What Do We Know So Far About ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’?

Jeremy Ray
Games Xbox
Games Xbox PlayStation

We’ve now had three Red Dead Redemption 2 trailers, and while there’s still a lot we don’t know about the game, we’re starting to piece some things together.

Rockstar Games are keeping their cards close to their chest on most of the details for now, but that hasn’t stopped online sleuths unearthing secrets from the trailers, concept art, or taking a deep dive into that leaked map.

For everything that involves Red Dead Redemption 2, from fan theories to official news, keep this page bookmarked.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Release Date – When Is it Coming Out?

Red Dead Redemption
Is John Marston making a comeback for Red Dead Redemption 2?

Not too long ago, Rockstar Games stated Red Dead Redemption 2 will be coming out on October 26th, 2018. Will it actually come out on that date, or slip to March 2019? Only time will tell, but so far the developers have remained committed to that date in all of its promotional material.

That puts Red Dead Redemption 2 a little bit after Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on October 12th, but it won’t have a clean release window. There are still some big games with unannounced release dates, and we expect to know more after E3 about just how crowded and competitive this period will be.

All publishers want to release around that timeframe. But the prospect of releasing right next to Red Dead Redemption 2 will give pause to any marketing team.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Platforms – Will it Come to PS4, Xbox One, and PC?

So far Rockstar has only confirmed that the game will arrive on PS4 and Xbox One later this year.

Whether that rules out a PC release altogether, we’re still unclear. Fans have been quick to start a petition asking for a PC release for the game, though, which you can sign up for here on Change.org.

We’ll warn you, though, we sincerely doubt that RDR2 will come to PC as the original game only came out on Xbox 360 and PS3.

If it does, it’ll probably be sometime later, as with the PC version of GTA 5.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Story – What Tale Will it Tell?

Red Dead Redemption 2
The line-up of Red Dead Redemption 2 characters could look something a little like this.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel. We’ll be seeing a lot of familiar faces in the game from the Van der Linde Gang, most notably a gang mate of John Marston‘s from Red Dead Redemption, Arthur Morgan. This prequel will follow the events of the Van der Linde Gang, but Morgan will be the protagonist.

Of course, the Van der Linde gang is not to be confused with Dutch’s Gang. Both are led by Dutch Van der Linde. But the latter is a very different Dutch, leading a very different crew. We go over the differences between the two in the article below:

Even from early days, the fact that it’s even called Red Dead Redemption 2 rather than Red Dead anything else (as is usual for the franchise) suggested there will be connecting storylines.

We’re going to get a look at the series of events that led to Marston’s jail time. Before the story of the original Red Dead Redemption, we know Marston ran in an outlaw and gunslinger gang with Dutch Van der Linde, Bill Williamson, and Javier Escuella, along with Abigail who would eventually become his wife and the mother their two children.

Williamson seems to be part of the line-up on the promotional art for Red Dead Redemption 2 – you can see his wonky hat quite clearly on the chap to the right of the centre.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Strangely enough, that hat doesn’t feature on any of the riders in the actual trailer, but maybe the incident that made it wonky happened later.

What is interesting though is that there seems to be a female rider among the lineup. Her waist is narrower and the sleeves on her top seem to gather at the wrist, which was typical of feminine clothing at the time.

Red Dead Redemption 2 female rider
That certainly looks like a female rider there on the right with her narrower waist.

We’d put some money on this being Abigail Marston, who did originally run with Dutch’s gang, or was at least associated with them.

Some believe the striped trousers on the fellow below mean he’s affiliated with a Native American tribe. But it could also be Mexican and this could be Javier Escuella. After all, he does have a fringed poncho-style garment on too.

Red Dead Redemption 2
Those stripy legs and the fringed poncho... is that you Javier?

Of course, Rockstar Games will start teasing more about the game’s story as we get closer to a release date, which is under six months away.

So be patient, more news will come.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Map – Where Will It Be Set?

Red Dead Redemption 2 map leak

The above image is allegedly the full Red Dead Redemption 2 TechRadar map, thanks to an inside source speaking back in April 2016. Apparently, it was an art direction map for the upcoming title, but the source confirmed that the map shows the game will be set before the events of the original Redemption.

It’s the area just east of the map for the original game, which shows that you’ll be exploring a whole new area of the world, but one that’s connected to the first.

As you can see, in the bottom left-hand corner is the Great Plains, which contains the Blackwater settlement you’ll know from the original Red Dead Redemption.

Red Dead Redemption original map

The fact that there’s a LOT more water in the new map and a canoe seen in the teaser trailer means John Marston touching a larger-than-average puddle won’t mean instant death.

Red Dead Redemption 2 vs GTA 5 – Will There Be Any Similarities?

