Two things have killed me in Red Dead Redemption: animals and stupidity.

You see, if you keep your wits about you, people aren’t a problem. Peasants with guns, mostly. Use Dead Eye mode correctly, stay in cover, look for smoke and muzzle flashes and use the terrain to your advantage – do all that you won’t die. You’ll only be killed by gunfire if you run into crossfire with an empty Dead Eye meter, or if you fail to spot where bad guys are hiding. (Or, sometimes, if you go into a big, important mission without stocking up on medicine first. That definitely counts as stupidity.) Gun fights with armed humans are exciting, satisfyingly brutal and often make you feel like the coolest badass in the world, but they’re never very difficult if you’re sensible and keep your head. (Though that is, as you might expect, easier said than done in the heat of the moment.)

It’s the animals that are really dangerous. Out in the desert at night packs of wolves come out of nowhere. Cougars can pounce without warning, bringing down your horse and, if you don’t react quickly enough, you too. When you’re out, alone except for your horse, you’re very vulnerable indeed – especially at night. There’s nothing in the game that hurts worse than seeing your horse crumple to the ground when attacked by a wild animal. (Except, of course, when your horse gets hit by a bullet due to your own greed and stupidity, but we talked about that a few days ago.)

On the upside, at least when you do see off a pack of wolves you can skin them and take their hearts. That’s a pretty good way to get revenge, if anything is.