The Loading Screen: “Red Dead Redemption II”

An overlook that captures a large portion of the heartland, an area of Red Dead Redemption. (Photo from Rockstar Games.)

Red Dead Redemption Two” follows Arthur Morgan as he moves with his group of outlaws: the Van Der Linde gang run by Dutch Van Der Linde. The gang is on the run after a heist in the fictional city of Blackwater goes wrong. 

This leads the gang to flee into the mountains to lose the law’s attention before heading back down to find a new camp. After waiting in the mountains, the Van Der Linde gang can get off the mountain, and the main game begins. 

After he gets off the mountain, Dutch’s main goal is to get back to the freedom of the west. He comes up with a plan: the gang will rob a train, get money then head west to their perceived safety. The gang faces problems in the eyes of the local authority after they stop the train and take the money. 

When returning to camp from an encounter with the law, Arthur warns the gang that the law knows their location. Dutch makes the decision to move camp to a new location further south. 

After moving camp, Dutch comes up with a new plan. This time they will play two rich feuding families for as much money as possible. Eventually, the gang gets caught in a trap and  decides to move closer to a large city, Saint Denis.

In the city, the Dutch begin planning to rob the largest bank. He brings Together the supplies, men, and willpower to do so. When the heist takes place, it goes horribly wrong, and the group loses gang members in their escape. 

After hiding out in an abandoned house overnight, the group takes a boat to escape America. In transit, the boat gets caught in a storm, and the crew gets washed up in the Caribbean and gets captured. However, the gang eventually escapes. 

Once returning to the mainland, the gang begins to collapse: some members leave, and some die. This all culminates in Arthur finding out that one of the gang members was snitching to the law and had been ratting out the gang along the way. Arthur then fights this gang member, but he loses. Then in a climactic moment, Arthur Morgan passes away on a mountain cliffside. 

Graphics and Details

“Red Dead Redemption Two” is one of the most visually impressive games I have ever played. The use of beautiful cutscenes for astounding gameplay is compelling. As senior Avi Rhodes said, “I think it’s one of the most beautiful games.” The engine Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) allows the characters, backgrounds, environments, and animals of 1899 America to come to life throughout the game.


The player can do many things in “Red Dead Redemption Two” that do not involve the story. From hunting to foraging, these activities can net supplies or cosmetics for the player’s use. 

Weapon and Item Wheel

Throughout the game, item selection draws directly from the player’s inventory. The weapon wheel allows the player to select any item quickly and without risk.


Although “Red Dead Redemption Two” is not a platforming game, there are still advanced forms of movement present in the game to make travel easier. For example, Arthur can run, jump, crouch, and dodge.


Cores are the basics of the player’s stat health, stamina, and deadeye. Cores will slowly drain when the corresponding statistic is lowered. For instance, when sprinting, the player’s stamina will slowly drain, and when the stamina core is full, stamina can regenerate. Players can refill cores by using food items, medicines, or sleeping. 


Deadeye is an activated mode that players can use based on the status of the corresponding core. Time slows, and NPCs (non-player characters) are highlighted when used. In this mode, an X will appear over the selected area when clicking over an enemy. After the player selects all their targets, toggling off the mode will cause the player to shoot every X will pinpoint accuracy.

Final Thoughts

This game is the only game where I have cried upon finishing. It is an amazing experience that is extremely hard to put into words, and a player can only get the feeling I am trying to describe by playing the game. I purposefully left out certain details, events, and key points to allow for the game’s story to take its full effect. 

This is one of the few pieces of media I would say is a narrative of extreme proportions and one worth more attention and praise. You can make bad decisions and hurt the people around you, but it will affect the story. But despite being able to kill and rob and fight, remember, as Arthur Morgan said, “You can’t live a bad life and have good things happen to you.”

“The Loading Screen” is an original video game review column written by Marran Frigo.