Are Outlaws People Too?
They may rob, steal, and kill people, but deep down, there’s a heart in them somewhere…
To answer the title’s question, yes, outlaws are people too. This is shown in the hit game Red Dead Redemption 2, the prequel to Red Dead Redemption, and the third game in the Red Dead series. The game was released in October 2018 and received a lot of praise. It was the second biggest launch in the history of entertainment.
The game takes place in 1899 in a fictional American Southwest and tells the story of Arthur Morgan, who is part of the Van Der Linde gang. Outlaws are becoming less and less frequent during the time this game takes place, and the Van Der Linde gang is one of the big gangs left. The game starts with the group walking through the snow at night, trying to find a place, any place, to hold up for the time being. They eventually find an abandoned shack and tend to those who are injured. The group is in this mess after having to escape their town of Blackwater where they robbed the town and were eventually chased out by the law, leaving the money behind (the gang is on the run throughout the game). They stay in this wintery, abandoned town for a bit, and this is where the game starts. This small, winter town, gives you the basics of the game. You go off to try and find John Marston and rescue him from a mountainside, you learn how to hunt, and you start to pick off some O’Driscolls that are hiding about as well. You will also get to rob your first Leviticus Cornwall train. After all these events, your gang eventually decides to head East, to the town of Valentine. Dutch makes a cover story, about the guys being factory workers who were laid off. When your gang arrives, they set up camp, and chapter 1 ends.
Throughout the next chapter, you steal, rob, and make enemies in Valentine. You rob trains, and piss of Leviticus Cornwall even more, which forces you by the end of the chapter to get up and move once again. Some Pinkertons, the bounty hunters chasing you from Blackwater, even encounter you while fishing with Jack Marston. Eventually, you and a few other members of the gang, have a run in with Leviticus Cornwall and his men and have a town shoot out. This forces you and the gang to uproot and find a new place to call home for now. The gang moves south to the town of Rhodes.
While in Rhodes, Dutch wants you to play nice-that means no guns or causing trouble within the town. Dutch and you even make nice with the sheriff, and help him catch some guys causing trouble. This officially makes you a deputy! While in Rhodes, you also learn of two powerful families within the town: the Grays and the Braithwaithes. The Grays have been there for generations, and have controlled most of the things within the town, until the Braithwaithes come along and make trouble for the Grays. Dutch has you go investigate and you start to get within the business of both families and even find out there’s a Romeo and Juliet scenario between some of the family members of the Grays and the Braithwaithes. Within Rhodes, there are also the Lemoyne Raiders: a gang similar to the one Arthur is a part of. There are many run-ins with this group, and you even steal moonshine from them later in the chapter. The longer the gang is there, the antsier they get. Near the end of the chapter, Dutch has you and some of the other gang members infiltrate the Braithwaithes and Grays and start to cause trouble for both families and for the town of Rhodes. This is where I currently am in the game.
Arthur Morgan was picked up by Dutch and Hosea as a kid, and sees them as father figures. He’s grown up with the club, and will defend the decisions of Dutch to other members of the club when they don’t see eye to eye. However, there are some moments where he won’t agree with Dutch but he will have to go along with the plan anyway. Arthur is a complicated man. You can play him in many different ways as well, such as honorable or dishonorable, depending on how you interact with civilians. Arthur is a great character, and I’m glad he’s fleshed out as much as he is throughout the game. Dutch Van der Line is the leader of the Van der Linde gang. He picks up misfits. Hosea is another member, who has been by Dutch’s side the longest, no matter what goes wrong. John Marston is another character, who, however, does not agree with Dutch, and tries to challenge him when he has the chance. Other characters include Lenny, Charles, Micah, Bill, Uncle, Sadie, Tilly, Jack, Abigail, Javier, and anyone else I am forgetting. Everyone in this game has their own story, and the more you play and talk with the folks at your camp, the more you get to know them. It’s a great feature to the game that I really appreciate, especially if you don’t get to go on missions with them. You also have the opportunities to have parties at camps, and sit and sing songs around the campfire, which is always fun (you’ll have Ring Dang Doo stuck in your head all day after playing…).
Since this is a prequel, this takes place before the events of Red Dead Redemption, where you play as John Marston, who has to rescue his family from the government and decides to take revenge on the remaining members of the Van der Linde gang. I played a little bit of Red Dead Redemption but never got that far. I know a lot of people love John in that game, but in this game, he’s a jerk, and I cannot stand him. Hopefully, he gets better? However, Jack, Johns son, is in this game as a kid, and he’s a cutie and the purest character in this game.
The story and the characters in the game (so far) are beautiful. Even though they’re bad guys, you kind of feel for them. I know Arthur is not a good guy, but I sometimes get why he does what he does. The scenery and graphics of the game really make the game. Rockstar games took years on this, like they did with Grand Theft Auto V, and it shows. The longer you take on a game, the better it will probably turn out. Yeah, riding your horse can sometimes be daunting, especially if you have to go to Rhodes from Valentine or vice versa, but if you don’t you miss out on stranger missions and possibilities to throw dynamite or have a shootout with the KKK. There are many side missions, some better than others, that are worth seeking out. (I just finished the serial killer one and it was particularly brutal). The game also includes crafting, hunting, and random other events that happen within the wild west. You can even change Arthurs clothes with all the money you eventually get (because it’s what all he, and the rest of the gang, cares about but honestly who doesn’t like money???). Arthur also keeps a journal he writes/draws in, and will create new entries once a big mission is over. It’s interesting to see it from his perspective, instead of playing as him. He has his own thoughts on things, and it’s a great feature to an already amazing game. The gang takes care of each other, even if they do have their differences, they’re all misfits, and care for one another even if they don’t always show it. Overall, from what I have played, this game is gorgeous, and wonderful in many ways, and I can’t wait to continue to play when I have more time. I want to see where Arthur story goes next!
If you are into games and have been debating about Red Dead, don’t debate anymore, go buy the game, you won’t regret it. (You can also pet the doggos that are throughout the game!!!!!!!!! So, I mean, if that doesn’t convince you, nothing will!).
I am not far yet, but it’s amazing from what I’ve played, and I hope to make this score a 10/10 as I get further in!
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