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Red Dead Redemption 2 PC
Red Dead Redemption 2 PC

PC
Genre: Open-World
Developer: Rockstar Official Site: https://www.rockstargames.co...
Publisher: Rockstar Games Classification: MA15+
Release Date:
5th November 2019
Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Review
Review By @ 07:20pm 04/12/19
PC
Part of what made Red Dead Redemption 2 -- particularly on Xbox One -- so good was native 4K. What was missing was 60fps alongside that. With the PC version of the game, naturally the best version, 60fps at native 4K is a massive selling point. But there are many of us out there without the rig to present the whole thing at its highest level. However, that doesn’t mean you still can’t play the best version of the game. On my Alienware 17” 2019 Gaming Laptop, at 1080p on its pristine screen (also with an NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU), the PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 is arguably better than on my 2019 Samsung Q9 series 4K HDR 65” monster tellie. It’s not alarmingly standout, mind. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game of measured pace, but the fluidity of the game’s deliberate movements and animations amplify the cowboy realness on display here, and while I did play with a controller (it’s a controller-type of game), the rich motion and visual depth still stood out, despite the smaller-size screen on my gaming laptop.



Interestingly also, is the higher level of detail within the game-world. Textures pop harder; reflection, refraction and dynamic environmental illumination fill the world with a sheen almost unseen in the PC space. Sure, other games dally in such technical areas, but few are as broad, open and complete as Red Dead Redemption 2. And I don’t need to harp on about how the so-called kingly race (still uncomfortable with the former handle for desktop jockeys) has been starved of its right to ride off into the sunset on a near-perfectly animated horse from 2010. Now, however, an even more perfectly-animated horse, replete with true-to-life testy physics, contracting muscles, sweat, cold breath and saliva… all, is there to wrangle, ride and use for cargo. To whistle at, brush and gush over. You can change its mane, its tail and its dressage. And in many ways the workhorse of traversal and companionship within the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 is the perfect metaphor for the game landing on PC -- this version of the Rockstar’s Western opus is the White Coat Arabian of the equine allegory, and requires love and understanding to get the most out of.

"My small home office meant my two-speaker stereo setup in a world where Dolby Atmos is the audio norm called for my Sennheiser GSP 550s to come out to play so I could melt myself into my chair at Woody Jackson’s transformative, emotive and always-personal soundtrack..."



It’s sort of hard to fully expand upon what I’ve already spent close to 1000 hours in on console with Red Dead Redemption 2, on PC. But, if I can share an anecdote, I was playing the game on the smaller-screen-with-more-grunt as recently as the morning of posting this review. Meanwhile, I had the game up and running on Xbox One in the lounge; the latter completed from a story perspective, the former… at least midway through Arthur’s arc. The reason was to find comparable points as to why one is better than the other. The truth is, if you’re a PC gamer, those comparisons mean little -- you’ll play the game on your platform of choice, in your environment of choice. The laptop, for mine, was a boon. My small home office meant my two-speaker stereo setup in a world where Dolby Atmos is the audio norm called for my Sennheiser GSP 550s to come out to play so I could melt myself into my chair at Woody Jackson’s transformative, emotive and always-personal soundtrack. This isn’t name or product-dropping, PC gaming is, at its best, about the gear you use to play your game -- how you milk your experience best.



So, playing the PC version of the game, I found something I hadn’t found in the console version of the game. The area was a familiar haunt -- The Heartlands just northeast of your second camp -- Horseshoe Overlook (spend as much time as you can here, first timers). A tree, full of dangling empty bottles. How could I have never seen such a thing in over 1000 hours of play? Not far from this tree is a dreamcatcher tree -- a tree I proactively found in my dreamcatcher-finding jaunts. It means little in the context of ‘content’, but in the face of Rockstar’s world-building, it’s almost volumetric; poetic in a simply visual, animated way, within the game-world. What does it mean? Why is it here? How can I interact with it? Is there treasure here? Will I get an Achievement? Should I come back later…?

"It has extra missions by way of treasure-hunting, strangers and bounties, among more, but it’s hard to quantifiably highlight these in a checkpointy way..."



The reality is, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game about discovery. Rockstar’s ads and media will tell you it’s about betrayal and redemption, but it’s not. Those things are rungs in a ladder to the exploration heavens. In playing the PC and console versions off of themselves, I’ve found at least 10 new *things* -- the aforementioned tree, an abandoned oil claim with dinosaur remains inside, the meteorite site right near the meteor house (how did I ever miss this?), numerous loot boxes within abandoned camps. More dreamcatcher trees. More discoveries for John to haphazardly sketch within Arthur’s more articulate journal... I even got a rare Achievement just for going back to Marko Dragic’s lab, which made me wonder why no one else had really done this.



Sure, the PC version of the game is the best visual version. It has extra missions by way of treasure-hunting, strangers and bounties, among more, but it’s hard to quantifiably highlight these in a checkpointy way. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an experience; a journey of myriad ups and downs. It still suffers from a few hardfails and on PC, reports of crashes aren’t uncommon (haven’t had any myself, to be honest), but the game is being heavily supported post-release be it through Red Dead Online (which has already had a full phase of 'testing' across Xbox One and PS4), or just in general updates to address bugs and fixes. The PC version also has an in-depth photo mode for the shutter bugs out there.

It’s been nine years since the MOTU race has had to read, listen to or watch the couch warriors carry on about this “amazing Western gaming experience”, but now, finally, it’s here and you can strap yourself into your desk chair and uncover the world of New Hanover and beyond. Just… take your time. It’s honestly still worth it, even over 1000 hours in single-player on.
What we liked
  • The world of Red Dead Redemption is finally on PC
  • Takes full advantage of the latest rigs and GPU tech
  • Extra missions and content
  • Red Dead Online has already been through its early paces
  • Photo mode
  • Excellent load times
What we didn't like
  • No addresses to some of the early hardfail missions
  • Need a decent rig to get the most out of the game
  • Reports of some crashes
More
We gave it:
10.0
OUT OF 10
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