There's a certain appeal about the Wild West that the video game world has largely left ignored for so long. While so many retro video games have offered their own presentations of the setting, there are very few that have been as successful as the modern Red Dead Redemption series. Red Dead Redemption 2 follows on its original successes and continues by adding different missions, experiences, and requirements that players must see through in order to guide their outlaw towards his intended destination.
The game is set entirely within an open world staged in the Wild West and players will control a lone outlaw, Arthur Morgan, and guide him towards completing different quests and missions. While there is a linear story to follow, there are no set time requirements imposed on players and Arthur is free to roam wherever he may please in order to see what sort of mischief or valour awaits him in the west. There's been some noteworthy improvements on the original Red Dead Redemption, which further allow players to explore previously uncharted areas. For example, Arthur is now able to swim and can also hunt wildlife for food using a bow. This greatly decreases the need for Arthur to mingle with the locals in urban settings and strongly increases the almost nomadic nature of the game.
Unfortunately, Arthur will encounter problems living the nomadic lifestyle and it is up to players to rise to the challenge of vanquishing their foes. It won't be unusual for Arthur to encounter fellow bandits and outlaws in the wild and this may encourage players to take refuge in the local towns and cities where there is some degree from protection from the evil that surrounds the unexplored world.
There's a strong sense of morality in Red Dead Redemption 2. Players are free to choose their own reactions and responses while conversing with non playable characters, which greatly affects how Arthur is perceived by the townspeople wherever he visits. Those who treat others more positively will generally receive a more favourable response and this can give Arthur a degree of safety on his journey, but those who delve into the evil side of morality will find a host of different experiences otherwise unavailable to “good” players: train hijackings, robberies, and burglary all await those who choose the arguably harder life of an evil outlaw.
This level of morality also crosses over into various animal welfare standards as the primary mode of transportation in Red Dead Redemption 2 is by horseback. Players will need to train wild horses in order to tame them for Arthur's personal use or they may freely steal an already tame horse from another character in the game. Bonding also plays a critical role for the player's experience and they will need to dedicate quite a bit of time to the maintenance of their horse in order to solidify the bond that's shared between the horse and rider.
Red Dead Redemption takes the concept of “choose your own adventure” to the next level by providing a unique twist to free roaming adventures without detracting from the main game in play. It's no wonder the game has won several awards including the Australian Game Awards' Action Game of the Year 2018 and the Golden Joystick Awards' Critic's Choice Award.