RDR 2 recently decided to visit PC. The world of this game is probably one of the most detailed and realistic that the gaming industry has to offer. However, how much does the Wild West world shown to us in the game match what Rockstar showed us? Based on Gamepressure, we decided to find out where RDR 2 is more concerned: spaghetti westerns and their cliches, or historical accuracy? How realistic is Read Dead Redemption 2? Consider this a reality check for RDR2.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, as in any good action game, there are quite frequent skirmishes. In missions, they are divided into long, multi-stage battles. Sometimes skirmishes take place somewhere on the outskirts, in a bandit camp, along the road, but also in cities, like in one of the first missions.
In reality, if we are talking about cities, it was not like that at all, and shootings were an absolute rarity. One of the few known shootings in O.K. Coral is only infamous for the reason that she ever existed. Yes, at that time almost everyone had guns, but it was forbidden to carry them in cities, because they were inherently considered a safe place. Each newcomer to the city had to hand over their weapons to the sheriff for safekeeping, since the communities in the cities, on the contrary, were interested in the peaceful resolution of conflicts. At the very least, if you didn’t do it, then it was not a good idea to show it demonstratively.
Yes, there were shootouts sometimes, but often these are isolated cases when gamblers could make a scandal. But it was the gangster shootings that were so unique that they went down in history because of the fact of existence, and the cult of the wild west, inflated by spaghetti westerns, simply elevated it into a stereotype.
By the way, the mentioned shootout in O.K. Coral became widely known only in 1940. It was attended by the Earp brothers, who worked as sheriffs [there were three plus one more lawyer] and a gang of cowboys, Holliday cattle smugglers. Both sides have been in conflict for a long time, but usually their clashes ended only in threats. However, the shootout began precisely because the bandits violated the ban on carrying weapons in the city.
In a 30-second duel, about 30 shots were fired, and the opponents were no further than 2-3 meters apart from each other. Three of the Cowboys were killed, two more escaped. On the other hand, only Wyatt Earp emerged from the collision unharmed, while his two brothers and a third comrade were injured. Later, one of the cowboys accused law enforcement of the murder. They were acquitted, but the decision spurred the cowboy to revenge. A few months later, two of Earp's brothers, Virgil and Morgan, were killed, and newly appointed Federal Marshal Wyatt Earp launched a personal vendetta to avenge his brothers.
In fact, the Wild West was not at all wild, as they used to show it. And bandits or people from law enforcement agencies used to exaggerate stories about their exploits or murders. Thus, the famous criminal Billy the Kid claimed to have killed about 20 people, when in truth less than 10. Wild Bill Hickok also did not kill more than 10 people, although he claimed to have sent about 100 souls to the next world.
In civilized cities, centers of Protestant life at the end of the 19th century, on average 0.6 murders were committed per year. Dodge City, Ellsworth and Tombstone set records of 5-6 murders per year. It was more dangerous in countries on the border, near settlements, mines, or in railway construction camps, where the ban on carrying weapons was not so strict. The death toll was similar, but there were fewer residents.
In the films and comics about the Wild West, a bank robbery is one of the main motives of criminals. Masked bandits break into the bank, terrorize everyone around them and escape with bags full of money, blindly shooting in random directions to scare witnesses. Such a scene was included in Red Dead Redemption 2, and the developer even more, recommended that gamers purchase a special version with an additional mission, in which you can rob another bank.
However, if the Dutch gang members had enough brains, and the game wanted to be more authentic, they certainly wouldn't go for it. The Wild West was the last place where criminals were looking for their prey.
According to historians, there were about eight bank robberies in fifteen states during almost the entire second half of the 19th century, that is, over 40 years.
In smaller towns, banks were the center of the city and were usually located in the same building as the sheriff's office. It was very difficult to get in and out of the bank without saying hello to the entire city police. This made robberies incredibly risky and unprofitable. If someone decided to commit such a robbery, he went down in history - both in books and in pop culture. Butch Cassidy or Jesse James are excellent examples, albeit rare.
The criminals preferred to rob either trains or stagecoaches that rolled alone along deserted roads. But then again, super cinematic jumping from horse to train like in the game is nonsense. The robbers boarded trains like ordinary people and waited for the right moment for the raid. Or, as an option, they blocked the path of the train. The game should be given its due, as the Dutch gang did this.
As for banks, it is still more difficult than it really is, because people themselves stood up to protect their savings. On September 7, 1876, eight members of James Younger's gang [including the famous Jesse James] came to Northfield to rob the first National Bank. Three bandits entered the bank, the rest stayed outside and guarded it.
The employees refused to give any money and one of them was shot dead. The local store owner noticed some fussy and suspicious people around the bank. He raised the alarm, and the townspeople rushed to fetch weapons at the sheriff's office.
The spontaneous "social" protection of the bank has begun. During the shooting, which lasted for about seven minutes, two bandits and one civilian were killed. The rest of the gang fled, and law enforcement officers began the greatest human hunt in US history at the time. Jesse James was not caught, but the James Younger's gang broke up. Northfield's people continue to celebrate the massacre day as an annual celebration.
A must-have cliche in every western is a duel between two cowboys. Trying to intimidate their opponent with a look from a distance from which it is impossible to see someone's face, they wait for the right moment to draw their weapon in a split second and shoot from the hip without aiming! Such things, alas, only happen in the movies or in Red Dead Redemption 2 [or any other ordinary game western]. However, it should be admitted that only a couple of such duels were prepared for Arthur, and not like in Call of Juarez, where they were at each level in different variations. We participate in an organized duel that takes place during the main story mission, or we find a special person.
There have been practically no such incidents in history. There are a couple of records of such fights, which served as the basis for this famous myth. Most skirmishes ended with an awkward exchange of a couple of shots, for the shooters had more skill in playing cards than in sniping. Usually, two drunk poker players or supporters of opposition political forces were shot. The fight did not end until one of the shooters accidentally hit the other, or when all the participants had no cartridges left. Plus there was no concept of hip shooting at all. Add in the stress, and the moment that the holster was primarily made in such a way as to protect the weapon from dust, and it was almost impossible to get it quickly. Only today we began to produce such a holster.
In the next part of the material about the historical accuracy of RDR 2, we will tell you about shooting from two revolvers, about a cowboy hat, and criminals.
Read the second part of the article
The Topic of Article: Red Dead Redemption 2 VS Reality. Part one.