Feature

Exploring The Directions Rockstar Could Go With Red Dead Redemption II Story DLC

by Matt Bertz on Nov 09, 2018 at 08:43 AM

After Grand Theft Auto V came and went with no further story missions to enjoy outside of the main campaign, many have assumed Rockstar will take the same approach with Red Dead Redemption II and pour all its resources into the Red Dead Online service that starts later this month. Well, hold your horses just a sec.

When I interviewed Rockstar director of design Imran Sarwar last year, he didn’t rule out story DLC for future games, saying, “We would love to do more single-player add-ons for games in the future. As a company, we love single-player more than anything, and believe in it absolutely – for storytelling and a sense of immersion in a world, multiplayer games don’t rival single-player games.”

Given the zombie craze continues to shamble unimpeded through film, literature, television, and video games, another chapter of Undead Nightmare would likely be well received. But even after spending more than 100 hours in the world of Red Dead Redemption II, I want more narrative content set in this world without the convenient crutch of zombie fiction. Rockstar created one of its most memorable casts with this game, and I’d love to see the stories of a few of these characters play out further. Here are the personalities and subject matter we feel would be the most compelling centerpieces for more story content. Spoilers follow, so don’t read further until you’ve completed the epilogue.

Josiah Trelawny 

Though he's not a mainstay at the camp like the other gang members, Trelawny is a slippery grifter who often supplies Dutch with valuable leads. His fashionable attire and silver tongue allow him to move in and out of several social circles, rubbing shoulders with the elite to find his next big con job. Playing an intellectual character who revels in deception rather than strongman tactics could be a refreshing change of pace, and I’d also love to see Rockstar explore more of relationships to the gypsies he holes up with during the game, giving the story a Peaky Blinders vibe.  

Sadie Adler

Sadie’s transformation from a happy frontier settler to an uncompromising widowed bounty hunter is one of the most interesting character evolutions in a game full of them. Originally serving the camp in a support role underneath Pearson, when shit hits the fan during the Saint Denis bank robbery and much of the Van der Linde gang goes missing, she’s the one who pulls the remaining camp members together and gets them through the rough patch. When we leave Mrs. Adler during the epilogue, she sets off to continue her aspirations of hunting down wrongdoers. Joining her on these adventures and watching her continue to Dead Eye her way through glass ceilings in the process would be make for a compelling journey. 

Charles Smith

A recent recruit to the Van der Linde gang at the start of Red Dead Redemption II, Charles Smith is one of our favorite new faces in the game. Half Native American, half African American, Smith is a drifter who doesn’t feel at home in any part of society. His tracking skills are unparalleled, and his bravery is continually put on display in harrowing moments where the gang narrowly beats the odds. He’s also one hell of a fist fighter. When Smith says his goodbyes in the epilogue, he intends to head to Canada to create his own version of a quiet life. We’d love to ride shotgun on that journey as he powers through discrimination and finds his place in the world.

Archie Downes

One of the most harrowing stories of Red Dead Redemption II is the decimation of the Downes family. Struggling with tuberculosis, Thomas Downes takes an ill-advised loan from Herr Strauss that ends up costing him his life and farm. This puts Edith in the desperate position of doing whatever it takes to provide for her son, Archie. Regretting his role in their dire circumstances, Arthur Morgan tries to raise them from their station with a cash gift, and leaves them with a parting line of wisdom – “Don’t get yourself killed for pride, I’ve seen it kill too many folk.” Assuming the role of Archie as the Downes family tries to rebuild could be an intriguing plotline to follow. 

Angelo Bronte’s Street Kids

We’ve seen Rockstar explore the tumult of adolescence with the criminally underrated Bully. It would be interesting to see that keen eye turned to the orphaned lads running the streets of Saint Denis. These pickpockets are the eyes and ears of Angelo Bronte’s racket, informing the mafioso of the city’s happenings. Missions exploring that relationship could serve the crux of the gameplay, but it would also be interesting to explore the hardships of orphan life and the inadequate societal structure of the time that inevitably pushed these kids into a world of crime. Think season four of The Wire set in the Wild West. 

Dutch van der Linde

We know Dutch is a bad man. His gift for persuasion allows him to continually recruit new soldiers to his side, but during desperate times all the philosophical principles he so readily spouts to followers are abandoned for the baser drive of self-preservation. We know that after the events of RDR II and the dissolution of the Van der Linde gang he eventually forms a new posse. Watching Dutch struggle with the demons of his past firsthand as the law barrels down on his position could add even more depth to one of the best portraits of villainy we’ve seen in video games. 

The Supernatural

The world of Red Dead Redemption II is filled with supernatural creatures and paranormal activities. Exploring the world, you can stumble upon ghosts, werewolves, witches, vampires and the voodoo cannibals known as the Night Folk. If Rockstar wanted to take a similar approach to story DLC as Undead Nightmare but mix it up, it could make these otherworldly factions rise to power and put players right in the middle of a supernatural showdown.