Yesterday Rockstar Games officially unveiled all special editions and pre-order bonuses for Red Dead Redemption 2.
Since many of the extras you get for pre-ordering or buying a special edition are in-game items, we also got our first glimpse into how some of Red Dead Redemption 2's mechanics and features will look and work in practice.
Players who pre-order the game will get the War Horse and the Outlaw Survival Kit. We'll get back to the horses, but the Survival Kit already tells us plenty. The kit will be filled with consumables that can restore health and Dead Eye. This rules out generic regenerating health, for one thing.
Combine that with the in-game stat boost bonus of the Special Edition and you have a clear indication of light RPG elements. The Core Stat Boost will give increases to Arthur Morgan's Health, Stamina and Dead Eye 'cores' as the description calls them. These will likely be the character's primary attributes that one can increase by ranking up or using items.
One way of increasing stats with items is via the use of talismans. These can be worn on various items of clothing like boots and your satchel, and two are included in the special edition - one buffs your Environmental Awareness skill, and the other offers damage reduction. Additional talismans will also be available in the game.
It is unclear what the Environmental Awareness skill entails, however based on recent trends in games, we suspect it might be one of those "important things temporarily glow" abilities like Eagle Vision/Witcher Senses/Batvision/Built-in Deus Ex Face Sunglasses that are so common recently. Damage reduction, on the other hand, suggests additional stats beyond the three core stats.
Returning to the horses, the various editions and pre-order bonuses bring the total special reward horses to three, which is a large enough basis of comparison to see what we can expect - and that happens to be unique body types and a wider range of stats for horses.
Ardennes drafthorses are absolutely huge and have a muscle mass visibly greater than pretty much any other breed, and the game reflects this difference. The screenshot showing the Red Dead Redemption 2 incarnation of the war horse proves that it is an absolute unit, while the other horses are different in their shape.
Additionally, mount stats can be further altered by what saddles you use. Included in the special edition is a Nuevo Paraiso saddle, while the Ultimate Edition has a High Plains Cutting Saddle, both with different stat bonuses.
Red Dead Redemption 2 will also feature a mix between Red Dead Redemption's fixed outfit system and GTA 5's mix-and-match clothing system. Various editions include different exclusive outfits for either Arthur Morgan or the Red Dead Online protagonist, however the individual elements of the outfits are explained in detail.
Additionally, during the recent press event with the 45-minute gameplay demo, it was discussed how hitboxes are so precise that your hat can be shot off your head if the enemy aims so. In this case, you need to pick the hat up manually or lose it forever, necessitating the buying of a new hat, which proves that individual clothing items are also available.
It has also been revealed that in Red Dead Online players will be able to customize their camps. One of the Ultimate Edition bonuses is instant free access to the "Survivor Camp Theme", which likely affects the decoration and possibly facilities present in your character's camp.
We're curious to see how camps will be implemented - will players be able to just set up camp anywhere, or will there be fixed locations? If the latter, how will the game deal with multiple players camping in one spot? GTA Online solved this with instancing multiple identical apartments in the same building, but that option isn't present here.
Red Dead Online Ranks
Red Dead Online will also feature a similar rank system to GTA Online, where you can climb the ranks by completing missions. This is evidenced by the rank boost bonus in the Ultimate Edition which increases your RP gain rate until you reach rank 25.
On the mission front, it is confirmed that Gang Hideout missions will return, with the difference being this time that instead of trying to get rid of criminals for the greater good like Marston did, you'll be plundering your fellow outlaws for riches and teritory.
Though, the game is set back when Dutch was still and idealistic Robin Hood-esque fellow, so maybe it's a case of the "good" outlaws fighting the "bad" outlaws.
A few additional tidbits have also surfaced. One of the larger settlements in the game will be called Saint-Denis, which is described as a busy port city. Red Dead Redemption 2 will also feature weapons not present in the previous game, such as the Lancaster Varmint Rifle.
Keep an eye out for more info about Red Dead Redemption 2 in the coming days and weeks!