Where Skyrim brings fantastical mood, Red Dead Redemption 2 delivers a true to life, organic open world. Nearly two years since release, RDR2’s lived in setting is still yet to be matched.
And much like Bethesda’s pension for creating immersive worlds, it’s unlikely Rockstar will be topped for a long time. I beat the story for RDR2 over a year ago, but it’s still a game I come back to time and time again for its rich systems and authentic natural setting. As someone who loves hiking, Red Dead Redemption 2 is about as good as it gets.
It’s not hard to see that Rockstar has in fact developed a game, but despite its outward craft, it still feels wonderfully genuine. Landscapes, plant life, people, and animals all have a sense of place that weaves seamlessly. My most recent venture back to Red Dead Redemption 2 has been inspired by its ability to foster virtual photography.
This is where the sublime nature of the game truly stands out. Taking a step back and eyeing up potential screenshots reveals that the open world is photogenic nearly everywhere. Surprisingly, most settings never feel shoehorned in. Layout, elevation change, use of palette – RDR2 feels organic and as an ode to the natural world.
Each biome gives the sense that Rockstar aimed to see the best in nature, and transport the player there. As with real life strolls through the woods, nature isn’t always breathtaking. Red Dead Redemption 2 feels curated for the larger than life landscapes, but it also does a great job of drawing the player towards the visual heights of everyday landscapes and settings.
If you’re someone who’s still on the fence, Red Dead Redemption 2 is still the game to get if you’re into immersive open worlds. For those that love nature and the outdoors, it doesn’t get any better. I don’t think a game will hit me like RDR2 for a long, long time.
Lover of games, tech, nature, and strange electronic music. Shaped by Sega, PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox – platform agnostic ever since. Currently overwhelmed by choice on my Xbox Series X thanks to Game Pass.