Ways Red Dead Redemption 2’s Graphics Set a New Bar For Gaming
It has widely been agreed that Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best looking games of all time. To be the most graphically impressive, all while being a huge open world game, is an incredible feat. However, it’s not all about pretty vistas and nice grass. Here are ten graphical features that prove that Red Dead Redemption 2 has redefined open world gaming.
How Arthur Moves Depends on the Terrain
Arthur may not be the easiest to control when you’re trying to do things quickly. He’s not the fastest to turn or react to cover, but his individual movement animations are very impressive.
He doesn’t always walk in the same way, with his posture changing depending on how tired he is and the incline of the terrain he’s on. If he’s climbing up a hill, he’ll hunker forward as if he’s trying to maximize his grip. When he’s going down a hill, he’ll lean back so that he doesn’t tumble forward. Arthur can even slip and slide down a hill if it’s too steep and he loses his footing.
How Arthur Looks Changes How NPCs React to Him
Protagonists changing physically is not necessarily new, but it’s far deeper in Red Dead Redemption 2. Arthur’s beard and hair length, weight, and cleanliness can all change as you explore. Mud and blood will begin to cake his clothes and skin if you don’t head to a hotel for a bath or change his clothes. Also, if he eats too much or too little, his weight will fluctuate, negatively affected his stamina and health statistics.
What’s most impressive, however, is that how Arthur looks changes how NPCs react to him. If he gets too dirty or lets his facial hair grow too long, characters will shout at his to have a wash or go for a shave. It doesn’t affect story missions, but general interactions will be less friendly than they would be if Arthur stayed well groomed. It all adds to the feeling that Red Dead 2’s world is living, breathing place.
Horses Are Aware of Their Surroundings
Horses are more than just vehicles to get Arthur from point A to point B in Red Dead Redemption 2. They’re companions that are along for the adventure. You can change horse are you go, yes, but they react to the world organically and you’re able to build a bond with them.
Horses will bolt when they’re caught up in a fire-fight, begin to pant when galloping for too long, and freak out if you try to go too quickly through a tight space. Mountain path ways, with rock faces on each side, will need to be taken slowly, because you horse will get scared.
Cinematic Camera and Ease of Control
By holding the touch pad on PS4, or the View button on Xbox One, you can switch to the game’s Cinematic camera. This adds black bars to the top of the screen and zooms out, showing off the stunning scenery, all while keeping track of Arthur and whoever is with him. You also keep full control of Arthur, being able to move him as you please, and allowing you to hold X/A to keep pace with whoever you’re riding with. It’s the perfect way to move through any slower sections while marvelling at the beauty of the world Rockstar has created.
Blood Drying, Snow Melting, and Mud Hardening on Arthur
As Arthur heads out on quests he’ll be out in all kinds of weather in all kinds of places. Whether it be a fire fight in the snowy peaks, or a fist fight in the muddy road through Valentine, he’s not immune from the elements. If he’s punching someone, or being punched himself, blood will drip onto his clothes and dry over time. If he falls over into mud, the mud will say on his clothes, dry over time, and begin to scrape off. Also, if you begin a mission that’s up in the mountains and it starts to snow, whatever falls will settle on Arthur. Then, when you head back towards sunny locations, the snow will begin to melt.
Animal Carcasses Decaying and Attracting Flies
Hunting is an important part of Red Dead Redemption 2. It plays a part in the maintenance of your camp and gang’s wellbeing, Arthur’s own survival, and simply the 100% completion of the game. However, it’s a deeper process than in other open world games. You need to skin carcasses and take them back to the camp to be used for food or upgrades.
However, you can’t simply kill an animal and leave it and wait until it’s useful or you return to camp naturally. Once you have picked it up and laid it over the back of your horse, it will begin to decay in the heat, with the meat rotting and attracting flies. You therefore need to get it back to your camp in the best condition possible.
Subtle Lighting Effects
The lighting effects in Red Dead Redemption 2 are phenomenal across the board. However, there are some subtle features than make it stand out from the competition. For example, heat haze will be visible above tools and other items than would realistically emit heat when being used, you can see a glow on bullet holes when shooting metal, and you will be able to see sunlight shining through skin if you look from the right angle. As the sun sets, and you zoom in on Arthur’s nose with him stood at 90 degrees to the sun, you might see the end of his nose shining orange from the light. The level of detail paid to the lighting effects is incredible.
You Can Go Above the Weather System
Red Dead Redemption 2’s weather system doesn’t encompass the entire world, having realistic boundaries. If you head into the mountains, you can go past the cloud level and escape the weather. In many other games, the weather will simply be active up to the top of the game’s world, not taking altitude into account. If you really want to escape the rain, head up the mountain and see some snow instead.
The quality of the lighting effects in Red Dead Redemption 2 has a lot to do with the detail on the shadows. They’re not simply there at all times of the day, ignore the sun, but they change as the weather shifts. The distance you are from them, the camera angle you’re using, and the time of the day will all impact the shadows, ensuring that they look realistic. In graphically busy areas, such as forest and towns, the shadows are really noticeable and play a huge part in the beauty of the game.
Hunting, Crafting, and Looting Animations
We all know the standard looting, hunting, and crafting animations from most open world games. After killing an enemy, your character will briefly bend down, vaguely run their hands over the corpse, and come away with some money and ammo. Then there’s what we usually see from hunting, where you’ll stab randomly at a carcass and come away with a red blob that’s supposed to be the meat.
It’s al very different in Rockstar’s new game, though. When looting an enemy, Arthur will reach into their pockets and take what he needs. If they’re face down in the dirt, he’ll lift them up to get to their front pocket, or he roll them over slightly to reach a pocket if they’re on their side.
Then, when it comes to hunting, there’s loads of different animations across the compendium of creature that change depending on their side. If it’s something small, like a rabbit, Arthur will just pick up the carcass and rip what he needs from it, while he’ll lay a larger animal down and carefully skin it. Then, he lies it over the back of his horse. This is something we’ll begin to see in other open world games to add to the immersion of the survival and hunting mechanics.
How Arthur Moves Depends on the Terrain
He doesn't always walk in the same way, with his posture changing depending on how tired he is and the incline of the terrain he's on. If he's climbing up a hill, he'll hunker forward as if he's trying to maximize his grip. When he's going down a hill, he'll lean back so that he doesn't tumble forward. Arthur can even slip and slide down a hill if it's too steep and he loses his footing.