It’s been a long time since the first Red Dead Redemption, and somehow almost a year since the first trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2. While the first trailer was very much a teaser, this second trailer, while still really being a teaser, is chock full of little goodies and tidbits that go along with Rockstar Games’ brief synopsis. We also got an official release window: Spring 2018. But more important are the details about the game itself we can infer from what little we can see in the trailer. So what’s the deal with Red Dead Redemption 2? Here’s what we see so far:
It’s a prequel.
Speculation from the first trailer and other scuttlebutt was that Red Dead Redemption 2 was likely a prequel to the first game. While to what extent the game is a direct prequel is still to be determined, Red Dead Redemption 2 is definitely set before the events of the first game. We know this because we see Dutch, a major character from the first game, and Bill Williamson, also a “returning” character, both much younger. Rockstar’s description also tells us the story is about the Van der Linde gang, which John Marston spent the first game distancing himself from.
It’s more morally ambiguous.
For better or worse, Red Dead Redemption 2 gives off a much darker vibe than the first game. You could do what you wanted in a Grand Theft Auto-ish way in the first game, but John Marston was portrayed as a man seeking redemption, much more of a do-gooder than the usual Rockstar protagonist. The “you can do crimes” aspect appears to be much more relevant to the plot this time, with train and bank robberies heavily featured for example. New protagonist Arthur Morgan appears to be a member of the Van der Linde gang and will likely spend some time during the story participating in heists and whatnot, even if he defects later.
A peak at mechanics.
It’s not clear if the trailer contains any gameplay, but there are plenty of hints of what to expect, including the obvious. Red Dead Redemption’s big thing was the lasso, and the new protagonist is shown lassoing a horse. Scenes with drastic weather and environmental shifts are shown, including sequences of snow-covered mountains, a swamp, and a wild forest. Morgan is shown dual-wielding revolvers, something not possible last time. Finally, a brief glimpse at the protagonist hunting with a bow and arrow is also shown. The video game reign of the bow and arrow continues! Also, there’s swimming, something Rockstar finally started allowing in its open world games.
That’s about it for our Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer analysis! There are other hints, such as looks at new characters, but there isn’t much to speculate there other than “there are new characters.” It’s true but not interesting in and of itself yet.
Now we have to wonder what else Rockstar Games is planning to offer ahead of Red Dead Redemption 2’s release. It isn’t far off, and Rockstar Games doesn’t advertise its games quite as heavily as other companies before launch. We can expect to see pre-order pushing and posters in shops everywhere, but will we get a more substantial trailer? We’ll all have to find out together.