Another week, and another update to one of the most anticipated games of the year has arrived. From the details Rockstar Games has revealed so far about Red Dead Redemption 2, the one thing to take away is the massive scale of the game. The open world in gaming is constantly being reinvented, and the dynamic setting stuffed full of meticulous details seems to indicate that the company is going all out in creating the most immersive one yet. Rockstar’s insane attention to detail is perhaps none the more apparent when it comes to the wildlife of Red Dead Redemption, an aspect of most games that is often treated with bare minimum respect and as an afterthought.
Not Rockstar Games. No, they’ve opted to include more than 200 species of wild animals in its holiday flagship. From large prey animals like bison and deer and vicious predators such as bears and wolves to salmon swimming upriver and geese flying in migratory formation, the natural wilderness of the Red Dead landscape is perhaps just as dynamically engaging and packed as its anthropologic counterparts.
These animals are not just for show either. Rockstar has ensured that hunting and fishing are core mechanics of the game, designed to match the deep complexity of the adventure itself. When fishing, the type of bait and lure used impacts the catch and success of the endeavor. Hunting has almost just as many variables, with the choice of weapons, wind direction, and player movements all accounting for not only the success of the haul but the quality of the product after death as well. The whole process doesn’t just end with the killshot either, as players must make the decision to skin and butcher the animal there, or carry the animal whole to a nearby town for butchers to work on. Even more absurd is that carcasses will attract nearby scavengers, making hunting a strategic decision from beginning to end.
Horses are perhaps one of the most important facets of the game, as they are the primary mode of transportation. As such, taking a page out of and going even further than last year’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Rockstar has incorporated 19 different breeds of horses with 59 different styles of coat. Each species has different handling and characteristics, and their statistics can be improved through feeding, grooming, and general care. With personal bonding and an impressive selection of accessories (saddles, stirrups, spurs, etc.), horses in Red Dead Redemption are a ridiculously personalized experience with customization that exceeds a lot of other games’ character creation modes.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is shaping up to be one of the most impressive games to come out in recent memory, and it will surely put up a good fight against the other flagships of the holiday season when it launches October 26.