Red Dead Redemption 2
Developed by the creators of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game’s vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.
Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer shows Rockstar’s most visually stunning open-world ever
No-one does lonely Wild West spectacle quite like Rockstar. Just rewatch the Red Dead 2 trailer. Golden prairies that stretch as far as the eye can see. Cavernous valleys where eagles dominate the skies. Simmering deserts that immediately recall the iconic sights of Monument Valley. Rockstar sandboxes always contain exquisite lighting and insane incidental detailing, and its latest world looks like it’ll top everything that’s come before.
Red Dead 2 has strong foundations to build on, too. If you’re lucky enough to have the hardware, play GTA 5 on PC at 4K and tell us it’s not one of the most consistently gorgeous games ever made. Now consider that engine has benefitted from a few subsequent years of development, ageing like a particularly sumptuous (super shooty) wine, and there’s every chance Red Dead Redemption 2 will be the prettiest open-world game ever made when it launches towards the end of 2017. At the very least, the trailer hints at a beautifully varied sandbox, filled with epic canyons, dense forests, and spectacular Old West vistas.
Red Dead Redemption 2 story revolves around a gang of outlaws
Look at the . Rockstar isn’t promoting the game with a single, Marston-style figure. Instead, it’s seemingly prepping us for the very real possibility that Redemption 2 centres on an entire posse of outlaws. Rockstar North absolutely nailed GTA 5’s criss-crossing trio of leads, so why can’t Red Dead 2 successfully integrate the seven characters hinted at in the trailer and promo art?
Everything we’ve seen so far – from the trailer’s parting shot to that previously mentioned sketch – suggest a number of outlaws will figure heavily in Red Dead 2. This wouldn’t be uncharted territory for the franchise, either. After all, put you in the spurs of a good half dozen playable characters back in 2004.
Sure, Red Dead 2 won’t necessarily let you play every outlaw that stars in that stylish concept art. Yet at the very least, it looks like the game’s story will give each one of these antiheroes decent screen time. Westerns have a special relationship with the very specific number of scoundrels shown in the Red Dead 2 trailer, and we’ve no doubt swapping between a potential Magnificent (murderous) Seven cowboys would be a huge treat.
The Red Dead Redemption 2 map looks like it’s already been leaked
This looks pretty legit. Early last year, a was leaked on NeoGaf. The fidelity of the design, and specificity of the names on said map, only lend further credence to this being an accurate blueprint of the Western world we’ll hopefully all being roaming around towards the end of 2017.
Look closely at the leaked map, and you can see an area labelled ‘The Great Plains’. This significant chunk of prairie real estate was one of the most visually striking locales from the first Redemption – remember that sweeping valley with all the grazing buffalo?
The presence of islands and caravan sites on the leaked document are also interesting. Couple the former with the trailer shots of the canoe, and it would seemingly all but confirm boat travel is in Red Dead 2. The inclusion of caravan sites also suggest this is a less populated take on the Old West than the original Redemption’s. Again, this points towards Red Dead 2 taking place before Marston’s adventure, during a time when the American Frontier was still being discovered by European settlers.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is almost certainly a prequel… probably
Based on footage from the Red Dead 2 trailer, it looks like this follow-up’s world is less advanced than Marston’s. Shots of a downtrodden streets show an old-timey local store and a passing horse-drawn carriage. The latter in particular suggests the game takes place before 1911.
If Red Dead 2 is a prequel, perhaps that means a young Marston could feature. Rockstar setting the game in the 19th century would also allow the developer to focus on events that really cemented the legacy of the Wild West, like the American Gold Rush of the 1850s. Whatever the theme, it seems unlikely Red Dead 2 will be set after 1915, and with the last game bidding adieu to the Old West in such emotional style, an earlier era celebrating the golden days of the Frontier would give Rockstar plenty of fresh material to tackle.
Red Dead Redemption 2 multiplayer is definitely influenced by GTA Online
Red Dead 2 multiplayer details are thin on the ground – all the promises is a ‘brand new online multiplayer experience’. But C’mon, Rockstar would be mad not to build a Red Dead 2 multiplayer mode that apes . Rockstar’s break out phenomenon has netted the studio over half a billion dollars in just over three years; a figure fuelled by folk constantly buying in-game currency with actual money. GTA Online has been so stratospherically successful, such a relentless money-making machine, it seems unthinkable Rockstar wouldn’t want something similar for Red Dead Redemption 2.
Red Dead Redemption 2 characters could be swappable, like GTA 5
Controlling and switching between multiple characters worked brilliantly in Blaine County, and the prospect of potentially hopping between various outlaws in Red Dead 2 is tantalising. Would Rockstar have the stones to allow you to control every one of the seven figures seen storming into the desert at the end of Red Dead 2’s trailer? Mechanically, it would be a big ask. Swapping between upwards of five characters could become a logistical nightmare, but Rockstar is nothing if not ambitious.
Even if you only play as a single outlaw – most likely the man seen standing in front of a burning oil field in the trailer – the tiny glimpses we’ve seen of Red Dead 2’s plot suggest a gang features heavily. Seeing as some of GTA 5’s best missions revolve around jumping between Michael, Franklin and Trevor on-the-fly – think back to the terrific Three’s Company, where you abseil into IAA headquarters – we’d love to see Rockstar (be it North or San Diego) take on set-pieces where you switch between more than one cowboy.
Red Dead Redemption 2’s setting will feature more water
Water played a big part in , whether it was daring, submerged scuba dives to bust into secret government facilities or scanning the ocean floor for nuclear waste in a mini-sub, so it wouldn’t surprise us to see river-based missions play a substantial role in Red Dead 2. Even the last game had a fantastic river quest. Remember We Shall Be Together in Paradise? It saw Marston venture into Nuevo Paraiso for the first time; his Mexican adventure kicking off in style as Irish helped the charismatic cowboy paddle upstream on a raft against a hale of bandito gunfire.
If the original Redemption can give us a great on-water mission – in spite of Marston’s suck ass swimming skills – surely Red Dead 2 and its canoes can serve up some H₂O treats? Providing another mode of transport other than horse riding would certainly make traversing Rockstar’s latest sandbox more diverse, too.