Red Dead Redemption 2: 14 MORE Pointless Details That’ll Blow Your Mind –
Rockstar’s production of Red Dead Redemption 2 might turn out to be one of the most storied of all time. Over eight years since the original hit shelves, the studio spent close to a decade perfecting their ambitious sequel, with leaks suggesting that a huge amount of effort was put into righting the ship after a few initially rocky years.
This was all before later reports just before launch explained how the team extensively crunched in order to pack as much detail as possible into the sandbox as well. Whether or not that extreme dedication to polishing the fine edges was worth the end result is open for debate, but the team’s time and dedication has undoubtedly resulted in one of the most lifelike, intricately detailed games ever.
We’ve covered some of the most pointless – yet amazing – touches Rockstar included in the final release before, but there’s so much packed into the game itself that it can’t all be crammed into a single article.
14. Blood From Corpses Stains The Environment
There’s already been a lot said about the way Red Dead Redemption 2 deals with death, what between animal carcasses decaying as time passed and lawmen coming to dispose of dead bandits, but the effects of your shootouts and murder sprees don’t disappear when the bodies do.
In fact, if you’re in a shootout in a city or a building, even when the corpses have disappeared the blood of your enemies remains upon return visits to the area.
Whether you’ve put a bullet in a raider’s neck and watched them bleed out or massacred another with your knife, their blood can stain wood and other structures, to the point where it acts as a permanent reminder of your prior villainous deeds.
13. Snake Bites Appear On Arthur’s Skin
Of all the animals in Red Dead, the snakes are perhaps the most infuriating. For the most part you’ll probably not even realise there’s one around – until it’s jumped up and poisoned you with a bite that drains your cores.
While you might not see them until it’s too late, however, the scars of their attack will follow you around. A snake will tend to bite you on the arm or on the hand, and while it might not be entirely visible in third-person, it’s hard to miss if you switch to the first-person perspective.
Rather than a small bite, the marks will swell up until you’ve got two big bulges on your body. It ain’t pretty, but it’s a reminder that you should constantly be checking your surroundings rather than running blindly into shrubbery.
12. Pigs Will Eat Dead Enemies
Look, we all know that sometimes, killing an enemy isn’t enough. You can come across plenty of reprehensible outlaws over the course of Rockstar’s new game, some of which don’t deserve an easy execution or to be dispatched in the same way as hundreds of other enemies before them. Sure, you could whack them with an up-close-and-personal shotgun blast to the face so they’ll never be allowed an open-casket funeral – or you could let nature take its course.
If you choose the latter option, it turns out that pigs, just like in real life, aren’t averse to chomping down on fresh corpses. Throw a body into one of their troughs and you can watch as a pig – or an entire family of them – start chewing through to the bone.
For as filthy as they are, pigs are pretty innocent and kind animals in Red Dead Redemption 2 – but you won’t look at them the same way after seeing them go to town on someone you’ve just shot in the face.
11. Mirror Interaction
Although it’s already ridiculously satisfying that the mirrors in the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 actually work (seriously, why do so many games still struggle with bringing this to life?), there’s actually a secret prompt that gets Arthur to make a few comments at his reflection, Duke Nukem style.
If you hold down L2 and circle (or the console equivalent), Arthur will give you a little insight into what he thinks of himself, and it ain’t pretty. For the most part he’ll lament how old he’s getting and how ugly he is. Unfortunately, his spirits don’t seem to pick up even if you get him kitted out in a dashing suit and give him a bit of a wash.
It surprisingly humanises the character in a way, though. I mean, who hasn’t looked in the mirror on an off day and felt a little grim?
10. NPCs Stop Urinating If You Stand Next To Them
It’s already been revealed just how much attention to detail Rockstar put into the genitalia in RDR 2. Horse balls shrink when they get cold, for instance, a single detail than justifies the eight years’ worth of development time.
However you can also find people out in the wild, mostly farmers, relieving themselves in a nearby bush or stream (where you absolutely wash your face). While I haven’t gotten close enough to check whether the developers rendered a fully-detailed penis, they did put in enough detail to make sure NPCs react realistically while taking a tinkle.
Should players get a little too inquisitive and stand right next to someone trying to urinate in peace, they rightfully get a little pissed off (no pun intended), give you a stern word, zip up and storm away.
9. Bullet Holes Remain In Hats
Rockstar expected players to get attached to the characters, animals and places inside their version of the Wild West, be it Arthur Morgan himself or the many steeds you can bond with, but they probably had no idea how protective fans would be over their hats.
When the bullets start flying, there’s a good chance you won’t come out of a battle with your hat intact, leading players to search the battlefield for their fallen comrade. While that detail is itself cool, the developers made sure that not only can you find and reequip the piece of headwear, it will also retain the damage it took during the shootout.
If it’s shot off, then, the hat will have a bullet hole in both gameplay and cutscenes. You can fix it by equipping a new one from a wardrobe or outright buying one from the general store, but until then it will be marked by the bullets that very narrowly missed your head.
8. Railroads Are Built Over Time
One of the biggest themes of Red Dead Redemption 2 (like the original) is just how much the world of outlaws and cowboys is changing, with the industrial revolution and civilisation completely restructuring the land and culture. The story does a great job of communicating this in pretty devastating ways (for instance, the first time you arrive at Saint Denis), but the change also occurs before your very eyes in gameplay.
