Rockstar Games’ follow-up to the seminal Red Dead Redemption is fast approaching. Set 12 years before the events of the original game, Red Dead Redemption II will explore an expansive region of the American wilderness, with Dutch Van der Linde’s gang on the run from lawmen during the last years of the wild west. Experiencing Rockstar’s take on the open-world western from a new perspective, you’ll uncover the history of the Van Der Linde gang, which has a young John Marston in its thralls.
Despite the game releasing in only a few months on PS4 and Xbox One, we’re still largely in the dark about what we can expect from the massive open-world game. Still, the recent trailers, screenshots, and info have given us plenty to talk about. Here’s everything we know so far about Rockstar Games’ upcoming open-world western.
How Can I Play RDR2?
Red Dead Redemption 2 is set for release on October 26 for PS4 and Xbox One. Unfortunately, there’s still no word on a PC release–which the original game never saw a release for. There are also plans for a collector’s edition of the game, which will be revealed at a later date.
Where Is RDR2 Set, And Is It A Prequel?
Set 12 years before the main events of original game, the prequel focuses on the outlaw life of the Van der Linde gang, led by Red Dead Redemption’s main antagonists. After a robbery in Blackwater (one of the original game’s major towns) goes bad–the gang finds themselves on the run. Dutch, his right-hand man Arthur Morgan, and several members of the gang will have to contend with life on-the-run while their situation grows more desperate after each confrontation with rival gangs and the law.
Rockstar also released a description of the plot:
America, 1899. The end of the wild west era has begun as lawmen hunt down the last remaining outlaw gangs. Those who will not surrender or succumb are killed. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal divisions threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.
The First Reveal
Debuting on October 20, 2016, the first trailer for Red Dead Redemption II was a bit of a mood piece that showcased many locales in the game, while also displaying the somber tone of the main narrative. In this trailer, we saw several towns and locales, many of which are teeming with life and activity–such as ranchers rustling up some cattle, huntsmen bringing back their haul, and a group of citizens hanging out in the general store.
Who Are We Playing As?
Though the central character of Red Dead Redemption, John Marston, plays some role in the story–the main protagonist of the prequel is Arthur Morgan. As Dutch’s right-hand man and enforcer for the gang, he’ll handle much of the daily duties of keeping the gang in-check–which includes a young and less-experienced John Marston. When it comes to keeping the gang and its community afloat, Morgan is quite handy with picking up various jobs to ensure everyone is well fed and in good spirits. But as the story progresses, he’ll begin to question his own resolve for Dutch’s way of life, and whether he still has a place in the gang.
The Second Trailer
On September 28, 2017, the second trailer for Red Dead Redemption II debuted. In the new footage, we got to see more of Arthur Morgan and how ruthless he can be while on the job. During some of the story cutscenes, Morgan will use coercion and physical threats to collect money and information, all for the “benefit” of the community.
For more info on this particular trailer, check out our detailed breakdown.
Who’s In Dutch’s Gang?
In Red Dead Redemption II, we’ll see Dutch’s gang and its key players in their prime. While the original game had John hunt down and kill the remaining members of the gang, we’ll see many the familiar faces in relatively happier times. From the most recent trailer, we see Dutch Van der Linde, Arthur Morgan, Bill Williamson, Javier Esquela, and of course John Marston in the roster. We’ll also interact with other characters who would have a key role in the gang and in the lives of Arthur Morgan and John Marston.
What’s New In Red Dead Redemption 2?
While the sequel is largely in the same vein as its predecessor, focusing on exploration, hunting, shoot-outs, heists, and other side-activities where you’ll interact with a number of unique characters–Red Dead Redemption II features a far more expansive world to dive into. Rockstar has been tight-lipped about spilling any details. However, from what we’ve gleaned from trailers and official info, we can tell there’s a greater focus on tracking the impact you have on the world. The honor system from the original game makes a return, but now with far more detailed tracking. Along with the average citizen, members of your community will also react to how well or how poorly you treat them. As the lead enforcer, Morgan will have to handle a ton of responsibilities, such as resource gathering, procuring funds, and making sure everyone in the community is happy.
How will online multiplayer work?
Currently, Rockstar hasn’t shared any info on how the online play will function. The original Red Dead Redemption featured online free-for-all and team deathmatch style gameplay in the open world, along with several co-op themed missions. While it’s safe to assume that these sorts of missions will return, another long-lingering rumor is the appearance of a battle royale mode. In the coming months before its release, we should expect to hear more about what Red Dead Redemption II will have when it comes to online.
The Third Trailer
In the new footage released on May 2, we saw a deeper look into the game’s narrative and how the gang functions. Along with the familiar activities like hunting, heists, and side-quests with the region’s citizens, rob trains and banks, and take in shows at theaters. For the most part, the trailer focuses on the many connections you’ll have the members of the gang, and how your choices will affect them.
For more info on the third trailer, check out our detailed breakdown.
The History Of Red Dead – A look back on the history of the Red Dead series. From the early days a Gunsmoke spiritual sequel, to Rockstar Games’ next successful open word game.
Red Dead Redemption 2: 10 Things We Hope To See – Details on what we want to see happen in the next big game.
For more on Red Dead Redemption II, check out our full list of written and video coverage.