Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay trailer breakdown: 10 tiny things you missed

The veil has been lifted yet again on the astonishing world of Red Dead Redemption 2 (opens in new tab), and unlike the previous trailers this time we’ve been treated to a ton of gameplay (opens in new tab). With a whole six minutes of footage to delve into, we’ve spotted 10 things that you might have otherwise missed, from 19th century celebrity cameos to the weather affecting the tasks you’ll have to do for your outlaw camp. Here’s every tiny detail we spotted. 

1. There’s a new wanted system

Although having a bounty on your head in the first game was absolutely a thing, complete with wanted posters and posses coming after you, it looks like Red Dead 2 is going all GTA with its new wanted system. Instead of a five star rating though, you’ll be moving up the naughty steps along the actual letters of the word WANTED. That means there could be up to six levels in the stakes, with various actions building up the meter, from killing people, stealing things, looting and all those other slap on the wrist activities. Looks like wanted posters will still be a thing too, so watch out for your ugly mug being pasted around town in the very near future.

2. Structures evolve over time

Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar are a sneaky bunch. During the segment of the trailer dedicated to explaining the importance of horses, we briefly see a structure in the background with a wagon of logs being pulled towards it. One of the big things Rockstar is pushing for Red Dead Redemption 2 is that you’ll be journeying through a living, breathing world, so this could be the first hint that buildings are going to change over time. The structure looks like it’ll evolve into a full-on building as it’s midway through construction, so during your playthrough you’ll probably want to revisit old areas to see how they’ve changed since you last saw them. Just in case you needed more reasons to never, ever leave the world of Red Dead Redemption 2…

3. Different weather affects your camp

Red Dead Redemption 2

One of the scenes in the first minute of the trailer has Dutch and Arthur wading their way through what could be the Great Blizzard of 1899 and it generally looks like it’s bloody freezing. Dutch is saying how they need to get “these people warm and fed”. Without a doubt he’s talking about their outlaw camp. That implies that with changing weather comes changing demands from your camp, with extreme cold needing more food and warmth than usual to keep morale up. So whereas hunting – something we already know is a key feature in Red Dead Redemption 2 – is important but somewhat optional, in a blizzard it becomes a critical way to keep everyone alive. 

4. There are symbols to indicate the types of characters you’re interacting with

Red Dead Redemption 2

Next to the name of every character there’s an icon. Ranging from yellow dots, red circles with a crosshair and a red eye, it seems that this icon will indicate what kind of person you’re interacting with. Eyes are witnesses, the crosshairs seem to be for figures of authority and the yellow dot may well have something to do with your honor. The yellow dot does appear when you’re choosing whether to save or leave the man hanging off the edge of the cliff, so it could be that the colour changes according to how you interact with each character. 

5. Fast travel might use sleeper trains

Red Dead Redemption 2 sleeper train

Anyone with eagle eyesight will have spotted that the sides of one of the trains has ‘SECOND SLEEPER’ emblazoned on it. Rockstar have previously spoken about how they want fast travel to be seamlessly integrated (opens in new tab) into the game, so having sleeper trains as a method for speedily getting around the map feels like an ideal solution. In ye olden times they took passengers all around the county and came fitted with beds, so dozing off in one of them would nicely explain the time jump in getting from location to location. 

6. The Euphoria engine is back

The Euphoria engine is kind of like a fancy physics engine for people that makes them stumble, fall, and just generally head towards the ground in more interesting ways. Instead of ragdolls or pre-canned reactions it blends together animation, physics, gravity and so on, on the fly, to create a realistic and responsive animation that’s different every time. It was used to great effect in GTA 4 and 5, and Red Dead Redemption, both for making people look really drunk, and making sure they die in believable ways. It’s back in the sequel and looks even more refined as enemies crumple or scrabble in the mud trying to keep their balance 

7. Fishing is a thing

Yeah, yeah, we know. It would have been pretty hard to miss the giant hint that fishing is going to be in Red Dead Redemption 2, but for anyone who blinked and missed it or just thought the three outlaws were admiring the sunset, fishing is going to be a big part of the game. Rather than being like hunting, which sustains the outlaw camp and keeps morale up, it could be more of a hobby that allows you to spend some quality time with Dutch and other members of the gang as Arthur isn’t casting his line alone. 

8. When you’re interacting with NPCs L2 does…something?

Keep an eye on the bottom-right hand corner of the screen when Arthur is busy interacting with an NPC. The L2 button is greyed out when he’s talking to someone at a distance, but bolded when he’s busy beating someone up. What does it mean? If I’m honest, I haven’t got a clue. Perhaps you can hold it down to bring up another set of actions aside from threatening, dismissing, or beating the poor sod who’s in your eyeline. Or it could be that holding it down brings up the ramifications of violence against the NPC in question. Who knows (answer: Rockstar does). 

9. Abigail and Jack Marston are part of your camp

Red Dead Redemption 2 - Abigail and Jack

Rumours of Abigail and Jack Marston being part of Red Dead Redemption 2 have been flying since the first trailers. But, this gameplay trailer pretty much confirms it. Sitting around the campfire is a woman with a young boy, who you see again at the camp. The pair are almost definitely Jack and Abigail. Not only do they look strikingly similar to the character we know and love from Red Dead Redemption, but the young boy is about the right age for Jack. He buries his mother in 1914 at the age of 19, which would mean he was born in 1895. Red Dead Redemption 2 is set in 1899, which would make Jack around four years old, which is about right for that little tyke in the trailer. It’s also worth considering that John and Abigail have a daughter around this time too, who dies sometime after 1906. Will she be a part of Red Dead 2’s story as well? 

10. Rub shoulders with 19th-century celebrities

Red Dead Redemptions 2’s placing at such a turning point in American history means it’s ripe for a touch of historical celebrity for the period. Which is why the guy with the camera is a dead ringer for Carleton Watkins, a famous landscape photographer of the time who was especially fond of Yosemite Valley. Then there’s a character that looks a little like Nikola Tesla who moved to America in 1884 and stayed there until he died. Whoever this is has a beard instead of Tesla’s trademark ‘tache, but that centre parting’s 100% Nikola. 

Looking for more? Here’s how to get the Stone Hatchet in GTA Online and Red Dead Redemption 2 (opens in new tab).

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