Red Dead Redemption 2 (or simply RDR2) is an open world adventure western developed by the combined efforts of all Rockstar Games' internal studios in 2018. The game was released on October 26, 2018, for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. The PC version was released a year later, on November 5. Currently, it is the third game in the Red Dead series and the first in terms of the timeline of events.
Red Dead Redemption 2 scored 97 points on the Metacritic aggregator and received very positive reviews from players. The game showed the best sales result in the history of entertainment for the first weekend, collecting 725 million dollars in three days. As of 2023, over 50 million copies have been sold. RDR 2 has received numerous awards and nominations for its deep story, the best open world in the gaming industry, music design, actors' work, and visual execution.
On this site, you can find useful information about Red Dead Redemption 2: news, articles, guides, and up-to-date information about the online mode. Also, there are many modifications that have been posted with the permission of the authors and provided that the authorship is indicated.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Setting
The main events of Red Dead Redemption 2 take place in several fictional states of the USA in the 19th century: New Hanover, West Elizabeth, New Austin, Ambarino, Lemoyne. Many of these territories were already featured in the first part. The southern border of the map ends at the San Luis River. Access to Mexican territories is closed.
Open World and Interaction with It
Red Dead Redemption 2 features a large and detailed open world that actively responds to the player's actions. The main character can interact with passers-by, as well as threaten and rob. For this, a separate dialogue functionality has been added to the game. You have to use a lasso to catch and tie up people. For example, you can deliver fugitive criminals to the local sheriff and get a reward for it.
Positive and negative actions are reflected on a special "honor scale". Karma affects the reaction and attitude of citizens towards the main character. The higher it is, the more bonuses the player will receive. For example, discounts on goods in stores and additional tasks. With a negative honor scale, other quests will be available, as well as the problem of bounty hunters. Karma directly affects the main character's replicas, as well as the ending of the main storyline.
Hunting wild animals and fishing have been improved. Each game element is detailed and animated down to the smallest detail.
The main character's gang has its own camp (there will be several of them during the story), where the player can interact with the characters of the story, as well as perform generated activities. For example, chop wood, feed animals, play cards, and also give part of the earned money for the needs of the gang.
Each city in the open world represents a separate ecosystem that actively responds to the player's actions. Local residents remember the main character's misdeeds or, on the contrary, speak flatteringly, remembering good deeds.
Animals inhabit certain areas. The developers have implemented a full-fledged ecosystem that spectacularly reproduces the behavior of animals. Predators track prey, and herbivores try to survive and flock together. As a result, hunting has become more exciting. The gameplay has been significantly improved and refined compared to the previous part. Every action is brought as close to realism as possible. This meticulousness is especially evident when skinning a killed carcass.
The game world is filled with strangers who give additional tasks. Sometimes quests will come across new game mechanics that are not in the main campaign. Often, additional tasks from strangers are multi-level, their continuation can be obtained at a subsequent meeting with the quest giver. Non-playable characters go fishing, and also mine gold in the shallows.
Each separate location is filled with random scenes in which the player can intervene. Often this leads to a short quest or an additional acquaintance. In the open world, there are quite a few manually created places that tell stories in themselves.
Vegetation is now not only a decorative element but also a source of useful herbs, from which the player can make infusions.
In general, the game world in terms of detail and saturation far surpasses all game industry projects with open locations.
Gameplay and Main Mechanics of Red Dead Redemption 2
Like the previous part, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an open-world action-adventure game in the adventure western genre. Role-playing elements have been added to the game, which bring "cosmetic" variety to the linear structure of the plot missions. Apart from the main tasks, the player can take side quests and perform generated activities. Overall, the game design of Red Dead Redemption 2 doesn't differ much from Rockstar Games' past projects.
Red Dead Redemption 2 can be played from both a third-person and a first-person perspective. Battles take place using firearms, explosives, and hand-to-hand combat. The Dead Eye mechanic has returned unchanged. After pressing a certain button, the game time slows down for the player to aim more accurately at enemies. After marking targets, there is a barrage of shots that kill enemies in seconds.
