Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game full of detail with every inch of the world meticulously crafted. No other mechanic within the game shows Rockstar’s dedication more than Arthur’s Journal. In case you didn’t know, because I didn’t until ten hours into the game, Arthur has a journal he will jot down his thoughts about various situations in the game. He will also sketch certain things.
You can pull this journal out and read it at any time by opening your satchel, heading to Documents, and then using the journal (it is the last item in the list). You should be consistently checking it whenever the text “New Journal Entry” pops up.
What Is Inside Arthur’s Journal?
Arthur’s Journal is broken up into the game’s story chapters. During the story, Arthur will recap the events of the missions you undertake. Alongside that, he will usually give his thoughts on how an event played out, or if he made the right decision. This can be accompanied by a drawing, showcasing a key snapshot that summarizes the mission.
As well as that, he will quite often sketch other things. Any new towns you visit, such as the early-game town of Valentine, will be drawn. If you discover a new species of plant or legendary animal a picture of it will be added to the journal. Finally, if you come across any unsolved mysteries, then the details of that mystery are added into it. This gives you a nice collection of information related to one topic if you ever need to go back to it.
Why Should You Look At Arthur’s Journal?
There are two reasons why you should pay attention to this fairly hidden mechanic. Firstly, the paragraphs of writing that summarize a mission, give you a window into what Arthur thought about a certain encounter or event. Sometimes he doesn’t mention this out-loud.
Therefore, by reading the Journal you get to know Arthur more. You truly understanding his thoughts, moral compass, and some of the stuff he doesn’t want others to know about, for one reason or another. Frankly, by reading his Journal whenever he updated it, I connected more with Arthur as he felt more and more relatable, and less like an Outlaw, which is the veneer he puts on, to some degree.
Secondly, the amount of detail and dedication that was put into this mechanic by Rockstar is insane. An artist had to draw all of the text and pictures that appear on the pages. Some of these drawings are incredibly detailed, with minor facial features or far off scenery that did not need to be there.
All of these drawings could have been simple, but they aren’t. The amount of time Rockstar put into this peripheral mechanic is worth a few minutes of reading and browsing every hour.
So take a break, sit down at the Camp, read Arthur’s Journal and recap what you did over the last hour or two.
Red Dead Redemption 2 launched on Friday to rave reviews. Our review from our Editor-At-Large, Jack McCaskill, said the game “not only lives up to expectations but it smashes them”. He also said that the game “improves on its predecessor in every way that counts.” If you are playing the game right now there is a Companion App for smartphones that you can download now. We also have a list of all the game’s cheat codes.
Have you been reading Arthur’s Journal? Are you finding it as insightful as I am?