Throughout the title you can find little pockets of contractors attempting to build new villages as well as railways, all of which can finish construction as the game goes on. Some are directly impacted by you, for instance if you provide a certain company with the lumber they need, but others happen naturally whether you directly come into contact with them or not.
Railways especially pop up all over the place, transforming the peaceful countryside of the West with the apocalyptic hum of the modern age.
7. Arthur’s Dialogue Changes Depending On Distance
Insomniac’s Spider-Man blew everyone away with a subtle – yet impactful – little detail back in September, when it turned out that the devs had actually recorded a lot of the dialogue twice so that Spidey would sound exerted if he was speaking while swinging or in combat, and “normal” when he was milling around on rooftops or standing still.
Red Dead Redemption 2 boasts a similar feature, with Arthur’s lines being recorded twice as well. Consequently, he either speaks normally or shouts depending on how far away he is from someone, making the conversation feel more natural as you move around the world.
It’s probably something you didn’t even notice while you were playing, but that’s kinda the whole point – to make this dialogue appear to be as organic and realistic as possible.
6. Bucks Can Get Tangled After A Fight
The wildlife in Red Dead Redemption 2 works on its own isolated ecosystem whether you come along and start hunting (or, let’s face it, ram animals off the road with your horse) or not, meaning that they get involved in their own tussles that can be observed through your binoculars.
That can lead to situations in the north where a pack of wolves end up in a fight to the death with a bear, but more often than not it’ll probably be a Whitetail Deer getting into a scrap with another of its own kind. This system is ridiculously complex as is, but the deer take this one step further, as they can get their antlers tangled together after a fight.
Consequently you can stumble across the victor trying (and mostly failing) to escape its entanglement with with a decaying corpse. In my opinion, you’re better off just putting it out of its misery.
5. Shopkeepers Come To Work With Injuries
Shopkeepers have it tough in Red Dead Redemption 2. Not only do they have to come to work every day, but they’ve got to deal with outlaws holding a gun to their face every five minutes and roughing them up. Hell, the player themselves can do this whenever they want, even putting a bullet in these humble merchants if they feel like it.
If you do, though, they often won’t outright die, but instead return afterwards wearing their wounds. Whacked them in the head? They’ll come back with a bandage all over it. Shoot them in the leg? It might need to be amputated and they’ll have a wooden one the next time you stroll into town.
It’s probably to make you think twice before causing more pain and continuing your crime spree, but for the most malicious out there it’s a good reminder of the damage you can cause while out on the lamb.
4. Horses Poop More If You Overfeed Them
As mentioned previously, everyone lost their damn minds when they found out that horse testicles shrink in the cold in RDR 2, but Rockstar’s dedication to making the virtual animals as real as possible didn’t stop there. Like in real life they need to digest their food, and consequently if they’re just chilling they’re likely to poop on the ground – fair enough, if a horse has got to go, a horse has got to go.
While other games, including Metal Gear Solid V, included the same “feature”, Rockstar, as always, have taken this one step further. The rate of a horse’s bowel movements is dictated by how much you feed them. As you can imagine, a malnourished horse barely ever has to go, while an overfed one will be dropping deuces like it’s nobody’s business.
3. You Can Drown People In Inches Of Water
Even though there are fully-formed stealth mechanics, it’s actually quite difficult to notkill people in RDR 2. Even if you get into fistfights and try to knock someone out, nine times out of ten they’ll end up with their skulls cracked in, bleeding out on the floor.
However, if you do manage to take someone out without killing them, there’s a good chance the elements will finish them off for you. While you can drown people in the game, for instance, be it by tying them up and throwing them into an alligator-infested swamp (though the jury is out on whether the water or the reptiles will kill them first), it only takes mere inches of water to get the job done.
Whether you’re dragging somebody from your horse through a small ravine or just knock somebody out in a puddle, if they’re left for too long they will drown, in perhaps the most horrible way ever.
2. Opossums Play Dead If You’re Near
Opossums are crafty little animals that you can hunt in RDR 2 – but they’re surprisingly difficult to find and keep track of.
What makes them even more tough to spot and kill, though, is that they can actually play dead if they notice you in advance. You might see one suddenly fall limp, yet you won’t get a prompt to pick it up or skin it.
At first glance it initially looks like the game has bugged out, but it’s actually part of the animal’s behaviour to drop down and play dead in order to fool you and hopefully go on to survive another day. In real life, that might fool you, but in the game you still get a red reticule to let you know you should fire away.
1. A Horse’s Ears Signifies Its Mood
Look, this entire list could have been taken up by the sheer amount of insane detail Rockstar put into creating the most lifelike horses to ever grace a video game. A good chunk of that eight-year dev time has to have been dedicated entirely to figuring out the intricacies of how these magnificent beasts work, attempting to reflect their real-life behaviour as much as possible.
The craziest detail, however – which again is entirely based on a real-life feature of the animals – is how you can tell their temperament just by looking at their ears. If their ears are stood upright in their natural position, the horse is at ease, but if they’re down, they’re pissed off, and will totally send you flying if you try to go near them.
It’s something you almost certainly didn’t pay attention to unless you’re into horses in real life, but now you can only blame yourself the next time one gives you a kick to the chest.