Weapons and clothes can get dirty. A rusted barrel can jam at the wrong moment, and a bad smell from a jacket can scare off game during hunting. If you accidentally dip a weapon in water, it will misfire due to damp powder. The player needs to take care of the weapon: lubricate, calibrate, and wipe with a cloth. To get rid of the unpleasant smell, you need to visit the bath.
The main character must regularly eat, drink, and sleep to maintain strength and stamina throughout the game. Food can be cooked at a camp. Also, in the gang's camp there is a cook who sometimes prepares stewed meat. Products can be purchased in certain stores or collected in the open world. Some supplies give bonuses to stamina, accuracy, and the duration of Dead Eye.
For the sake of realism, the growth of hair and vegetation on the main character's face has been added. By using various tonics, you can speed up the process of growing hair. In the gang's camp, you can shave or do your hair. In cities, you can visit barber shops.
Horses are now more tied to the gameplay. There are several types of horses in the game world, which have unique colors and characteristics. The player can choose a name for their horse. It serves not only as a means of transportation but also as a kind of "trunk", where you can store additional weapons and supplies. The more attention is paid to the mare, the higher the level of trust will grow. At a high level, the horse is more obedient and loyal.
Setting up a camp, the player can cook food and create useful items. Sometimes bandits attack during sleep. Local travelers also set up camps in the open world. Depending on their character, they may attack the player if he intrudes without an invitation.
Hunting has become an integral part of the gameplay. Animal skins can be sold profitably, and the gang's cook gladly takes the meat. The method of killing affects the value of trophies. For example, arrows do not damage the animal's skin. But it is much more difficult to hit a dangerous predator with a bow than with a pistol.
Fishing is a new mechanic in Red Dead Redemption 2. Like hunting, it plays an important role in the gameplay. Players can catch various types of fish for food, sports interest, specific tasks, and earning money. You can catch 15 types of aquatic life.
Red Dead Redemption 2 actively uses the Euphoria physics engine, on which interesting mechanics are tied. The player can tie up passers-by and throw them anywhere on the map. At the same time, artificial intelligence will react to events in every possible way. For example, if you throw a tied person into the river, he will try to stick his head out of the water to avoid drowning.
There are significantly fewer duels, but they are still encountered in the open world.
The world is filled with activities that do not let you get bored during the journey. You can catch fugitive criminals, help local residents, or search for hidden gold bars. The list of all possibilities is very extensive. Thanks to thoughtful mini-games, the gamer can easily distract from the main plot and spend dozens of hours in the open world.
The main character and secondary characters of Red Dead Redemption 2
The pool of secondary heroes has significantly expanded compared to the prequel. The gang members have written stories and unique characters.
Dutch Van der Linde — the leader of the "Van der Linde" gang. An idealist who believes he can change the world through anarchy. At the beginning of the second part during the robbery in Blackwater, he killed a defenseless woman, which forced him and the gang to go to the mountainous area. The main antagonist of the series, who has a special charisma and the gift of conviction.
Arthur Morgan — the main character of Red Dead Redemption 2 and the lieutenant of the "Van der Linde" gang. He considers the gang leader his father and follows him in every possible way. Despite the karmic system and the actions of the player, Arthur is a good and decent citizen who will change his opinion about the bandit life throughout the game. According to many gaming publications, the main character is an example of a perfectly written character who holds his charisma to the final credits.
John Marston — the secondary main character of the game and the protagonist of the first part. At the age of 12, he was saved by Dutch, and then took under his wing. In the gang, he met his future wife, who later gave birth to his son Jack. In RDR2 we will see the transformation of John's character, as well as the influence of the conflict between Arthur and Dutch on his future fate. After the plot epilogue, the player can continue the game for Marston.
Abigail Marston — John's wife. In the second part, she takes care of John and Jack, and also participates in the crimes of the "Van der Linde" gang.
Jack Marston — the son of John and Abigail, and also the protagonist of the epilogue of the first part. The "main engine" in changing the character of the father and motivator in the desire to quit the "Van der Linde" gang.
