Holy f**king christ, it arrived, it showed some of the most detailed open world mechanics to date and it did not disappoint, Red Dead Redemption 2 better be on the top of your gaming wish list, lest you be stoned by the staff of GameRVW!
So what did we actually see? Well the first in a series of gameplay reveal trailers that I am sure Rockstar will be cleverly and titillatingly dishing out at sporadic intervals to keep us all guessing and hungry for more.
A Real Open World
So firstly we get re-introduced to our protagonist Arthur Morgan sitting in a jail cell! Just where we would expect a cut throat outlaw to be! When we suddenly get shoveled a face full of dirt as his cell wall explodes!
But what is really on show here, even with the woman in our ears is the world Rockstar have created. We had previously been teased how interactive and immersive the world is from reviews coming out from people who have had it hands on but now we see it with our own eyes.
A fully living integrated world full of ‘immigrants’ and ‘characters from the turn of the century’ hoping to captivate us with their charm. But where it really shines is the interactivity with any old NPC, where strangers took on a very formatted encounter in GTA V and the original RDR we now see a fluid and non transitional moment where we interact with characters, no cut scene or change of pace, just stroll up to them and talk.
It seems from what we can see that interactions are first triggered with a hold of the L2 then we have a variant of options from that, R2 aims your weapon, in case you feeling particularly lucky… punk, Triangle offers what seems like intimidation, square seemingly triggers the dismiss or leave option where circle finally gives you the old beat down option. So we can expect that during each interaction you will have those 4 options going forward. Which looks amazing. In one example we see an outlaw murdering or robbing someone on the side of the road, to which our player hits the dismiss button when closing in, where he simply waves off the altercation as none of his business and moves forward. This simple action proves that Rockstar have started on the path of creating a truly immersive world, where any one character can interact with any given other in a variety of ways that feel real and genuine. Dead eye seems to be making a return but apparently there is more on that in the next gameplay advert.
Wait did that just all happen in game?
Short answer is yes, we find out at the end of the trailer that all of what we just saw was rendered in game, which is incredible. The world looks truly breathtaking and the way lighting is coming along in games is exceptional, there were some genuine shots of the surrounding wilderness where I couldn’t believe it wasn’t photographic. Water animation looks amazing too as we see a fight take place next to a lake. And, on that note, human animation looks greatly improved. GTA V, for me at least, had movement mechanics that felt wooden, in spite of the games technical prowess. This seems to have been put to bed with the fluid movement on foot and horse, an area in which the first game shone, and the sequel looks to do the same.
With a tug and a pull
Another thing that sprang out for me was the fluidity of combat, in places it looks heavy and a little chunky, but in all honesty, I am quite happy about that. I want the melee to feel like I am actually knocking ten bells out of someone. So I am in favour of the way it looks. Grappling, brawling and wrestling your opponents looks like the way combat will orientate with close camera angles over the shoulder for fights. From the scene outside the bar in the rain and mud, I simply can’t wait to call someone a scoundrel and get myself into a seriously heavy bar brawl. Here too is the ability to throw chairs and tables, Shanghai Knight style.
It’s a hard nut Camp
The biggest thing to shake up how we are going to play RDR2 is the campsite. We see that there are times within the game that due to unruly activity (we assume) leads the gang to have to change spots, making their way across the vast open world. As they set up shop there is a lifestyle to maintain, people need to eat, do chores and blow off a little steam, how you choose to engage or not engage isn’t a do or fail type of thing. It’s an evolving and realistic working life. People will still get on with chores whether or not you choose to help out, but they may not be too happy about you skipping cleaning duty. This dynamic now gives you a new feel to the old friend system, whereas before you were prompted to go out with a friend and failing to do so causes you to not have them as a service now is replaced with a real want to keep that life style up. Characters can now form relationships and give you inside tips on a mission, locations of loot or collectibles or yes, as previously stated, can be called upon in times of need. Feeding the camp and making sure it is safe is probably the most realistic reiteration of the friend system that means you are semi in charge of keeping the camp in a good and prosperous mood. Who knows, the gang members may act differently in missions if they are unhappy with you.
Holy Sh*t its a bear!
Animals are again making a come back and they seem more savage and realistic than ever, not only do they provide hide for trading or selling but they now play an integral part of camp life. Either by wolf attacks or hunting dear to feed your fearless batch of rugged rogues. I do hope cougar ambushes make a return!
Are you excited?
Yes you should be! You really should, for a game that has been 8 years in the making it is clear that Rockstar still have the biggest dick in the gaming industry, RDR2 and Rockstar, as always, will show the world how to make video games.