You were probably waiting for it with a little impatience, so it is useless to remain silent any longer. One thing I promised, thing of the past, here is my personal feedback on Red Dead Redemption 2. Many of you will certainly be surprised to see a so-called test in their columns, almost two months after the publication of this title. Not necessarily having the same resources, nor even the necessary time that many specialists from the specialised press would have, I have so far refrained from giving a detailed opinion on Rockstar's latest product. This forced choice was ultimately much more beneficial than it seemed and became, over time, a deliberate decision.
Because yes, there is no question here of rushing a production that has required so much effort and resources (eight years of development, colossal sums invested in research and a huge number of participants) in order to be successful and finally land on our home consoles. I have therefore taken the necessary time to fully immerse myself in this universe and to draw from it all the substantial marrow, in order to bring you a much deeper feeling than a simple article that could be read here and there. Put on your hat, put on your boots, this is my experience with RDR II, after more than a hundred hours of play !
Welcome to the wilderness !
My encounter with this long-awaited title was similar to a first intimate meeting between two people. This scene of daily life has several distinct phases : Waiting, desire, seduction, doubt, to finally lead to a shared happiness (or not !). The expectation of this famous game following a game that made a strong impression on me when it was released, the desire to be able to play a title that would exceed all my expectations, the doubt that I finally got a little too excited from the first moments and finally the absolute happiness in front of the progress of this breathless epic journey. RDR II is much more ambitious, playful and cinematic than its predecessor. The tone is set from the introductory scene, which contextualizes, visually and audibly, the universe we are about to tread with our feet. In 1899, the United States was in the midst of economic and industrial expansion. This sudden evolution marks the end of an era when order had no place in these wild lands. We will take part, controller in hand, at the end of the time of the pioneers and outlaws, both trying to survive in a changing world.
This principle of coexistence between two existential philosophies, one that aspires to live on the margins of a society in order to live a life with simple values and the other that wishes for an automated and commercial society, will be omnipresent throughout the adventure. This duality, which everything opposes, will constantly find itself confronted with an ideological struggle. However, it is of course undeniable that one of these two camps cannot survive and will irrevocably leave its place on the civilizational chessboard. By embodying Arthur Morgan, we are witnessing this historical fresco of a bygone era, where men and women who do not submit to the evolution of things disappear in total indifference. This script has the ability to create a feeling of empathy towards the members of Dutch's gang. This one is constituted as a family, each member has a very predefined role, with precise rules. This is not about committing petty theft in order to create chaos and destruction.
Although outlawed, this group has a certain ethic and only acts to support its members. Of course, this will not be the taste of the authority that is then being established, nor even of the rivalry that may exist between gangs. Dutch's children will thus live perpetually hunted down, in the middle of a modernising America. It will not be uncommon to get fond of different characters and often return to different camps to interact with each other. Since yes, a fairly thorough camp management will allow you to take care of this very special home and learn a little more about your henchmen.
However, I do not want to spoil the pleasure of discovery for you. So I'll stop there as far as the scenario is concerned. Just know that the writing is exemplary, many events will tell you a little more about the environment in which you live. Hundreds, even thousands of different and sometimes random actions will appear. You will certainly be surprised by the behaviour of the characters but also by the dialogues, all different, that scatter your gestures. In addition, secondary quests enrich the main process, while offering you strange and sometimes dramatic situations. So to speak, the emotion cursor is really in the fullest position. Whether you are a Western fan or not, you will literally be transported by this incredible story, on the way to the redemption !
A delight for the senses !
Technically speaking, Red Dead Dead Redemption II is probably the most advanced open-world game ever, as it is full of details that flatter the retina. The graphic aspect is exceptional, nature has never been so well modelled and it is sometimes sublimated by climatic variations that occur unexpectedly. The fauna and flora are enriched. Plains, mountains and forests are full of life ! So much so that we are surprised, more than once, to deviate from our main objective only in order to observe the omnipresent animal world around us. This generosity, pushed to the extreme by a gigantic map, will spread many secrets and unusual places in its path that will not fail to amaze you.
We spend hours riding our horses, not only for the pleasure of observing this profusion of landscapes but also for the pleasure of taking ourselves for a real cowboy, in adequacy with the nature around us. The cities are not to be outdone, with its shops, its saloon and its many activities. Enough to spend good hours, just strolling around or drinking whiskey at the bar counter, between two poker games ! As for the artistic part and more particularly the sound part, I refer you to the article I wrote earlier on this subject !
The only drawback is the handling and inertia of the character, a little heavy, who may reject some of them. Based on GTA's, it has a latency period that must be managed. Don't worry, there's nothing to handicap you in the long run, since it's just a habit to get into. We can also detect some texture bugs from time to time (now fixed by multiple patches), or the reluctant AI of the authorities who will not hesitate to pursue you if you have the misfortune to make a mistake, trampling a poor dog in your path, for example. With an ultra-long lifespan, as long as you take the time to take part in random events and secondary quests, RDR II will require patience and accept a more sustained pace due to its historical context, before reaching the end of this epic. Lovers of adventure games with rich and long content, you will be thrilled !
I'm poor lonesome cowboy !
Red Dead Redemption II clearly marks a turning point in the video game industry. Rich, handsome, oversized, moving, he possesses all the intrinsic qualities of a masterpiece that will be a landmark in the field. Of course, not everything is perfect. However, we are particularly close to a major work that surprises us with the experience it has to offer. Many players, including myself, will forever remember this trip to the Far West, alongside idealists for whom the rule is an offence to their principles. Outlaw for life !