If you haven't heard of Red Dead Redemption 2, you've obviously been living under a rock. From shrinking horse testicles to its extensive open world interaction, Red Dead Redemption 2 is the most popular game of the century with over ten million copies sold in just the first three days—awarding it the record for the largest opening weekend of any game in history.
Among those millions of fans is my boyfriend, who—at my own minor misfortune—has already devoted hundreds of hours in game play in the few short weeks the game has been live. Which means I've undoubtedly spent almost as many spectating. And boy, have I learned a lot.
Here are my favorites.
1. You can control your goodness level.
The player plays through the point of view of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw who robs banks and loots trains with his gang of outlaws to collect enough money to later migrate West.
But even though you're an outlaw, you can also choose to be good—based on how you interact with the townspeople.
By doing bad guy things like robbing stage coaches, shooting random people, and stealing peoples' stuff, your "honor level" goes down. Making you an outlaw and the target of a cash bounty—the amount determined by how bad you are. Which means people are constantly coming after you to catch you or kill you to get the bounty, which undoubtedly makes things more interesting.
Or if you do good guy things like greeting strangers, shooting bad guys, and saving damsels in distress, your "honor level" goes up! Making you a model citizen worthy of discounts at the shops and friendly treatment in the towns—resulting in a much more peaceful gameplay.
My boyfriend somehow manages to stay mostly honorable despite his random phases of stagecoach thievery and the occasional accidental murder of an innocent townsperson (the 'slow-down' button is right next to the 'I'm gonna shoot my weapon button'—a design flaw that makes watching him play a bit more entertaining).
2. Your weight affects your performance.
Based on how much you eat, you can gain or lose weight. Go figure!
If you stray away from being your normal weight, everything gets messed up. Too fat and your stamina gets worse but your health gets better, too skinny and your stamina is great but your health is worse.
How cool is that?
3. The horsies get hurt a lot.
You already know that every outlaw in the Wild West needs his horse.
To get one, you have to catch it, break it, and bond with it. And the longer you have your horse, the stronger your relationship with it gets—which improves its performance. The horses also have random poops and, as I'm sure you have heard, the boy horsies' testicles shrink up when it's cold outside. It's all very realistic.
What I didn't expect, was HOW OFTEN THE HORSES RUN INTO TREES. Maybe it's just my boyfriend's poor horse-driving skills, but it happens A LOT! And it's not like it just bumps into the tree and keeps going. No. Both you and the horse somersault through the air, onto the ground, while the horse makes a horrifying coughing sound and the screen goes red. I hate it.
But it's definitely not as bad as the time my boyfriend caught the white legendary horsey after hours of trying and promptly rode it off a cliff. It died. It was a very traumatic experience for us both.
4. Pigs will eat a dead body.
This was literally one of the side quests—to dump a dead body in a pig pen.
And sure enough, they ate it.
Who knew, man.
It's a wild, wild West out there. And with Red Dead Redemption 2's stunning visuals and huge open world experience, there's a whole lot to explore. Just please don't ride your horse off a cliff.