‘Red Dead Online’ Finally Fully LaunchesThe Actual Pinkertons Are Suing the Makers of ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ Stay on target I could be playing more Red Dead Redemption 2 right now. I should be playing Red Dead Redemption 2 right now. Rockstar’s cowboy opus is right around the corner, and we’ve been playing our review copy as much as possible within an ethical work week. But we still have some ways to go before delivering final thoughts, as we explained this morning.But you don’t have to sink hours and hours into Red Dead Redemption 2 and its horseback conversations before the game gets your brain churning. Even just the first few hours we’ve played so far have offered plenty to chew on thematically as well as new gameplay systems to hogtie into submission like a runaway snitch. So here are some early thoughts on Red Dead Redemption 2’s hateful, grateful opening hours.I say hateful not necessarily because of the game’s tone, although surprising no one these 1899 outlaws have less-than-stellar things to say about non-white members of the gang. Rather, because cowboy movies are so much more influential than cowboy histories, the narrative players are first thrust into reminded me a lot of Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 cowboy chamber piece The Hateful Eight, a comparison I’m sure Rockstar loves considering the strong cinema envy throughout pretty much its entire output.Don’t worry, the whole game isn’t about you being stuck in a snowy cabin. But the beginning sure is. A sharp contrast from sparse deserts of the Mexico-border setting in the first Red Dead Redemption, the sequel initially has you trudging through the snow in our cowboy boots spotting targets by oil lanterns during shootouts. The opening also has a similar desperate paranoia as your gang huddles together to stay warm and tell whatever lies are necessary to seize the nearby shelter. And it looks gorgeous in a wide, pastoral, 70mm way. The setting sun obscured by blizzard winds make this journey feel doomed even if you don’t have the haunting context of the first Red Dead, which this is a prequel to.Once your camp is established, the first camp of several we set up as we moved across the game’s slowly opening map, you’re then tasked with not just surviving but thriving. Dutch’s commitment to living free that he bestows on the rest of the gang, including player character Arthur Morgan and Red Dead 1 hero John Marston, is why they view themselves as more honorable than lesser gangs like the O’Driscolls even as their way of life fades away. The next few missions are meant to make you feel grateful for what you have like camaraderie with the gang as you skillfully shoot your way through a ramshackle O’Driscoll hideout or hunting skill to find fresh deer meat on the treacherous mountain to feed your starving people with.The gameplay systems used to make these points aren’t revolutionary but feature the polish and craft you expect from Rockstar’s undervalued employees. I still don’t enjoy the touchy horse-riding controls but respect the confident methodical pace they force on you. The old-timey guns (after you clean them) still cut down foes with the dramatic heft of a spaghetti Western movie, even if you don’t slow down time with dead-eye. And maybe it’s because these earlier linear tutorial missions are set on a multi-tiered mountain instead of more expansive open-world, but the fact that general combat and navigation totally holds up with action-adventure games like the new Tomb Raider is a real improvement for Rockstar.Now that I’m off of the mountain (which also has shades of Skyrim’s opening) and in greener pastures, I don’t know yet how the rest of Red Dead Redemption 2 will play out, what it’ll feel like or which movies it will remind me of. But the opening was powerful enough that, again, I really should be playing more right now. Not that many more people need convincing about this game, but if you were on the fence, hopefully you have a better idea of what to expect at the start. Look out for more Red Dead Redemption 2 thoughts as we play more of it.For more on Red Dead Redemption 2, to tide you over until you can play for yourself, check out the latest gameplay trailer and character portraits and fancy special edition.View as: One Page Slides1/121. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.