‘Red Dead II’ is deadly good

Micheal Schantz, Contributing Writer

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“Red Dead Redemption II” is a vast open-world action/adventure game created by Rockstar Games. It’s a prequel to the 2010 hit “Red Dead Redemption”.

“Red Dead Redemption II” takes place in the year 1899 in an industrializing America. The game plays as an interactive Spaghetti Western film featuring its’ fair share of saloons, revolvers, and tumbleweeds. As the game progresses, the player encounters adaptive environments; one second it might be a beautiful sunny afternoon then next thing you know, there is a seamless shift to torrential downpour.

You play as Arthur Morgan, a member of the notorious Van der Linde gang of outlaws. The gang’s leader, Dutch Van der Linde, convinced Arthur to run away from home to join his gang. Throughout his tale you learn that being on the wrong side of the law is not all bad.  You quickly learn that Arthur has a big heart (when he wants to show it) and that he is simply a victim of his circumstance.

The game follows Rockstar’s previously-succesful format that many may recognize from their “Grand Theft Auto” series. The player is free to do whatever they please, including highjacking trains, fulfilling wanted bounties from the town’s Sherriff or completing missions from various NPC’s (Neutral Player Characters) that are littered throughout the game. The gunplay is tight and features the “deadeye” operation that was previously featured in the first “Red Dead Redemption.” Deadeye mode allows the player to enter a slow-motion state for deadly precision with their weapon when outnumbered by the law.

Perhaps the biggest draw of “Red Dead Redemption II” is how realistic the game plays. For instance, Arthur Morgan’s hair and facial hair grow as you continue to play the game.  If the player wants him to look decent they will have to remember to make him shave before he leaves the bandit hideout. If you let Arthur neglect showering, other characters will be dismissive towards him, which will affect his experiences.  Additionally, the player must make Arthur eat, drink and even smoke to ensure he has his wits about him before entering a gunfight.

This realism even extends to how Arthur dresses.  If he wears short sleeves in the cold he will suffer and if he wears a coat in the summer he can’t run very far before becoming exhausted. Oh yeah, and horse testicles shrink and expand depending on the temperature.

Rockstar has once again set the standard in open-world gaming. Very few games have a chance of knocking off “Red Dead Redemption II” as game of the year. This is a must-buy for fans of the open world action/adventure and western genres.