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20 Things We Learned from Red Dead Redemption 2’s Gameplay Trailer

20 Things We Learned from Red Dead Redemption 2’s Gameplay Trailer

After teasing earlier this week that an official gameplay trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 was on the way, Rockstar Games has now released the footage in order to give players a better idea of how the title will play when it launches later this year. Thankfully, the developer provided potential players with a little more than six minutes of actual in-game 4K footage, with the video offering a wealth of information regarding the forthcoming open world western.

So, due to the fact that Rockstar gave fans a lot to digest with its latest clip for Red Dead Redemption 2, we decided to take a closer look at the sequel’s gameplay trailer by panning through the footage to discover the golden nuggets of knowledge that have been tucked away in the video. With this being the case, read on to find out what tidbits of can be gleaned from RDR2‘s first official piece of gameplay from Rockstar.

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Setting Includes “Range” of American Areas

As many Red Dead Redemption fans are well aware, the original was set in two fictitious United States counties, as well as a fictitious Mexican state – that is, New Austin, West Elizabeth, and Nuevo Paraiso, respectively. With this being the case, many have been wondering exactly where Rockstar would place the sequel in terms of location.

According to Red Dead Redemption 2‘s gameplay trailer, the open world title will contain a “range of America’s heartland and frontier”. Unfortunately, though, Rockstar doesn’t explicitly state which regions this will include, but with the sequel set in the time period of the late 1800s in America at the turn of the century, the country is winding up its westward expansion, so it’s a safe bet that the terms “heartland and frontier” are referring to in-game environments having been inspired by states like Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. However, the exact map size has yet to be declared.

Each Area Has a Distinctive Ecosystem

With Red Dead Redemption 2 containing such a diverse amount of locations, Rockstar wants to depict them all as realistically as possible, so the developers have made sure that each area on the map will have its own unique ecosystem. For instance, there will be “harsh” mountain trails, dense forests, swamp lands, and huge deserts to explore, with the designs for the flora, fauna, and wildlife as a whole all being specifically indigenous to a given area.

What’s more is that it appears as if Rockstar has greatly boosted the amount of towns and settlements from the original, as Red Dead Redemption 2 boasts a bevy of different “rugged livestock towns” and cities in the middle of the modernization process. Naturally, these locales are populated with a wide-ranging cast of characters, with the trailer having introduced the likes of a wizened vagrant, a sharp-shooting sheriff, a timid scientist, and a surly prostitute as examples.

Players Will Have Camp as Home Base

Occasionally, one will have to relocate after being forced to flee a particular area due to the protagonist Arthur Morgan being a part of the notorious Van der Linde Gang, and this results in Red Dead Redemption 2 giving players the ability to use the roving camp as a home base of sorts. While it’s yet to be confirmed, it’s safe to speculate that this will be the primary save point.

Rockstar explains that the Van der Linde Gang camp site will be where its members eat, sleep, perform various chores, play different games, and gather together around the campfire to tell stories to one another. With this being the case, Arthur will likely be visiting this location quite a lot throughout the course of the story.


Poker Mini-Game Returns

Although it’s not a major revelation, fans of the original Red Dead Redemption will undoubtedly be excited to learn that the poker mini-game has returned in RDR2. The gameplay seen in the sequel’s latest trailer depicts Arthur Morgan and some of his outlaw buddies sitting around a table playing cards, with players seemingly being able to bet down to the cent, as the pot during one hand is $1.03.

Poker is the only mini-game that the first Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay trailer has confirmed, though. Hopefully Rockstar will see fit to bring back horseshoes as well.

Camp Life Morale System Teased

While players are out and exploring Red Dead Redemption 2‘s open world, Rockstar will give them the ability to constantly remain active by gathering equipment for the Van der Linde Gang’s camp in order to keep everyone satisfied and getting along. In fact, the gameplay trailer teases the camp morale system put in place, with Arthur’s actions affecting it both positively and negatively.

As indicated by the initial Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay trailer, “Helping the camp with food and supplies will keep morale high,” with footage depicting Arthur Morgan walking on-site carrying a dead doe for food. So, the hunting and gathering lifestyle will definitely play a big role in the lives of the main characters of RDR2.

Different Gang Members Reveal Secrets, Unlock Missions

As one might expect, with Arthur spending a lot of his time at the Van der Linde camp site, he will be interacting with the band of rogues on a nearly regular basis. With this being the case, players who spend more time with different gang members get the chance of having certain secrets revealed to them. Rockstar Games doesn’t explicitly state as much, but this much is confirmed while a character points to a spot on a map, indicating that these secrets relate to hidden locations and loot.

