RDR2 Has ‘Nuts’ Physics and The Most Detailed Interiors of an Open World Game Yet, Says Noclip’s O’Dwyer

Alessio Palumbo

Just yesterday, we posted a few statements from Rockstar Games on Red Dead Redemption 2's completely overhauled systems and intimate, grounded nature by design.

A bit later, Danny O'Dwyer, a former Gamespot Producer who founded the video game documentary program Noclip (which can be supported via Patreon), hosted an impromptu AMA session on Twitter answering fan questions about RDR2 (he was able to play the game recently alongside a few select journalists).

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He began talking about the detailed physics reactions he encountered in his playthrough and then went on to say that RDR2 might have the most detailed interiors of any open world game to date.

Shooting very similar to RDR and GTA5. Familiar. It feels good. Physics are fucking nuts. I shot a horse and it crushed the rider's leg and pinned him. I had a horse fall off a cliff and onto another rider. I knocked a random dude over into the mud by accident walking by him.

It's a difficult question to answer because "detail" can mean a lot of things, but the interiors of RDR2 are likely the most detailed interiors I've ever seen in an open world game. Especially a third person one. Zelda is a big, fantasy playground, it's a different beast.

If there was one thing I'd say about the reaction to all the new detail, it's that that is where the fun comes from. The world feels less like a bunch of plates to spin, and more like a complex world where you have a part but are not the center.

As if the previous statements weren't enough for fans to get hyped for, O'Dwyer said that Rockstar is trying to seamlessly blend activities while enabling emergent storytelling with the new dynamic NPC interactions. He reckons RDR2 might be for emergent storytelling what Grand Theft Auto 3 did for creating an open world city.

The Witcher 3 wasn't a leap, it was just a fantastic execution of a lot of the rules developers had learned. Especially storytelling. The weird systemic, emergent storytelling I witnessed in my demo is something I've never seen a game do. Not even RPGs. It's different. It feels like it's doing to narrative and emergent storytelling what GTA3 did for creating believable cities.

It feels very interactive. Far more than previous R* games. You can...

  • search through drawers
  • knock on doors, or beat them down
  • hide bodies
  • talk to every NPC
  • go into...maybe every building? It seemed that way

The variety of personalities is impressive. Some folks are skittish, some are brash and tell you to go away, others are super boring, which feels fun. I had folks ignore me, others tell me sob stories. It's a less "structured" way of having emergent moments come from the world. Some felt deep & engaging, others were boring like real life. I also had a more "scripted" feeling encounter with a beggar I talked to. It kinda feels like adventure could come from anywhere.

Basically the way it's executed, the whole game makes a mockery of the term "quest" or "sidequest" or "activity". It's all just sort of a mush now. Or at least that's what they're attempting. Chatting to people is a lot of fun though, even if it's pretty simple.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is out October 26th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. There's no official word yet on whether it'll ever be released for PC.

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