By the time this issue of bazaar is on shelves, this particular writer will be suffering from a week-long, game-induced hangover. Tiredness will be a certainty. Every limb will be screaming for exercise and movement. My digestive system will refuse one more chip or another drop of sugary drink. My TV will be begging for a break. A game 7 years in the making is now a week away from release, and not just any game; it’s the sequel to 2010’s monster hit Red Dead Redemption, from the studio that makes (arguably) the biggest game series in the world—Grand Theft Auto.
I absolutely loved the first game. I remember it coming out when I was leaving the UK for the first time, and having read nothing about it but seeing the famous ‘Rockstar’ logo on the box, I thought I’d give it a go. I brought a copy, packed up my Xbox and when I arrived at the hotel in my new country, set everything up on the TV and played for days (when I should have been apartment hunting but no regrets!). I was hooked from the beginning.
Set in America of 1911, you play as John Marston, a former gang member. When the government kidnaps his wife and child in exchange for services to bring down his former gang, John sets out to do just that. The setting is the Wild West. Imagine any old western movie and that’s what you’re playing in. It’s an open world sandbox where, apart from the main missions you’re tasked with, you have plenty of side missions and activities to get involved with along the way. I used to say it was ‘GTA but with horses instead of cars’, if that helps you picture it!
Shortly after the main game came out, they released Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, which added onto the single player experience with a zombie-themed story (in the same setting). I never got to play this much, but I do plan on getting to it sometime next year. Feedback from the community on this expansion was extremely positive.
As the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 has drawn closer, Rockstar (the developer) have announced more and more features and shown gameplay, as well as letting certain game journalists go and play the game demo. I’ve gone out of my way to avoid all of this as I do with all games that I’m eagerly anticipating, games that I believe I don’t need to wait on a review for as I already know they will be amazing. For these, I don’t like to see any kind of details, no matter how big or small; I want to discover it all for myself. Naturally, with everyone on the internet usually being ‘look at me, I know something and I have to get it out there before anyone else’, some details have slipped past my spoiler shield but thankfully nothing too big, I think. I’ll mention what I do know, so if you’re like me and don’t want to know anything, skip the next paragraph!
RDR2 will be a prequel to the first game, meaning that it will be set before the events of the first game. That leaves scope for John Marston to show up, and even be a playable character. The map is somehow linked to Mafia 3, a game released a couple of years ago, but made by the same company; eagle eyed gamers on the internet noticed that Mafia 3’s New Bordeaux location shows up on the RDR2 map, although the two titles are set in different time periods so characters from Mafia 3 won’t be showing up. The game is expected to take around 60 hours to complete, although I’m sure if you’re going for 100% it will take much longer. The dead eye mechanic is back, which is a meter that builds up allowing you to slow down time, and when aiming at your target, lets you pinpoint multiple locations for the bullets to hit. You’ll be making basecamps too in RDR2.
Ok, you can open your eyes now, spoiler brigade. That’s pretty much all I know and at time of writing, I just have one more week to steer clear of the internet before I can get hands on myself.
I also hope they do another story based add on, like Undead Nightmare, somewhere down the line. But until then, my phone will be off. My family have been briefed; to consider me out of the world for at least the first 48 hours after the game is released. I’ll no longer be in Kuwait; I’ll be in the Wild West. Hopefully I’ll be finished in time to tell you all about it in the December issue!