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Red Dead Redemption 2 Review Roundup — Here's What The Critics Think

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Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally here, and it’s reviewing very well with critics. After years of anticipation and multiple delays, fans can finally get their hands on Rockstar’s hugely anticipated open-world western. But there’s one question on everyone’s lips: is it any good?

GameSpot’s Red Dead Redemption 2 review awarded the game a 9/10. Critic Kallie Plagge called the open-world title an “excellent prequel” and an “emotional, thought-provoking story in its own right.” For more on the game’s critical reception, take a look at GameSpot sister site Metacritic or scroll down for a selection of other outlets’ reviews. Its Metacritic average stands at 97 on PS4 and 98 on Xbox One at the time of this writing, either tying or breaking the existing record for the two platforms.

Alongside the main game, a Red Dead Redemption 2 companion app is on the way. It will allow you to view the in-game map and your character’s core stats on a second screen, such as your phone or tablet, meaning you can keep your TV screen clear. For more on the Rockstar title, check out our Red Dead Redemption 2 guides and tips or some fresh Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay.

  • Game: Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Developer / Publisher: Rockstar
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
  • Release date: October 26
  • Price: US $60 / £60 / AU $100

GameSpot — 9/10

“While Red Dead Redemption was mostly focused on John Marston’s story, Red Dead 2 is about the entire Van der Linde gang–as a community, as an idea, and as the death rattle of the Wild West. It is about Arthur, too, but as the lens through which you view the gang, his very personal, very messy story supports a larger tale. Some frustrating systems and a predictable mission structure end up serving that story well, though it does take patience to get through them and understand why. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an excellent prequel, but it’s also an emotional, thought-provoking story in its own right, and it’s a world that is hard to leave when it’s done.” — Kallie Plagge [Full review]

CNET

“Red Dead Redemption 2 has undoubtedly raised the bar for narrative open-world games and will likely have a lasting impact on how they are made in the future. It pushes the envelope of what we understand is possible in a video game. It seems that every time we get something new from Rockstar, things inevitably change. With Red Dead 2 it feels like this shift will be defined by an experience that works hard to convince the player they aren’t necessarily inside a video game, or beholden to a set of rules that a specific genre dictates.” — Jeff Bakalar [Full review]

USGamer — 4.5/5

“Is Red Dead Redemption 2 better than the first game? Very much so. Is Red Dead Redemption 2 perfect? No. Rockstar Games has crafted this huge, beautiful world with an attention to detail that’s astounding. There’s a high level of craft here, but that’s also why some of those small annoyances or more obtuse systems stick out more. Despite those small issues, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a fantastic game that should keep players satisfied for another eight years.” — Mike Williams [Full review]

Eurogamer — Recommended

“Is this Rockstar’s greatest game, a new masterpiece alongside the original? There are one too many caveats, and one too many flaws at its heart, to leave me totally convinced. Is this its richest, most beautiful open world? Of that there’s not a single doubt.” — Martin Robinson [Full review]

IGN — 10/10

“Red Dead Redemption 2 stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Grand Theft Auto V as one of the greatest games of the modern age. It’s a gorgeous depiction of an ugly period that’s patient, polished, and a huge amount of fun to play, and it’s combined with Rockstar’s best storytelling to date. Even after finishing the lengthy story I can’t wait to go back and play more. This is a game of rare quality; a meticulously polished open world ode to the outlaw era. Looking for one of this generation’s very best single-player action experiences? Here’s your huckleberry.” — Luke Reilly [Full review]

GamesRadar+ — 5/5

“Just how good is Red Dead Redemption 2? Over the past few years, I’d argue the only games that deserve to be considered at this same ultra elite level are GTA V, Metal Gear Solid V, and The Witcher III. This is a stone cold 5/5 classic that combines brilliant writing–Rockstar’s Houser brothers deliver another affecting, scythe-sharp script–amazing tech, and one of the most boldly structured plots to ever grace a triple-A title. The story is so well told, you’ll emotionally invest more in a horse during one crucial scene than you did even for Kratos in this year’s stellar God of War revival. If you only buy one game this year, it absolutely has to be this wondrous Wild West quest.” — David Meikleham [Full review]

The Guardian — 5/5

“There can be no doubt that this is a landmark game. It is a new high water-mark for lifelike video game worlds, certainly, but that world is also home to a narrative portrait of the wild west that is unexpectedly sombre and not afraid to take its time. With very few exceptions, the many stories that Rockstar’s writers have set out to tell about this group of outlaws land perfectly, the enjoyable twists and turns of individual missions and chapters feeding into an exciting, sophisticated and absorbing larger narrative–and the stories that you discover yourself within its world are no less compelling. Around 2,000 people worked very hard (probably too hard, in some cases) to make this game possible. Every last one of them should be proud of their contribution.” — Keza MacDonald [Full review]

Game Informer — 10/10

“Rockstar Games has outdone itself again with Red Dead Redemption II. The up-close portrayal of the outlaw Van der Linde gang’s unraveling is a compelling companion story that blends seamlessly with the original game, and depth and breadth of the open world is a technical triumph that every gamer should experience.” — Matt Bertz [Full review]

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