean of medieval fantasy worlds and modern day metropolises. Although sometimes labeled as GTA on horses, Red Dead Redemption was a true western through and through. I often give up on open world games before completing them due to their repetitive nature, but Red Dead Redemption kept me interested to the end thanks to it’s great storyline, interesting world, and breathtaking environments (for the time). Here’s one of my favourite non-scripted sections from mid-way through the game:

Given the setting of the original game (the end of the Wild West), it wouldn’t make much sense for Red Dead Redemption to have a sequel, so I’m glad they’ve gone the prequel route, apart from the confusing numbering. Since Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel, I don’t any reason why you couldn’t start with this one if you skipped over the original game.

So I bought the game and have played through the first chapter. So far the game has been fairly linear, although I suspect that is about to change. The quality of the writing and visuals is top notch.

I can’t say the same about the frame rate though; I’ve been playing on an original PS4, and it’s clear that this game was designed for the Pro. It’s not unplayable, but when you look around the vast vistas of the game world, there’s a noticeable slow down, which is disappointing considering that the open world is one of the main appeals of this game. Now I have to decide whether I’ll continue playing like this or wait until I have access to my PS4 Pro again. The original Red Dead Redemption ran smoothly on all consoles because there was no better option.

There’s good comparison of all four versions of Red Dead Redemption 2 over on Digital Foundry. This is one game where owning an Xbox One X offers a significiant advantage. On Xbox One X the game runs, for the most part, at a consistent 30fps; the other three versions all feature frame rate drops in busy places, although less so on PS4 Pro.

I’ve been playing some more, and the open world in this game really is great just to exist in. There’s a lot of different actions that you can perform and things in the world that affect how the game is played, such as your temperature dropping after swimming through an icy river. Unlike most other games, many of the gameplay features were considered important enough to warrant their own animations. For example, the simple act of collecting wild plants shows players an animation of Arthur cutting or uprooting the plant, rather than it just showing an innventory screen. There’s a sense of enjoyment that comes from interacting with the world that is about more than just bigger numbers.

Ah yes. Shadow of the Colossus, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and now Red Dead Redemption II. These games are not properly scaled to match the more limited hardware of the PS4/Xbox One compared to the Pro/X variants. This is why having improved hardware is a bad idea, because those with the earlier models suffer a below par experience.

The Red Dead series was always one that I thought I’d get into once I had nothing more interesting to play, but that is proving to never be the case…

Add The Last Guardian to that list. It was certainly playable on the base PS4, but there were noticeable framerate drops in the outdoor sections. In fairness though, the original Shadow of the Colossus had a horrendous framerate, and it wasn’t until a whole new version of the game (the PS3 remaster) came out that the framerate issues were resolved. At least this way there’s an option to experience the games with a smoother framerate within the console generation, so I’m glad that the Pro and X exist. But ideally developers would scale down the graphics instead of the framerate on the base systems.

If you have an Xbox One, maybe check out the original Red Dead Redemption first. It’s backward compatible and should still hold up pretty well. There’s also an earlier game in the series called Red Dead Revolver, but I never played that one so I can’t comment on it.

Damn, they said this game was in development for 8 years! And they worked their employees to the point of abuse!! Everyone is talking about the little unbelievable, subtle, details in the game. I might play it in the near future…

@legaiaflame Did you play Red Dead Redemption 1? If not, it’s worth playing through as RDR2 features some of the same characters. I suppose you could play it after RDR2 and treat it as one big story.

Yes I did. It was a while ago though, I’ll probably need a refresher.

I’ve been playing through Red Dead Redemption 2 on PS4 Pro. It really is a beautiful game visually, and although it doesn’t run in 4K, if you have a monitor capable of HDR that adds to the spectacle.

Even on the Pro, the game doesn’t run higher than 30fps, but it’s fairly stable/playable at this speed, at least compared to it’s sorry state on the regular PS4. A PC version has just been confirmed which I imagine will play even better at higher framerates (assuming you have the hardware to run it).

I finished Red Dead Redemption 2. Great game. If you’re planning to play the Red Dead Redemption series, I would start with this game as the original game acts as a bit of a spoiler for RDR2 (since RDR1 takes place afterwards). There’s also a nice extended epilogue section which fills in part of the gap between the two stories.

Apparently the developers worked extended hours to make this game possible. In my opinion, they didn’t need to put so much content into the game - it’s huge, but would still have been great if some of the missions were cut. I don’t know enough about the development process to know if such hard work can be justified (consensual or not). But everyone who worked on the game should be proud of the end product that they produced.

You finished it already?! That’s impressive in itself.

I agree that games don’t need so much content. I mean, I spend 100s of hours on Assassin’s Creed games but really I’d have just as much enjoyment if they were 50 hours or so. I suppose I am choosing to play the extra content though; but it’s not like I go around looking for side quests and such. I mostly just do the main story missions and a small bit of extra.

Once I got into it, RDR2 became a really immersive experience, more so than any other games I’ve played - something about the combination of the detail, Wild West setting, story, and open world exploration which other games tend to only do pieces of these well. A top quality production through and through.

I know it’s not in my backlog, but I’m tempted to give GTA5 a try soon while I’m in this Rockstar mood.