Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released for PS4 and Xbox One tomorrow, Friday 26 October, and reviews of the game are flooding in.
Unsurprisingly, there is universal love for Rockstar's game, with many reviews rating it with a maximum score. Some are even calling it Rockstar's best game ever.
We're still playing the game ourselves, to bring you the definitive Pocket-lint review so here then are some of the thoughts of other reviewers online.
"Most authentic open world ever"
IGN gives it a full 10 out of 10, with its reviewer specifically highlighting the enormous open-world environment as its crowning glory: "Set in Rockstar’s most authentic and lived-in open world ever, there are so many things to do, so many people to meet, and so many places to explore it’s giddily overwhelming." The site also claims that Red Dead Redemption 2 represents "Rockstar’s best storytelling to date".
Martin Robinson of Eurogamer is similarly enthused by the rich landscape to play in, most notably the extraneous detail you'll discover off the beaten track: "Red Dead Redemption 2's best stories, as ever in a Rockstar game, are to be found in the margins, the very best to be scribbled yourself. Sometimes that's just picking up on environmental details and connecting the dots - the gold prospector that sifts through their haul in the middle of a river, or maybe something even more sinister as you pick up the trail of a serial killer," he writes. "Is this its richest, most beautiful open world? Of that there's not a single doubt."
"When it works, it's astonishing"
Like Eurogamer, Polygon recently dispensed with handing out scores, and has presented a rather different review than most. Reviewer Chris Plante embellishes on the simulation aspects of the game: "Rockstar has the hubris to create not just another open world paired with a laundry list of activities, but also a simulation that binds it together. When it works, it’s astonishing, affecting and unintentionally funny in the way real life can be," he explains. "As I try to defuse a robbery, I notice my horse taking a massive and seemingly endless dump just behind me."
GameSpot's Kallie Plagge gives the game 9 out of 10 and clearly loves it, but also says that you need patience and to turn a blind eye at some of the game's mechanics: "Some frustrating systems and a predictable mission structure end up serving that story well, though it does take patience to get through them and understand why. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an excellent prequel, but it's also an emotional, thought-provoking story in its own right, and it's a world that is hard to leave when it's done."
"The detail is nothing less that total immersion"
Kirk Hamilton of Kotaku is perhaps most impressed by the amount of detail developer Rockstar put into the game: "This wonderful, unusual game was clearly a titanic logistical undertaking. Every cutscene, every railroad bridge, every interior, every wandering non-player-character has been polished to a degree previously only seen in more limited, linear games. If Naughty Dog’s relatively constrained Uncharted 4 required sustained, intense crunch to complete, what must it have taken to make a game a hundred times that size, but with the same level of detail?"
The Guardian's Keza MacDonald says something similar, although presents an interesting point. While Red Dead Redemption 2 is inspired by Western movies, it does so much more on a similar blockbuster budget: "A movie cannot afford to spend tens of hours setting the scene in the way that Red Dead Redemption 2 does when it sends you on long horseback journeys, often without company. It has you skinning animals, cleaning guns, taking baths. The aggregate effect of all this detail is nothing less than total immersion, the sensation of a lived experience," she says. "Around 2,000 people worked very hard to make this game possible. Every last one of them should be proud of their contribution."
"The guns are crunchy"
Finally, of all of the reviews we've read through, only the one by the Daily Star's Jordan Oloman mentions how the game is to play. Specifically, what the combat system feels like: "Combat is similar to Red Dead Redemption albeit with everything refined ad nauseum. The guns are crunchy to fire, the feel of each being period appropriate, adapting when they run out of use and need maintenance with precious Gun Oil. There is still something incredibly satisfying about watching a gang member be dragged through the sand by their horse after putting a hole in their head with the Dead Eye system, a feature which returns with region-specific targeting elements amongst other upgrades," he reveals.
We'll also leave it up to Oloman's review to sum up the general feeling about Red Dead Redemption 2: "This is a technical achievement for the ages, a mindblowing game, much like its predecessor that defines its console generation."