Can you believe that, at this point, we were all supposed to be playing Red Dead Redemption 2? Yes, Rockstar’s sequel was originally announced for release in “Fall 2017,” which would put it squarely for release within the next few months. Hell, if we’re basing the schedule off Rockstar’s last game (unbelievably still Grand Theft Auto V back in September 2013), we would have received the game like a week ago.
But Rockstar quietly delayed the game until 2018 back in May…which in and of itself was the first thing we heard about the sequel since its announcement back in 2016. Yes, Rockstar is not the most communicative of studios, which is a luxury you get when your games are some of the best selling of all time. Let’s just call it the “J.J. Abrams Effect.”
In any case, it’s been a quiet year for Red Dead Redemption 2, but I guess Rockstar and Take Two have finally figured out that, hey, maybe they should market their highly awaited products! Which leads us to this new story trailer, released earlier today. It’s not even two minutes long, but it represents our best look at the game thus far–and boy, what a look it is.
Just as beautiful as we all imagined it would be from the concept art and initial teaser, there’s actually a story to go along with all the prettiness this time around. Confirmed to be a prequel to the first game, the trailer puts new protagonist Arthur Morgan at its center. There’s not much to Morgan at this point, other than the fact that he looks sweet in a cowboy hat, and is very effective at lassoing up horses. This being Red Dead Redemption, that’s pretty much half the battle right there when it comes to making a compelling protagonist.
Rockstar describes the game as “”the story of outlaw Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang as they rob, fight and steal their way across the vast and rugged heart of America in order to survive.” If you remember the intricate details of a nearly eight year old game (or, like me, are willing to Google all the important stuff), you’ll recall that the Van der Linde gang was the group headed by Dutch van der Linde, one of the main antagonists of the original game. Main character John Marston was also a member of said gang, which served as the brunt of the conflict in the game’s latter half.
Of course, at this point, it’s safe to say that Marston is still a member of the gang, which means that it’s VERY possible a younger version of him could appear in Red Dead Redemption 2. That being said, the brunt of the story will be on Arthur Morgan, which will be interesting to see. The original game had the whole “bad character going good” thing to help propel its story forward (and provide the titular “Redemption”), but it’s too early to say from this trailer what exactly Morgan’s story will lead to. Other than a bunch of robbing, hunting, and shootin’. This is Red Dead Redemption, after all.
Anyways, I remain as stoked as ever to jump back into Rockstar’s majestic western world after such an engrossing trailer. Following nearly a decade of waiting, Spring 2018 can’t come fast enough.
Also published on Medium.