Hosea Matthews — the solder of the gang, Dutch's best friend. When the gang stopped helping other people and started doing dirty things, Hosea became Dutch's main critic. One of the most positive characters in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Bill Williamson — one of the main members of the gang, whom we saw in the first part. Before the start of the game, he was dismissed from military service for attempted murder and debauchery. He was saved by Dutch and became a loyal ward. In the sequel, the character's character was humanized, which allowed Bill to move away from the obvious criminal image.
Javier Escuella — one of the main members of the gang, a Mexican. He joined Dutch's gang about four years before the events of the game, finding a strong connection with his ideologies. Neutral character who will show the middle finger to Arthur and John closer to the final. In the plot campaign of the first part, the player can kill him or capture him.
Charles Smith — the hunter of the gang. An African American with the appearance of a Native American. A positive character who helps Arthur and John in every possible way. He takes an active part in the epilogue and Marston's storyline.
Lenny Summers — a member of the "Van der Linde" gang. An educated African American who joined Dutch after a brutal revenge for his father's death. Has a close connection with Arthur and is extremely kind to the people around him.
Sean MacGuire — a young Irishman and a member of the "Van der Linde" gang. A typical criminal who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. A participant in many in-game robberies.
Micah Bell — one of the new members of the gang, as well as a secondary antagonist. The main culprit of all the problems and a real scoundrel, the hatred for whom has spread among most fans of the RDR series. In the epilogue, he becomes the first target of John Marston's revenge.
Sadie Adler — a new member of the gang, who joined after being freed from the captivity of the enemy group "O'Driscoll". During the story campaign, Sadie will transform from an ordinary girl into a tough cowboy. An alternative version of Arthur in a female guise, who always stands on the path of justice. In the epilogue, she will become a successful bounty hunter.
Uncle — an elderly member of the gang, a drunkard and a jester. In fan theories, there is a version that this character is the main hero of Red Dead Revolver. Anyway, Uncle is a real source of funny stories and a very positive character. A key character in the first part, who looks after Marston's ranch.
Simon Pearson — the cook of the "Van der Linde" gang. Throughout the game, the protagonist can donate various supplies and provisions to him.
Susan Grimshaw — the main overseer of the camp. She used to be in a romantic relationship with Dutch, so she joined his gang. A loyal ally of Arthur and a fair leader.
Molly O'Shea — Dutch's mistress. She was born into a wealthy family, but later moved to America in search of adventures and romance. She considers herself the best among the other members of the gang.
Karen Jones — a member of the gang, a young swindler. During the story, she becomes an alcoholic.
Mary-Beth Gaskell — a member of the gang, a highly skilled pickpocket. A very educated and talented girl. One of the few friends of Arthur Morgan.
Tilly Jackson — an African American and a friend of Mary-Beth. Cheerful and hardworking, she is not afraid to express her opinion. She plays a special role in the plot and the epilogue.
Leopold Strauss — the accountant and usurer of the gang. In the game process, he gives tasks to collect debts from debtors. On one of such quests, an important plot twist will occur.
These are far from all the characters of the story. We have only listed the main members of the "Van der Linde" gang, with whom you will have to interact throughout the main story. In addition to them, there are many no less important heroes, including the antagonists from the Pinkerton Detective Agency, who will bother Arthur and John until the end of the first RDR.
Plot of Red Dead Redemption 2
The events of the game kick off in 1899. After a failed robbery in the town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee to survive. Federal agents and the country's best bounty hunters are hot on their heels. The gang members have to rob and steal from decent US citizens to gather funds for a peaceful existence in Australia or Tahiti.
As the story progresses, internal disagreements will flare up in the gang, which will ultimately lead to unforeseen consequences, in which Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang, to which he has dedicated a large part of his life.
