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Red Dead Redemption 2 will sell itself thanks to its promise of a rich single-player narrative, a large open world set in the frontier west, and good will from the last game. But Rockstar Games’ cowboy adventure can also tout around 200 digital animal species when it releases for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26.

Red Dead Redemption 2 will be one of the biggest games of the holiday season. Its predecessor released in 2010 and sold over 15 million copies. That’s a lot of time to build up anticipation for a sequel.

Rockstar Games built its reputation on making open worlds. Filling those digital playgrounds with AI humans is important for its Grand Theft Auto franchise, but much of Red Dead Redemption takes place in the wilderness. That’s why having about 200 different animal species could contribute to Red Dead Redemption’s 2 sense of scale and realism.

Oh, give me a home where the digital buffalo roam.


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To give you an idea of scale, Far Cry 5’s animal list is closer to 30, although that includes mostly its larger mammals and fish, as smaller critters are not as well documented. Still, it gives you an idea of how impressive 200 is, and how Rockstar is pushing boundaries to fill its video game menagerie.

According to Rockstar, each animal will respond to its environment in a distinct way. Hunting animals was an important mechanic in the first Red Dead Redemption, as was taming wild horses. Both features helped immerse players into the Wild West setting, while hunting gives you resources to craft items or trade for cash. Hunting is back in Red Dead Redemption 2. Horses are also back (what’s a cowboy game without them?), but we don’t know what the new taming system will be like (if there is one).

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