Rockstar Games have been dropping tons of details about characters and the world of their upcoming cowboy adventure, Red Dead Redemption 2. Over the last day or two, more and more information has been pouring in from hands-on previews of the game and those impressions are helping paint a clearer picture of Arthur Morgan and the Dutch van der Linde gang.
One of the more notable deets is that first-person mode will be in the game from the get go. Like their GTA series, RDR has been a third-person experience but Rockstar mixed that up in their GTA V updated edition on PS4 and Xbox One by adding a first-person mode. I was skeptical at first but it absolutely changed the game for me and elevated the experience to something utterly compelling. I am incredibly excited to see what added level of immersion it brings to RDR2.
Some of the more interesting aspects are how the world lives on beyond the player. Previews have noted that members in your camp chat and drink before you actually get there and trigger any event. I read about how one player came across a man writhing in pain after a snake bite. Of course, you can choose to help him or leave him. Taking that choice further, apparently you can hold up any citizen in the game and they will react to you based on your size, which weapons you’re carrying and whether or not you’re covered in blood like a murdering psychopath, remembering any prior nefarious deeds.
One inventory based detail I really liked was how each item you carry supposedly appears on Arthur or his horse. Rather than dive into a menu to see what you have, just look at your horse. It’s a small thing and not something we really expect from games but a detail that is extraordinarily clever, creative and simple at the same time.
Other little world details have come to light too. Storms roll in from the distance, mud and blood stain your clothes and dry, altering your appearance. Dead animals begin to decay and attract insects. Your beard and hair grow over time and you can gain weight and muscle depending on your food intake and actions. And of course there’s the gone-too-far weird stuff like horse testicles shrinking and swelling depending on the weather. I’m glad they had someone covering that.
I’ll be honest and say that until reading these reports, I wasn’t that pumped for RDR2. Rockstar went on and on about how the realistic loading of bullets would somehow pull me into their world, failing to mention all of these other, wonderful and legitimate ways the game inevitably will. I still think Arthur Morgan might be the dullest protagonist of a game I’ve seen in many years, but I’m officially pumped and ready to become emotionally attached to my horse again before I inevitably and accidentally shoot and skin it. Bring on October 26th.