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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


‘Red Dead Redemption’ series is back with a vengeance in its second installment

Visual realism, realistic mechanics help game stand out from other fall titles
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Rockstar Games’ “Red Dead Redemption II” gives players the wild-west experience they’ve longed for since the release of “Red Dead Redemption” in 2010.

“Red Dead Redemption II” wasn’t afraid of gambling on some new features previously unseen in Rockstar’s recent games, like “Grand Theft Auto V,” which makes the game more likely to be remembered for years to come.

At its core, “Red Dead Redemption II” follows the story of Alex Morgan and his  adventures across the Southwest as part of an outlaw gang.


The story begins in 1899 when the days of American outlaws are at their end, but that doesn’t stop the gang’s leader, Dutch, and Morgan from clinging to the criminal world they know, filled with train robberies and other heists.

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This touching campaign sets itself apart from the numerous other fall releases, and seems to justify why so many other games delayed or expedited their release to avoid competing with “Red Dead Redemption II.”

But players can spend a ridiculous amount of time in the brilliantly crafted world Rockstar has created without even thinking about the campaign. Ultimately, this would not be looked down upon.

Players can simply forget the campaign thanks to the new hunting system. It gives players a different experience from the original game as they try to find animals they can hunt to get new clothing and items to improve Morgan’s loadout.

Players also have the “honor” system to keep track of fun objectives as they progress in the game, even impacting the overall story.

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For instance, trying to make Morgan the ultimate, evil outlaw may involve robbing trains, starting a huge bar fight and killing the local sheriff. All the while, they’ll have to avoid whatever law enforcement comes their way to avoid letting Morgan die.

But making Morgan a good cowboy — rescuing people encountered on the trails and helping townsfolk — can take as much time and be easily as fun.

“Red Dead Redemption II” is also served by some new mechanics, which can seem intimidating at first but quickly add to the fun of the overall game.

Players must eat food and drink at times to increase their health and stamina cores, which determine how fast health and stamina replenish as Morgan takes damage or climbs and sprints.

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This may feel like another pointless mechanic, but it ultimately helps players increase their overall health and stamina, complimented by the game’s realism.

Where most games would have a character eat food, throw the trash on the ground and then have the garbage disappear, “Red Dead Redemption II” has Morgan eating things like a can of peaches, throw the can on the ground and then it stays there. This may seem dumb, but it makes players feel like they almost did something meaningful, as the containers their food came in actually interact with the places they inhabit.

Drop a can while Morgan is on a hill, it’ll roll down the hill. Drop a can in the swamp, it’ll sink. It’s these small details that make “Red Dead Redemption II” all the better.

However, it’s hard to ignore the overall fact that the world itself is absolutely gorgeous.

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Picturesque mountains, clothes getting dirty when players fall on the ground — there’s not much else players can ask for when it comes to this game’s beauty.

“Red Dead Redemption II” is an incredibly fun and beautiful game that deserves more than its fair share of praise. It delivers a game players have wanted for almost a decade and took risks which ultimately paid off. The only shame is Rockstar did not release a PC version alongside the console releases, but it would not be fair to diminish the game’s reputation over the company’s choices.

“Red Dead Redemption II” earns a perfect score, setting itself apart from the competition on a number of fronts. This game is special and will be remembered years from now.

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