Red Dead Redemption 2, the long-awaited (and long-rumored) sequel to Rockstar Games’ beloved 2010 Western, has finally been announced. 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. 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.
If the title ain’t broke, don’t fix it
Given 2010’s Red Dead Redemption was actually a de facto sequel to an earlier “Red Dead” game, Red Dead Revolver. Many assumed the game’s follow-up would feature a new “R” name. Kotaku even compiled a list of the worst potential titles, including “Red Dead Reincarnation” and “Red Dead Riverdance.” Rockstar opted for something a little more obvious: Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar revealed the title on a new promotional image announcing the game’s existence, which shows seven outlaws holding weapons as they walk away from a sunrise.
Red Dead “Pre-demption”
According to rumors that began far before the game’s October 2016 announcement, Red Dead Redemption 2 will actually take place before the events of the original Red Dead Redemption. According to TechRadar, which cited an anonymous source prior to the announcement, the game will take place in a less populated version of the American West seen in the first Red Dead Redemption. The source revealed the game’s status as a prequel after the game’s alleged map was posted on the popular gaming forum NeoGAF.
The image released with Rockstar’s official announcement, which shows seven silhouetted figures, fueled that rumor. Though it’s not possible to discern their identities, the man in the middle appears to have long-ish hair similar to Red Dead Redemption protagonist John Marston. For reasons we don’t care to spoil (even if its a six-year-old game), Marston’s return would need to be a prequel.
The old “Old West”
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. TechRadar also mentions the lack of railroad in Red Dead Redemption 2 and the caravan camps “scattered” around the region, which further suggests that the game takes place during an earlier time period. However, in Red Dead Redemption 2‘s first trailer, this appears to be proven false. We see a quick shot of a locomotive barreling down the tracks, with a herd of buffalo walking at its side.
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. 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.
Joining the gang
A “leak” back in August from an alleged former Rockstar employee suggests that the game will actually feature multiple protagonists, similar to Grand Theft Auto V, according to Christian Today. In Rockstar’s October announcement, the publisher released an image of seven figures, and said Red Dead Redemption 2 would “provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience,” which lend credence to the idea that the game might try to broaden the game’s focus.
Red Dead Online
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 in 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 simply be implemented into the online component in a more seamless way, one that will never take players completely out of the action.
When can we play it, and on what?
Alongside with the game’s official announcement, Rockstar revealed that Red Dead Redemption 2 is slated for release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the fall of 2017. This seems to once again leave PC users out of luck. It worth noting that, while Red Dead Redemption skipped the PC altogether, Rockstar has released the PC versions of later games, both Grand Theft Auto IV and V, albeit well after doing so on consoles.
Rockstar released the first trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 on October 20, which you can view above. Though we did not get to see the game’s protagonist — leaving us to speculate whether or not it’s a member of the Marston family — we did hear a quote that suggests things aren’t exactly peachy in the Old West.
“Listen to me. When the time comes, you’ve got to run and don’t look back,” an anonymous voice says. “This is over.”
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 will also be added to PlayStation Now in the near future.
Updated on 10-20-16 by Gabe Gurwin: Added information revealed in the game’s debut trailer and partnership with Sony