The company that makes “Grand Theft Auto” isn’t known for pumping out games. You may recall that the latest “GTA” game came out in 2013 – that’s the most recent release from Rockstar Games.
But a new game from Rockstar is just on the horizon: “Red Dead Redemption 2.”
The relentlessly gorgeous “Red Dead Redemption 2” is just weeks away, with a scheduled launch on October 26 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
So, what’s “Red Dead Redemption 2” all about? Is it basically “Grand Theft Horse”? Yes and no! Let’s dive in.
Unlike “GTA,” the “Red Dead” series is set in the American frontier. That means campfires and starry skies.
It also means gunslingers and six-shooters and bandit masks. This isn’t just a tale of America’s Wild West, but a tale of cowboys, robbers, and the evolution of American society.
Rockstar characterises the game’s story as an “outlaw epic set across the vast and unforgiving American heartland.”
Major pillars of the era, like cross-country railroads, directly play into “Red Dead Redemption 2.”
Specifically, in robberies.
That’s because, in “Red Dead Redemption 2,” you’re part of a gang: the Van der Linde Gang.
That gang is headed by a major character: Dutch Van der Linde.
Unlike the last “GTA,” which had players jumping between one of three playable characters, “Red Dead Redemption 2” stars one playable character: Arthur Morgan.
The game is a prequel to the previous game in the series. It follows 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.”
Survival for the Van der Linde gang means robbing, stealing, and staying on the run.
Make no mistake: “Red Dead Redemption 2” is a road trip story. The Van der Linde gang is picking up camp and moving from place to place
The game is set in 1899, and its setting is vast: the entirety of America — albeit a shrunken, alternate version of the US.
Like the real 1899 American frontier, much of the game’s frontier is vast, empty space. The few towns were relatively ramshackle, and look like something out of a John Wayne movie.
There is at least one major city — a version of New Orleans that looks gorgeous:
Since “Red Dead Redemption 2” features a massive open-world environment — and Rockstar Games is notorious for filling its massive open worlds with stuff to do — you can expect an unusually lively world in “Red Dead Redemption 2.”
To that end, every single character in the game’s world can be interacted with, from the stagecoach driver you see above to the Charlie Chaplin-looking fellow seen below.
Some of the best moments of the original “Red Dead Redemption” were being alone in the wilderness, marveling at the lush environment while trotting along on horseback. Those quiet moments will clearly make a return in the sequel.
If this looks an awful lot like a Western take on the “Grand Theft Auto” formula, you’d be right. The main difference is in tone: “Red Dead” is a more serious game.
The other main difference is nuance: “Red Dead Redemption 2” aims to evolve open world gameplay. Rather than automatically turning to deadly violence, you’re able to threaten or even completely diffuse situations.
There’s a ton more to know about “Red Dead Redemption 2” — the game is a truly massive effort from thousands of people working for over five years.
And check out the latest trailer right here:
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