The Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay trailer is finally here, and in short, the game looks absolutely superb. Just over six minutes in length, it's a pretty in-depth video, with a narrator dishing out juicy details as the footage rolls.
As such, it's easy to miss bits and pieces, even after watching through it multiple times, so we're going to try and break the trailer down bit by bit, highlighting anything of interest and expanding on it a little.
Without further ado, let's get started.
Arthur rescued, start of the game or near?
So the trailer starts with Arthur Morgan stuck in some kind of jail cell -- presumably he's been up to no good. Our lead character is then bust out by Dutch, leader of the gang, as a hole is blown in the wall. It could be that this is right near the beginning of the game, but Dutch has a familiar, comical tone to his dialogue, which could suggest that it's a scenario that takes place later on. Either way, it's clearly quite an important event in the story.
Riding as a gang
Arthur's in the next shot as the gang rides out of what looks to be a small settlement or town. For the first time in the trailer, but not the last, we see the gang riding together. We assume various missions will see the gang ride and fight together, but it'll be interesting to see whether you'll be able to explore the world as a group too, at least under certain circumstances.
Yep, and there's a moving train. We already knew Red Dead Redemption 2 would have trains based on earlier trailers, but it looks like there'll be a full railway system in place, much like there was in the first Red Dead Redemption. Will you be able to rob it at any time? It's possible (there's a train robbery later on in the video), but we're sure that you'll at least be able to ride it across the map.
Going by the sign in this shot, you'll once again be able to buy weapons from various stores throughout the game's world. Hopefully there's a little more depth to the weapons system this time around. Red Dead Redemption's guns felt great to use, but there wasn't that much variety on offer. Once you had the best revolver and the best rifle, you'd have little use for anything else. More in-depth mechanics might make a big difference in the sequel.
Phwoar, what a looker
Yes, Red Dead 2 looks bloody gorgeous. The trailer is made up entirely of PS4 Pro footage as well, so you can expect to see stunning landscapes just like this one in October. Also worthy of note is the minimap in the bottom left, which seems to function as you'd expect.
Brawls are back, and more dynamic
After being chucked through a window, Arthur goes toe-to-toe with a large man out on the street in front of a saloon. Immediately it's clear that melee combat is more dynamic, as Arthur is grappled and tossed to one side. It's also important to note that there's no health bar here. The first game didn't have one either, instead opting for a screen filter that got more and more red as you took damage. Health regenerated fully over time, too, so we're going to go ahead and assume that it's the same here in the sequel.
A wide range of weather
The next important scene sees Arthur and gang leader Dutch traversing a snowy landscape on horseback. Going by the dialogue, this is likely some kind of story mission. As with the first game, Red Dead 2 appears to have a wide range of weather types -- we've already seen rain, sunshine, and now snow in this trailer.
Dead Eye is back, baby
Unsurprisingly, Dead Eye is making its return in Red Dead 2. We see Arthur burst into some kind of hideout and start unloading rifle rounds into skulls all in slow motion. The ammo counter's in the top right.
Oh god, bears are back -- off in the distance you can see one. Remember them in the first game? Enough to send shivers down our spine...
Stay outta mah swamp
The first Red Dead had some swampy areas, but nothing too treacherous or wild. The sequel seems to be ramping that up a bit, as we see Arthur wading through some pretty deep, boggy terrain as he leads his horse through on foot. And 'leading' is the key word here. Look to the bottom right and you'll see that leading your horse by its reigns is an option when moving from place to place -- maybe it's best utilised when the environment is dangerous, or perhaps when your horse is tired?
Back in Blackwater
Blackwater, the largest town in Red Dead, is back in Red Dead 2, complete with its theatre. We imagine that you'll be able to waltz in and watch a few daft movies that Rockstar's clearly had too much fun creating. We can't wait to see what's showing.
More mental characters
A few quick cuts show us several colourful characters, this guy in particular, who appears to be having fun with Tesla coils. Naturally, he gets zapped. Knowing Rockstar, expect plenty of similarly wacky characters to appear throughout the game.
Free camera during some conversations
In this clip we see Arthur talking to an older woman who we (perhaps rudely) assume is some sort of whore house madame. There's no cinematic camera angle here, as Arthur simply stands near as she natters. We suspect that this will likely be a common occurrence when you're tackling side quests and other more dynamic activities.
Arthur's in a slightly different costume when he appears in this scene, sporting a heavy-looking leather jacket. We imagine that there'll either be different outfits for you to collect (like in first game), or maybe you'll be able to mix and match with individual items.
Is that John Marston we spot, once again? He's giving Arthur a knowing look here -- maybe he's something of an understudy to the game's lead character.
The narrator says "each time [the gang] is forced to flee an area, the gang sets up a camp as a base," as we're shown some gameplay of multiple wagons and horses moving down a picturesque road. It sounds like you're going to be hopping from place to place on the map, and you may have no choice when the going gets tough. We're wondering how this'll work; maybe if you cause too much trouble you're forced to move on? Or perhaps it just happens at certain points during the story? It'll be interesting to see how freeform this mechanic is.
And there it is, poker. The minigame is back for the sequel, and it looks just as entertaining. You'll be able to play cards with your mates at the gang's camp, but we wonder if there'll be other activities that you can partake in as well.
Here we see Arthur and the lads sat around a campfire as an old man tells a story. The minimap's still in the corner so we know this isn't some sort of cutscene of special event -- it could just be that you can take a seat and listen to people yapping. Rockstar's clearly trying to make this is most seamless open world yet, with interactions everywhere.
