As a visceral tale of murder, robbery and savagery, Red Dead Redemption 2's survival mechanics will have players hunting game and fishing to survive in a realistic way.
Red Dead Redemption 2 centers around a gang of outlaws who are being chased across the 1899 old West frontier. Not only do they have to cheat and steal, they have to hunt and kill to survive out in the inhospitable wilderness. A man's gotta eat, after all, and the game's protagonist Arthur Morgan actually needs to eat everyday. No matter where you are--in the arid scrublands or the frosty hinterlands--you'll need to regularly hunt and skin animals for their meat, pelts, and parts, all of which are used for a specific purpose in the game.
Rockstar isn't afraid of a little blood, though, and gathering meat will be a huge part of the game. Hunting is quite realistically dynamic and layered in RDR2. Hunting with a gun can actually lower the quality of the meat and reduce how much you get, for example, but a bow offers a cleaner kill. Animals can also smell Arthur, so masking your scent is important. Everything attained from a hunt can be used in some way to fuel your progress, whether it's selling pelts to a trapper or general store, keeping your gang well-fed, or using parts as resources for crafting.
Fishing is also nicely layered and Arthur can catch various species wherever he is, but special bait will come in handy to attract specific ones.
Here's what Rockstar had to say about survival in Red Dead Redemption 2:
Hunting and fishing are essential skills for survival in the wilderness, providing food, materials and a source of income. A huge variety of fish swim the many rivers, lakes and streams, and selecting the right bait or lure is key to a successful day's haul. Tracking an animal takes focus and patience; move carefully and watch the wind direction or you will alert your prey. Choice of weapon and shot placement are also very important and will affect the quality of the meat and pelt, which in turn affects the price that traders will pay for them. Make sure to pick the right gauge of rifle for the size of animal that you're hunting, or master the use of the bow for a quiet and clean kill.
After a successful hunt, you can either skin and butcher the animal on the spot or take it with you whole. Just try not to leave it too long or the scavengers will come looking. Skins, parts, meat and entire carcasses can all be loaded onto your horse to be sold to the butchers in town, taken back to camp for the stew pot, or crafted into clothing or other items. Nature amply provides and there is no reason to ever go cold or hungry.
Hunting wildlife provides valuable natural resources like meat, hides and other useful materials. You can sell meat and animal parts to Butchers of General Stores, donate them to your Camp, or use them to cook and craft. For more exotic goods, bring your haul to a Trapper.
Game can be found across a range of habitats. If your first shot is not immediately fatal, your prey will try to escape. Follow clues like blood to track it down and you may need to use a mercy kill to end the animal's suffering.
Selecting the proper weapon is important to the quality and yield from your kill. Bow and arrow is often the optimal weapon of choice for clean kills. Approach prey quietly, cover your scent or stay downwind to make it harder for animals to detect your presence, and use a call to draw its attention before making your fatal strike.
Like hunting, fishing also yields meat and useful materials. A range of species can be found in different habitats, each responding to different varieties of bait.
Red Dead Redemption 2 rolls out on October 26, 2018 on PS4 and Xbox One.
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