Ready for Red Dead Redemption 2? The First Gameplay Trailer is out...
...and it still doesn’t spoil anything (for us!) The game itself will be out after one more trailer, in a few months time, and it’s not looking like anyone will be disappointed! The great vibe this recent (extensive, six minute) ‘ride-through’ gives out is just like an old friend turning up at a video game expo, dusting off his hat and finding everyone looking in his direction. He may have a new face and new name this time - Arthur Morgan - but he’s here with a new story to remind everyone what true sandboxers are all about.
Depth. Possibility. Character. Freedom… the Rockstar Games way.
Indeedy, the single-player aspect is looking mighty, mighty fine. Of course the graphical detail looks amazing and immersive, but the living, wild western world that we are being inviting to once again seems to have got a whole lot bigger, more subtle, real... and more interesting. Knowing how interwoven the single and multiplayer experience is with Rockstar games, makes it all the more fascinating a glimpse:
So, what do you think the word on the web will be? Will the game carry us into new gaming territory, and surprise us? Will there be expectations crushed? Will something lead to a backlash where fans will feel disappointed that it’s just an upgrade of an old formula (seven years, in fact, since the last title)?
We can’t see any red flags at this stage, but this will also depend on expectations. For us, we’ve already mentioned the depth aspect that looks present from what we’ve seen, in spades. It looks a lot less cheesy, in other words. The satisfying dead-eye shooting system should be welcomed with eager arms, (or console trigger fingers) as this feature was what made playing a Wild West shooting game engaging and possible from an armchair. Then there is what looks set to be an interesting storyline, where your character will face choices to a more complex degree than John Marston’s limited (and somewhat lost) progression. It may even lead to multiple endings. The horse-handling looks more interesting too, as many will remember the riding aspect as being a bit unrealistic, although it made for some hilarious moments.
What do you think? Has this trailer ruined the suspense, or just increased it? For ‘old-timer’ gamers, it might be easy to feel nostalgic and blown away again, especially as some of them might have been less impressed when GTA V turned up, with its crude character switching (and sheer size and ambition). It can be easy to forget just how big a game Red Dead Redemption was, but characters there also felt somewhat thin and certainly, stereotypical (although the old gunslinger ‘mentor’ was a notable one). So we’re hoping for a little more cohesiveness and depth in the return of RDR. Story missions and quests do look this way, being tethered to a gang-based intrigue, where it looks possible we might actually come to care for what happens to the fate of every gang member especially Morgan. So we love that it’s a prequel.
Angels in the Details
We’re also hoping those little details, the ones that reveal an incredible, extensively-created world, like where you realise you can actually do something that afterwards has implications - will surprise us once more. Remember shooting the birds out of the sky in RDR so you could test the range of a rifle or win competitions against strangers? Or reading a newspaper at a train station to get an update on what has changed across the map as you progress? And will the sheriff's men be as annoying as ever, or more artful? Well, you see where we’re going with such a big budget title. Maybe you played Far Cry Primal and witnessed some insane animal-based situations unfold? This is called ‘emergent behavior’, and it makes an open-world game breathe with realism (and win many a Youtube rating). We hope the upcoming ‘ecosystem’ will beat even this. Next, we also hope the options for planning bank or train robberies will be taken further since GTA V and there will also need to be varied, but genuinely fun and popular, multiplayer modes. The Last Man Standing mode hopefully will make a reappearance, but to mention just this one feels like scratching the surface.
For the meantime… get ready to saddle up and ride out… and go hunting for all the crazy moments you’ll want to capture and share. Yes, this is the glory and longevity of a true sandboxer but just remember, there’s nothing like playing the game alone to begin with and enjoying that feeling while it lasts, of being the one to explore the frontier of gaming and later, recount tales of the choices that you made in the main story, later on. Will the mini multiplayer games add to the action or detract from it?
We here at Gaming Impact agree that a game like Red Dead Redemption 2 really does have the potential to show us what is possible in terms of action, adventure and survival. How it’s possible to have both a single-player experience that overlaps into multiplayer mayhem — since both are enhanced by a shared familiarity with the main map and terrain. We also hope that the western scenario again allows for accessible but not over-complicated settings and options, to ensure a wide array of players populate the servers for some time to come.
Such an ultimate and winning combination can take a certain time, budget and reputation for a studio to bring home. Let’s hope Rockstar have done this, and can even break a little new ground, making it a game that truly marks the year 2018 with a gun-barrel in the sand.