We believe there could be two major similarities between Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA 5, namely:

  • Multiple playable protagonists
  • A dynamic and persistent online world component

The Red Dead Redemption 2 trailers make a point of showing several characters riding on horseback, armed to the teeth. There’s a strong emphasis on the Van der Linde Gang, as opposed to one individual. If this game goes the way of GTA 5, with its successful multiple protagonists, we could potentially be looking at even more characters as our playable heroes.

Perhaps seven might be a little too many, but we could see it working with the big heists we’ll probably see in the game.

GTA Online

Then there’s the online component. When Rockstar revealed the first trailer, it stated that Red Dead Redemption 2 would feature a new “online multiplayer experience”.

We’d be very surprised if this doesn’t mimic Rockstar’s incredibly successful GTA Online, which is the online component for GTA 5.

On PC alone, GTA Online has averaged over 40,000 concurrent players over the last few months. Five years after release. It’s one of Rockstar’s biggest earners, and you can bet it’ll want to replicate that success in RDR2.

RDR2 Trailer #3 – The Best Yet

Again, we see more of a focus on the Van der Linde Gang. These are the good ol’ days of robbing trains and recklessly imposing their will on a large territory. This is before everything went bad, and we’re sure to see a more Wild West vibe, but the trailer also makes it clear there’ll be no shortage of internal Gang strife.

The trailer strengthens what we know about Dutch’s deteriorating sanity and motives. What was once a “rob from the rich, give to the poor” situation devolves into senseless murder. Ultimately, Dutch doesn’t want the Wild West to be tamed. He doesn’t want his way of life to die.

In the trailer, we see Dutch talking about the ways of the new world. Easy fire, knowledge that could heal. All good things — but not to him.

There’s a focus on wildlife as well, which we’ve been speculating could mean we’ll be able to tame wild horses.

Certain elements of mystery from the first game, like where John Marston got his scar, will be answered. Unknown members of the Van der Linde Gang will be filled in. And overall we’ll get to see the “glory days” of being an outlaw in this period.

This was still more of a mood-setting trailer than anything, but there are still some details to be gleaned. We’ve speculated a few times here about a larger Native American influence, and while Dutch’s later Gang had many Native American mercenaries in it, it was thought that his previous Gang also had one of unknown origin.

In the trailer, in at least two scenes we see a Native American hanging out with the gang:

An unknown Native American stands with Arthur Morgan and Dutch Van Der Linde

Red Dead Redemption 2‘s First trailer – What Did We Learn?

The earlier trailer above is incredibly short and doesn’t actually give that much detail about the game.

At just over a minute long, take it as more of a concept trailer than a proper RDR2 trailer. It doesn’t give us any confirmed characters, a timeline, or an inkling of what the story might be.

But that hasn’t stopped us from having a little snoop into Rockstar’s first teaser to see if we can eke out any hints as to what the game might entail come launch.

1. It’s going to be absolutely stunning

Red Dead Redemption 2
Check out those god rays peeking through the trees.

Even though there are no story snippets here, the trailer does make one thing abundantly clear: Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to be a visual delight.

Whether it’s the myriad wildlife you can see including deer, buffalo, and a tiny mouse or the dense foliage, thick grass, rays of sunshine, or the setting sun, it’s already looking to be a stunning game. These trailer screengrabs don’t do it justice but you just watch that trailer in full and really appreciate its beauty.

No matter what Rockstar game you play, they tend to be pushing the boundaries of what the current technology can do and GTA 5 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC is certainly still one of the best looking games.

2. A greater connection with nature?

Red Dead Redemption 2

This may be just for the trailer alone, but it looks like there’s a more realistic ecosystem in the game. By that, we mean the good old circle of life.

In the first moments of the trailer, you see a mouse climbing an ear of corn and later a raccoon eats a smaller animal in the middle of a forest. There’s even the scene above where some vultures are picking on a carcass and even though a dog barks nearby, they’re too focused to be concerned by him.

There’s an abundance of wildlife in this trailer, so we think the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 will be more active than in the original game or the rural areas of GTA 5.

3. Different forms of transport

Red Dead Redemption 2
The Great Iron Horse is one of the greatest technological advancements in Frontier history.

Like the original RDR, it looks like horseback will be the primary form of transportation in this game. However, there are at least two other modes of transport that we noted in the trailer.

Firstly you’ve got that glorious steam train, also known as the Great Iron Horse, which we’d love to see involved with some kind of heist or other major mission.

Then there’s the horse-drawn buggy that rides past the general store. A canoe is also seen floating along a river.

4. Native American influence

Red Dead Redemption 2

That canoe is also a sign that there might be a Native American element to the game’s storyline. There’s the canoe, a dreamcatcher hanging in the foreground and earlier in the footage it looks like one of the horseback heroes is wearing traditional Cherokee patterned trousers, as spotted by IGN.

Jeremy Ray
Managing Editor at FANDOM. Decade-long games critic and esports aficionado. Started in competitive Counter-Strike, then moved into broadcast, online, print and interpretative pantomime. You merely adopted the lag. I was born in it.
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