Nonetheless, don’t be too disheartened. Previous delays in the name of polish always resulted in a better game and that can’t be a bad thing. Alongside the announcement that the title will launch on the 26th of October 2018, Rockstar also released a number of screenshots which might hold clues about the game.
The last time Red Dead Redemption 2 was delayed, we also got a bunch of screens. However at the time we knew next to nothing about the game, and with no context to place the images into, they didn’t mean much. All we learned was that there will be dual wielding, lots of horses, and the game will look pretty.
Since then, we got to know a bit more about what to expect thanks to a trailer and some basic info, so these new screenshots might reveal a tad more. Let’s look at them one by one.
First up we have a moody shot with presumably Arthur Morgan in the foreground and other men in the background on horses. Morgan’s weapon is drawn, and the other three are coming at him on the road. Presumably this is a confrontation, however whether the strangers are lawmen coming after Morgan, or just unlucky bums who Morgan intends to rob is unclear. Overall, this screenshot tells us nothing beyond the fact that Red Dead Redemption 2 will have some baller particle effects.
That said, one small, but very far fetched hint, may be found here with regards to how a weapon loadout will look like in the game. Morgan (if it is him) is holding a pistol, a rifle is resting on his back and a knife is tucked in his belt. Red Dead Redemption, and the more recent Grand Theft Auto 5, all had the player constantly lugging around their entire arsenal, with all weapons accessible via weapon wheel. In GTA 5, this has become decidedly problematic.
Could we be looking at a more realistic, limited yet persistent loadout mechanic? In the past, when holstered, the weapons didn’t appear physically on the characters, or at most, the one currently selected did. Maybe in Red Dead Redemption 2, the number of weapons you can carry at any given time will be limited, however these will always be present on the player character’s in-game model.
There are things to be said in favor and au contraire for both methods. The latter is more realistic, but also limiting and restrictive. At the same time, allowing players to carry their whole collection of weapons at all times is absolutely ludicrous from an immersion standpoint, and can lead to a cluttered interface, but is also usually more fun and liberating.
The next shot definitely shows Morgan dual wielding pistols and firing at an unseen enemy off camera. First of all, holy crap does this game look good. Look at those wood splinters. Look at the subtle muzzle smoke. Look at the creases in Morgan’s coat. If they don’t eventually release this for PC where it will look even better, it will be a travesty.
Dual wielding as a mechanic was revealed during the last round of screenshots, so mechanically nothing new can be learned from this image. Arthur is sporting a different outfit than in other images, but then not having multiple selectable outfits would be an odd step back for the series. His belt has bandoliers for bullets, but it’s completely empty so there is no indication whether the outfit dynamically updates to match ammo consumption.
At most, we learn that Morgan is a brave chap, since he’s just wading forward while folks behind him are getting very shot.
The next shot is a sweeping vista of a mountainous area, with once again Morgan and a horse. Nothing here is new – mountains, horses and cowboys are kinda the baseline for this game based on previous trailers and screenshots. Again, this is just more reinforcement that it will be one of the most beautiful video games to be released this year.
Guess what is on the next image? Horses! Lots of horses! There’s also Dutch, a bunch of dudes and snow. The snow could mean three things. This is a screenshot showing a scripted section of the game played during the winter, or some areas in the game are snowy, or weather changes dynamically as you play the game. Since the last one is quite common these days, we’d say it’s a strong bet.
More splinters! More fire! Particle effects! Wow! No relevant gameplay information unfortunately. While this might be indication of a stance mechanic, allowing players to take Morgan down to a crouch, then even lower to prone, and back onto his feet again, it could also be a still from a screenshot or a scripted animation. But hell, just look at the grime on Morgan’s hands.
This next image is more interesting. Morgan is seen riding with a young woman who bears much similarity to Bonnie from the previous game, though it would be odd for her to be in Red Dead Redemption 2 in any major capacity since she’d have mentioned some of these events to John Marston, presumably. However, even if it isn’t her, this character appeared in the trailer as well and will likely play a prominent role in the story.
This final shot carries no direct information, but I feel it is a strong hint that the game will have a kind of photo mode, similar to Snapmatic in GTA 5. Photo modes are more and more common in games, so it wouldn’t be strange for Rockstar to jump on the trend, and a gorgeous game like Red Dead Redemption 2 definitely deserves a dedicated mechanic that allows players to stage screenshots.
Luckily, we won’t be forced to speculate too much longer. After such a long period characterized by minimal information and news, Rockstar stated in the delay announcement that they will be revealing a lot more about Red Dead Redemption 2 in the coming weeks, so expect things to heat up around here!