Red Dead Redemption 2: What You Need To Know
The sequel to Rockstar Games' 2010 western-themed hit Red Dead Redemption has been a long time coming and must rank as one of the most hotly-anticipated games in recent memory. Almost certain to be the biggest game of the year, the wait for Red Dead Redemption 2 is almost over as the game is set to make its arrival in stores on October 26th.
So what exactly can we expect from Red Dead Redemption 2? With the game's release just around the corner, here's our breakdown of everything you need to know...
So what's the synopsis here?
The story is set in 1899, a time in American history when the old lawless ways of the wild west are coming to an end – great news if you're a law-abiding citizen, but not so good for an outlaw. In terms of a chronological timeline, that makes Red Dead Redemption 2 a prequel to the storyline featured in its predecessor, but although key characters such as John Marston and Dutch Van der Linde return in Red Dead Redemption 2, this time the story revolves around another member of the Van der Linde gang, Arthur Morgan.
When a robbery in the town of Blackwater goes haywire, the gang find themselves on the run across America, with both law enforcement and the country's most ruthless bounty hunters on their tail.
What's the gameplay like?
In a very broad sense the gameplay follows the same mechanics as Red Dead Redemption – it's still an action-adventure set in a vast open world environment, and there are still multiplayer options alongside the single player campaign - but there are numerous changes and enhancements this time around. The 'honor system' which governs how your interaction with NPCs affects their behaviour towards you has been retained, as has the 'Dead Eye' mechanic which slows time at certain points, enabling you to quickly take out several enemies at a time before you're swamped in a hail of bullets.
The game map itself is not only stunning but also reportedly the largest that Rockstar have ever built, and it feels that much bigger due to the fact that horseback is pretty much your only means of travelling long distances. However, your relationship with your trusty steed will need a little more work on your part this time around; although much was made of 'building a bond' with your horse in Red Dead Redemption, in practice this didn't really seem to mean much and your horse was effectively no more than a means of transportation.
This time you'll only be able to summon your horse if its within earshot, and if you want to ensure that your ride doesn't panic and bolt at the first sign of trouble then you'll need to build trust by grooming, feeding and reassuring your equine friend. Not only that, but because your inventory is limited to what one person can realistically carry, you'll also need your horse to carry most of your weapons and supplies, so you'll want to keep it close by at all times.
Hunting also returns in Red Dead Redemption 2, although again the mechanics have been updated and expanded, making for a much more realistic experience. Killing an animal using a bow instead of a gun makes for a cleaner kill that will fetch a higher price when the animal is sold, but leave your kill out in the sun too long and the meat will start to rot, eventually attracting flies and vultures.
Any new features?
There are a whole bundle of new features and tweaks on existing mechanics in Red Dead Redemption 2, most of which seem geared to making the experience more realistic. Not least of these additions is the fact that you can now switch from a third-person to a first-person view at any time, even allowing you to play the whole game that way if you want to, while the HUD has been given a more discreet redesign and can even be removed altogether. Turning off the mini-map will also change the dialogue from NPCs, who will offer directions and tips to help you navigate.
There's also a lot more focus on maintenance, on everything from your weapons to your appearance. Fail to keep yourself clean and you'll experience some unwelcome reactions from those around you, while you'll also find that your guns can degrade over time and even jam when you need them most. On the flipside, you can now break your enemies weapons too.
Other new additions include a kill cam which changes depending on your 'honor system' status, the ability to gain and lose weight, a new cinematic camera which tracks you while you're riding across long distances on missions, and a series of secret passageways and illicit side-businesses being run out of the backrooms of stores and saloons. In addition, you can also inspect almost everything in the game and hunt for buried treasure, hidden at various locations around the game's vast environment. This is hardly an exhaustive list, but it gives you some idea of the stunning level of detail that Rockstar have incorporated into the game.
On top of all this there's also an upcoming online version of the game, which Rockstar seem to be treating almost as a separate entity. A beta version is due to be released in November, but beyond that there has been very little in the way of detailed information as yet.
Can I see a trailer?
Yes indeed, take a look at the one below...