Red Dead Redemption 2 is not Game of the Year 2018 for me. In fact it’s not even a 10/10 as I’ve previously reviewed it at. I’m here to tell you why it’s pushing an 8. Definite spoilers (immediately) ahead.
Red Dead Redemption 2 unfortunately isn’t a 10 out of 10 game in my eyes – I’m genuinely baffled that people can put it above God of War or Spider-Man (If you haven’t played them go do it now); the main issue which has been covered in some of our podcasts and articles previously is that there were massive parts in it that just didn’t feel enough like a fun video game – Chapter Four and the Epilogue in particular really dragged for me and to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy them – I kind of felt like giving up towards the end of Chapter Four… Luckily, when you go to Guarma (Chapter Five) it was a revitalization the game needed, and then Chapter Six was a great shot in the arm because it’s the end of the game and the end of Arthur, which changes the whole dynamic and pacing of the game. I could have forgiven this lull which was quickly saved by the last 2 chapters if it wasn’t for the god-damned awful Epilogue; the Epilogue made me never want to touch single player titles again, and I truly don’t understand why it was put in. After 40+ hours of being a badass cowboy, the last thing I wanted was to be doing were shit mini games where I’m miking cows, putting up a fence or going to the shop – This was 80% of the closing chapter.
The pacing for the whole game was an issue for me, in the first couple of chapters you were struggling to make money to buy equipment / guns etc… Which really works as it makes everything feel more important, like you really had to hold up every guy or rob everything possible… But then towards the end of Chapter Three (I think) there’s a big bank robbery, and all of a sudden you have loads of money to spend and everything relaxes a bit; it even made me care less about side missions that I was enjoying (I hardly did any in Chapter Six). That feeling of being a ragtag gang, struggling at the beginning, you have this suffocating feeling of being a cowboy towards the end of the wild west era, but then all of a sudden there’s not really any challenge and nothing is difficult, and that’s the other thing, the game in it’s entirety wasn’t difficult.
The only time I would really die was when my horse ran into a tree or off a cliff; yes there are times you died in your missions, but more often than not I could easily complete a mission just by loading myself up with Dead Eye and doing slow mo, or hiding behind cover, which is how you play the game… But I never felt any real challenge and more often than not I could just walk in guns blazing taking no cover. I suppose I just didn’t find any real challenge in any of the missions.
On top of this the controls in general were just a bit shit, the first game was quite a while ago now so I can’t exactly recall how tight the controls were, but I don’t remember it being a sluggish and very broken mess like this one is. Think about how many times you’d try and find cover and you go on the wrong side and get shot, or how there would be random glitches such as going through your horse or textures messing up… And even without any mistakes such as this, Arthur always felt like he was kind of wading through treacle, this would have made sense but not from the beginning – It aggravated me when you’d get caught from behind and take 10 minutes to turn to try and shoot, but obviously get caught in gunfire.
Like I’ve said here and here, it is a good game, in fact it’s a great game… You’ve got many aspects which make it a great game such as Arthur Morgan being a really awesome lead character with a supporting cast who are really outstanding and interesting, especially Dutch Van Der Lin and the gang – You also have one of the best open worlds I’ve ever explored with constant activity and missions to get involved in… But it doesn’t deserve the title of Game of the Year or anything above an 8.
What do you think? Let me know down below!