Red Dead Redemption 2 is less than a month away. It’s even closer than Halloween and I’m not sure which I’m excited about more. No, that’s a lie – I’m way more excited about Red Dead. As per Rockstar Games’ usual, we’re now firmly into “gameplay trailer” territory, where Rockstar introduces major gameplay concepts one by one. The first gameplay trailer taught us the basics about keeping our gang happy and watching our rep in the greater Red Dead world. This new trailer gives us a solid overview of what we can expect to spend our time doing from the moment we boot up the game until the moment the credits roll.
While the first title was about being an ex-criminal trying to reform, Red Dead Redemption 2‘s Arthur Morgan is an active member of the Van der Linde gang. That means you’re going to be doing some bad stuff, and Red Dead 2 offers a “wide variety of nefarious activities” to engage in. One of the big features of Rockstar’s last game, Grand Theft Auto V (you may have heard of it) was heists – organizing and executing big-scale team-based robberies that require coordination and timing. Those are back in Red Dead 2. This video covers single-player only, but there’ll be train robberies and blowing bank safes at the very least.
On the smaller scale, you can rob passers by or just explore the world, though there are rival gangs, bandits, and lawmen to contend with. You can act as a bounty hunter or, if you’re behaving badly enough, become the target.
The Deadeye system has evolved a bit, too. It was a pretty solid system back in the original, so I’m not surprised that it hasn’t changed much. You can slow down time, tag enemies, and now you can see weak spots, too.
When you’re not murdering people or taking their hard-earned cash, you can fish, play cards, dance, chop wood, play dominoes, watch shows, or even play that hand-knife-pokey-why-are-we-doing-this game. You can get around by canoe, train, or hand-cranked railcar. You can herd cattle just like in the first Red Dead.
This trailer also gives us our first look at the absolutely gorgeous first-person gameplay we heard about in previews. The entirety of Red Dead 2 can be played in first-person mode. You can also experience the game from new “cinematic cameras,” which is sure to please amateur photographers like myself.
Morgan himself can be customized based on how you want to play the game and how you want people to respond to you, too. You can grow a glorious, full beard or you can choose not to bathe yourself. You can eat and eat and eat and let the effects of that set in. You can even choose not to bathe, if you want to imagine how an unwashed cowboy smells.
And much the same way that not bathing will have consequences, your other actions will matter, too. This is mostly hinted at, as it would be tough to demo in a short, 4-minute video, but the suggestion is that the crimes you commit and actions you take can come back around later in ways they haven’t in previous games. That’s some really high-concept stuff and probably what will make or break Red Dead 2 in ways this laundry list of features can’t.
Suffice to say, we’re more excited than we’ve ever been after this trailer. There’s a ton going on, and there’ll be no shortage of stuff to do. Can we just go comatose for the next three weeks?
Red Dead Redemption 2 finally hits PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26, 2018.
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