Red Dead Redemption 2


You can do anything you want in Red Dead Redemption 2—or pretty close to it, anywaybut the law will eventually come for you. The video game, which in narrative terms is a prequel to 2010's Red Dead Redemption, is an open-world Western that allows players to explore a massive virtual territory, with a near-infinite number of options for gameplay.

You can rob and steal, or start conversations with strangers and offer assistance to folks in need. Or you can just ride your horse and hunt, bringing fresh game back to keep the rest of the gang fed.

You play as Arthur Morgan, a member of a gang run by Dutch van der Linde, an ambitious outlaw leader who has just botched a big score. Heists and shootouts abound, but the game forces you into a patient, naturalistic rhythm, maintaining and upgrading your camp, building your relationship with the rest of the crew, and taking long, cinematic rides through the gorgeously rendered digital landscape.

Yet every action you take has consequences. You might lose your horse, or hit a civilian during a brawl. If you choose to get violent or steal, the local police always show up. You can run, try to shoot your way out, or pay a fine.

Even if you play as peacefully as the system allows, if you follow the story, you eventually run afoul of federal agents on the trail of your gang. It's a game built around both individual choice and the certainty that the state will always get its due.