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Things in Red Dead Redemption gamers take for granted

The developers at Rockstar don't do things halfway. When they create a game, they aim to make it revolutionary in multiple ways. They implement mechanics gamers haven't seen before, and their ability to create realistic worlds full of diverse and intricate characters sets the team apart. The company's western action-adventure game franchise Red Dead Redemption is no exception to that rule. 

Many fans of the Red Dead Redemption games have come to expect a certain level of innovation from Rockstar. Because they've grown accustomed to the studio's massive worlds and calculated design choices, some elements within the series go unappreciated. Here are just a few things in Red Dead Redemption gamers take for granted.

The incredible water physics

While you would expect realistic physics mechanics to be the industry standard, this is not always the case. There's a reason not just anyone can make an incredible game. While the latest Hitman titles sport some impressive bead physics, water physics are another challenge all together. A challenge many games fall short of. 

Developers have long struggled to animate water, making Red Dead Redemption 2's realistic lakes and rivers all the more impressive. Beyond proper light refraction and marred clarity, water in RDR2 ripples out in multiple directions when disturbed. This is never more evident than when you take your horse through an otherwise calm body of water. Watching the way the water spreads out in all directions from the movement of your horse's hooves is a thing of beauty. It may be a small detail, but it adds to the immersion of the game.

You're not the only realistic character

We are all the main character of our own story, a truth that applies to the real world and video games. While Red Dead Redemption 2 centers on Arthur Morgan, he's not the only character with a unique life. The game includes in-depth programming for NPCs, many of whom other developers would dismiss as unimportant to the game. While RDR2 contains unique NPC dialogue, Rockstar also went above and beyond with the actions of each NPC.

If you follow an NPC through the course of their programmed daily pattern, you'll see a lot of interesting things. These NPCs don't exist solely to interact with Arthur but to breathe life into RDR2 in a way that makes it feel more realistic. All the character have their own full-fledged stories. If you injure a shopkeeper, you'll see the results of those injuries when you come back into town. If you shadow an NPC around their homestead, you'll see them carrying out their daily chores. Everything the NPCs do makes sense within the setting. While this may seem commonplace to RDR gamers, it's pretty cutting edge in the gaming world as a whole.

Arthur's impressive beard timeline

Water physics is an exciting thing to behold, but growing a realistic beard is a level of awesome we didn't know we needed. A lot of games have tried to keep things like wear and tear as realistic as possible by not instantly repairing damage or allowing a character who's just emerged from water to continue dripping for a bit. Red Dead Redemption 2 takes this idea and adds to it. 

Players decide how often they'd like Arthur Morgan to bathe and groom himself. If you don't bathe Arthur for a long time, he'll continue to get dirtier and dirtier. If he carries a dead animal over his shoulder, blood will stain his clothing. These elements won't disappear until you give Arthur a bath. Similarly, if you choose not to have Arthur shave for a long time, his beard slowly grows out, making him look more and more unkempt. Though a subtle effect, these changes in Arthur help immerse you in the world, as though you were playing a real human being.

NPC conversations aren't lost to interruptions

There's nothing worse than accidentally skipping an important piece of dialogue in a game. Most of us have encountered this annoying and common problem. You walk to an area that triggers the next bit of dialogue before you've heard the entire section before it, cutting off the NPC and losing vital pieces of information. It's frustrating and hinders your ability to fully immerse yourself in the game. This is where RDR2 sets itself apart different.

If you're riding your horse or walking through town during an important conversation between Arthur and an NPC and you get interrupted, the game has a fail-safe. NPCs will say "Well, as I was saying ..." and continue with their scripted message. This seems small but actually provides a huge advantage more games need to implement. Especially in a game where dialogue is vital to gameplay (I'm looking at you, Oxenfree). Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and if this feature bugs out, you'll get an awkward loop of characters asking what they were just saying. Luckily, this doesn't happen often. RDR fans may not realize how helpful this mechanic is, but stick them in another game where half of your context is lost to an interruption and they'll start to appreciate it more.