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Red Dead Redemption 2's Random Encounters Can Take Unexpected Turns

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Interacting with strangers can have some unintended consequences in RDR2.

From all that we've seen of Red Dead Redemption 2 thus far, it's evident Rockstar Games has crafted a detailed and reactive world to explore in its much anticipated western sequel. Not only will the non-playable characters you encounter snitch on your crimes if they see you engaging in some shady activities, you'll be able to interact with strangers you come across in various other ways, which can have some unexpected consequences.

During our most recent hands-on session with Red Dead Redemption 2, we were traveling leisurely down a dirt path that led to a crossroads. There, we encountered an older gentleman on the side of the road affixing a horseshoe to his horse. As we passed him, the game presented several different interaction prompts, giving us the option to Callout or Antagonize him. We chose to greet him, and in return, he stopped what he was doing and greeted us back.

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Now Playing: Red Dead Redemption 2 Hands-On Gameplay: The Bizarre Open-World Strangers

However, our casual interaction had a completely unintended result. As he was returning our greeting, his horse was suddenly spooked and kicked the old man in the head, killing him instantly. The horse then ran away down the path as we went over to inspect the man's body. Even when Arthur Morgan has the best of intentions, it seems interacting with strangers can turn deadly.

Later in the demo, we encountered a Mexican gunslinger shooting bottles off of a railroad bridge. We approached him, and he revealed that he crossed the border to find the "best marksman in America." The man then challenged us to see who could shoot the most bottles off of the bridge in half a minute, with each of us wagering $5 or $10. We agreed to wager $5, and when the challenge ended, we saw that he has shot one more bottle than we were able to.

The man then asked if we'd like to double down on the wager. We declined, and just as we were about to leave, he reminded us that we had yet to pay him. It seems the game doesn't automatically deduct the money from your wallet when you accept these kinds of challenges; rather, you have to manually interact with the man to give him the money. We were then presented with the option to either pay him or refuse. Naturally, we chose the latter, and the man responded by firing at us.

There are numerous other ways the world in Red Dead Redemption 2 will react to you. As previously mentioned, characters who witness your misdeeds will be able to rat you out to the law unless you're able to intimidate them otherwise, and some characters will even begin avoiding you if you don't keep up with Arthur's personal hygiene.

Red Dead Redemption 2 releases for PS4 and Xbox One later this month, on October 26. The game will be available in various editions; you can learn more about what each one contains in our Red Dead Redemption 2 pre-order guide. Later in November, Rockstar will release Red Dead Redemption 2's online mode as a beta for those who've purchased the game, much like it released GTA Online one month after Grand Theft Auto V launched.

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Kevin Knezevic

Kevin Knezevic is an associate news editor who has been writing for GameSpot since 2017. Star Fox Adventures is good and he will die on that hill.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2

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