With the release of Rockstar’s inevitably-brilliant sequel to the critically-acclaimed and universally loved Red Dead Redemption right around the corner I thought that I would take a quick dive into just what awaits us come October 26.
Red Dead Redemption 2 looks as though it is bursting at the seams with a truly vast array of unique gameplay mechanics and carefully-crafted world building elements that are sure to set this game apart from anything else released this year, or in the near future. Rockstar have an impossible task on their hands though; trying to surpass their stellar original title.
So, just how different will Red Dead Redemption 2 be when compared to its predecessor? And why should you care? Well, I’ll tell you why.
1. Sprawling Open-World
The phrase “open-world game” seems to illicit a groan from the majority of players nowadays due to developers consistently slapping it on the back of their box and hoping that that alone will cough up the cash, so putting this on the list may be a slightly controversial one but hear me out. Red Dead Redemption 2 looks to have one of the largest and most dynamic open-worlds in the whole of gaming. Now, bigger doesn’t always mean better, the world must feel lived in, real. And thankfully, Red Dead 2 looks like it will be just that.
From what we have seen so far the world seems to open up to the player gradually, slowly introducing you to the vast wilderness that is turn-of-the-century America in a way that avoids overwhelming the player and instead invites genuine intrigue and a desire to explore the world around you. The NPCs in the game go about their daily business, the towns are alive with the sound of chit-chat and busy-work, dynamic events occur at random intervals throughout gameplay. This game is not one where you feel obliged to synchronise every tower or collect every artifact, it is one where you feel the wilderness around you, live among the people of your camp and truly feel as though you belong there. A truly immersive experience.
2. The Camp
A wholly new feature to grace the game is the “Camp” system. As you play as a member of Dutch Van der Linde’s gang, the one that was previously mentioned throughout the original game, you all travel as a group. You set up different camps during the game and in these camps several unique gameplay mechanics rear their heads.
The most prominent gameplay feature of the camp system is “Camp Morale”. This dynamic sees the player interact with the different members of the gang in various unique and interesting ways, from small talks about their lives to tasks that help the whole gang. The morale aspect comes into play when bringing the gang food when they are hungry, stopping attacking animals or rival gangs and generally whenever you help anyone out in the camp. An increased morale will see the camp dynamically change over time to become visibly happier, singing songs around the campfire and laughing amongst themselves.
Whilst this feature may not be revolutionary it will go a long way to keep the player invested in the story and its many characters, as well as enhance the open-world aspect of the game as a whole.
3. Red Dead Online
Of course where there is Rockstar there must now be an online mode. Although Red Dead 2‘s online mode isn’t releasing at the same time as the base game (instead arriving a month later) it is sure to be one of Rockstar’s best.
If GTA V is anything to go by, Red Dead Online will likely be an incredible experience that gives players unique gameplay moments for years to come. The original Red Dead had a superb online component, allowing players to free-roam around the entire map, forming their own gangs and facing rivals during high-octane, intense shootouts. All Red Dead 2 needs to do is take that original online component and add a little GTA Online flair and players will flock in droves, even years after the initial release.
4. The Story
Most likely the main reason why players will flock to buy this game on release day is the story aspect of the game. The original Red Dead Redemption was, and still is, praised very highly for its well-written and truly cinematic story that saw John Marston seek retribution for his previous crime-riddled actions. And Red Dead 2 looks like it’s going to go back and explore those intense, grizzly crime-riddled actions in way that adds depth and gravity to the narrative, just as the first game did.
5. It’s a Sequel
The final reason why you should be hyped for Red Dead Redemption 2, and probably the most obvious one, is because it is a sequel to one of most critically-acclaimed and most-beloved games in recent memory. If we’re honest with ourselves, Rockstar could easily release a game that is practically the same as the original in almost every aspect, but in a slightly higher resolution, and we would all still love it. Let’s just hope that this sequel manages to capture the same spirit and charm that made the original game so excellent.
In a year of such outstanding games like God of War, Spider-Man and Dead Cells will it be possible for Red Dead Redemption 2 to take home that Game of the Year award? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.