Red Dead Redemption II Review By GamesX

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 Red Dead Redemption II
was, no, is a big game.

We’ve played it. We’ve reviewed it.

We’ve talked about it.

But now, years later,
as the dust has cleared,

let’s take a look back, shall we?

It’s always more fun to talk about a game

long, long after you, and really
the rest of gaming culture

has fully digested it.

Let’s dive into Rockstar’s
actual last full game release,

believe it or not, and talk
about what exactly made

Red Dead Redemption II a big deal.

And please be aware, big
fat spoiler alert here.

Some of the main points I wanna make

about this game have to do with the story,

so we’re gonna go deep.

There’s a lot to it.

And of course, as you guys know,

a lot of it is down to
opinion, but let’s see here.

Rockstar released Red Dead
Redemption II October of 2018.

And in a lot of ways,

it was exactly what people were expecting.

A lot of what people were hoping for.

A big, dense, open world to explore

and a well-acted, well-scripted
story to play around in,

filled with memorable characters,

many returning from the
original Red Dead Redemption,

as this was a prequel of course,

and in the game you ride
horses, you shoot dudes,

you do story missions, and
explore the wilderness. 



 You hunt. You find secrets.

You hop on trains.

You explore small towns, a
really impressive big city,

and take care of your character
by eating and bathing.

Now like, yeah, if you wanna
be completely reductive,

it is Grand Theft Auto in the Wild West.

Wanted levels, robberies,
and just open world chaos

and freedom to do whatever
you want is there.

And it’s fun to be a dastardly, evil man,

or a hunter, or a hero.

Rockstar had once again,
created, like a fun

and almost realistic feeling game,

where the shooting, in
third or first person,

just felt raw and weighty
while still being fun.

Fist fights had real good hits

and character movements were slow

and deliberate and realistic,

from aiming your gun to
climbing up something.

Picking up a dead deer you hunted

and throwing it on your horse.

This game was never in a rush,

because it wanted to make it feel

like you were really there in this world,

actually doing the stuff

as the main character Arthur Morgan.

And where the game really takes
its time is with the story.

Like, man, is this like a
lengthy and compelling story

with deep characters

and just an overall uncommon presentation.

I’ll get into that.

Like, the story Red Dead II
tells and how it tells it

is really unlike anything we’ve
seen in many games before.

And it’s where I think the
game is the biggest deal.

Especially looking back years later.

Whereas Red Dead Redemption told a story

of the Wild West kind of winding down

and the modern age cropping up,

Red Dead II takes place more, somewhat,

in the more root in’ toot in’ cowboy times. 



 You actually get to see the
robbin in’ and the steal in’

and the travel in’ the West.

As Arthur Morgan, you’re a
longtime member of Dutch’s gang,

a group of rebels who roam
the West in search of fortune,

often pulling off jobs and
heists to make ends meet.

But after a daring train
heist for the start

that’s very classic Western,

you are quickly slapped in the face

with the sense of community.

You’re not just a group of bad dudes.

I mean, well, there are
definitely some bad dudes

in the gang,

but you’re a group of all different ages

and colors and genders.

From the old man to the
young lady, to the immigrant.

Every person in your gang

is from a completely
different walk of life

and are just trying to make ends meet

in this actual Wild West.

They’re all in search of the, you know,

quote, unquote American
dream, one way or another,

and their own interpretation of it.

And they all just kind
of ended up together.

Traveling by covered
wagons, setting up camp

with one another.

Cooking for one another,
washing clothes for one another,

and looking for jobs in the
towns to pay for necessities.

And finding out how all
these people came together,

slowly through exposition and
backstory, is half the fun,

at least for me.

And the gameplay loop reflects this.

You know, it’s not just
a background story thing

I’m reading too much into.

A large portion of the game is centered

around the loop of waking up
at a camp, checking your gear,

talking to your mates,

and then venturing out
to the nearest town.

Doing jobs for money or
hunting in the woods.

So at the end of the day,

you come back to the
camp and help contribute

to your little community.

Everybody has their own problems

and demons that you can look
into, especially John Marston,

and you, Arthur Morgan,
and Dutch, the leader.



 Now, Arthur Morgan as a main character

is really something else, man.

I love him.

A lot of it is thanks to
the incredible voice acting

by Roger Clark.

He’s iconic here.

And really, ever since Grand Theft Auto 4,

Rockstar has been exploring
increasingly complex

and unconventional and
nuanced main characters.

And I think that’s where
Arthur takes the cake.

There’s a lot you can read from him,

even if some of it is just
opportune interpretation.

You know, he feels like a
real, lived-in character.

He’s not just a parody or like a symbol

of a cowboy that you would
imagine from a movie.

You know, he’s older,
he’s seen some stuff.

And one of my favorite character traits

is that he’s just tired.

He’s tired all the time. About everything.

