Red Dead Redemption 2 is a living, breathing world where choice matters

By Stephany Nunneley, Thursday, 3 May 2018 17:08 GMT

First looks for Red Dead Redemption 2 have gone live with details on the game, the world, and the gang Arthur Morgan is tasked with managing.

The third trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 was released yesterday, and it was a cinematic feast for the eyes.

Today, IGN posted its impressions of a 45-minute demo and according to the site, the NPCs in the background won’t be lost in a constant loop of activity. This also applies to the gang.

As Rockstar Games revealed yesterday, players take on the role of Arthur Morgan. He is one of the higher ups in Dutch van de Linde’s gang. After a robbery in town of goes wrong, the gang are forced to flee, and stay on the move with bounty hunters and law enforcement hot on their trail.

Despite things going haywire in town and having a price on their heads, the gang sticks to its ways continuing to murder and steal to in order to survive.

All is not copacetic, as cracks start to form. As Morgan, the player will be dealing with his internal conflict.

As yesterday’s Red Dead Redemption 2 announcement read, “Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.”

Rockstar said players will find story connections in the game with Red Dead Redemption, as it takes place prior to John Marston’s tale. We did see him in the trailer yesterday, after all.

Red Dead Redemption 2

The demo shown to IGN starts off near New Hanover with Morgan and the rest of the gang at camp. It is described as a “living community constantly changing.” Morgan is basically Dutch’s right-hand man, tasked with managing the gang. He will help provide for the group by bringing in supplies and hunting for food.

Members include: Sean McGuire, Uncle, Bill Williamson from Red Dead Revolver, Lenny, Karen, and others. Each will go about their daily lives at the camp. All have their own role to play and duties to perform: doing laundry, gathering wood, and whatnot.

Players will find a group morale system in place. According to IGN, if plenty of resources are available, morale is high. When Morgan is a good provider, he will be rewarded. Should food run low, folks will get grumpy and he’ll know about it.

Whether or not Morgan keeps the camp running smoothly will have zero consequence though, as things will continue business as usual. They’ll just get cranky. That said, Rockstar wants the player to have fun while balancing Morgan’s responsibilities.

Quests won’t necessarily come about through cutscenes. In one instance, Arthur Morgan walks by Pearson the cook who informs him supplies are running low. These interactions will be “triggered through a combination of proximity or Arthur choosing to continue the conversation.”

Player choice isn’t limited to quests as it extends to interactions with NPCs in the world, as reported earlier. The player has “complete control” when it comes to choice, and this also applies to the gang.

In the instance with Pearson, the player has a choice in the matter: help the cook or ignore him. This is a running thread throughout the game, with story and side missions a fluid mix. This provides continuity instead of a sense of detachment, and some quests will be dependent upon time of day, location, and the gang member along for the ride.

When the gang goes on a mission, various gameplay elements come into play. Distraction, pistol whipping a non-compliant bank teller, the choice of whether to crack open a safe or blow it up, are just three examples.

Dead Eye is back, as reported in February,  and “long-distance kills will play out in slow motion, shown from a reverse angle,” according to IGN.

Like Grand Theft Auto titles, a certain randomness can occur in game. In the demo, Morgan hops on his horse after pulling off a bank robbery and a bullet whizzes by knocking his hat off. This is just one example of unscripted moments in the game.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Horses in Red Dead Redemption 2 are more than just an important mode of transportation.

This time out, horses are not only the 19th century version of a car, but companions . Players will bond with their mount the more time spent with their equine friend. Grooming and feeding the horse will strengthen the bond, leading it be more well-behaved, and progressively calmer when danger presents itself.

As in real life, each breed has its own personality and set of skills. Some do better with particular terrains, some aren’t too keen on water and none will be bonded enough to jump off a cliff even when prompted.

Mounts will also act as pack animals and this is where Morgan will store most of his supplies and large weapons. The horse will stay put where left, and can be called with a whistle if the player is nearby.

Other fauna in the game include game animals. These must be hunted in order to provide the camp with sustenance. Some can be picked off with a gun, others can be killed using a bow or a knife.

As with Red Dead Redemption, the kill can be gruesome and the animal will scream. Skinning it will also be a gross endeavor like the last outing. The animal will also start to decay once killed, so as Morgan, the player will need to get it back to camp quickly. This is also the case when selling the carcass to local butchers – who aren’t too keen on meat riddled with bullets.

The IGN article has tons of information culled from the demo, and plenty of extra details. Be sure to give it a read.

Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26.

As previously reported, multiplayer will return, but nothing more is known at present – other than rumors.

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