Slow, methodical, extremely detailed, sometimes a little depressing and downright brilliant. That’s how I currently describe Red Dead Redemption 2. While our review is still some time away as I make my way through the story of Arthur Morgan and all the distractions that come with it, one thing is becoming extremely clear. Red Dead Redemption 2 requires a specific mindset from gamers to really get the most out of Rockstar’s amazing open-world experience.
Let’s get one thing straight, Red Dead Redemption 2 asks a lot from gamers. The game asks for a big time investment, paying great attention to detail, figuring out some gameplay systems on your own. That’s to name only a few requirements to really play and fully enjoy the game.
At first, I thought I might just have been suffering from open-world fatigue after 65 hours with Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, but the more I played Red Dead Redemption 2, the more I realized that this was not the case. Instead, it is simply the type of game Rockstar created and all its intricate details that made playing it exhilarating at times, while feeling like a chore at other times.
There’s a reason for this and if you are in the same boat as me, I have some suggestions on how to fully enjoy Red Dead Redemption 2 with the right mindset going into each gameplay session.
A good old time
No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.
That’s not exactly true for Red Dead Redemption 2, as getting around on your horse from point A to point B can start to feel quite tedious after a while. To really enjoy the game, one of the most important things to do is to make enough time for each gameplay session.
Playing for only 30 minutes at a time will probably not allow you to finish one main story quest, especially since the time spent in that saddle is quite a big part of the experience. Red Dead Redemption 2 requires, in my opinion, at least two hours of uninterrupted playtime in each session to fully get invested in the experience. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and I have personally had some great binging sessions so far, but if you are looking for some quick action, rather play a match of Overwatch or something.
Taking in the detail
Where the leather is scarred, there is a great story to tell.
Red Dead Redemption 2 delivers the most detailed open-world experience I have ever had. There are just so many nuanced details you can easily miss out on, heck, I didn’t even know that tapping L1 in quick succession would cause Arthur to holster his gun in style, after about 15 hours in when I accidentally did it.
There’s a tonne of these little details, from gameplay features that the game doesn’t outright tell you to environmental details that I would love everyone to discover for themselves. Hell, your horse’s balls even shrink in the cold…With such immense detail in the world also comes a situation where players might easily miss many of them. This point obviously goes hand-in-hand with the first, as taking your time is of the utmost importance. Rockstar asks us to take it all in with Red Dead Redemption 2, even if it can feel a bit overwhelming at the start.
Your new home
I took to the life of a cowboy like a horse takes to oats.
The world simply feels so alive and detailed that I want to live in it. Every time something happens in the open world of Red Dead 2, it feels impactful. It is without a doubt a world that gamers can get lost in and honestly, it is a great experience to have.
With this tip, I am suggesting to only play Red Dead Redemption 2 until you’ve had your fill. Switching between games, especially faster-paced titles, might feel like a refreshing them to do. However, as mentioned in the first point, there is a big time commitment and if you play other games, especially open-world titles, it might be very hard to get reaccustomed to the slower pace.
Live out your fantasies
When I grew up, I only had two dreams. One was to be a cowboy and another was to be in the military. I grew up extremely patriotic and riding horses.
At times, it might feel like the game is pushing you into a direction with its main story and although that is true, you don’t have to follow that golden path. That really goes without saying in an open-world game, but it is something a lot of players might miss out on really experiencing as the follow the story.
Red Dead Redemption 2 gives you the freedom to do what you want. Take your time and don’t just finish the main story, but go rob some towns blind, head over to a saloon and stir up some trouble. Want to get Arthur blind-drunk and go hunting? Sure, that’s an option. Want to camp out for days, live off the land and go hunting? Go ahead. In my review, I will share a hunting trip story with you that made my year, thanks to the freedom Red Dead Redemption provides.
The Outlaw you want to be
Men are born, and then they’re formed
A few examples I have encountered is where I got into a can-shooting contest with a fellow. He beat me and took $20 which is quite a lot. Well, I decided to not pay him and blow his head off. Another time, I sucked the snake venom out of a guy’s leg. One time, I just decided not to help people being robbed and another, I turned around and killed both the victims and some gang members, looting everything.
The game has a very deep honour system and depending on what you do, you can get certain benefits from towns and fences. However, it is all up to you and how you want to shape the story of Arthur Morgan. Is he a cold-hearted gunslinger, or an outlaw with a heart of gold? The choice is 100% yours.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to tell you how to play the game. However, taking it all in and doing all the things I mentioned in this article really helped me fully enjoy the game. Red Dead Redemption 2 requires a lot from gamers, that is certain. Hopefully, everyone will be able to enjoy the game to its fullest.
What do you think of Red Dead Redemption 2 so far? Share your experiences with us in the comment section below.