The first gameplay impressions of Red Dead Redemption 2 are here. IGN and Telegraph recently traveled to Rockstar North to witness nearly an hour of gameplay, revealing tons of new details about the game in the process. We’ve broken down the most important reveals.
The IGN demo took part in started in the camp of the Van der Linde gang, in which protagonist Arthur Morgan plays a leading role. The camp serves as something of a hub area where the gang regroups after missions. The camp and its resources have to be managed to keep its people happy, and while other gang members will do their part, the brunt of this responsibility lies with the player. Failure to effectively maintain the camp will be conveyed through the mood of the members, but fortunately, a simple walk through camp will result in supporting characters communicating what needs to be done to keep things running smoothly.
After learning of the camp’s need for meat from an NPC’s organically prompted dialogue, the player can go out to seek the resources. This can be done by scavenging—using stealth or more aggressive means—or by hunting the game’s wide variety of wildlife. After confirming an animal kill, players will want to get the meat back ASAP, as dead animals will decay over time, reducing the value of it as both food or a commodity to sell.
While out and about, players will notice a new way to interact with others in the world. NPC reactions to players have been taken up a notch from the already impressive standard set by the previous game. Characters will react differently to the player based on their status in the world, the position of Morgan’s weapon, and a variety of other factors. A new interaction system gives players more control over their influence on these supporting characters, with options such as Greet or Antagonize. Choices can also be more natural, such as when the demo lead Morgan to a character’s fishing spot, giving the player the choice of sneakily stealing his goods, talking his way out of it, threatening the fisherman into handing them over, or simply killing the man and taking everything.
Humans aren’t the only characters in the world Morgan has to connect with. The player’s horse is designed to be much more of a companion this time around, rather than a disposable tool. Different breeds of horses will behave differently, with some being faster on certain terrain, more adverse to water, and so on. Developing this relationship between man and beast with have tactical benefits, such as the horse getting less frightened by gunfire. Horses will also serve as stash points, carrying Morgan’s excess supplies and weaponry.
Speaking of gunfire, the final stage of the demo took Morgan on a bank robbery after happening across a conversation in camp with fellow gang members. On the way to the heist, the player is offered decisions on how best to tackle it, with those decisions expanding after the action begins to unfold, such as the choice to blow the bank’s safes open or crack them. While leaving the establishment, Morgan is greeted with a prime opportunity to use the series’ iconic Dead Eye function. According to IGN, it works very similarly to how it did in the last game, although it does have the satisfying effect of long-distance kills playing in slow-motion from a reverse angle to truly appreciate them.
Telegraph came out of its demo some new details of its own. From this, fans learned that RDR2 will see the return of the previous game’s Honor system, which dictates how NPCs and communities react to the player based on the overall morality of their playstyle. It was also revealed that the game’s HUD will be customizable, giving players more immersive control of their experience.
These Red Dead Redemption 2 details follow the game’s third trailer that recently dropped. The trailer offered nearly nothing in terms of gameplay information, but fans did get their first look at a younger John Marston, the protagonist of the first Red Dead Redemption.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is slated to launch October 26th on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.