Red Dead Redemption II

Breaking Down John Marston's Return And More Details In The Latest Trailer
by Game Informer Editorial on May 02, 2018 at 11:43 AM
Platform PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher Rockstar Games
Developer Rockstar Games
Rating Mature

Rockstar just rolled into town with the latest Red Dead Redemption II trailer, and it's packed to the brim with an information overload that our Red Dead fanatics have been working all morning to unpack. Here are the biggest takeaways from Rockstar's latest glimpse into its return to the Old West.

Familiar Faces Everywhere
The last two trailers showcased mostly new faces. This one served as a reunion with some of our favorite characters from the original game, including freshly scarred John Marston and a woman we're 99.9 percent sure is Abigail. It looks like Uncle shows up as well, sitting around the campfire during story time. You can peek at a younger Javier Escuella in some scenes as well. However, the most interesting cameo has to be a fellow who looks a lot like a younger not-so-scummy-yet Edgar Ross, standing off in the background, complete with a mustache and bowler hat. There's no sign of his trademark cigar, though.

Dutch's Gang Takes Center Stage
The history of John's time with Dutch's gang wasn't just some background history in the original game, but also the impetus for everything that happens in Red Dead Redemption, with John and the rest of his former crew trying to escape the sins of the old days. It looks we'll find out just what those sins are and how new protagonist Arthur Morgan fits into the whole thing, per a plot synopsis Rockstar released alongside the new trailer:

America, 1899. The end of the wild west era has begun as lawmen hunt down the last remaining outlaw gangs. Those who will not surrender or succumb are killed.

After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal divisions threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.

From the creators of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an epic tale of life in America at the dawn of the modern age.

You can see what we presume is the full size of the gang in the shot above. One thing we do know is that at the start of RDR, the only gang members left were John, Abigail, Dutch, Bill Williamson, and Javier Escuella. Expect to see the herd thin dramatically in this game. 

Not So Back To The Future
During the last breakdown we did, we latched on to several clues that suggested Red Dead Redemption II might be hopping along the timeline, taking place in the days of Dutch's gang as well as serving as an epilogue of the original game. Nothing in the new trailer suggests that theory holds. On the contrary, this collection of scenes pushes back against that. The woman we theorized could be Bonnie McFarlane last time is probably not her after all, given there are scenes in the trailer where she's running with Dutch and crew.

A Glimpse At The New Antagonist
Though Edgar Ross shows up in Red Dead II, it appears the rival this go-round is an unnamed dude who's a cross between a fire-and-brimstone preacher and the kind of villain you'd see in an Indiana Jones flick, with Ross possibly working under him. We have no idea what his particular beef with Dutch's crew is yet, but he definitely has anger issues.

A Bigger City?
We see Blackwater in the trailer, but we also saw glimpses of a burgeoning, turn of the century city of brick and stone featuring the kinds of amusements (like the theater shown above) that not even Blackwater featured in Red Dead Redemption. We're excited to learn more about this new town, which is hopefully filled with activities for you to enjoy. We also saw another glimpse of small-town life in the trailer, which looked much more vibrant than the hamlets of the original. Expect to see NPC activities more on par (or even surpassing) those in GTA V.

Gameplay Hints
The trailer showed Arthur chasing to break in a wild horse, a stagecoach hijacking, another robbery, and folks getting down and dirty with their fists. Chances are these are the kinds of gameplay sequences you can expect to play in RDR II. 

The Technology Looks Amazing
Rockstar's always pushing the boundaries when it comes to tech (remember how incredible Grand Theft Auto V looked and ran on aging last-generation hardware?). It looks like Red Dead Redemption II is another step forward for the developer's output in that regard, with impressive fire particle effects, improved horse animations, great weapon details (you can even see the pistol barrel rotate while firing), and awe-inspiring environments and skyboxes.

For more on Red Dead Redemption 2, be sure to check out our breakdown of the previous trailer here.

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Red Dead Redemption IIcover

Red Dead Redemption II

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:
October 26, 2018 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One), 
November 5, 2019 (PC)