Red Dead Redemption 2, the long-awaited sequel to Rockstar Games’ beloved 2010 Western, is in sight. As the successor to one of the most acclaimed games of its generation, it’s safe to say that fans have a lot of questions about what’s coming. The game will now arrive this October. We’ve compiled everything we know about the game so far from official, concrete information, to fan theories and rumors found scattered around the web.
The original game’s Martson is out, Arthur Morgan is in
Rockstar released the first trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 on October 20, 2016, and an unclear view of the protagonist led some to believe he was a member of the Marston family. However, the game’s second trailer, viewable above, revealed the main character is an outlaw named Arthur Morgan. He’s a member of the “Van der Linde gang,” and appears to have even more questionable morals than most of Rockstar’s previous protagonists, threatening to kill a boy who recently lost his father, and shaking down another traveler on behalf of the gang. In the trailer, Morgan says that his gang has traveled all over the western frontier, and is wanted in three states.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to the 2010 game, taking place in 1899, and though Marston isn’t a playable character, he will be featured in the story in some capacity.
Interaction is key
Red Dead Redemption 2 will give players more control and choice than anything we’ve seen from Rockstar Games to date. In the first official gameplay video, which you can view at the top of this post, we learn the studio has worked to make the game’s world feel like it’s alive, and choices you make with its characters can have long-term consequences. Random pedestrians you come across can be interacted with, and you can choose to be either friendly or antagonistic. If someone happens to witness one of your crimes, you can intimidate them into keeping their mouth shut, and you can talk down a sheriff and convince him to let you go, as well.
If you prefer to “go loud,” that’s an option as well, as you can pester people into attacking you. In the gameplay video, we get a glimpse of Red Dead Redemption 2‘s snappy gunplay and the return of the “Dead Eye” targeting system, as well as hand-to-hand combat.
The trailer also showed off some base management systems. When the Van der Linde gang enters a new region, they’ll set up a camp, and it’s up to Arthur to gather supplies and keep moral high. He can hunt for the gang by venturing out into the wild with his horse, which can hold animal corpses as well as extra weapons.
The exact location is unclear, but diverse
Red Dead Redemption 2’s map is said to be “just east” of the map from the previous game, and the two appear to overlap just slightly. The “Great Plains” area in the northeast area of Red Dead Redemption’s map is the very southwest corner of Red Dead Redemption 2’s map. It was rumored that the game would take place before the invention of the locomotive, but the second trailer proved this to be false. Not only are there trains in the game, but Morgan can rob them.
Whatever region the game takes place in will feature both bears and alligators, as well as snow. The Alligator National Wildlife refuge in North Carolina features both animals, so it’s possible that Morgan could have moved back to the eastern United States.
Perhaps the strangest bit of information revealed in the leaked map, however, is that Red Dead Redemption 2 may actually be a prequel of sorts to 2K Games’ Mafia series. Though the region doesn’t really resemble Louisiana, the city of “New Bordeaux” is listed in the southeast area of the game, close to a river and the “Sisika Penitentiary” complex located on an island just off the coast. This region’s bayous would certainly fit the wildlife seen in the trailer, as well. While it’s possible that this is just a coincidence of Rockstar and Mafia III developer Hangar 13 having the same idea, it would be interesting to see Take-Two’s properties connected this way.
Combat is what you’d expect, but looks great
The western setting of Red Dead Redemption 2 means you’ll be packing long rifles and revolvers instead of fully-automatic weapons, but Rockstar says it’s doing all it can to make each gun look and feel unique. What that means in practice, though, remains unclear.
We can say the same about fisticuffs. Arthur Morgan spent a surprising amount of time brawling with NPCs in the gameplay trailer. That might mean non-lethal combat is a more important element than in past Rockstar games. The trailer also said hand-to-hand combat has been improved from the original though, again, we don’t know the specifics.
While we can’t say how the combat feels to play, it looked great in the gameplay trailer. Animations were smooth, gunshots rang out with an authentic crack, and the overall flow of fighting looked fluid. The Deadeye system also makes a return, letting you slow time to make the best shot possible, and it will again play a central role in combat.
Red Dead Online? You bet
Following in the footsteps of Grand Theft Auto V’s enormous Grand Theft Auto Online component, it appears that Red Dead Redemption 2 will follow suit. Along with the official announcement of the game, Rockstar revealed that it would also feature a “brand new online multiplayer experience.” This would seem to be a natural progression of the multiplayer mode present in Red Dead Redemption, which allowed players to free-roam and explore the area should they not want to engage in gunfights with other players.
It’s unlikely that Red Dead Redemption 2 will simply abandon the multiplayer features introduced in the previous game, such as “posses,” gang hideouts, and “gang shootout” competitive matches. We find it more likely that these features will be implemented into the online component in a more seamless way, one that will never take players completely out of the action.
More on PlayStation 4
Along with the game’s first official trailer on October 20, Rockstar Games and Sony revealed a partnership between the two companies that will bring “select online content in the vast open world of Red Dead Redemption 2” to PlayStation 4 first. The original Red Dead Redemption is currently available on PlayStation Now.
And Xbox One X?
On Xbox One X, Red Dead Redemption 2 will run at 4K resolution with high-dynamic range.
What about the PC?
It is unclear whether the game will be released on PC at a later date. During Take-Two’s August 2017 investor call, Zelnick was asked whether the game would be released on PC. His response did not give any indication one way or the other.
When can we play it?
Updated on 8-9-18 by Gabe Gurwin: Added information from gameplay trailer.
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