With each new Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer, Rockstar Games has shown fans that horses in the game will have impressive detail. Players will be able to ride around on steeds that look more realistic than ever, with Rockstar clearly having put a lot of effort into making the animals look lifelike. But this isn’t the only major improvement that Rockstar has made to horses. The developer has now confirmed that there will be all-new horse loyalty gameplay when the game launches later this year.
Rockstar recently showcased a 45-minute demo of Red Dead Redemption 2 to press and during this preview event, the developer confirmed that players will able to bond with their horses. Horses will be more like companions than resources in the new game and players can build up their bond by feeding it, keeping it calm when it’s disquieted, grooming it and just by generally spending more time with it. This has direct gameplay ramifications as the greater the bond, the better a horse will behave during battle. A horse that hasn’t bonded with the protagonist may not behave itself and could be unpredictable.
The breed of a horse will also affect its behavior, Rockstar has explained. There are different breeds and each may react differently to different terrain, water, and stressful situations (which presumably means firefights or chases). Moreover, Rockstar has confirmed that horses will stay where they are when dismounted and they can only be signaled to the player with a whistle if they are nearby. Horses can now be used as an inventory and can carry supplies and weapons so players will want to think carefully about where they “park” their steed, so to speak.
As made clear by the Van der Linde gang morale feature that Rockstar also revealed during this preview event, the developer has been keen to create a world where NPCs have their own personalities. They want the game to react to the player’s actions in exciting and unpredictable ways. Just like people and animals in real-life, these NPCs have feelings and these can change as a result of what players do.
This is also clear with the new gun gameplay features whereby Arthur Morgan can threaten NPCs (including telling them not to call the law) but armed NPCs may pull their gun on the protagonist in these situations. That unpredictability could lead to some exciting moments and stories that perhaps even Rockstar wouldn’t expect players to get into.
Red Dead Redemption 2 releases October 26, 2018 for PS4 and Xbox One.