Rockstar Games has decided to put an extra twist on the knife when it comes to your horse in Red Dead Redemption 2, adding a bit of sad realism to the game. In an interview with Games Radar, Rockstar North’s director of technology Phil Hooker was asked about the mechanic of permadeath toward your horse and why its there. Turns out, the explanation is sound when it comes to life in the old west, as a horse was about as valuable to you as money itself.
Persistent horse death is a brutal touch, given what we know about how you build a relationship with them. Was that important for authenticity?
As you play the game, caring for and feeding your horse, calming it when it’s scared and encouraging it when it’s tired, naming it, looking after it – you can’t help but develop a bond with it. It’s your closest, trusted companion and you are nearly always together. To cement the strength of the bond we had to make it vulnerable so you respect and cared for it as you play, so it feels personal and real.
This doesn’t really change much as far as the gameplay of Red Dead Redemption 2, but it’s sure to piss off hordes of negligent gamers who are used to the idea that if you wreck your form of transportation, you can just get a new one or it will be fine after a cutscene.