Red Dead Redemption 2 has been out for one month, which is about as long as it takes for Arthur Morgan to stumble from Valentine to Saint Denis. The blockbuster western was defined by controversy before launch, but critical and fan response has been strong. The journey’s been short but the road’s had some occasional bumps. Here’s what’s happened since release.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 officially releases on October 26th. Reviewers, including Kotaku’s Kirk Hamilton, praise the game’s attention to detail and its strong character performances even as lingering questions about Rockstar’s working conditions color discussion. It grosses $725 million over the launch weekend, making it the biggest opening weekend in entertainment history.
- Some players downloading the digital edition find themselves stuck with extremely long download times as the game’s raw size—a whopping 92.742 GB—leaves all but the highest internet speeds struggling.
- Players get drawn into Red Dead Redemption 2’s world, and impressions range from positive to critical. Some find themselves drawn to certain NPCs or getting caught up in intense robberies and hunting trips. Others, like myself, enjoy the quieter moments but worry things feel a bit too much like a themepark. After all, you can’t pet the cats!
- Players encounter bugs, including some wild ones that drop NPCs from the sky, spin folks around, and create freaky pretzel people. These are thankfully rare.
- My colleague Tim Rogers sets off to grow the largest possible beard in the game. It’s a process that involves drinking a lot of tonics and leaving Arthur destitute, but he eventually gets a Grizzly Adams worthy visage.
- On October 1st, British website TrustedReviews donates $1.3 million to charity after publishing leaked information about the game in February. Noting that their article was sourced from a “confidential corporate document” (which our own reporting suggests the site may not have thoroughly vetted before publication), TrustedReviews apologizes to Take-Two Games and removes the article from their website.
- Players exploring the game find a slew of interesting easter eggs, including UFOs, ghosts, and more. Among the most exciting secret is the existence of a strange side-quest with an apparent time-traveler who may have connections to Grand Theft Auto V’s strange Epsilon Cult. It’s unclear if this could lead to a mystery as big as the Mount Chiliad mystery, but players continue to scour the world for more strange events.
- Take Two issues an earnings report saying that Red Dead Redemption 2 has shipped 17 million copies in slightly under a month, but there’s a surprising sales competitor out there. The NDP group reports that Black Ops 4 remains the top selling game of the year.
- Players discover a way to access a major late game area way earlier than intended, and even break out of bounds into Mexico. It allows Arthur to collect trinkets like dinosaurs bones and draw unique sketches in his journal.
- After nearly one month without information other than “sometime in November,” Rockstar finally announces a closed beta for Red Dead Online. Players who bought the Ultimate Edition can start up multiplayer tomorrow, launch day players can log in on Wednesday, and players who bought the game from October 27-29th can play on Thursday. Everyone else needs to wait until Friday to ride with their posse.
And that’s where we are. Red Dead Redemption 2 has dominated discussion, from accounts of smaller moments to larger questions about AAA design. As the game expands, players will undoubtedly cause trouble in Red Dead Online and uncover more hidden secrets. From mysteries and online hijinks to thinkpieces and more, we’ll be talking about this game—the good and the bad—for a long time.