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'Red Dead Redemption 2' trailer shows off a more ambitious sequel

The Dead West never looked like this before. After almost two years of teases and a few delays, we finally have our first look at how Red Dead Redemption 2 will actually play come October 26th. The gameplay trailer is directly in the vein of the videos Rockstar released in the lead-up to Grand Theft Auto V and the first Red Dead Redemption. Today's footage is a high-level overview showing off the world and its inhabitants. Towns and forests look bigger and more expansive than ever, with gorgeous mountain ranges, dank swamps and plenty in between. Gunplay and melee combat takes a heavy focus in the clip, and both look vastly improved over the last game. Environments look positively gorgeous -- stylized rather than photo realistic -- and character faces follow that lead, staying out of uncanny valley. There's even a quick glimpse of Blackwater, a main town from John Marston's 2011 tale. Things from the last game like a morality system, bonding with your horse and hunting look like they've been given a huge overhaul. There's also plenty of new, like social bonds with your gang and other non-player characters. Rockstar promises that there will be more of these videos coming over the next few months, with episodes about missions, side activities (fishing!), enemy gangs, how robberies will work and one dedicated to the new-and-improved Deadeye slow-motion targeting system.

Rockstar reveals first Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay details

Talk yourself into, out of trouble as part of a camp of outlaws on the run. After nearly a year of vague, story-focused trailers, Rockstar released a video this morning showing the first gameplay footage from the anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2. The video places the focus on Arthur Morgan, a "senior gun in the Vanderling gang" that's on the run "from the pressures of civilized life." The gang will be continuously forced to flee from encroaching law enforcement and civilization, according to the video, setting up temporary remote camps where they can eat, sleep, do chores, play games, or share stories. It sounds like these camps will serve as the primary hub system for the game, where you can meet Morgan's fellow gang members and talk with them to "find new secrets, fun things to do, and opportunities for mischief." While you can still shoot pretty much everything that moves in Red Dead Redemption 2, the video highlights how "guns aren't the only way to interact with the environment." Morgan will be able to talk himself into or out of trouble with rival tough guys or law enforcement officers, escalating or diffusing situations and forming friendships or making enemies. Witnesses to crimes can be intimidated into keeping quiet, and passing riders can be engaged in conversation. On-screen prompts show options to greet, antagonize, diffuse, threaten, beat, rob, or dismiss various non-player characters, based on the situation. "Your actions have consequences" the video promises, allowing you to dictate Morgan's "honor." The full video features plenty of dramatic shots of the game's open-world setting, encompassing "mountain trails, dense forests, untamed swamplands, sweeping deserts, livestock towns, and modernizing cities. " It also includes a few more details regarding the "realistic" reload and recoil on period weapons, the ability to hunt for food and valuable animal pelts, and the necessity of bonding with your horse based on how well you treat it. But we'll have to wait for Rockstar's next info-drop video for deeper details on "missions, activities, enemy gangs, robberies, [and the] evolution of sharpshooting with the Deadeye system." The lack of hands-on previews and relative paucity of information about Red Dead Redemption 2 thus far is relatively par for the course as far as Rockstar Games releases go. So we'll take whatever drips of information the developer is willing to provide ahead of the October 26 release.