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The following excerpt is actually from our compadres over at Guns of the Old West. Their new summer 2019 issue just went on sale May 21. We read this story on Red Dead Redemption 2 and thought the part on the gunplay was too interesting not to share with our audience, especially since we know a lot of you love video gaming. This is just a small part of the full feature. To read the whole thing, pick up a digital or physical copy at OutdoorGroupStore.com.

Build Your Arsenal

Red Dead Redemption 2 offers a well-stocked arsenal that allows the player to use more than 50 different weapons. Users have the ability to customize each. What is unique about this game is that players must keep Arthur’s (the main character) guns oiled and clean or else their performance will suffer.

“Since we wanted players to feel a sense of ownership over their weapons and to maintain them, guns in Red Dead Redemption 2 can get dirty and wear over time, so we studied the most common reasons, general and specific, why firearms malfunctioned, and the difficulties tied to keeping weapons clean during this period,” said Josh Bass, art director at Rockstar San Diego, the developer of the game.

“We wanted weapons to be heavily customizable,” he added. “So we looked at how and where firearms were sold and what modifications were offered from each manufacturer. All of this extra effort and detail reinforces the game’s sense of immersion. It helps to more strongly connect the player to their weapons and to this incredibly deep recreation of 19th century America.”

The Guns of Red Dead Redemption 2

As this is at the tail end of the Wild West, players can expect some early “modern” firearms along with old classics. However, perhaps because of licensing issues, many of the game’s firearms are fictionalized versions of actual firearms used by lawmen and outlaws alike in the Old West.

These include a Rolling Block rifle, a double-action revolver, a double-barreled shotgun, a carbine repeater and a Maxim machine gun that makes a brief but notable appearance. There is even an early semi-automatic pistol; it’s clearly based on the German-made Borchardt C-93 in appearance if not name. The game offers a Carcano as a sniper rifle. There are also a variety of melee weapons, from knives to a stone hatchet; these allow Arthur to get up close and personal, as required of an outlaw.

The Research

“For the weapons of Red Dead Redemption 2, we researched each firearm’s individual characteristics, including the action, ammunition type and capacity, loading, assembly and disassembly, as well as their production dates and the original materials used to make them,” Bass said.

Gamers can also expect the guns to look and function like real firearms of the era, and even sound as realistic as possible.

“We studied a wide range of weapons, including pistols and revolvers, short- and long-range rifles, and repeaters and shotguns,” Bass said. “Then we carefully looked at and recorded how each weapon fired, including their recoil, casing ejection, muzzle flash and the unique sounds each firearm made. We also studied the terminal ballistics of each weapon fired at a broad range of surfaces and materials that the player would experience within the world we built.”

What about those times when Arthur needs a big bang? There is dynamite, as well as firebombs (an anachronistic take on a “Molotov cocktail”); however, the former is clearly the way to go when available. What would a Western be without an explosion or two to add to the mayhem? Here, see for yourself.

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