Red Dead Redemption 2: Official Gameplay Reveal Trailer-Reaction

Alright, alright, alright. I wanted to stay away from RDR2 and all the hype. But, I really can’t help myself. I love the hype and can not wait for this game. Here are my impressions of the trailer.

TL,DR: In a surprise to no one, the game looks amazing.

First things first, if you haven’t watch the trailer. Go watch it.

The first thing that caught my eye watching this trailer was the lighting. The lighting looks incredible.

The sun through some clouds at 1:27 presents a stunning scene of the plains.  There isn’t much color in this particular scene which adds to the atmosphere.

We only have one character in this scene which allows us to focus more on the environment and the finer details surrounding him. At 1:29 as the rider crests the ridge, we can see mountains on the left and a river meandering on the right. If you look from left to right in this scene your mind will catch the darker, brown hills compared to the greener, life-bearing water. The subtly shifting of color creates an accurate perception of reality.

Two seconds later at 1:31 we are met with lush, green mountainside with a river bisecting our view. I am impressed by the water we can see. Each of the rocks visibly impacts the water. This is not new to games but the way the water changes color changes with direction and speed again create an illusion of accuracy.

Moving on from the glory of the world displayed in the trailer.

I know this our first view of the gameplay, but Red Read Redemption has never really been about gameplay. Of course, RDR2 is a video game, which requires input from the player, however, it will never actually feel as good as an FPS or Overwatch, for example. To me, the minute to minute gameplay just needs to be good enough. I think the more important aspect is what you can do with your time in the game.

The interactions with people random people caught my eye. With multiple interactions with each person encountered, we are able to live whatever life we envision in the game. I think with open world games, the world, the story, and the option to choose how we play matters more than the mechanics of the gameplay. There exists a threshold for gameplay being “good enough” so as not to be a detraction. Once the mechanics get past that threshold, we move onto caring about the world at large.

The smaller systems, such as your relationship with your horse, the hunting, the groups camp interactions and movement, and the development of characters over time all matter much more to me than the gunplay or horse riding. Are the latter mentioned aspects important? Yes. Can they hurt the experience? Yes. I just think how we interact with the world is more important than how our hands interact with the controller.

At 3:32 in the trailer, we can see how an interaction with a robber on the road plays it. We are given the options of “aim weapon,” “rob,” “defuse,” or “antagonize,” each of which allows the situation to play out differently.  I wonder what would happen if you chose to rob the guy by the wagon but someone saw? Are you immediately wanted like in GTA? Or do they have to tell someone and then you become wanted? Giving you time to leave the area and have them put wanted posters up for you or something like that? I’m curious to see what impact these small interactions have on the game.

This trailer and the incoming trailers don’t really mean much for me. I, like a great many people, have been anticipating this game for years. I loved the first game and I would be hard pressed to not enjoy this sequel. I could have seen nothing but the title and I would buy Red Dead Redemption 2. I trust Rockstar to deliver a great game based on past experience and expect RDR2 to be excellent.


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