Red Dead Redemption 2 has officially been announced. Rockstar gradually revealed more of the main image (above) over the past 3-days and today finally gave up the goods.
Rockstar is and always has been very deliberate when it comes to referencing and paying tribute. Even more than that however, Rockstar is deliberate in the way it markets itself and its projects. We’ve already written about our theory that Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to be inspired by Seven Samurai, but here are five more theories based on what Rockstar has shown us so far.
— Multiple characters —
One of Grand Theft Auto V’s most touted features was the ability to control not one, but three different characters. Franklin, Michael and Trevor’s stories were separate, yet intertwined. Players could switch between the three of them (once they were unlocked) on the fly and were only forced to play as one character or another in certain missions.
The Red Dead Redemption 2 images show seven distinct characters, giving way to the likelihood that in the game we’ll be swapping between characters. It seems doubtful that there would be seven playable characters, with seven intertwining stories, but it’s Rockstar, so anything is possible.
— Co-op and multiplayer —
Grand Theft Auto V introduced players to GTA Online, but Red Dead Redemption was the first Rockstar title to take the open world nature of the game and try and recreate it in multiplayer setting.
Free Roam, much like GTA Online, started players off in an area and allowed them to explore the entire Red Dead Redemption map with other human players. Features from the single player campaign such as poker, horse shoes, Gang Hideouts and even co-op missions were available.
It almost goes without saying that Red Dead Redemption 2 will include Red Dead Online, but the image released by Rockstar suggests that the men depicted in it are a team or a gang. With seven characters shown, Rockstar could very well be planning on having players work together through the story campaign. Players could drop in and out and could play with up to six friends. AI players would fill in any empty slots and it would mean some truly epic scenarios.
Having seven playable characters creates an enormous amount of potential for mission diversity and variety. Players could split into teams to accomplish different tasks and meet back up after they were finished. Success of failure would determine how the group proceeded and could create some truly emergent gameplay and story moments.
— Law Enforcement —
Never before has an open world Rockstar title allowed players to play as law enforcement. When it comes to GTA, this makes a lot of sense. The way some people play GTA does not gel at all with the ideals of “To Serve and Protect” and to allow a player to go on killing sprees, to mow down civilians in their car and to commit a wide array of crimes would create narrative dissonance.
The Wild West does away with a lot of those problems. The clue is in the name. ‘Wild’ West. The time period is notoriously (in fiction at least) violent, bloody and lawless. We’ve already seen how ruthless the Sheriffs and U.S. Marshalls are in the Red Dead Redemption universe and so having players take on the role of a group of Sheriff’s Deputies or U.S. Marshalls to take down the worst of the west would still fit with the chaotic nature of open-world titles.
— Multiple time periods —
It’s likely that Red Dead Redemption 2 will feature multiple periods of time in which the narrative takes place. The first Red Dead Redemption explored this idea towards the end as it allowed you to play as Jack Marston, but in reality the difference in time had no real impact on the game.
Red Dead Redemption 2 could very well see players skipping around in different times, particularly if it includes multiple playable characters. Back stories could be established in one period and link into the main narrative and conceivably, the game could take place across a few decades. Rockstar has always been a developer that explores different ideas, different periods of time and human history. Setting Red Dead Redemption 2 anywhere from the late 1700s to the early 1900s would create an enormous amount of story potential.
Setting the game across multiple periods of time also creates the opportunity for Rockstar to recreate historical events or at the very least create their own versions of them. Players may also get to interact with certain historical figures, although it’s more likely that the game will include spoof versions of anyone who actually existed.
— First Person Perspective —
This is almost more a wish that a theory, but given that Rockstar included a first person perspective in GTAV and considering how well it was received, it’d be crazy not to include it in Red Dead Redemption 2.
The amount of care, detail and artistry that goes into creating Rockstar’s open world titles is astounding and often it’s overlook because we’re one step removed. When we’re looking through the eyes of the character, we’re more invested, more likely to stop and take notice and more likely to really appreciate the world we’re in. There’s no doubt that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be Rockstar’s biggest title to date and as proven by its past, when Rockstar develops a new feature that works it continues to use it, develop it and improve it.
Red Dead Redemotion 2 has been a long time coming and fans are clamouring for information. Once the trailer is released we’ll have much more info, but until then we can only guess as to what’s going to be included.
What do you think or hope is included in Red Dead Redemption 2?