Rockstar talks about the changes they’ve made to the physics and animations in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Rockstar’s RAGE engine was all the, well, rage when they used it to great effect in Grand Theft Auto 4, displaying incredible animations that were enabled by the use of the appropriately named Euphoria engine tech. The tech used allowed Rockstar to employ procedural animations that were deemed very lifelike, and its de-emphasized use in GTA 5 disappointed several people.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, physics and animations have looked incredible in everything we’ve seen of the game so far, which is something that we dove quite deeply into in part two of our series of tech features on the upcoming open world epic (you can read part one as well, if you’re interested). Euphoria, it seems, is being used to great effect once again in Red Dead Redemption 2.
In fact, Rockstar North’s director of technology Phil Hooker claims the entire animations system used in the game was “radically overhauled” to make it more lifelike and authentic, while also giving some excellent examples of how that will be shown in the game itself.
“We use Euphoria specifically to enhance the physics-based reactions of both humans and animals and have really evolved it on Red Dead Redemption 2,” Hooker told VG247. “For example, if a rider’s horse is shot then there are a range of realistic outcomes like rolling off the horse, being dragged in the stirrups, or even being trapped under a dead horse and fighting to get free.
“Enemies now have a greater array of reactions if they’re injured, and if you try to lasso an enemy, they will sometimes try and reach for the rope or even fire off a few shots in the struggle to get free. This is all in addition to fine-tuning the classic Western stunt falls that were present in the original game and much more. Some of the coolest implementations in Red Dead Redemption 2 are about making human and animal collisions more impactful – making sure running your horse into vehicles, trees or buildings feels suitably intense. This is part of our larger goal to always make you feel like you’re physically in the world and also that there are consequences to being careless with your animal.
“However, Euphoria is just a part of how we simulate and animate characters and, outside of it, we have radically overhauled our entire animation system to create more accurate human-like and animal-like behaviour across the board.”
In the same interview, Hooker also talked about how Rockstar’s work on bringing GTA 5 to current-gen consoles helped them with Red Dead Redemption 2, and how the latter’s text has “evolved beyond recognition” when compared to the former. Read more on that here.
Red Dead Redemption 2 launches on October 26 for the PS4 and Xbox One.