‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ Seems Like It Delivers Unprecedented Player Freedom

Rockstar Games

Rockstar delivered yet another stunning trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 this week, proving what was only thought possible by Doctor Strange — slowing time to a crawl until the game’s October 26 release. This particular trailer was heavier on the story, and we even got to see the young protagonist of Red Dead Redemption, John Marston, with some fresh, iconic scars on his face.

But yet again, there were no details on the gameplay from the developer. Thankfully, IGN got an extended demo, and it seems like Red Dead Redemption 2 is offering players an unprecedented level of freedom. Writer Alex Simmons describes an experience that bucks all traditional open-world gaming conventions. Instead of getting a main story mission or going out into the country to stick to a menu-driven set of side quests, everything will develop organically. You’ll make choices.

Unlike previous games, especially the first Red Dead, there will be multiple outcomes to every scenario. This goes beyond how you execute a mission. Now, AI townsfolk will be living entities that will follow schedules and go to jobs or work on the general task of living. The world is real, and when you walk down the street and kick up dust to a stranger lounging on a porch, they may have a meek reaction or decide to start something with a six-shooter of their own, depending on their background. You can’t even ride your horse close to their property. There’s a button to tip your hat or talk sh*t.

Everything seems to be driven by choice. It’s the first time possibly ever in the open-world genre that you’re getting a true survival simulation. You have to eat, and feed those you’re responsible for. You can choose to be a maniac, or someone a little more Marston-esque. This

You even have to treat your horse as a member of your family. It’s with you every step of the way, carrying your items and you, so it’s not just a supernatural taxi you can manifest on a whim time and time again. Different breeds even have different personalities. This isn’t even getting into the hunting, which will be extremely realistic to the point of animals decaying. You have to butcher them and feed your camp before they rot. Here, read a snippet from IGN’s exclusive time with the game:

Crouching low, Arthur eases his way through the long grass to where he last saw the deer. They’re grazing, unaware of the looming danger, enabling him to get close and draw his bow. With the string pulled tight, he whistles to draw the animal’s attention and fires, the arrow striking it in its leg. It cries out in pain and attempts to run, but the wound is deep and, after following a blood trail for a few seconds, Arthur finds the buck collapsed on the ground, still alive but kicking its legs and screeching in agony.

Feeding your people, surviving off the land or becoming a merchant in an effort to profit off your skills are all embraced in the game. You’re truly going to become a criminal. It won’t be a set of story missions and side missions, the game will evolve organically. For years, the open-world genre has basically relied on Grand Theft Auto III‘s formula, and Rockstar, of course, is the one to take the time to tear it all down to begin anew.

Oh, and if your hat gets shot off you need to go pick it up and put it on or it’ll be lost forever and you have to buy a new one. Rockstar has made the world’s most expensive hat-owning simulator, people.

Read the entire hands-on at IGN.