With 'Red Dead Redemption 2' set to hit shelves tomorrow morning, the first reviews are now beginning to be published online.
In case you had any doubt, pretty much every write-up and review has been ecstatically positive and effusive. Right across the board, the sheer sense of scale and the immersive nature of the game has been praised, whilst the story and richness of it has also been lauded.
The Guardian described the game as "a near miracle," adding that "(the) obsessive detail on show here (and the determination to immerse the player in it) recalls Cormac McCarthy’s border trilogy, those long, sparsely punctuated passages where he would spend pages describing a landscape and you’d realise, at the end, that you hadn’t exhaled for minutes."
The Verge, meanwhile, called 'Red Dead Redemption 2' "the most convincing open-world game ever made," and praised how "nuanced and emotionally complex" it was. Not only that, the gang system and the interactions with the camp were also covered in the review.
One thing that pretty much every review has spoken about - and it's worth discussing - is the huge amount of man-hours that went into the game. Rockstar Games came in for some criticism over an interview in which one of the directors discussed working over a hundred hours a week in order to see the game completed on time. The issue does deserve some nuance, and a number of employees in Rockstar Games came forward and spoke openly about the demands the game's production required - but does it need to go into a review? Maybe, maybe not.
Forbes, however, argued that "(both) its triumphs and its failures live at grand extremes: maddening, beautiful and awesome."
"The game hits each every one of its moments with grace and force, whether they're bombastic gunfights or a small moment on a boat in a lake outside Blackwater. I'm leaving my playtime overwhelmed, emotional and drained in a way that I haven't quite felt since the original Red Dead Redemption."
The Telegraph's review discussed just how "Red Dead Redemption 2 is at pains to never take you out of its world," and found the use of the interaction system particularly fascinating. "It’s classy stuff, on the whole, acted with aplomb and far removed from the modern nihilism of Grand Theft Auto. This is a slower-burn and sadder story, though not without its moments of both levity and brutality, largely played out through Arthur’s interaction with its characters and the world."
The game is released here in Ireland on October 26th - which is tomorrow. If you've got the day booked off or if you're planning on taking the long weekend to enjoy it, let us know how you're enjoying it so far.