Rockstar Games became a legendary publisher in 1999 with the release of the first Grand Theft Auto title. While they’ve worked on several different series since then, if you ask anyone what their most famous game is aside from GTA, you’ll undoubtedly get the same answer – Red Dead Redemption. 8 years after what is widely considered to be among the greatest games of all time, Rockstar is releasing its sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2. The hype has been intense these last several weeks, with fans wondering whether or not the sequel would be able to live up to expectations. The early reviews are just getting put up by gaming media outlets lucky enough to have received a copy, and it seems Rockstar Games has indeed done it again. Here’s what’s been said about it so far.
Eurogamer, Martin Robinson
“Rockstar’s writers can’t quite match the humanity and purpose of the former, nor can its designers match the integrity of the latter.
It offers something else besides, though: a richness, detail and technical prowess that is breathtaking, and peerless. Is this Rockstar’s greatest game, a new masterpiece alongside the original? There are one too many caveats, and one too many flaws at its heart, to leave me totally convinced. Is this its richest, most beautiful open world? Of that there’s not a single doubt.”
Rating: Eurogamer Recommended
Kotaku, Kirk Hamilton
“From tip to tail, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a profound, glorious downer. It is the rare blockbuster video game that seeks to move players not through empowering gameplay and jubilant heroics, but by relentlessly forcing them to confront decay and despair. It has no heroes, only flawed men and women fighting viciously to survive in a world that seems destined to destroy them.
“It is both an exhilarating glimpse into the future of entertainment and a stubborn torch bearer for an old-fashioned kind of video game design. It is a remarkable work of game development and, possibly, a turning point in how we remark upon the work of game development. It is amazing; it is overwhelming. It is a lot, and also, it is a whole, whole lot.”
Gameinformer, Matt Bertz
“Using the word “epic” to describe Red Dead Redemption II feels understated. This is the biggest and most cohesive adventure Rockstar Games has ever created. A rare harmony exists between the narrative, gameplay systems, open world, and mission design. Their interdependent nature makes it tough to talk at any length about each individual element without venturing into spoiler territory; the fashion in which these elements mingle and coalesce over the course of the journey is interesting to witness.”
Polygon, Chris Plante
“The game’s writers set a foundation that feels as though it could use individual characters to launch a further-reaching story about cultural systems, like the books of James Baldwin, the TV shows of David Simon and the films of director Steve McQueen. But ultimately, the story is too sentimental, and the game too loyal to the video game story trajectory, in which missions become bigger and more explosive, rather than more critical and introspective.”
Rating: Polygon Recommends
IGN, Luke Reilly
“Red Dead Redemption 2 stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Grand Theft Auto V as one of the greatest games of the modern age. It’s a gorgeous depiction of an ugly period that’s patient, polished, and a huge amount of fun to play, and it’s combined with Rockstar’s best storytelling to date. Even after finishing the lengthy story I can’t wait to go back and play more. This is a game of rare quality; a meticulously polished open world ode to the outlaw era. Looking for one of this generation’s very best single-player action experiences? Here’s your huckleberry.”
Destructoid, Chris Carter
“Red Dead Redemption 2 is the epitome of ambition and like most things Rockstar, will meet the expectations associated with it. With all of the advancements since the last Red Dead and everything they’ve learned from Grand Theft Auto V under their belt, the series is in a better place, able to provide a more natural and less gamey world to explore.”
Gamespot, Kallie Plagge
“Red Dead 2 is about the entire Van der Linde gang–as a community, as an idea, and as the death rattle of the Wild West. It is about Arthur, too, but as the lens through which you view the gang, his very personal, very messy story supports a larger tale. Some frustrating systems and a predictable mission structure end up serving that story well, though it does take patience to get through them and understand why. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an excellent prequel, but it’s also an emotional, thought-provoking story in its own right, and it’s a world that is hard to leave when it’s done.”
Featured Image Source: Attack of the Fanboy