All together now
Again, we see Arthur sitting by a fire during gameplay, but this time it's at night and there's a bit of a party going on. The narrator mentions that Arthur will be able to get to know everyone in the gang, and it's also worth pointing out that there's a kid on the right, meaning that your responsibilities as second in command cover children as well as adults. We're sure that tough choices will play a part when deciding who to help and how.
Even more dynamic conversations
The woman on the right simply comes over to Arthur and walks with him for a time, and she seems to be commentating on a specific event. It could be that she's involved in a quest, or it could be that she's simply letting you know what she thinks of your recent actions. If it's the latter, then we're getting into some impressive dynamic territory.
Love is in the air?
Will Red Dead Redemption 2 have romance options? Maybe, if this shot's anything to go by as Arthur seems to be quite friendly with the woman on the right. Worth pointing out, at least, especially as the narrator comments on getting to know characters better.
And here we have Arthur sharing a drink at a bar with, we assume, someone from the gang. By the sounds of it, you'll be able to forge relationships with everyone, going drinking and partaking in other, more casual activities when you're not out hunting or completing missions.
Get to know people well enough and they may just ask for your help with more personal matters. We see Arthur talking to one of the rougher-looking members of the gang, who seems to be offering up a specific mission to the player. Will you be able to earn your allies' loyalty by having their back? It seems that way. Commander Shepard would be proud.
Here are the character interactions that have been mentioned before in various previews. Down on the right hand side of the screen, Arthur has different options when communicating with others. He can give them a friendly greeting or attempt to antagonise them. It looks like you hold L2 to focus on a character and then decide what to do with the other buttons.
Treat 'em how you like
And through these interactions with NPCs, things change. The trailer shows us how Arthur can react to people, leading to friendly conversations with strangers or even shootouts depending on how you decide to talk to those around you.
Wanted dead or alive
The wanted system is up next, as we see Arthur attempting to talk his way out of trouble with the local sheriff. We've got a big old wanted indicator on the top right, and the current stage of the situation is 'interrogating'. In other words, it basically looks like you'll have options when breaking the law. No doubt you'll be able to gun the sheriff down and go on the run, if you wanted.
The wanted system is explored further in the next few shots, as Arthur intimidates and threatens a few different characters. It looks like you'll be able to stop witnesses from snitching on your crimes by telling them to keep their mouths shut. Nice.
Next we see what appears to be a random encounter of some kind, as Arthur comes across an empty wagon, a man with a gun, and what looks like a body. In the trailer, Arthur simply says its none of his business, and moves on, but clearly you'll be able to get involved if you wish.
Here, Arthur's accused of killing a woman's cousin. It's unclear whether this is just a random event or the conclusion to a quest, but either way, you can interact with her however you wish, leading to yet more player choice and involvement.
Hang in there
Arthur comes across a desperate man holding onto a ledge. The character description at the bottom right reads 'man from Blackwater', so he's either a specific character in a quest that you're perhaps sent to find, or again, he's part of a random encounter. The narrator makes it clear that you get to decide just how much of a good guy or bad guy Arthur is through your actions.
Fist to fist
More melee combat as Arthur shows some guy his knuckles in a saloon. The narrator speaks of improved fighting mechanics, although the footage doesn't paint a crystal clear picture of how all this will work. At a glance it looks like Arthur is able to counter specific attacks and knock people to the floor before grabbing them.
The man behind the mask
Arthur's sporting a classic bandit mask in this shot, as he blasts a bunch of guys and generally causes chaos. In the first game, John Marston could equip a similar bandanna, covering the lower half of his face and keeping his identity secret so that he wouldn't get hit with a bounty.
Apparently, your bond with your horse will mean a lot in Red Dead 2. If it feels safe at your side, it's less likely to panic during combat, and it'll be easier to control. It looks like you'll be able to tend to your horse, brushing it and perhaps even feeding it, so that it grows to like you. It'll make it all the sadder when you accidentally shoot it in the back of the head.
Right horse for the job
Different breeds of horse will be better suited to different jobs, it seems. Sturdier beasts will be better at carrying heavier weights, with work horses looking like they'll be able to pull huge wagons. For gunfights and the like, we reckon you'll want something fast and nimble. We wonder if you'll be able to keep several horses at once?
That's a big lizard
Oh god, as if bears and cougars weren't enough, Rockstar's adding bloody crocodiles to Read Dead 2. You can barely see it in this shot, meaning that you'll really want to watch your step at night. Surely crocodile hide's worth a pretty penny, though?
And of course hunting's going to play a big part. You'll hunt to keep the gang fed, and you'll hunt to make money. Arthur's using a bow here rather than a gun, suggesting that stealth may be key to getting the jump on prey that's easily spooked -- or perhaps even enemies.
It looks like Arthur will have some sort of sixth sense when it comes to tracking animals. Presumably if you wound a creature, you can follow a highlighted trail and finish the job.
Again, we have footage where Arthur is riding alongside other gang members, only this time, the wanted indicator is draining its red colouring, suggesting that they've outran the law -- probably after a successful mission.
You can fish in Red Dead 2? Well, why the heck not -- it looks like you can do just about anything else.
Shoot to kill
And finally, we have Arthur getting into yet more trouble with the law. The wanted indicator now says 'dead or alive', meaning that the sheriffs ain't gonna listen to reason no more -- the gang's going to have to shoot its way out of this particular mess.
So what did you think of the Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay reveal? Tend to your lovely horse in the comments section below.