When Red Dead Redemption 2 releases on PC this November, it'll be a bit bigger than it was when it came out on consoles last year. The 150GB game will include graphical improvements as well as new guns, horses, items, and other accoutrements. (For more on the technical bits, head to our post on RDR2's system requirements and graphical changes.)
And, because Rockstar would really like you to use its new launcher, you can get two free Rockstar games if you pre-purchase it there. Scroll down for more on the pre-purchase bonuses. First, here's all the new stuff being added for RDR2's PC release, in Rockstar's words:
3 new Bounty Hunter Missions
- Herman Zizendorf has been stealing tools from tradesmen—track him down in Blackwater.
- Ex-Confederate Cavalry Officer Camille de Millemont is wanted dead or alive out by Catfish Jacksons, but his loyal men are never far behind.
- Bart Cavanaugh and his men are camping out in Big Valley. Take Bart dead or alive without alerting the others if you want to avoid a whole mess of trouble.
2 new Gang Hideouts
Take on the deadly Del Lobos gang in new hideouts at Gaptooth Breach and Solomon’s Folly.
2 new Treasure Maps
Search for treasures across the new Landmarks of Riches and The Elemental Trail maps for gold bars and other rewards.
New Story Mode weapons
- M1899 Pistol: All-new Semi-automatic handgun with clip loaded ammunition
- Evans Repeater: High capacity repeater (previously available in Red Dead Online only)
- High Roller Revolver: Ornate double-action revolver (previously available in Red Dead Online only)
- Le Mat Revolver: Powerful revolver with the ability to shoot shotgun shells (previously available in Red Dead Online only)
New Story Mode horses
- Warped Brindle Arabian: A fast and agile mount.
- Few Spot Appaloosa: Beautiful and hardy, ideal for cross-country journeys.
- Perlino Andalusian: A healthy, sturdy animal, ideal for hunting (previously available in Red Dead Online only).
- Red Chestnut Arabian: A fleet-footed beast with a distinctive coat (previously available in Red Dead Online only).
- Plus 3 new wild horse variations: Keep an eye out for wild herds featuring the Buttermilk Buckskin Kentucky Saddler, Liver Chestnut Morgan and Gold Palomino Tennessee Walker.
New Mission 'To The Ends of The Earth'
Collect requested herbs for a range of rewards.
5 new trinkets
- Hawk Talon: Permanently decreases Stamina bar drain speed by 30% when drawing a bow
- Cat Eye: Permanently increases the length of Fortifying tonic effects by 20%
- Shark Tooth: Permanently increases horse bonding experience bonus by 10%
- Turtle Shell: Permanently increases health bar refill speed by 10%
- Crow Beak: Permanently increases looted ammo by 10%
The gist is that some Red Dead Online stuff has been copied over to the singleplayer mode, and new guns, horses, missions, hideouts, and trinkets should add a bit more variety to the world. Without having played it, all I can say is that I am always welcoming to new horses, even if real ones make me uncomfortable when they look at me.
Rockstar also elaborated on the pre-purchase benefits today. RDR2 is up for pre-purchase now, but only on Rockstar's new launcher, where you can buy it early until October 22. Pre-purchases on the Epic Store will come later, and the Steam release is being held to December.
If you pre-purchase the Rockstar Games Launcher version, which releases November 5, you'll get two of the following games free:
- Grand Theft Auto III
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Bully: Scholarship Edition
- L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition
- Max Payne 3: The Complete Edition
You'll also get a Premium Edition upgrade, or, if you want, a $20 discount on the Special Edition or Ultimate Edition. There's in-game stuff that comes along with a Rockstar Games Launcher pre-purchase, too:
- Outlaw Survival Kit for Story Mode
- War Horse for Story Mode
- Le Tresor des Mortes Treasure Map for Story Mode
- Cash Bonus for Story Mode
- 50 Gold Bars for Red Dead Online
Like other major developers in recent years, Rockstar is pushing to sign users up to its private platform, where it doesn't have to pay Epic's 12 percent cut or Steam's 30 percent cut. The free games are a decent offer—I'd take Bully and LA Noire—and I'm sure it'll get some takers. I suspect a decent number of people will opt for the Steam release, though, foregoing the 35-ish dollars in free games to house RDR2 in their usual library.
Of course, we'll have to test Red Dead Redemption 2's PC stability and performance ourselves before making a judgment call. If you do pre-purchase, you might want to avoid playing your free games until RDR2 is out, at least if you're concerned about the possibility you'll want a refund should the game not run to your liking. Rockstar's refund policy excludes purchases played for more than two hours, and that'll apply to the bonus games. So, if you get Bully as a pre-purchase bonus and play it for two hours, for instance, the whole package becomes non-refundable. The policy also excludes bundles which include digital currency, which this one does, but from what I understand that won't be an issue—still, I'd tread carefully. If I can get more clarification on the subject from Rockstar, I will.
One bit of good news is that the official system requirements don't look too demanding anyway. There are also quite a few graphical changes, which we've listed here along with the minimum and recommended specs.