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Red Dead Redemption 2 review: An incredible Western that will deliver months of open-world adventure

However you decide to play, your actions will have an impact on the way people perceive you. If you're wanted in a town and its citizens recognize you, their guard goes up. The way you choose to carry yourself sends messages whether you want it to or not. A clean-shaven character seems more trustworthy than someone who hasn't bathed in a month.

Rockstar Games

Red Dead 2 does an excellent job of making you appreciate your place in the world and understand that actions have consequences. It's a lesson taught almost immediately. Forgot to take that rifle from your horse's satchel? Well now you can't use it. Committed a crime in front of strangers? Now you have to deal with witnesses.

Everyone in the game's world has something to say. NPCs (nonplayer characters) can be helpful, hostile, informative or completely indifferent, and Red Dead 2 approaches interacting with them in a way that feels tangibly different from other games. Instead of hitting a button to activate a dialogue tree, you pull the left trigger to engage while still having the agency to continue moving around, or even walk away. It's a small detail that helps create a sense of realistic discourse, and something I can see finding its way into other games moving forward. If you play things right, these encounters can lead to valuable information about easy targets, backstory or places to explore.

While fast-travel mechanics begin to open up more as the game's story progresses, a lot of Red Dead 2 is spent on horseback. You'll soon find that your relationship with your horse is an important bond that needs nurturing. The more comfortable you get with it, the more agile it becomes. That means you'll have to get used to feeding, soothing and, of course, brushing your horse.

Rockstar Games

Red Dead 2 offers an interesting approach at these long chunks of travel that string the game together. You can activate a cinematic camera mode -- complete with black bars, as above -- that will allow Arthur to continue on autopilot while showing off the game's breathtaking setting. It's a smart addition that helps pass the time, and something I found myself using much more than I initially thought I would.

It's easy to get caught up in a lot of the nonviolent mischief peppered throughout Red Dead 2's world. You can go hours and hours without engaging in a gunfight, but when you do, it's as satisfying as ever.

There's an unsettling quality to the way shootouts unravel in Red Dead 2, perhaps because of just how realistic they appear. Flashes of frenetic action blur the line between game and film, sometimes rivaling the most brutal scenes of a Scorsese or Tarantino flick. In short, they're simply amazing. The fan-favorite slo-mo Dead Eye mechanic also makes its return and offers some wild visuals and striking moments of bullet-riddled chaos.

Rockstar Games

Red Dead 2's weapons fire with chilling authenticity. Environments crumble as they take damage from bullets and collisions and the game's sandbox world seems completely destructible. On a PS4 Pro, Red Dead 2 is a jarring display of sprawling plains and endless vistas. Its environmental details are fascinating from both a design and technical perspective.

Suffice it to say, Red Dead 2 feels like a game that you can play for months and months. It's a world that is extremely easy to get lost in, wherein a masterful collection of details are all working together to trigger your senses into believing everything you see.

There's no shortage of original, compelling gameplay to take part in and it goes without saying that no two playthroughs will look alike. We'll be talking about Red Dead 2's secrets and easter eggs for months, if not years to come.

Rockstar Games

Red Dead Redemption 2 has undoubtedly raised the bar for narrative open-world games and will likely have a lasting impact on how they are made in the future. It pushes the envelope of what we understand is possible in a video game. It seems that every time we get something new from Rockstar, things inevitably change. With Red Dead 2 it feels like this shift will be defined by an experience that works hard to convince the player they aren't necessarily inside a video game, or beholden to a set of rules that a specific genre dictates.

For more on Red Dead Redemption 2, visit our friends at Giant Bomb and GameSpot.

More from GameSpot: Red Dead Redemption 2's new features: Gun durability, swimming, fishing, horse bonding and more  

Red Dead Redemption 2: Trailers, release date, gameplay, plot details, bonus content and more.

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