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Red Dead Redemption II is Trying to Take the Open World Deeper

by Eric Frederiksen | August 9, 2018August 9, 2018 8:29 am PDT

Whenever Rockstar is getting to release a new game, they always do things the same way. We get a preview trailer, a story trailer or two, and then, a couple months before release, we get a narrated gameplay trailer that tells us how the game will work instead of trying to just show it. Red Dead Redemption 2 comes out in a couple months, and we now have our first gameplay trailer.

Rockstar wants to take the open world deeper, they explain in the opening moments of the six-minute video. Rather than being an independent wanderer, protagonist Arthur Morgan is part of something. This prequel has you as a member of the Van der Linde gang that the original game had you taking down. Taking care of the gang is part of that. You’ll have a roving base for your gang of outlaws where you can play poker and other games, interact with characters, or pick up what seems like emergent missions.

Hunting is a Whole Thing this time, too. Morgan can pick up a bow and arrow to hunt down animals for food and profit. If you tag one and it runs off, you can track it down. In the trailer we see deer, bears, an alligator, wolves, hawks, moose (meese?), and more. The whole world looks more lively than ever.

Rockstar is promising a more responsive world this time around. Your gun isn’t the only way to interact with the world. You can talk your way out of situations and intimidate people. Killing people can have consequences if they have friends and family.

One aspect I’m looking particularly forward to is the way the game treats horses. Horses are a crucial part of the old west, and this is no different. But this time around, you’ll have to build a relationship with your horse. You’ll have to take care of it and treat it well to get it to respect you, and losing a horse will require you to rebuild that relationship with a new horse. You can pretend you’re Geralt from the Witcher, and name every horse Roach, but it won’t be the same horse each time.

Combat and shooting look much more tuned than they did in Red Dead Redemption. The shooting looks fresh and sharp, but the look here is pretty shallow. Another gameplay trailer is coming that will go into stuff like the Deadeye system and specific activities we can engage in.

This is the closest look we’ve had at Red Dead Redemption 2 so far. The world looks massive and gorgeous. There are people everywhere in the cities and the world is dense and varied. There are mountains, desert, and swamps, as well as small towns, big cities, and backwoods outposts. The music is exactly what we’d hope for from Red Dead in the best way.

There are so many games coming out this fall, and it’s hard to know where to focus my eyes. Even as I look forward to Spider-Man in September, part of me is going to still be waiting for Red Dead Redemption 2. There’s a lot yet to learn about Red Dead 2, but there’s no question in my mind – this is the biggest game of 2018.


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Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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