That’s the main word
I’d use to describe him,

but like, he’s still capable
and he’s still a total badass.

He’s not always the first to talk.

And despite being the gruff ever man,

he’s still willing to listen,

and seems to have at least some
gauge of right versus wrong.

And that makes every scenario with him

and every encounter with another character

really interesting and unpredictable.

It’s like they took the
gruff hearted protagonist

and injected a slight bit of
levity and humanity to it.

And it resulted in, for me,

just a really, really memorable character.

And overall the game
just emphasizes a story

of community and also passing things on.

Now, like, it sounds corny

but a game showcased it in
ways we’ve never seen before.

Like how it handles John Marston

and Arthur Morgan’s
longstanding relationship

and how it carries over after Arthur dies

and the surprisingly long prologue begins.

Have you ever heard a story

from like an old person you know?

Like, oh, when your father
moved to this country,

or, oh, when I started
out, I only had five bucks

and then I met so and so, and you know,

or this person set me on the path.

Or I worked for this.

You know, really any kind
of life tale like that,

the game does a really good job

of showing a real example of that.

And it only really works out and pays off

because it’s a game.

It’s longer than a movie

and you spend so much time
in these characters’ shoes

and in this world that
the idea of one character

passing something on to another character

or really helping them,
setting them on the path,

it actually really pays off.

It’s tangible. 



 Arthur kind of doing the right thing

and setting up John for a better life?

It’s not just that bullet point.

Like I said, it’s a full story beat

that the game lets breathe and you get it.

And although it’s surrounded
by tragedy at every level,

because you know, cowboys and guns,

it’s still something you can feel

from both Arthur and John’s perspective.

And it makes the epilogue thing

that initially on paper,

like if you just describe it to someone,

it seems like BS fluff.

It actually really extends
and strengthens everything.

From Arthur’s whole character
arc to John Marston’s.

And then John Marston’s in the
original Red Dead Redemption.

It’s crazy that they pulled it off.

And even without that corny stuff,

it’s also just a badass story

with the kind of like,
origin of Dutch’s conflict.

Seeing the cracks start to
grow in his whole thing,

his whole facade.

Micah being an asshole.

And the whole Arthur slowly
dying of tuberculosis thing.

All of it adds up to a really
well-told and unique thing.

We played a lot of games
where the main character,

the protagonist, has a death sentence.

They’re slowly dying.

They’re a ticking time
bomb in one way or another.

But we haven’t really seen
a game handle it like this

where it’s less about like,
uh-oh, you’re gonna die,

you better hurry up,

and more about the character
actually contemplating that.

And although Arthur
doesn’t really like whinge

or whine on and on about it,

you get his processing of it in a way.

Just all of it, I keep using the word,

but all of it’s really unique.

And all of this is surrounded of course,

by living and playing in this world.

Customizing whatever you want.

Doing whatever you want, wherever you want

in a really, really
detailed and varied map

filled with like wonder
and beauty and sadness,

and even spooky stuff to find.

All of this, you know,
the atmosphere here,

helps you get engrossed and
wrapped up by this world.

Especially thanks to Woody
Jackson’s composing work.

It’s all really beautiful and haunting,

and I think ties the bow
on the whole package.

There’s more to it.

You could say the third person shooting,

the combat encounters. 



We can get into the nitty
gritty of the video game part,

but this is why we think
Red Dead Redemption II

was a really big deal.

It sold a ton of copies.

It’s like a big, massive,
mainstream, top-charting success,

but it does a lot of creative things

that you would never see in
other games that top the charts

like a Call of Duty or a
Minecraft or a Fortnite,

or an NBA 2K.

And it should be commended for that.

Yeah, Read Dead Online,
in more recent months,

has disappointed fans and that
might be a whole other video.

And then there’s just Rockstar in 2022,

which many fans are frustrated
with or losing patience with,

which also can be another video.

But this thing they created?

This product itself?

This work of art?

Whatever you wanna call it,

however you feel about video games.

Red Dead Redemption II’s
adventure? It’s something else.

And it’s a big deal.

But that’s what we think.

We wanna hear from you
guys in the comments.

What do you think about
Red Dead Redemption II?

If you’ve come away from it,

maybe you’ve replayed
it a couple of times,

wherever your level is,

we wanna hear from you.

Are we being pretentious here?

Are we just kind of being
overly rose-colored glasses

about this game?

I don’t know the phrase, but like,

let’s talk about Red Dead Redemption II,

and specifically the story
and what it tries to do.

A lot of it is very subtle.

A lot of people might miss it.

But if you got it, let’s talk about it.

Now, if you enjoyed this video,

this trip down memory lane
from a couple of years ago,

God it feels so long,

clicking the like button’s
all you gotta do, though.

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But as always, thanks for watching.

We’ll see you guys next time.

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