As promised, Rockstar Games has released a brand-new trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2. While some fans expected that the game would pick up with Jack Marston, the son of Red Dead Redemption lead John Marston, it looks like Rockstar is going in a different direction. Instead, there's an all-new protagonist, Arthur Morgan, an unrepentant outlaw with the Van der Linde gang.
"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," says Rockstar on the official Red Dead Redemption 2 website.
While Morgan might be all-new though, the latter name may strike a chord within Red Dead Redemption veterans. The Van der Linde gang was Marston's original gang in the first game; the group of outlaws he had to hunt down to be with his family again. Their leader was Dutch van der Linde, a man Marston ultimately sent to his death. In the new trailer, you get a glimpse of the young Dutch.
This is quite the major surprise it should be though. The art accompanying the original announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2 showed the entire the Van der Linde gang, including Dutch, John Marston, and Bill Williamson, who is John's first target in the original. In the original art, Marston is the gentleman on the far left of the image. The lead character, who we now know is Arthur Morgan, is flanked on either side by Dutch van der Linde (left) and Bill Williamson (right).
The last named member of the gang in Red Dead Redemption was Javier Escuella, who seems to be missing from the promo art. Instead, there looks to be a new Native American member of the crew, whe is featured briefly in the trailer. The man to the right of Williamson looks to be Landon Ricketts, a gunslinger who featured in the first game but wasn't known to be a part of the Van der Linde gang.
It's likely the Red Dead Redemption 2 will back up against the year 1906, when the gang attempted a failed robbery, leaving Marston for dead. (Red Dead Redemption starts in 1911.) Perhaps this prequel will uncover the truth surrounding that failed heist and highlight the reason Marston was left behind.
Part of the trailer also seems to show off bank heists and train robberies similar to Grand Theft Auto V. Heists were played up as a major part of GTA5, allowing players to plan their entry and exit points, in addition to allocating specific jobs to your crew. The system makes a lot of sense in Red Dead Redemption 2, especially given the gang's outlaw status. Train robberies alone is an excellent idea and I hope there are more than one in the game.
Hunting returns, this time with bows and arrows. Likewise, there's some new wildlife to hunt and watch out for: alligators. While Red Dead took place in the Texas and Mexico analogs of New Austin and Nuevo Paraiso, an earlier rumored map showed the game taking place to the northeast, covering the northern part of fake-Texas and fake-Louisiana. (There was even a spot for New Bordeaux, the city that other 2K Games' open-world title Mafia 3 took place in.) Where there's bayou, there's gators to be found! Moving farther north also gives Rockstar room to throw in some snowy environments.
At least now we have more fuel for further speculation throughout the rest of 2017. Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in Spring 2018.