It seems as if players will have the ability to go on quests with individual gang members as well, with certain personalities unlocking missions. For instance, RDR2‘s gameplay trailer offers a look at a cutscene wherein an Van der Linde gang member proposes him and Morgan “redistribute some property.”


NPC Interactions Revised and Updated

In the original Red Dead Redemption, the protagonist John Marston was able to interact with different non-playable characters, but players weren’t given any options as to what would be Marston’s agency. While walking around a town or traveling past another horse rider, for example, players could press a button and have the protagonist say a random line that was often delivered in a courteous manner.

Rockstar has decided to revise NPC interactions in Red Dead Redemption 2, however, as players can use a simplistic, but effective-looking speech system that lets one call out to others, greet them, antagonize them, intimidate them, or even defuse tense situations. One encounter involves Arthur Morgan being able to talk a local law enforcer out of shooting him in the face, while another gives players the option to engage or ignore hostile confrontations with certain responses.

Friendships and Enemies Can Be Made

The way in which Red Dead Redemption 2 players can choose to interact with NPCs also led Rockstar to include a feature that will likely only be included for certain characters, as Arthur Morgan will make unique friendships and enemies along the way. Presumably, the more one treats an NPC with care and respect, players will receive favorable interactions, while bringing harm or ill-intent to others results in their hatred of players.

Rockstar includes some specific examples as to how these relationships can occur, with one scene from the Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay trailer depicting Arthur Morgan freeing a man from a bear trap that leads to a friendship, and another showing a woman blaming players for the death of her cousin. According to the developer, actions in RDR2 will have consequences, and its up to players to decide whether they want to be revered or reviled, which ultimately adds even more story choice to the game.

Shooting and Combat Have Been Refined

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the first Red Dead Redemption is the title’s gunplay, but there was definitely room for growth in the combat department as a whole, as other forms of fighting outside of shooting were subpar by comparison. With this being the case, Rockstar has “radically improved” both shooting and fighting in RDR2.

In the gameplay trailer, Morgan is shown in a series of close-up brawls between him and a handful of different individuals, with mechanics for hand-to-hand combat looking more refined, as players are given natural movements and the ability to block hits that lead into follow through punches. As far as Red Dead Redemption 2‘s shooting is concerned, Rockstar promises changes to guns that facilitate “realistic reload and recoil”.


Each Weapon Has “Unique Characteristics”

Rockstar doesn’t go into this feature in-depth, but the developer does mention that each weapon in Red Dead Redemption 2 will have “unique characteristics”. Of the weapons shown in the gameplay trailer – a scoped sniper rifle, silver revolver, and double-barrel shotgun are highlighted, for instance – there’s no indication other than their designs of how one will stand out from the other.

With this being the case, it will be interesting to see if the “unique characteristics” related to weapon mechanics in Red Dead Redemption 2 means that certain perks will be applicable to a particular weapon, like a hunting rifle that does more damage with body blows instead of head shots. Then again, it could just mean that any given armament within a specific class will have a different set of stats and traits.

Players Form Bonds with Horses

The first Red Dead Redemption featured a plethora of different types of horses, and their breed categorization gave them each a different level of stamina, health, and speed, but players couldn’t really interact with them much outside of riding them to a chosen destination. In RDR2, though, Rockstar intends to let fans build much deeper relationships with any given horse, and the better off Morgan is with a horse, the easier the creature is to control in tense situations.

As explained by Rockstar, Morgan’s bond with a horse is determined by the way in which he treats the animal, with the gameplay video implying that players can even go so far as to groom their horse to keep them in tip-top condition. Of course, it goes without saying that feeding one’s steed is imperative, and letting them rest is, too. So, should Morgan neglect to feed his horse apples or fatigue them with too much riding, it’s likely that particular horse will be less civil and tame.

Certain Tasks Require Different Horse Breeds

In an interesting bit of verisimilitude, Red Dead Redemption 2 will use horses as more than just modes of transportation, as they can help with specific jobs, too. As a matter of fact, Rockstar has added another wrinkle of detail to the creatures by having different horse breeds be more suited for certain tasks than others.

One instance of this on display in the gameplay trailer involves two Clydesdales pulling a heavy load of lumber, as their size and strength is more capable for the work than a smaller horse. With this being the case, maybe breeds like Appaloosas will be more driven toward straightforward riding jobs.

Horse Saddlebags Provide Item, Weapon Storage

Roaming throughout an open world western landscape will definitely require one to carry supplies. Thankfully, Red Dead Redemption 2 has added horse saddlebags in the game as a feature that provides item and weapon storage.

