Red Dead Redemption 2 AI, Animations & Physics System Allows Most Believable Open World Ever


Time and time again, Rockstar Games highlighted how Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to not only be a massive open-world game but also one of the most immersive experiences ever made.

While players will finally get the chance to see whetherhow the developer achieved this for themselves in a few hours when the game finally releases two years after its original announcement on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Rockstar North's director of technology provided some interesting details on the matter.

In a recent interview with VG247, Phil Hooker talked more about interactions with NPCs. It's something he particularly enjoys, as the results of the interactions can be completely contextual and change depending on a lot of conditions.

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Improved animations are also a big part of how interactions have been improved, as there are many subtleties that take everything to a whole new world. AI improvements also contribute to these subtleties, resulting in interactions that are different from anything Rockstar Games ever created.

While the developer couldn't have made interactions this way in its previous open-world game, Grand Theft Auto V, since it was originally developed on old-generation consoles before getting ported to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it's the Red Dead Redemption experience that has allowed them to finally do so.

The slower pace and more sparse nature of Red Dead Redemption 2, compared to that of the Grand Theft Auto games, allowed Rockstar Games to detail NPCs in ways never done before.

The Rockstar Games signature physics system, called Euphoria, has also been improved to accommodate the huge amount of detail they have given the Red Dead Redemption 2 world. Injuries sustained by Arthur's horse, wild animals and enemies lead to several different possible reactions. What they all have in common is that reactions will be more impactful and intense, something that is needed to make players feel physically part of the game.

The enhanced physics also come into play during shootouts, and influence both the environment and the characters involved in it. All in the name of the best possible immersive experience.

With Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games is setting an incredibly high bar not only for open-world games but for video games in general. How high this bar is we still cannot know, but it seems like it will be hard for most developers to top the level of care and details the developer put in its game.


Logan Smith

Logan is probably the most knowledgable Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online writer we have onboard, having authored the vast majority of all the guides you'll find here at RDR2.org. Having written those hundreds of thousands of words Logan still drops in and makes the odd tweak or update, but is otherwise eagerly awaiting the next massive gameplay updates from Rockstar. Connect with Logan on Twitter.