Red Dead Redemption 2: Story Breakdown, New Features & Speculation | Everything We Know

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Red Dead Redemption 2 is fast approaching its set-in-stone October 26th, 2018 release date. Even after three trailers, there are certain aspects we just don’t know anything about — and lots of aspects we’ve got a pretty firm grasp on. To help you navigate the knowns from the unknowns, we’re here to break down the latest trailers and news to tell you what’s up with Red Dead Redemption 2.

The sequel to the original Red Dead Redemption has been a long-rumored project, and one fans have been praying a very long time to see on the current generation of consoles. The original Red Dead Redemption forged a new path for Rockstar open-world action games — ones that take themselves just a little bit more seriously. The game is a stone-cold classic of the genre, with great story and thundering action that we hope the sequel can emulate. Everything we’ve seen so far says it’s going to be that and more. Let’s dig into the details and learn all about the current state of RDR2.

Our old Red Dead Redemption 2 rundown just wasn’t cutting the mustard anymore. Here’s all the latest info to keep you updated.

Story Breakdown, New Features & Speculation | Everything We Know

Here’s the skinny — you play as Arthur Morgan, a member of Dutch Van Der Linde’s gang. Dutch was the primary antagonist of Red Dead Redemption 1, and the central target for John Marston. John was the hero of the previous game,  a former member of Dutch’s gang turned state-sponsored assassin for the Bureau of Investigations. This game is set much earlier in the timeline, twelve years before the start of RDR1, and you’ll get to see a younger John Marston (and other returning characters) as you rob from the rich with Dutch.

From the trailers, we know the game will have a similar tone — dour, and almost apocalyptic in its depiction of an old west lost to modern encroachment. The romantic legend of gunslingers and savagery is coming to an end as civilization arrives. Even from the starting moment of this trailer, Arthur Morgan expresses regret for his involvement in the violent gang — and the trailer shows plenty of gun-fighting.


Returning Characters & New Characters

Along with Arthur Morgan, that’s another new character joining in for the (horse) ride — Sadie Adler, a member of Dutch’s gang, and a salty lady that only trusts Arthur Morgan. She’s a tough gal that will likely work with Arthur, even when the gang falls apart due to the insanity of its leader.

Returning characters include an entire cast of villains. Dutch, Bill Williamson, Javier Escuella, and even Uncle are all back. Those guys are all good, but it’s the reappearance of a younger John Marston and Abigail Marston that matters most to us grizzled fans. John Marston, shown in the picture below, held at knife-point, even has his signature scars. They’re still fresh here, so we might see what went down — you can still see the stitches!


Way More Ways To Interact With Cowpokes

RDR isn’t just about being an outlaw — you can play the kind of outlaw you want. You’ll always be on the wrong side of the fence, but you can react to everyone with varying degrees of murderousness. You can rob strangers, or simply hit a context sensitive prompt when you approach to give them a friendly greeting. Strangers will have far different reactions if your weapon is holstered, in your hand, or raised up and ready to fire.

You can even change your reactions to threats. If a cowboy catches you robbing from their home, you don’t have to resort to shooting. You can actually threaten the NPC to make them back down or surrender before a fight ensues. Or, you can just give them a gut full of buckshot. Just don’t murder too many people, or you’ll find a bounty on your head, and a passe running you down.

Red Dead Online

Officially announced earlier in the year, Red Dead Redemption 2 will come with a full-featured online component, including a rumored Battle Royale mode, that will function similar to GTA Online. It makes sense, seeing as Rockstar is currently vacuuming up endless amounts of money thanks to the popular online component to GTAV.

Hunting Has Been Expanded

There’s a lot more to hunting this time around. Instead of just shooting critters and collecting the skins with your bloody knife, you’ll be able to actually eat what you kill. Your campsite is more important this time around, and bringing hunted animals back home will give you more food, keeping you and your’s supplied for longer, and improving the bonuses you get for resting or eating.

It isn’t enough to kill an animal anymore. Unless you score a perfect heart-shot, you’ll have to track a wounded animal down, finish it off, and collect the corpse by strapping it to the back of your horse. With that all set, you can return to camp and dress the beast for consumption — or to get the skins for trade, as usual. Meat spoils if you leave it out in the wild too long, so don’t dawdle in the beautiful sunrise too long.

Dead Eye Redemption

Your super-powered slow-down-time powers return in RDR2. The Dead Eye power, first conceived in the original Red Dead Revolver, then ported over to Red Dead Redemption, is one of those game-y flights of fancy that isn’t particularly realistic, but it puts you in the mindset of a master gunslinger, giving you super-quick reaction times.

Like the previous game, you’ll have a small meter that drains when you activate Dead Eye, putting everything in sepia tone as time slows and lets you line up shots. Mark your targets, and when time is up, Morgan will unleash a barrage of bullets. The more ammo in your magazine, the more you’ll be able to shoot. If RDR2 is like the first game, you’ll need it to survive.

Big Heists Are Back From GTAV

You can’t say RDR2 hasn’t learned from GTAV. While both series are very different, it looks like RDR2 will include more large-scale heist-like jobs — from robbing banks to knocking over trains. The crimes in RDR2 look like they’re on a larger scale. It’s fitting for a gang of criminals that aim to rob from the rich and give to the poor. You can’t be a swashbuckler without pulling some impressively cool crimes.

Is it a Sequel or a Prequel?

Seeing as the main thrust of the story is set twelve years before RDR1, that firmly puts RDR2 in prequel territory — but that isn’t necessarily the case. We know what the cover looks like — a grizzled Arthur Morgan, looking much, much beardier than he appears in the actual cutscenes cut together for the trailers.

So, we know that Arthur Morgan will change. Are we looking at character customization, or a mid-game time-skip? This is pure speculation, but I think there’s credence to the idea that we might be dealing with both a prequel AND a sequel. Speaking to The Telegraph, Rob Nelson states that Rockstar set out to make RDR2 a “companion piece” to the original — neither a sequel, nor a prequel, but an adjacent story. Will we see a more experienced, grizzled Arthur Morgan, set after the events of the first game? It’s hard to say. I won’t put down a likely, but it seems like just the sort of thing a year-long delay might add.

What do you hope to see in RDR2? Let us know in the comments!