Red Dead Redemption 2 Horse Permadeath Cements The Strength Of The Bond; Fauna Discussed

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Oct 18, 2018
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Red Dead Redemption 2 is bringing several changes to the gameplay formula introduced by its predecessor. Among the changes are those to the horse mechanics, which allow players to develop a bond with their horse to improve its abilities and more. Horses can also die permanently, and it seems like this choice wasn’t just related to gameplay.

Speaking with GamesRadar, Rockstar North director of technology Phil Hooker explained that permadeath helps cement the bond between the player and the horse.

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As you play the game, caring for and feeding your horse, calming it when it’s scared and encouraging it when it’s tired, naming it, looking after it – you can’t help but develop a bond with it. It’s your closest, trusted companion and you are nearly always together. To cement the strength of the bond we had to make it vulnerable so you respect and cared for it as you play, so it feels personal and real.

Hooker also talked about the challenges in recreating animal behavior in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Much like our work on the humans, the biggest difference was with our animal’s subtle reactions and behaviors. From an animation perspective, there is now a lot more fidelity in the ways the animals can move and react, especially with quadrupeds, and we can now create something that looks and feels a lot more like a real animal. This means we can flesh out a lot more of the animal’s daily lives with natural looking behaviors like hunting, eating, drinking, migrating, socializing and sleeping.

The challenge this time was making sure the animals react appropriately in different subtle levels to what you do. So if you’re creeping towards them and they see you, they won’t necessarily run away forever – they may grow curious and cautiously approach, or feel cornered and charge, or they might just go a short distance only to stop allowing you another chance to take a shot. Once you fire your gun though, you’ve given yourself away and the animal will flee.

Red Dead Redemption 2 launches on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26th.

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