Rockstar Releases Second Red Dead Redemption II Trailer: Some Thoughts

If there’s one game coming out next year for which I am truly excited, it’s Red Dead Redemption II. So you best believe that as soon as I heard Rockstar would be releasing today something new about the game, I was willing and ready to tune in. Turns out that “something” is the game’s second official trailer. Take a peek below (posted on YouTube by PlayStation).

On their site, Rockstar offers up a fine summary of what’s RDRII’s all about:

The story of outlaw Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang as they rob, fight and steal their way across the vast and rugged heart of America in order to survive.

In short, it looks like we’re getting a prequel. Red Dead Redemption told the story of John Marston’s trials that arose from his involvement with the Van der Linde gang, which was headed by Dutch Van der Linde, who’s mentioned by name near the end of the trailer. In the second game, apparently players will be treated to playing as a member or members of  the Van der Lindes. The trailer suggests that if we do get to play as a single gang member, he’s going to be a rather well-armed and somewhat threatening fellow by the name of Arthur Morgan.

Sounds good so far, but allow me to expound beyond the one minute and thirty second nutshell, in bullet form.

  • Of the two situations that could have led to a game after RDR – one being tackling the revenge (probably) story of John Marston’s son, Jack; and the other being life before John Marston, with or without him – I definitely like the choice to go with the prequel.  The story of John Marston and Dutch Van der Linde was central to RDR, but the question of “who is Dutch Van der Linde?” wasn’t fully addressed, and it didn’t need to be within that scope of that game. Getting to know Marston’s former gang is more than intriguing here.
  • The only slight disappointment is that a prequel pretty much keeps RDRII within the same era as the first game. One the up side, we’re still in the lush and conflicted world of the dying Old West at the turn of the twentieth century. On the downside, doing a sequel might have allowed for some exploration of the romantic and sometimes false histories of the “Old West” that proliferated up as American rolled in to the 1920s. (Though, who knows. Maybe we’ll see that in RDRIII.)
  • Again with the setting, the town that Morgan first strolls through looks a lot like the classic Western town of Armadillo in RDR. Whether it truly is or not remains to be seen. But again, it’s still looks like we’re going to be playing in familiar territory.
  • Also, the environments. So pretty and visceral. No doubt the game is going to look awesome.
  • The character models are also incredible. Will they carry over into the final game? I hope so.
  • As much as I like Mr. Morgan’s voice, something about it didn’t quite match his face. I expected to see someone less chiseled and more weathered.
  • Glad to see at least one women one the team…maybe? Hard to tell from her brief appearance. Is she Bonnie McFarland from RDR? Hmmm, didn’t quite sound like her, but she is blond, so…still unlikely, but grasping at straws, nonetheless.
  • The inclusion of native peoples in some manner? Sure. It could make sense given the time and place.
  • Give me more of them high-speed train robberies!
  • Lassoing that horse? Oh dear, not more horse-breaking mini-games. Please, no.

All in all, I remain well-seated on the Red Dead Redemption II train. The big, looming question in my mind is the gameplay itself. Are we looking at something with separate single- and multi-player campaigns, or an always-online situation like with the Destiny games? Looks like we’ll just have to sit tight and enjoy the ride until more info is revealed.

(Source: Rockstar Games)

Lede image © Rockstar Games

Hey RDR fans, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the new trailer in the comments below!