10 Reasons Why Red Dead Redemption 2 is the Best Game of 2018

Best game of 2018
Play as rough outlaw Arthur Morgan

10 Reasons Why Red Dead Redemption 2 is the Best Game of 2018

Rockstar’s new Western themed game came out in late October, and it has definitely lived up to its hype. Set at the end of the 19th century, Red Dead Redemption II takes place in 1899 in a fictional part of the American southwest. Red Dead Redemption II is an open world game, filled with horses, cowboys, saloons, shootouts, and robbery. While players experience those elements, Red Dead Redemption has more to offer than just that. Here’s 10 reasons why Red Dead Redemption II is the best game of 2018.

10. The Story

The Van Der Linde Gang Riding

You play as Arthur Morgan, a ruthless outlaw in the Van der Linde gang. The story sees the gang moving all over a fictional part of the American southwest, due to their outlaw way of life and running from Pinkertons’. The story progresses and engulfs the players’ in a way that makes it feel less like a video game and more like a movie. I’m not a sucker for crying, but there were some scenes from Red Dead Redemption II that made me tear up; Rockstar really went and made players’ attached to these outlaws and their stories of woe.

9. The Realistic Appeal

Arthur covered in blood

Red Dead Redemption II has a very fluid and realistic feel to it. There are small details that bring the game to life more than just the realistic graphics. For instance: Arthur can be underweight or overweight and being one or the other will affect your health and stamina. You also [should] take baths frequently, as Arthur does become visibly dirty, and members of the gang will comment on your filth (and even go as far as slapping you and demanding you to wash. Yeah, even outlaws have a standard for hygiene). If you have a male horse and adventure off into colder climates, its balls will shrink. Rockstar didn’t have to go that hard for us, but they did.

8. The Graphics make for awesome scenery

The scenery is absolutely amazing

My capture gallery on my PS4 is filled with screenshots from Red Dead Redemption II. The graphics are truly beautiful and while riding around on your horse, it’s easy to stop and just take in what’s around you—it’s that pretty. It almost has a Horizon: Zero Dawn feel to it, wherein you want to get up someplace high just to see it all.

7. The interactions are unique

Rootin-tootin cowboy shootin'

It doesn’t matter who or where or when, you can approach someone and have the option to “greet” or “antagonize” them. Greeting them sparks idle chit-chat, but antagonizing people is much more fun (it lowers your honor, sadly). When antagonizing people, Arthur will spew insults at them, resulting in either the other person becoming hostile towards you or them running away. My favorite insult from Arthur is, “I’m surprised you move on two legs!” Every person in this game can be interacted with, which is something I’ve never seen in a game before.

6. Horses

Your horse will be your best friend 

To be a cowboy, one must have a horse. Horses are important in Red Dead Redemption II, as Arthur can stow his guns and items in the horse’s cargo. Yet, somehow, Rockstar made it more than just that; your horse becomes your best friend that you must care for: brushing, feeding, and calming if they get spooked. You can “customize” your horse as well, by changing its mane or tail, and buying and upgrading saddle bags, horns, and stirrups. It’s like having a special car in Grand Theft Auto (but if we’re being honest here, riding and having a horse in Red Dead Redemption II is much more fun). Arthur comments in the game several times that losing a horse is a hard thing (because yes, your horse can die), and it is: those damn O’Driscoll’s shot and killed my horse when I was minding my own business, and I had to reload an old save just so I wouldn’t lose my horse. It’s that intense.

5. The customization is strong with this one

Customizing Arthur can be fun itself

Just like any other Rockstar game, you have a lot you can customize. Red Dead Redemption II, however, has a lot more choices than any other game. You can customize the color of Arthur’s clothes and whether you want the sleeves rolled up or down. You can choose your hairstyle and the length, as well as Arthur’s fascial hair. Something Rockstar did in Red Dead Redemption II was add the ability to customize your weapons. You can pick the color of the metal, engravings, choose what kind and color of grain you want, and the carvings of your guns. This really adds a uniqueness to the game and makes it really feel personal to players.

4. Activities are fun

You can fish if you so wish

There’s a lot to do in Red Dead Redemption II besides the main story quests and side quests. You can hunt for meat and pelts, track down legendary animals, play dominoes and card games, rob trains and stage coaches, and fish. Rockstar put a lot of detail in each of these activities, making them fun and entertaining. They don’t feel pointless like most side activities do in games, and each one gives you satisfaction for completing them. Grand Theft Auto V had a lot of useless activities that there seemed no point in doing, so Rockstar definitely upgraded here.

3. Strangers

Strangers are fun to interact with

There are quests labeled as “Stranger” on the map, and these are some of the best quests I have ever done in a video game. Rockstar really put work and personalities into each of these “strangers” and each of these quests are unique and fun. I found myself wanting to do these quests more than the actual main story quests. These Stranger quests also help players get to know Arthur better: as he converses with these folks, we see the opening up of his character more so that we see who he really is. In later chapters, the story takes a sad turn, so these Stranger quests lighten the mood and help dry your tears.

2. It’s the little things that matter

Finding interesting things on the map is unavoidable

Red Dead Redemption is massive, and Rockstar has sprinkled little hidden things throughout this world. It makes exploration fun and at times when I discovered something neat, I found myself taking a picture to show my friends—that’s when you know it’s good. From the Viking ruins to the giant skeleton, the Hobbit House and Meteorite House, you’ll be wanting to explore this world just to see what else you can find. Even after you’ve played for hours, you can still go off the path and explore the wilds and find things you didn’t before. That is important in an open world game, whereas others seemed empty after you’ve played through for a while. Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a great open world game but lacked in this field, which made the open world feel kind of empty.

1. Characters

The Van der Linde gang in all their glory

The characters in Red Dead Redemption II are all in-depth and unique all their own. Each has a distinct personality and each of them are likable in their own way (except for Micah, no one likes Micah). Rockstar gave each of these character’s a story of their own and it makes the game all the more personal as players get to know each of these characters. After you play through Red Dead Redemption II and put it down for a while, you’ll really feel like you miss some friends. Again, Rockstar didn’t have to go that hard for us, but they did.

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Hailing from the land of corn that is Indiana, Leana finds herself writing, gaming, and raising her big, pink furious pig to pass the time.
Gamer Since: 1998
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Red Dead Redemption II
Top 3 Favorite Games:Assassin's Creed III, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Fable: The Lost Chapters
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