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The Van der Linde gang in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Red Dead Redemption 2 has finally ridden into town and, based on early reviews, critics seem to be quite pleased with the latest effort from Rockstar Games. The Wild West epic is currently holding down the top position for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 across the entire generation on Metacritic and is even going toe-to-toe with the best-reviewed games of all time.

Gamespot, put a strong focus on the realism of Red Dead Redemption 2, which goes so far as to incorporate when and how much a player eats into their character's weight and stats. The review, like most others, calls out how beautiful and expansive the world is, saying that it's the kind of setting you'll probably have trouble walking away from.

There can be no doubt that this is a landmark game. It is a new high water-mark for lifelike video game worlds, certainly, but that world is also home to a narrative portrait of the wild west that is unexpectedly sombre and not afraid to take its time.

The latest Red Dead game has been a long time coming, with Redemption launching way back in 2010. Rockstar launched Grand Theft Auto V and has done an impressive job of maintaining an online community in the meantime but, at this point, fans were chomping at the bit to get their hands on another tale of train heists and bank robberies in the American frontier.

A large number of reviewers slapped a perfect score on Red Dead Redemption 2, which shouldn't be confused for anyone claiming it is a "perfect game." With that many high marks, though, anyone worried that this prequel would not live up to the legacy set by its predecessor can probably put those fears aside.

The Guardian, for instance, said RDR2 offers "total immersion in an astonishingly lifelike world," highlighting how the game serves as a collection of stories that does a solid job of letting the player live through the dying days of what is known as the "Wild West." The frontier is shrinking, something the characters are trying to escape alongside the lawmen who keep chasing them.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an excellent prequel, but it's also an emotional, thought-provoking story in its own right, and it's a world that is hard to leave when it's done.

While RDR2's launch has not been without controversy, it appears critics were still enamored with the game. The vast majority of scores are in the 90-100 range, with the sole standout being Slant with a 3.5 out of 5. The review states Red Dead 2 gets "tangled in its lofty aspirations," specifically pegging the game for having "antiquated movement design," boasting themes that have been explored better elsewhere and offering "distressingly little going on beneath the surface."

Another top mark was handed out by Gameinformer which, like other reviews, noted the tension that keeps tightening throughout the game's runtime due to the fact that anyone who has played the original Red Dead Redemption knows exactly how this story is going to play out.

The up-close portrayal of the outlaw Van der Linde gang's unraveling is a compelling companion story that blends seamlessly with the original game, and depth and breadth of the open world is a technical triumph that every gamer should experience.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is available tomorrow.

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