Hype can often be a hindrance, where unrealistic expectations undermine any chance of true gratification. With two years passing between its announcement and its release, fans of Red Dead Redemption 2 had ample time to build up their hopes that the long-awaited sequel would surpass its much-loved predecessor.
Early reviews of the game suggest that fans were right to get their hopes up. Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2 may have raised the bar for creating an open-world video game, such are its graphical detail and scope.
The sequel to Red Dead Redemption is actually a narrative prequel, with players using outlaw Arthur Morgan to navigate the rich open world.
The game has a transportive power, like that of a time machine, which immerses players in the wonderfully-realized world of the Wild West in 1899.
Reviews collated at Digg praise the rendering of the environment, both in terms of its seemingly boundless scope and the attention paid to minute detail.
Responses to its narrative are less effusive, perhaps a consequence of the scope of the game requiring more time to thoroughly sink in.
Irrespective of narrative, this game feels like it will raise expectations of the level of detail and depth in open-world gaming. Future open-world games will inevitably be compared to this, therefore setting a challenge for developers to find new ways to innovate.
Even fishing has never looked so realistic in gaming
Red Dead Redemption 2 could become a defining game for a generation, the kind that players look back on in a decade to share cherished collective memories.
The world of console gaming has somewhat stagnated in recent years, with 2011’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V the last video games to truly sweep up a generation of gamers.
While recent years have seen the usual new additions to highly competent franchises like Call of Duty and FIFA, these games have been tinkering with the same formula rather than making a ground-breaking step.
While console gaming has endured a relative stagnation, other forms of gaming have made great strides forward due to the provision of something previously unavailable.
Online casinos have now truly usurped their land-based counterparts as the preferred venue for playing slots, in part because online casinos can offer something that physical casinos cannot: huge choice.
A look at Mr. Smith’s collection of online slots for UK players quickly reveals that there is something for everyone. There are slots with movie, television and music themes, with a level of visual detail that makes classic slot machines feel outdated.
Similarly, mobile gaming has taken off in a huge way because it has offered something that was previously unavailable.
The unprecedented success of Pokemon Go married the nostalgia of the Gameboy with the adventure of a video game, yet it involved the exploration of real-life environments.
For a time, avid gamers and avid non-gamers alike were swept up in a craze because of the incomparable experience of the game.
Red Dead Redemption 2 looks as if it has tapped into the same power of innovation that online slots and mobile gaming have channeled in recent years.
Whether it has lived up to the hype is too difficult to tell so soon after its release, but there is no doubt that its visual detail has surpassed even the wildest of expectations. The only problem for Rockstar Games is where to go from here.