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  • (western music)

  • (horse neighing)

  • - You bastard shot my cousin.

  • - Well he started it.

  • - I'm going to break your neck.

  • - [Luke] Red Dead Redemption two is a sprawling

  • western tale of loyalty, conviction,

  • and the price of infamy, all set in Rockstar's

  • most authentic and lived in open world ever.

  • - Timber!

  • (thump)

  • - [Luke] There are so many things to do,

  • so many people to meet, so many places to explore.

  • Red dead redemption two isn't just

  • Rockstar's greatest achievement to date.

  • Its a game so lacking in compromise

  • its tough to know where its best to start discussing it.

  • (western music)

  • So lets start at the beginning,

  • its 1899 and american outlaws are an endangered species.

  • Dutch Van Der Linde and his gang

  • are on the run after a botched heist

  • in the growing town of blackwater and they've

  • retreated high into the mountains where an

  • atrocious blizzard is covering there escape.

  • We slip into the spurs of Arthur Morgan

  • an exceedingly cool and capable outlaw.

  • And settle in for a roughly 60 hour story.

  • Its a self contained and linear

  • introduction but its a clever one.

  • (gunshot)

  • It heightened the impact of having the full

  • map opened up to me a few hours later.

  • Being set loose in the true opened world

  • after toughing it out in this

  • intentionally impressive environment

  • really underscores the incredible

  • feeling of freedom the format offers.

  • (western music)

  • And what a world it is, more beautiful,

  • broader and more varied than the one we explored

  • in 2010s Red Dead Redemption by a massive margin.

  • There are snowy peaks and tank aligator infested swaps.

  • Thick forests and open plateau's,

  • quaint homesteads and grand plantations.

  • Narrow streams and great lakes,

  • dusty gulches and dim caves.

  • There's the muddy livestock town of Valentine

  • with its wooden buildings and rusty charm.

  • And then there's the imposing city of Saint Denis.

  • A grimy, growing metropolis full

  • of modern extravagances like electric trams,

  • paved roads and Chinese restaurants.

  • The vast assortment of ecosystems

  • and environments seamlessly stitch together here

  • is nothing short of remarkable.

  • The ability of this game to keep it

  • so fresh after so many hours is extraordinary

  • and not entirely due to just the

  • size and diversity of the world.

  • Its how alive all those places feel.

  • (dog growling)

  • The country side of Red Dead Redemption two

  • is absolutely brimming with wild life to discover,

  • (gunshot) (screaming)

  • people to interact with and potentially help

  • - Both of you get your hands up!

  • - [Luke] And places to scrutinize.

  • The more laid back pace of Red Dead Redemption 2

  • compared to something like the

  • slightly more break neck GTA five

  • is also a big part of how it encouraged me

  • to slow down and drink in all the world has to offer.

  • - We get a couple of beers please?

  • - [Luke] Bodies have to be manually looted.

  • Single action pistols have to be cocked before firing.

  • (gunshots)

  • Coffee needs to be brewed before drinking it.

  • (sips)

  • I suspect some folk might regard this

  • sort of stuff is chore like but I really dig it.

  • There's something methodical about it

  • that really helps ground Arthur in the world

  • rather than have him feel like he's gliding through it.

  • I love the deliberate mechanical process of

  • cycling a new cartridge with lever action rifle

  • virus that can pull the fire button.

  • You can even pause the dramatic effect halfway through.

  • (horse neighing) (gunshot)

  • Rockstar's designers didn't need to factor that in

  • but I think they understood that the tiny almost

  • trivial instances of settle control like this

  • subconsciously seep me into the world of Arthur even more.

  • (screams) (gun shots)

  • - What are you doing!

  • (western music)

  • the main story mission themselves

  • are a cocktail of high stakes heists.

  • - To goddamn slow!

  • - [Luke] Deadly shoot outs.

  • (gunshots)

  • desperate rescues and thrilling chases.

  • (gunshot)

  • Mixed with a lengthy list of other tasks,

  • many of those function with organic ways

  • to teach us about new side hustles and

  • other activities that can be undertaken

  • from selling stolen horses to playing poker.

  • - Shit.

  • - [Luke] Or fishing.

  • - Good to meet you.

  • - [Luke] It all feels great to play

  • similar in a lot of ways to its immediate

  • predecessor but injected with a pile of new animations

  • and multiple layers of vigor activity.

  • - You son of a! (gunshot)

  • - [Luke] Shootouts are supremely cinematic

  • thanks to plenty of gun smoke and the same style

  • of on the fly ever changing death animations

  • that have characterized Rockstar games since GTA four.

  • (gunshot) (thump)

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 is a undeniably

  • pretty game across the board.

  • The lighting is fantastic, the facial animation

  • is a noticeable step up from GTA five

  • and the level of gradual detail is almost absurd.

  • From the way blood smears on Arthur's shoulder

  • after carrying a kill, to the way individual

  • strands of his majestic Muttonchops quiver in the breeze.

  • Remember this is a game where horse testicles

  • shrink when the weather is cold.

  • - The hell are you doing.

  • - [Luke] Equally impressive is the audio

  • from the satisfying metallic crunch of a reload.

  • (gun cocks) (gun shots)

  • to the twang of a Hollywood inspired ricochet.

  • (gunshot)

  • Bullets fired on mountains tops ring with cracking echoes.

  • (gunshot)

  • completely different to the sound of bullets fired indoors.

  • (gunshot)

  • A game little seems to be have missed

  • and the music absolutely outstanding.

  • (western music)

  • Red Dead Redemption two is Rockstar's most serious

  • and earnest story to date and certainly the best written.

  • - Only the feeblest of men take jobs in the government.

  • (laughs)

  • watching Dutch's gradual decent from being

  • the charismatic successful and clever leader

  • of a gang of deadly outlaws to someone

  • on track to become the coldblooded and

  • beaten man being hunted down by Marston

  • 12 years later is captivating.

  • We get to watch an incredibly nuance performance

  • as Dutch's confidence ebbs and his restraint fades.

  • - Them goddamn cowards, Arthur cowards.

  • excellent to his main man Arthur.

  • Not only is there an infectious authenticity

  • to his low and smooth tone of voice

  • - Thank you - This is a very good tank.

  • But when Arthur himself is a far

  • wearier man by the stories climax.

  • His delivery is doubly potent.

  • - I don't know what your saying dutch

  • but it seems like I heard it all before.

  • - [Luke] Combined with strong writing and direction,

  • the result is a game that's sincere instead

  • of satirical and funny while remaining

  • capable of some supremely well earned emotional moments.

  • especially throughout the truly

  • excellent crescendo and epilogue.

  • And even after completing the epilogue

  • I still have a stack of strangers that need helping,

  • gangs that need killing

  • (gunshot)

  • and fish that need catching.