Red Dead Redemption 2 - PS4

Also known as: Red Dead Redemption 2: Limited Edition', 'Red Dead Redemption 2: Special Edition

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Also for: Xbox One, PC
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Adventure: Free Roaming
Media: Blu-Ray Arcade origin:No
Developer: Rockstar Soft. Co.: 2K Games
Publishers: Rockstar (GB/GB)
Released: 26 Oct 2018 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+
Features: 1080i, 1080p, 720p
Accessories: DualShock 4 Vibration function

Summary

If you read a few reviews of Red Dead Redemption II there's a good chance that sooner or later you'll run across the phrase 'outlaw simulator'. It sounds at once a bit grandiose and a little small. Simulators are things that come on PCs and have you driving buses or flying planes. They're about the minutaie of airports and dials, not grand adventure and exploration. Indeed, you could also apply terms like 'shoot-'em-up' or 'action role-playing game' to Red Dead Redemption II, but in their own way they're too shallow. You have to throw the word 'simulator' into the mix to get at the level of fidelity that Rockstar is going for in what might just be its most highly anticipated game ever.

So, yes, in the grand tradition of Rockstar titles this is indeed a game set in an open world. You play Arthur, a lawless outlaw trying to make his way in the final days of the Old West. So, you can bet there will be a ton of exploration - you'll explore lush forests, perilous mountains, soupy swamps and pitiless deserts. And yes, there will be gunfights and yes there will most certainly be heists and horse riding. And with Red Dead Online throwing multiplayer into the mix a few weeks after launch there's going to be enough content to keep you playing for months. But we've played the last Red Dead game, we knew that.

What those big descriptions don't capture is the way Rockstar has layered up all the different elements of the game to create something richer than so much of the competition. For instance, while you roam the West with an outlaw gang, many of them also have family in tow. How you interact with them will have a big impact on camp life. Or - you can go hunting, but that doesn't automatically mean you'll be bringing the meat back to camp for kudos. You might take it into town to sell and line your own pockets, instead. You can customise Arthur, but it won't just be aesthetic - your choice of outfit will determine how well you fare in RDR2's varied environments, too. Details like whether you have your weapon holstered when you talk to non-player characters will even impact how scenarios play out. And your relationship with your horse might just be the star of the show. Not only will it still have the realistic movement of the last game - how you treat it will affect things like how skittish it is during a fight.

All of which is to say that yes, Red Dead Redemption II is one epic-looking game, but it also has layers of texture and depth that you'll struggle to find anywhere else.