The follow-up to Rockstar Games' classic western game Red Dead Redemption is fast approaching. Set 12 years before the events of the original game, Red Dead Redemption 2 will explore an expansive region of the American wilderness, with Dutch Van der Linde's gang on the run from lawmen during the last years of the wild west. Experiencing Rockstar's take on the open-world western from a new perspective, you'll uncover the history of the Van Der Linde gang, which has a young John Marston in its thralls.
We got the opportunity to play Red Dead Redemption 2, and suffice to say, it's shaping up to be one of the most detailed open world games we've ever played. You can find out more in our preview below where you can read about our experiences completing story missions and exploring the game's world. There's also plenty of details below on the game's narrative and all of its trailers. With its release date of October 26 approaching, we've learned a lot more about the base game, as well as the first details about its Red Dead Online mode coming in November.
Set 12 years before the main events of the original game, the prequel focuses on the outlaw life of the Van der Linde gang, led by Red Dead Redemption's main antagonists. After a robbery in Blackwater (one of the original game's major towns) goes bad--the gang finds themselves on the run. Dutch, his right-hand man Arthur Morgan, and several members of the gang have to contend with a life on-the-run while confrontations with rival gangs and the law make their situation grow more desperate.
Rockstar also released a description of the plot:
America, 1899. The end of the wild west era has begun as lawmen hunt down the last remaining outlaw gangs. Those who will not surrender or succumb are killed. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal divisions threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.
Debuting on October 20, 2016, the first trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 was a bit of a mood piece that showcased many locales in the game, while also portraying the somber tone of the main narrative. In this trailer, we saw several towns and locales, many of which are teeming with life and activity--such as ranchers rustling up some cattle, huntsmen bringing back their haul, and a group of citizens hanging out in the general store.
Though the central character of Red Dead Redemption, John Marston, plays some role in the story--the main protagonist of the prequel is Arthur Morgan. As Dutch's right-hand man and enforcer for the gang, he'll handle much of the daily duties of keeping the gang in-check--which includes a young and less-experienced John Marston. When it comes to keeping the gang and its community afloat, Morgan is quite handy with picking up various jobs to ensure everyone is well fed and in good spirits. But as the story progresses, he'll begin to question his own resolve for Dutch's way of life, and whether he still has a place in the gang.
On September 28, 2017, the second trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 debuted. In the new footage, we got to see more of Arthur Morgan and how ruthless he can be while on the job. During some of the story cutscenes, Morgan will use coercion and physical threats to collect money and information, all for the "benefit" of the community. For more info on this particular trailer, check out our detailed breakdown.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, we'll see Dutch's gang and its key players in their prime. While the original game had John hunt down and kill the remaining members of the gang, we'll see many of the familiar faces in relatively happier times. From the most recent trailer, we see Dutch Van der Linde, Arthur Morgan, Bill Williamson, Javier Esquela, Sadie Adler, Charles Smith, Micah Bell, Hosea Matthews, and of course John Marston in the roster. We'll also interact with other characters who would have a key role in the gang and in the lives of both Arthur Morgan and John Marston.
In the new footage released on May 2, we saw a deeper look into the game's narrative and how the gang functions. Along with the familiar activities like hunting, heists, and side-quests with the region's citizens, rob trains and banks, and take in shows at theaters. For the most part, the trailer focuses on the many connections you'll have with the members of the gang, as well as how your choices will affect them. For more info on the third trailer, check out our detailed breakdown.
On August 9, Rockstar unveiled Red Dead Redemption 2's first gameplay trailer. The new footage revealed that the core mechanics from the original game were still intact, but almost everything had received a facelift. Wildlife is smarter and lives within its own ecosystem. Arthur Morgan can interact with the people around him in ways John Marston never could.
On October 2, Rockstar finally showcased the second round of gameplay footage it promised. It dives more deeply into the game's side-activities, as well as the nature of the world and its varying systems. In addition, there's an in-depth look at how the sequel's dead eye system works.
While the sequel is largely in the same vein as its predecessor, focusing on exploration, hunting, shoot-outs, heists, and other side-activities where you'll interact with a number of unique characters--Red Dead Redemption 2 features a far more expansive world to dive into. There are a ton of new mechanics in Red Dead Redemption 2. Below you can find a bulleted list of many of the new features in the game, but for all the details on everything new, check out our comprehensive list of all the new features we've discovered so far.
We recently got a hands-on with a near final-build of Red Dead Redemption 2. It plays much like its predecessor, but with a bevy of new features and systems that enhance its storytelling, combat, and overall progression. We got to experience two story missions, as well as a chance to goof around freely in the open world. There's a lot to unpack about how the upcoming sequel looks and feels, so be sure to read our in-depth preview detailing our impressions about how it plays.
Currently, Rockstar hasn't shared any info on how the online play will function. The original Red Dead Redemption featured online free-for-all and team deathmatch style gameplay in the open world, along with several co-op themed missions. While it's safe to assume that these sorts of missions will return, another long-lingering rumor is the appearance of a battle royale mode. Rockstar has recently confirmed that a public beta for the online mode is scheduled for a month after the game's launch.
Rockstar released the game's launch trailer, which shows Dutch and Arthur talking about one more big score, before life can improve for their gang. Soon there's scenes of explosions, gunfire, and internal strife, set against talk of loyalty. It's a fairly short, but very sweet trailer.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is set for release on October 26 for PS4 and Xbox One; you can begin pre-loading on Friday, October 19. In terms of file size, Red Dead Redemption 2 is about 99 GB on PS4. You'll need to have even more room if you're going digital, as the installation process will require an additional 50 GB on top of that. Xbox One owners, meanwhile, will need to have 107 GB to install the game.
There are also plans for a collector's edition of the game called the Special Edition. Priced at $80, the package includes a copy of the game along with special missions, weapons and a physical map of the game world for players to own. There are also two additional packs for Red Dead Redemption 2 for premium prices, The Ultimate Edition and The Collector's Box--both priced at $100. While The Ultimate Edition has all items from the special edition--including additional DLC items to acquire--The Collector's Box does not include any digital items. Instead, it offers special playing cards, artwork, a bandit's bandana, a physical map of the game world, and a collector's coin in the set.
It's worth noting that the PS4 version will have special content that's exclusive to that version for 30 days. There is still no word as to what the PlayStation-exclusive content is, but now we know it's for Red Dead Online and that Xbox One owners will have to wait to check it out.
Though the original Red Dead Redemption never found its way to the PC, there's been some rumors that its sequel might. A mention of Red Dead Redemption 2's appearance on PC found its way online, but it has since been scrubbed.
Although the system itself doesn't sport a unique design, there will be a Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4 Pro bundle. Priced at $400 in the US, you're essentially getting a copy of the game for free. However, this doesn't include any of the aforementioned special editions; it's just a standard edition version of the game. The bundle is available for pre-order now.