The footage shows Morgan stowing away and pulling out some extra weapons and in-game objects, which will certainly be a boon for travel. That said, though, Rockstar didn’t divulge exactly how much horse saddlebags will be able to carry. As one could do in the previous game, though, horses will serve as a means to efficiently carry animal carcasses in Red Dead Redemption 2.


Animal AI Gets Enhanced

There’s no doubt that the original Red Dead Redemption had a diverse range of wildlife for its various locations, with the first game having hosted nearly forty different species that included the likes of bears, bobcats, and bucks. Unsurprisingly, Rockstar has intentions to make the world of RDR2 as realistic as possible, and it seems as if the studio has introduced animals with enhanced AI this time around.

The narrator in Red Dead Redemption 2‘s gameplay trailer reveals that the title’s “rich and varied ecosystem” is going to be full of “predators, prey, and scavengers”, as the footage highlights swamp dwelling alligators and a pair of eagles picking a carcass clean. What’s more is that a bear is shown facing off between two wolves, as the creatures are described as “all smart and sometimes deadly”, implying that animal AI has been honed.

Hunting Earns Money, Helps Camp

As previously mentioned, hunting and gathering will be useful activity in Red Dead Redemption 2. Not only will it help one earn money, but also it will assist the Van der Linde Gang’s camp when it comes to feeding its inhabitants.

Just like in the original RDR, Morgan will be able to kill and skin animals for their pelts and sell them to general stores for cash. Naturally, an animal’s size and type will determine how much money can be acquired, and just how much meat and product it yields for the camp.

Hunting Introduces Tracking Element

The return of hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t come as much of a surprise for fans of the franchise. Nevertheless, Rockstar will likely intrigue players with an added twist to the in-game feature.

Instead of nicking an animal and having it run off never to be found again, the developer has added a tracking element to hunting. Those creatures that Morgan wounds during a hunt can be found by following their blood trail.


Fishing is an Activity

Toward the tail end of the debut gameplay footage of Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar shows a brief glimpse at in-game fishing. This will presumably be an activity that simply serves as a way for players to wind down and relax in between the title’s tense bouts of combat.

The gameplay footage highlights Morgan alongside two pals, with the group casting off their rods and reels while sharing space in what appears to be a rowboat. There’s no telling at this point, though, if players are rewarded for catching a fish, or if the boat itself can actually be controlled.

Rival Gangs Will Pose a Threat

Even though America is on the cusp of becoming civilized on a national level, the Van der Linde Gang won’t be the only band of ruffians and roustabouts to be roaming Red Dead Redemption 2‘s wide-reaching western landscapes. As indicated in the title’s gameplay trailer, there are going to be enemy gangs that will have to be faced and dealt with.

The inclusion of enemy gangs ought to make surviving Red Dead Redemption 2‘s turn-of-the-century America that much more difficult. With law enforcement already cracking down on Dutch, Morgan, and the rest of their crew, fending off rival factions will make for more varied encounters for combat.


Robberies Can Be Executed

Considering the fact that Red Dead Redemption 2 will feature bank heists as playable missions, it makes sense for Rockstar to also include simple robberies as well. There’s not much to go on at this point, but the gameplay footage does imply that theft on a more personal level can occur in the game.

Based on the gameplay revealed in Red Dead Redemption 2‘s latest trailer, it appears as if players can tie up and kidnap victims in order to rob them. The footage depicts two robbers holding a couple of men captive by a lake, but there’s no word yet on how exactly robberies will work. They may operate like one of the game’s side missions, but that’s just conjecture at this point.

Dead Eye System Has Evolved

The Dead Eye system’s return in Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t be shocking in the slightest to fans of the franchise, as the mechanic was easily one of the most satisfying combat features from the original game. Of course, the sequel has apparently kicked its potency up a notch.

Rockstar assures fans that the next gameplay trailer will go into the new Dead Eye system more in-depth, but for now, fans are treated to a glimpse of it in action, as Morgan quickly mows down three enemies with a revolver, taking them down with a single shot apiece. Apparently, the developer has refined the feature in favor of it reflecting “the evolution of sharpshooting” for the series.


Even though Red Dead Redemption 2 is a little more than two months away from launch, there’s still plenty more for fans to learn about the forthcoming title, as Rockstar has been keeping a tight lid on the game’s development so far. But by maintaining such a shroud of secrecy around the project, it definitely makes the information coming out of gameplay trailers and the like more pertinent.

All things considered, it makes plenty of sense why so many gamers are considering Red Dead Redemption 2 to be one of the most highly anticipated games of 2018. And as Rockstar continues to eke out more details about the title leading up to its launch, fans’ excitement will only continue to intensify.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is set to launch on October 26, 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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