Rockstar Games re-introduced the world to the Red Dead Revolver universe with the game Red Dead Redemption, which was released in May of 2010. That game, like just about anything released by Rockstar Games, would revolutionize graphics and the third-person open-world genre. It brought a vast, Western-themed sandbox to play in as well as a powerful and engaging story.
Players would spend years traversing this huge open world, exploring and uncovering its many secrets. A horror-tinged expansion, Undead Nightmare, expanded on the Red Dead Redemption gameplay. To many fans’ delight, it included zombies and various other creatures of the night. This expansion sated fans for a while, but then the wait began.
After 8 long years, we would finally be able to dive back into the world of Red Dead with Red Dead Redemption 2. This game, like its predecessor, continued that innovative spirit. It delivered one of the most realistic, lived-in open worlds of all time. In this article, I will discuss the game’s campaign and how long is Red Dead Redemption 2 to play through in several different ways.
Main Story in RDR2
The story presented in Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of fate, betrayal, and reconciliation with one’s own humanity. These are pretty heady themes to be covered in a video game of all things. Yet, Rockstar Games definitely pulls it off.
The main story missions happen over the course of six main chapters and two epilogues. They introduce you to the Dutch Van Der Linde Gang, experiencing all of the trials and tribulations they go through to end up where they are at the beginning of the original Red Dead Redemption.
You read that correctly, Red Dead Redemption 2 actually serves as the prequel to Red Dead Redemption.
The main protagonist of RDR, John Marston, is present as a side character in RDR2. You play as Arthur Morgan. He is a gruff cowboy who is smarter and more thoughtful than he lets on to those around him.
The main missions of the game will have Arthur meeting interesting characters, killing others, and dealing with the challenges that come with being a dying breed in a world that is becoming more civilized.
On its own, the main story can take upwards of 50 hours to complete from the first to the final chapter. This depends on the detours you take and how long you spend drinking in the gorgeous vistas the game presents to you.
Side Quests in Red Dead Redemption 2
In Red Dead Redemption 2, the side quests can often be as good and fleshed out as the main missions. These include Stranger Missions. In them, you will meet all kinds of characters, from normal to very strange, and complete quests they give you.
Occasionally, you will be presented with an opportunity to complete missions with other members of the gang. This lets you get to know them better and adding to the overall story. These missions can range from fishing, hunting, even bank robberies!
The events that occur in these missions can be missed. So, you’ll want to take the missions while they are available. There are also Bounty Hunting missions available from police stations at the various towns you’ll visit.
The adventure of each bounty hunting mission is usually a fun little diversion from the main story missions. Plus, you get some decent money from completing each one as well. The side quests of Red Dead Redemption 2 can take about 20 hours to complete on their own. That’s the entire length of some games!
Fun Diversions in the Game
This is where the time spent in Red Dead Redemption 2 can get a little crazy. There are so many different collectibles and extra things to do in this game, that you could essentially play it for months on end before ever seeing the credits.
At any point in the game, you could just go off on your own. You could spend in-game weeks away from the gang’s camp, though they’ll be very angry with you when you eventually return. In that time, you could:
- Collect every Cigarette Card (there are 144 of them)
- Find every dinosaur bone (30 in total, spread through the entire map)
- Find a UFO (I’m serious)
- Hunt down a “Zodiac”-like serial killer
- Find a ghost in the Bayou
- Take back a house from Voodoo zombies
- Get kidnapped by incestuous pig farmers
- Find buried treasure with treasure maps
- Find rock carvings for a man from the future
That’s a hell of a list, and it doesn’t even include hunting all of the legendary animals or finding all of the legendary fish. There are hours upon hours of fun to be had across all of the diversions I’ve mentioned here and the ones I couldn’t recall. How long these will take will be a matter of your own personal tolerance and love for the game itself.
Final Thought on How Long Red Dead Redemption 2 Takes to Play
Across its many main story missions, side quests, and diversions, Red Dead Redemption 2 can take hundreds of hours to complete fully. On HowLongToBeat.com, a “completionist” run is recorded as being 175 and a half hours.
It’s impossible to know how that number breaks down, but I could personally play that amount of time just wandering the map, coming across interesting things, and finding legendary animals as well as legendary fish. I just love living the life of a cowboy and playing the game like a simulator. If you decide to use the fast travel option occasionally, I’m sure you could cut that number down quite a bit.
From its first to its final mission, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a great game. The tale of a broken man coming to terms with his past, and all of the challenges you face along the way is worthy of a Hollywood movie. And, if you finish the game and haven’t had enough, you can dive back in for more side quests. Alternatively, you can explore our list of other fantastic story-driven games like Red Dead Redemption 2 for another great pick.
People like me have spent hours upon hours in this world, and due to Red Dead Redemption 2’s success, the future of the franchise is secured. I just hope we don’t have to wait another 8 years for the next game to be released.