Red Dead Redemption 2 review: An immersive and sympathetic tale of American outlaw life

Arthur Morgan is the grizzled but pensive antihero of Rockstar Games' hugely ambitious western opera Red Dead Redemption 2.Rockstar Games

Score: 9.5/10 
Platform: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Release Date: October 16, 2018

Red Dead Redemption 2 defies easy categorization.

Rockstar Games’ ravenously anticipated follow-up to its beloved 2010 western opera is, on the surface, an open world adventure in which players are free to explore a rambling, magnificently drawn map of several fictional U.S. states, getting up to whatever high jinks they can, from robbing stage coaches to hunting wild game.

It’s also undeniably a shooter — from your choice of a first- or third-person perspective — complete with an array of pistols, revolvers, shotguns, and rifles; a “dead-eye” slow-motion effect that helps ensure you’re the most lethal gunslinger in the west; and even quick-draw duels.