Are you waiting in front of the letterbox with your cowboy boots on this Friday for Rockstar’s newest member to be delivered? Johan does! He has made a list of 10 reasons why he is so hyped for Red Dead Redemption 2.

10. Minigames

Sure, you can hunt for a bear or deer, help out all kinds of NPCs through interesting sidequests, or just walk into a bar somewhere “guns blazing” and shoot everything. But why would you do that, if you can just play a nice game of poker?

I myself have spent the necessary hours in my poker and blackjack careers in Red Dead Redemption 1. Both minigames can be found in Red Dead Redemption 2, plus some extra. How about dominoes or chess?

9. Dynamic weather

Rain, wind, thunder and lightning … The dynamic weather system RDR 2 features looks ridiculously good. But it’s not only pretty: the weather actually has a gameplay feature! For example, if Arthur walks a little too long through the snow, you will have to wear thicker clothes than if you are marching through the desert with the sun on your back. Lightning also has a function – it makes your horse restless and if you are a little unlucky you just get a lightning bolt in your face! That will make the average player think twice before galloping into a storm.

8. Flora and Fauna

More than 200 animals, fish and birds! For example, while two types of fish can of course be almost identical to each other, it seems that there is still a tremendous amount of variation in the fauna that will be found there. Bears, rabbits, wolves or lizards – and beyond the quantity, it also seems that more attention has been paid to the behavior of the animals. Some predators look for prey and possums even pretend to be dead as soon as a threat approaches.

There are of course also some tame animals that you will encounter. For example, dogs will bark after you – until you give them a gentle pat on the head.

7. First-Person

While with GTA V it took a while before Rockstar came up with a First-Person mode, it is already built in with RDR2. If you really want to turn it into a cowboy simulator, that is of course the way to go.

6. Riding a horse

Grab your lasso, we’re going to catch wild horses! With nearly twenty different varieties – each with its own character – there is plenty of choice when it comes to loyal tubers. Your horse is also more than a means of transport in this game, it is the intention that you really build a bond with it. You can do this by taking care of your horse in different ways. If you do that enough, Arthur and his chosen rocking horse will get a better connection, so that the horse is less afraid, and has more strength, speed and endurance. Also, the size of the radius from which your horse will trot towards you when your whistle will depend on this band.

The only downside for me is that, in case your loyal partner dies, there is no way to get him back. Dead is dead! Arthur does have the option to let his horse flee if it starts to get a little too hot under his feet. Fortunately!

5. Customization

Red Dead Redemption 2 may not have a character creator, but there’s plenty of customization options. You can determine the individual layers of Arthur’s clothing and you even get the choice whether you want to put your pants in or out of your shoes. You can even use animal skins obtained by hunting as a hat. You can also choose whether or not to roll up your sleeves and of course Arthur’s hair is fully customizable. Note that hair grows in real time and certain hairstyles depend on its length, so make sure you have plenty of time before entering a salon.

4. Wonderful world

Red Dead Redemption 2 has the largest map ever seen in a Rockstar game. To ensure that this world is filled to the brim with content, all Rockstar studios have contributed for the first time. From deserted hamlets to big cities, from desert to swamp, from mountain to valley – it all looks fantastic. In addition, Rockstar also claims that all buildings in the game are accessible and that Arthur can sit in any chair in the game. That’s what we do it for!

3. Horse balls

Horse balls. Or well, detail in general. Of course, horse balls that shrink or expand based on the temperature of the area you are roaming are impressive, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The hair that grows in real time, the marks you leave in the snow, the mud that slowly hardens and crumbles off Arthur’s clothes. The blood that dries up, the snow melting on your shoulders … Rockstar’s eye for detail is unprecedented.

2. Enjoy camping

One of the things I look forward to most in this game is the interaction in the tent camp. Tents can be upgraded, which unlocks new features. You can go out with Arthur’s fellow gang members for fishing or hunting, or you can just stay at home and play a game of poker. The morale of the camp is also very important – according to Rockstar, at least alcohol provides a good boost.

1. AI

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you come to a list of things you can be “hyped” about, but it seems that RDR 2’s AI is really next level. Kill a random NPC and who knows, a few hours later you might run into a family member trying to kill you in revenge. Or you suddenly have a bounty on your head – NPCs can do that even if you don’t like them. Speaking of bounties, you can of course remove them yourself, but they will remember what you did. NPCs also have different dialogs for when you look dirty or bloody, or when you’ve turned off the map. Super awesome!

And you? Are you a bit hyped for Red Dead Redemption 2 and have you already placed your pre-order, or are you looking at it yet? Let me know in the comments!