Engine and graphics
Red Dead Redemption 2 is developed on Rockstar's proprietary engine, Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE), which is actively used in the latest Rockstar Games. As of 2023, RDR2 is still considered one of the most beautiful games in the industry. The PC version, without any enhancements and modifications, demonstrates stunning detail and realistic lighting. The game is often called a technological miracle, all thanks to good optimization on PS4 and Xbox One consoles.
The simulation of mud, which plays a key role in the ambiance of the Wild West, deserves special praise. The game processes the textures of people and horse tracks and, using the Parallax Occlusion Mapping effect, creates realistic deformation in real time.
The fauna, flora, locals, and environmental objects are recreated with maximum detail, which you don't often see in games. The animations deserve special praise.
Music of Red Dead Redemption 2
The soundtrack of Red Dead Redemption 2 was written by composer Woody Jackson, who previously wrote music for the first part, as well as LA Noire and Grand Theft Auto 5. It took the author more than five years to create 60 hours of music. Jackson was inspired by the melodies of samurai films from the 50s, as well as the works of Hollywood musicians from the 50-70s. To make sure the soundtrack fit the game, Woody listened to it while shooting targets from a pistol.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, music is divided into three types:
- Narrative soundtrack — music for story missions;
- Interactive ambience — the main melody played while being in the open world;
- Live ambience — a song or music performed by a secondary character in the open world.
Music is played through vertical mixing technology: compositions are divided into layers and assembled into a unique melody, depending on what is happening on the screen. In total, the game has 192 interactive tracks.
- The development of Red Dead Redemption 2 began long before the release of Grand Theft Auto 5. The authors of the first part from Rockstar San Diego "laid the foundation" for the game in 2010. More than 3000 employees were involved in the creation of the sequel.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 was the most anticipated game of Hideo Kojima. He wrote about this on social media.
- By mid-2017, the game was 98% ready. The remaining time before the release was spent on polishing game assets and creating content for the online mode.
- The game's script took up 2000 pages. With the text of all additional missions and secondary dialogues, the height of the stacked sheets exceeded 2.5 meters.
- For 6 years, there was constant work on motion capture. 1200 actors were involved to implement the intended story. More than 700 people worked non-stop in the recording studio for several years.
- The game has a part of the territories of Mexico, which was recreated for the background. Using a certain glitch, players were able to bypass the invisible wall and explore the location
- In the early version, the main character had a couple of love lines. By the release, only one was left, as the game already exceeded all limits in terms of duration.
What do we want to see in Red Dead Redemption 3?
There's no news about the development of the next part yet. However, we can fantasize a bit about what we want to see in Red Dead Redemption 3:
- Larger scale: the bigger the game world, the more interesting it is to live in it;
- Advanced flora and fauna system with a huge variety of different plants and animals with fully working food chains;
- Destructibility at least at the level of shooting through wooden materials, the ability to blow up a house with dynamite and watch it shatter into splinters;
- Cargo trading system: supply means a lot in the Wild West, so why not implement a full inventory and supply system in the new project;
- More NPCs: not only enemies, but also peaceful residents, because it's much more interesting to play knowing that the game world is populated by many characters;
- Weapon customization: installation of interchangeable butts, improvement of weapon mechanics, inlaying, application of beautiful decorative elements and, of course, the ability to saw off the sight, which will be appreciated by every self-respecting cowboy;
- Many absolutely different horse breeds, which differ not only in appearance, but also in riding characteristics;
- Several characters: the idea to make several main characters at once went great in GTA 5, so why not do the same here;
- Casinos, horse racing, duels according to the rules of the Wild West and other types of additional activities.
Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC, minimum system requirements
- Operating system: Windows 10 — update from April 2018 (v1803);
- Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K / AMD FX-6300;
- RAM: 8 GB;
- Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2 GB / AMD Radeon R9 280 3 GB;
- Free hard disk space: 150 GB;
- Sound card: DirectX compatible.
Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC, recommended system requirements
- Operating system: Windows 10 — update from April 2018 (v1803);
- Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X;
- RAM: 12 GB;
- Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB / AMD Radeon RX 480 4 GB;
- Free hard disk space: 150 GB;
- Sound card: DirectX compatible.