Rockstar’s Hidden Message At The Heart Of Red Dead Redemption 2

A HUGE statement on their past, and how we play Rockstar games in general.

Rockstar Games

- SPOILERS for the main story follow -

Anyone who's grown up with Rockstar Games over the past few decades, knows their reputation as the "bad boys" of the industry. Coming first from GTA being a video game about criminality, they promptly set the western hemisphere ablaze with GTA III - something that shook the very foundations of gaming itself, birthing the open-world genre and proving Rockstar could write a script and game that was satirical, as well as a black mirror to all who played it.

Fulfilling your every wish; your every wanton desire, GTA tells you more about yourself than any other interactive piece of entertainment. It's partly why everyone under the sun became fascinated by what was on offer, and was one of the biggest ironies lost on the likes of Rockstar-hating activist lawyer, Jack Thompson.

Little did he - or many reactionary news outlets realise - that by claiming "GTA lets you do X horrible thing!", you're owning up to doing it in the first place. This was the bulletproof armour GTA needed to survive against torrents of parent groups, and it still stands today, with Red Dead Redemption 2 also coming under fire for "letting you" kill women... if you're low enough to make that a focal point.

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Rockstar though, embraced and relished this perception of their "crimes". They promptly steered into the controversy with Manhunt - a game literally about butchering people in increasingly gruesome ways for the best in-game scores, only to follow up with the gang violence thrills of The Warriors, and the "GTA in a high school"-esque delights of Bully.

They're still some of the best games you could ever play, but then came GTA 4... and the company's first notable stumble.


Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

Gaming Editor at WhatCulture. Wields shovels, rests at bonfires, fights evil clones, brews decoctions. Will have your lunch on Rocket League.