It really is no great secret that we have become enthralled by technology. Today, we are literally simultaneously immersed in, and surrounded by, digitalisation. From scanning for the top VPN services today to protect our privacy online, to waiting in line for the release of the latest video game phenomenon sweeping the globe, we do it all. And we love it. The last year has seen the release of multiple highly-anticipated video games. Presales have sold out months before the actual games have been due for release to the public, the casual gamers, and the avid gamers around the world. Of all of them, Red Dead Redemption 2 is perhaps the most highly anticipated video game of 2018.
The graphic animation of RDR2 is at once visually astonishing and almost overwhelmingly detailed. When playing this video game, it almost feels like you are watching Arthur Morgan (the protagonist, and your key character) live his life out in the Wild West through the eyes of a drone, looking at real scenes playing out in our world. The graphic animation is that good. Arthur Morgan is a hardened criminal with a dark past, and as you pick out your clothing from the vast options available, engrave your weapons, and care for your horse, the game somehow manages to walk the delicate line between personalised gaming and an experience that is much the same for every player.
RDR2 is visually stunning, it is true. But it can also be mildly frustrating to play. While the story is brilliantly crafted and addictive, Morgan’s movements are slow, sometimes even sluggish. This should be expected, as the character is a human being living in the Wild West, not a superhero racing to save the world, but it is frustrating nonetheless. With such a vast world ahead of you, you want to be able to see and do it all as quickly as possible, but the [realistic] pace means that you are forced to take in all in, as you would in real life. Another example of slow movement that is not literally privy to Morgan is the collecting of food.
In other games, you can shoot a food source, approach it, click a button, and you have it stored safely in your inventory. In RDR2, however, the process is much more drawn out. You must ride around on your horse – or walk, if you have no horse at the time – and find species that can be food. Then, you must sneak and observe if the specimen is in a healthy condition, shoot it with the correct weapon, and then carry the carcass around until you can find your horse again. If you run into a natural predator, you most likely lose the kill. No addition to your inventory for you. This is obviously done to point to realism, but it can be a frustration nonetheless when you want to make it through quicker than the game allows you to.
Not only is the game somewhat slower than anticipated, but there is an honours system in place. This means that when Morgan kills or steals, his merit goes down, and vice versa. If it gets bad enough, then you cannot enter towns without being run out immediately. When it comes down to it, the sheer realism of RDR2 is at once captivating and somewhat frustrating. The main story – as well as the little side missions – is fundamentally brilliant, the visual animal is astonishingly well done, and the characters come into their own throughout. The mild irritation at the pace of the game can be forgiven – nothing is perfect. RDR2 is a must-play for anyone looking for their next video game.