Together, these small touches make a big difference.
Red Dead Redemption 2 promises an unparalleled level of depth, from its vast, sprawling world, to the people and animals within it, and how it all fits together in a way that is quite unlike any open-world game before it. You’re never quite know how each encounter with another character will pan out because each person is different. Similarly, it’s filled with moments where you’ll ask yourself, “I wonder if I can do that?”, and chances are you probably can, no matter how outrageous it is.
Below is a list of the cool, quirky and downright awesome little touches we’ve noticed so far with our time in Red Dead Redemption 2. If you want to know more, check out our impressions of Red Dead 2 after playing it for two hours, or how the new dialogue systems turn the game into a comedy.
1) Arthur’s facial hair grows in the game’s real-time, and his options when styling it depend on how long it’s gotten — just like facial hair in real life.
2) Arthur can shave at his tent in camp, going clean shaven, keeping a full beard and anything between. He can trim the different areas of his face – chin, cheeks, sideburns – so they’re short, medium or long.
3) To change his hairstyle Arthur will need to visit a barber in town.
4) If you don’t eat and rest, Arthur will suffer from fatigue.
5) Arthur will visibly lose or gain weight depending on how much food he eats.
6) Bodies of downed enemies are marked as a small ‘x’ on the minimap, so you can go back and loot their corpses.
7) Similarly, killed animals are marked with a paw print on the minimap.
8) Fellow gang members will also loot downed bodies, so move fast or they’ll bogart all the extra cash and ammo.
Weapons get dirty and clogged up and need cleaning for the best performance
9) If you lose a hat or weapon it will reappear on your horse’s saddle; if you lose your saddle it will reappear at a stable.
10) If you lose your hat, it will also appear as an icon on the mini-map.
11) You can wear animal carcasses as a hat.
12) Outfits are customizable to an insane degree. You can choose to have your pants tucked into your boot or not, or sleeves rolled up or not, for instance.
13) Weapons get dirty and clogged up over time, or if you get them wet, so you’ll need to clean them to get the best performance.
14) Similarly, your horse will get covered in mud over time, which slows it down, and will need grooming — though a horse can be cleaned by riding it through a body of water or a rainstorm.
15) Arthur’s comments while grooming or soothing his horse will change depending on the sex of the horse.
16) If Arthur is covered in mud or blood the reaction you’ll get from those around you will be different than if he were clean.
17) Snow on Arthur’s clothing will eventually melt. Mud will harden and wipe away. Blood will dry.
18) If you hold the trackpad to turn on the cinematic camera you can set a waypoint and hold X and your horse will automatically make its way to the destination. Or you can move around of your own accord.
19) You can switch camera angles while in cinematic view.
20) If you’re riding with other gang members, holding X in cinematic mode ensures you ride as a pack at the same pace as them.
21) You can choose what position you ride in when you’re in a group.
22) Dutch rides an albino horse with blue eyes.
23) Composer Woody Jackson returns to create the music for Red Dead Redemption II. There are 192 separate pieces of score, not including ambient themes.
24) As Arthur’s Dead Eye skill develops he’ll be able to target critical hit areas such as an enemy’s vital organs. This is also useful for getting clean kills when hunting.
25) Tap R2 to rapidly fire from the hip, which proves handy if you’re ambushed.
26) If you double-tap L1 Arthur puts his gun away with a flourish.
27) Hold up on the D-pad while aiming and Arthur will fire a warning shot in the air, which can be used to attract the attention of other characters or startle an animal he’s hunting.
28) Arthur dynamically shields his eyes just before dynamite goes off.
Arthur can swim, but not very well
29) Horses poop dynamically.
30) The entire game can be played in first-person mode.
31) The HUD is customisable, so you can remove the minimap and other on-screen cues if you desire.
32) Pause the game or press down on the D-Pad, and the current time and temperature is displayed.
33) Arthur can swim (but not very well).
34) There are lots of weapon crafting options: so far we’ve seen molotovs (known as fire bottles), split-point bullets and ‘improved’ ammo for guns, as well as ‘improved’, fire, and small game arrows for a bow.
35) You can customise weapons at the gunsmith. Upgrades include longer and rifled barrels or improved ironsights, plus you can add etchings and engraving to both the metal casing and the handle of a weapon.
36) Items can be purchased at general stores by walking around and picking them up off shelves, but there’s also a catalog here, too. The Sears & Roebuck-esque catalog sits on the counter, and you can zoom in on every article and full-page ad and read it. The gunsmith also has one of these, with hundreds of words written about every item.
37) Visit the Stables to customise your horse, switching out its saddle, blanket, stirrups, reins and saddle horn. You can also change the style of its mane and tail, making it short, medium or long, adding braids or even changing to dreadlocks.
38) You can ‘store’ horses in stables, in case you need a ‘back-up’ horse, because…
39) If your horse dies, it’s gone; they’re not like cars in GTA V that can be resurrected via an insurance claim.