One of last year's best games has finally been released for PC and we put our system to the test and experienced the breathtaking RDR sequel.
Last year, prior to the release of Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2, we awarded it with our highest score. There's no doubt about it - the Red Dead Redemption sequel was remarkable in more ways than one. The detail, narrative and the amount of content that the game offered put the game into a league of its own and we're sure that it'll take a long time for other studios to come close to the greatness of the game as a whole. Now, approximately one year later, it's time for the PC audience to let their computers do the work necessary to run it, and we'll state now that Red Dead Redemption 2 seems to be a better game on PC than it was on console, although if you'd like to read more about the game as a whole, we urge you to read the original review, as we will be speaking about the PC version specifically in this review.
We love Red Dead Redemption 2, but it did suffer from some issues when it released last year. Rockstar's focus on realism, for example, made the gameplay suffer in the sense that Arthur Morgan felt a bit stiff and slow in his movements and actions. Being forced to position him in just the right spot for him to pick up a can of beans from a shelf is never much fun. Searching the bodies of dead bandits gets old fast when each search takes four or five seconds. We understand what Rockstar wanted to accomplish with these moments - and it does work - it's just not always fun. Apart from this, RDR2 suffers from a slight delay between a press of a button and the subsequent action on the screen. These examples are two annoying components in an otherwise memorable and ambitious adventure. However, we love Red Dead Redemption 2, despite the aforementioned irritating details. It's a game we think no-one should miss out on and yet another Rockstar milestone that shows just how the open-world genre should be approached by developers. The fact that Rockstar revolutionised an entire industry with Grand Theft Auto III, resulting in this achievement so many years later, is truly inspiring.
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So what about the PC version? Well, if you ask us, it's yet another milestone - if you have a PC with good enough specs to run it properly, which very few have. Right now the optimisation seems to be shaky and reports have been coming in stating that people around the world are having difficulty even starting the game up despite having gaming PCs with hardware that should be enough and making the game run properly has proven to be a difficult process. Having said all that, we didn't have any issues starting the game on either of the two PC setups that we tried the game on, one being a PC and the other being a gaming laptop, but we have been forced to tweak the settings quite a bit more than we're used to. The settings tab has a lot of options, though. Rockstar has completely ditched the usual 'Low, Medium, High and Ultra' setup and has instead opted to let players control stability and graphics via a slider, letting you choose which of the two to prioritise.
On our PC, decked out with an i7-6700K processor, 32GB RAM and an RTX 2080Ti, we can run the game in 1440p with most sliders set on ultra while keeping a framerate of 60 frames per second. It's glorious to experience, not just because the graphical quality is way better on PC, but also because of the higher framerate and its impact on the graphics. When trying the game out on our ROG Zephyrus laptop, which rocks an i7, 16GB RAM and a 1060 Max-Q graphics card, we managed to squeeze out a medium graphics setting in 1080p - which still looks incredible. Rockstar has outdone itself in terms of the settings. If we switched the resolution to 1080p on our PC, we managed to get it up to 100+ frames per second while maxing the rest of the settings. As we mentioned earlier, it seems as though this varies immensely from system to system, but Rockstar has stated that it's working on the optimisation for all.
The PC version or Red Dead Redemption 2 is wonderful. If you have a machine that can manage it, it's undoubtedly the best system to play the game on. The graphical quality on show in this new PC version is a step ahead of what was achieved on console, and considering that the game looks stunning on console (especially on the Xbox One X), that's quite the accomplishment on Rockstar's part. It seems as though the studio is truly taking the PC crowd seriously, which explains the one-year spacing between release dates. Red Dead Redemption 2 was great on console, but it's even better on PC.
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9 / 10
Remarkably detailed world, fantastic graphics, incredible narrative, packed to the brim with content, great settings.