For those of us eager to jump into Rockstar’s incredibly detailed world of Red Dead Redemption 2, we’re no doubt super ready to get lost in a world that’s supposedly the most immersive to come along in quite some time. But are we ready for heartbreak? It has often been discussed that your horse, the unfortunate creature lugging your bullet-magnet ass through the plains, can die permanently if not cared for and protected. You’ll also need to keep an eye on their balls if they’re male. That’s heavy stuff, especially if you lose one that’s been with you for a majority of the game. When asked about the brutal authenticity of this mechanic by GamesRadar, Phil Hooker, director of technology at Rockstar, had this to say:
As you play the game, caring for and feeding your horse, calming it when it’s scared and encouraging it when it’s tired, naming it, looking after it – you can’t help but develop a bond with it. It’s your closest, trusted companion and you are nearly always together. To cement the strength of the bond we had to make it vulnerable so you respect and cared for it as you play, so it feels personal and real.
Animal behavior in general has of course surpassed certain technical milestones since 2010, when the first Red Dead Redemption was released. When asked about where Red Dead Redemption 2 was at in terms of realism, Hooker emphasized their dynamic improvements:
The challenge this time was making sure the animals react appropriately in different subtle levels to what you do. So if you’re creeping towards them and they see you, they won’t necessarily run away forever – they may grow curious and cautiously approach, or feel cornered and charge, or they might just go a short distance only to stop allowing you another chance to take a shot. Once you fire your gun though, you’ve given yourself away and the animal will flee.
So if you lose your horse, you’ll still need to adhere to the laws of animal charm if you want another one. Who’s ready to lay their lives down for their horse? Let us know in the comments.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Horse and Animal Behavior Discussed