One of the things that set the original Red Dead Redemption apart from other games of its type was that it didn’t just focus on shootouts, saloons, and other Western staples – it also put a heavy emphasis on wilderness exploration and hunting. Red Dead Redemption 2 expands on that, with a significantly more complex ecosystem, featuring over 200 animal species to commune with/kill, depending on your disposition. 19 horse species also roam the plains, which can be captured and made into a faithful companion.
You can check out a batch of new outdoorsy Red Dead Redemption 2 screens below (click on the images for full resolution).
The diverse habitats and climates of Red Dead Redemption 2 are home to around 200 species of animals, birds and fish, all of which behave and respond to their environment in a unique way. Deer, bison and pronghorn travel in large herds, scavengers quickly sniff out carrion, sockeye salmon leap upstream, wolves attack in packs surrounding their prey, geese fly in fixed formations, possums play dead, rodents scamper into tree hollows, grizzly bears bluff charge when threatened, and birds of prey soar on thermals. They all form part of a complex ecosystem and must continually fight for their place on the food chain.
Hunting & Fishing
Hunting and fishing are essential skills for survival in the wilderness, providing food, materials and a source of income. A huge variety of fish swim the many rivers, lakes and streams, and selecting the right bait or lure is key to a successful day’s haul. Tracking an animal takes focus and patience; move carefully and watch the wind direction or you will alert your prey. Choice of weapon and shot placement are also very important and will affect the quality of the meat and pelt, which in turn affects the price that traders will pay for them. Make sure to pick the right gauge of rifle for the size of animal that you’re hunting, or master the use of the bow for a quiet and clean kill.
After a successful hunt, you can either skin and butcher the animal on the spot or take it with you whole. Just try not to leave it too long or the scavengers will come looking. Skins, parts, meat and entire carcasses can all be loaded onto your horse to be sold to the butchers in town, taken back to camp for the stew pot, or crafted into clothing or other items.
There are 19 breeds of horse in Red Dead Redemption 2 from Appaloosas and Arabians to Shires to Mustangs, each of which handles differently with its own defined characteristics. Horses can be captured and broken out in the wild, purchased from stables or acquired by more underhanded means, of course.
Your horse is your constant companion, and you will rely on them just as heavily as on any of your fellow gang members so it is important to take good care of your animal. By keeping it groomed and well-fed, you will start to see improvements in stamina, performance and handling and it will become less skittish as the bond grows between you. With 59 different styles of coat, and a huge range of customizable tack, including saddles, horns, stirrups, spurs, you can create a horse that is truly your own, and develop a personal and unique relationship as you explore the world together.
Read Dead Redemption 2 gallops onto Xbox One and PS4 on October 26.