Rockstar Games has finally shown off a gameplay trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2, giving the many eager fans out there the first opportunity to see exactly what playing the sequel will be like when it launches later this year. The video provides a much deeper look at the game world, how players can interact with the Van der Linde gang, build a reputation for main character Arthur Morgan, and more. Check it out above.
“In the late 1800s, America was evolving, on its way to becoming the most powerful country in the world,” a voice over in the trailer states. “New immigrants arrived, thriving outposts became towns, and civilization was spreading into the huge, wild, and lawless frontier. With Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games aims to create a living world that’s not simply open, but deeper, more interactive and detailed than ever, combining action, storytelling, and gameplay in new ways as you live, ride, and fight to survive as an outlaw in a notorious gang.”
As shown in the trailer, Red Dead Redemption 2 features a vast American landscape that encompasses everything from harsh mountain trails and dense forests to untamed swamplands, sweeping deserts, rugged livestock towns, and cities that are undergoing the process of modernization. Players will be able to move between these locations seamlessly and each one provides a variety of activities and missions to engage with.
As Arthur Morgan, you roll with the Van der Linde gang, who are being pursued across America by Lawmen intent on snuffing out the age of outlaws. The way players interact with fellow gang members is key to Red Dead Redemption 2’s narrative and its gameplay, so they are always available to talk to, either for general chit-chat or to get missions and activities from. You can also take your compatriots in crime out with you to hunt, go drinking, or rob.
The Van der Linde gang has a dedicated camp that evolves over time. Players will frequently return to the camp to take on missions and activities, as well as build their relationships with other members of the gang, as previously mentioned. Here, the group can eat, sleep, perform chores, and play games together. The camp needs to be maintained and each member of the gang is involved in that process. For upkeep, the camp needs a regular supply of provisions, be it food or cash. Although players can choose not to contribute and leave it to others, helping out will lead to Arthur being rewarded for his efforts. Interestingly, camp locations will change as the story progresses, which makes sense given that they’re outlaws on the run.
Red Dead Redemption 2 also lets players interact with the majority of other characters in the game world, and these interactions will change depending on the situation and context. Since you’re an outlaw, you can choose how to approach the world, either behaving like an upstanding member of society or choosing to cause trouble. Depending on the approach the world and the people, around you will react accordingly. In the trailer Arthur is shown calling out to a passing rider, smack talking tough guys, and reasoning with a sheriff. He intimidates a witness into silence by beating him, and also talking someone else down from getting violent.
The horses are another big pillar of Red Dead Redemption 2’s gameplay, as they are as much a companion for Arthur as it is a transportation option. As with the first game, wild horses can be tamed and ridden, but this time will behave differently depending on their breed. Some may be better suited to traversing certain terrain, while others may get spooked easier when around action. To build a bond with horses, players are able to feed them and groom them, and if they’re upset, you can ease their stress and calm them too. As the player, and Arthur, deepens the bond with a horse, its stamina and speed develops, and it also becomes easier to calm it.
Needless to say, horses are also pretty handy for carrying equipment. Saddlebags can be utilized to hold extra weapons, killed animals, and pretty much anything else that Arthur isn’t able to stuff into his pockets.
Arthur, who is a senior member of the Van der Linde gang and, as a result, has the confidence of its leader, Dutch, joined the gang when he was a boy and treats its members as family, inspiring deep loyalty from him. Given that the life of an outlaw is all that he’s known from a young age, he’s desperate to protect his lifestyle and his family, and make sure they’re taken care of. Despite being an outlaw, the player can define how honorable Arthur is through actions. The way they choose to approach missions and activities, as well as their general conduct in daily life in the open-world will dictate the level of honor Arthur has. This, in turns, opens up different opportunities and has varying consequences.
In terms of shooting and combat, shooting and fighting have been improved to make combat feel “deep and engaging at all times.” Guns now have unique characteristics with realistic reload and recoil so the action feels grounded.
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