Saddle up, cowpokes. After months of speculation, Rockstar Games has finally given fans a taste of the upcoming Red Dead Redemption II. The game will be a prequel, focusing on outlaw Arthur Morgan as he travels the Old West collecting bounties and trying to survive the violent chaos of his times. Characters from the first Red Dead Redemption game will appear, confirmed by the appearance in the trailer of Dutch van der Linde, leader of the van der Linde gang and nemesis of the first game’s protagonist John Marston. Thanks to its prequel status, the game will take place more firmly in the “Golden Age” of the Wild West, as compared the 1911 setting of its predecessor.
The first game in the series, Red Dead Revolver, had a story but functioned more like a challenging shooting gallery than a fully fledged game. Although it sold well in 2004 and garnered favorable reviews, it wasn’t until 2010’s Red Dead Redemption that the series became legendary.
Red Dead Redemption focused on John Marston, an ex-outlaw blackmailed into hunting down the members of the van der Linde gang by the US Government. The story takes a more cynical view of the West, with all its false bravado, racism, and grime evident in the game’s characters. The game’s engaging story, fun combat, and truly alive open world shot the game to the top of “Best of” lists as well as multiple “Game of the Year Awards.” It has even in retrospect been called one of the best games released during the seventh console generation. Its sequel, no doubt, has big shoes to fill.
Much like its predecessor, Rockstar has confirmed that the game will be an open world, third-person action-adventure game incorporating the usual fast-paced shooting, roping, and horse riding. There will also be online game elements; a feature Rockstar is keen on with its successful implementation of GTA Online. While some fear that Rockstar’s newfound love of microtransactions will infect Red Dead, the trailer promises an engaging enough story to hopefully justify the purchase.
The game will be released in Spring of 2018 for the Xbox One and PS4, with PS4 owners getting special early access to online elements thanks to an exclusivity deal between Rockstar and Sony. There is no word if the game is planned to release on PC.