After the success of Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online, players have been eagerly anticipating when they'd be receiving Rockstar Games' next blockbuster video game. In late 2016, players were treated to the unveiling of their next big game by way of social media teases leading up to the jam-packed teaser trailer. Many people felt that if Rockstar Games made a follow-up to Red Dead Redemption, that it would actually be called Red Dead, followed by a different word. To our surprise, Rockstar unveiled Red Dead Redemption 2 and let fans know it would be coming out in the Fall of 2017.
There are tons of things we can infer about the next entry in the Red Dead series by just taking a closer look at what we saw in the teaser trailer. These large video game companies understand the complexity of a trailer and how to expertly craft and hide multiple pieces of information regarding the game. It's not that far of a stretch to understand that everything included in the teaser trailer was there for a specific purpose. The teaser not only provided a valuable setup for the tone of the game but subtly introduced us to what we can expect in this hand-crafted mega Western adventure. There are still plenty of questions that remain unanswered regarding what Red Dead Redemption 2 is exactly. Hopefully, we'll be treated to a full unveil at this year's E3, but until then, let's get into all of the things we know about Red Dead Redemption 2 so far.
15 It Will Probably be Delayed
Unfortunately, the last four major releases from Rockstar Games have all been delayed to some extent. No one really knows if this is simply unchecked hubris or rather that they're so meticulous about the quality of their games that delaying isn't only an option, but vital. Rockstar doesn't simply create new iterations in their existing franchises, they create technical masterpieces that push forward the industry and take hardware to its absolute limits. Will this game be delayed into 2018? Maybe. Will Red Dead Redemption 2 be any worse because of it? Absolutely not. Having your most anticipated game get delayed is a serious bummer, but having it ship as an unpolished product that receives critical backlash would probably feel worse. Here's hoping Red Dead Redemption 2 releases in 2017.
14 Dog Companion?
Now, who doesn't love a good video game dog? It seems that over the last three years, companion canines have become a growing trend that players absolutely love. Dogmeat from Fallout 4 was the latest example of how fulfilling it is to traverse a large open world with a loyal dog by your side. The trailer didn't necessarily show any indication that you could own a dog, but it did make a big deal about animal interactions in the scene from inside a very muddy town that included a scruffy dog barking at a pack of vultures. Though Rockstar hasn't necessarily dived into party member, mechanic role-playing games, it doesn't mean they'd never included it in their games. Don't be surprised if there's a portion of this game dedicated to your relationship with a dog. Heck, Rockstar has even gone as far as to create entire missions centered around Franklin's pet dog, Chop, in GTAV. There's always hope.
13 Native American Lore
When it comes to Westerns, many people's first thoughts center around cowboys, outlaws, and rebels. Many people forget how influential Native American lore and folktales are to the same time period in which many of these Westerns took place. It was really interesting to see how many references to Native American culture were included in the teaser trailer. There's a scene where two unidentifiable characters are traversing a river in what seems to be a canoe. If you pan up and to the left, you can clearly make out a dream-catcher in the tree that's placed in the foreground. Native American tribes played a huge part in the history that shaped the American Mid and Southwest. Rockstar understands this and we wouldn't be surprised if one of the major protagonists ends up being a Native American badass.
12 Animal/Material Harvesting
One of the interesting, yet grotesque mechanics in Red Dead Redemption was the skinning of hunted animals. The animal itself was full of blood splatter and oddly accurate noises. Now, we didn't get a look at whether or not that exact process is part of this new Red Dead adventure, but we were treated to a hint at a possible new mechanic. One of the scenes shows a man guidimh his horse back to what seems to be his home. The horse is carrying a deer carcass, as well as a few other supplies. Does this mean that players will not only have to kill animals, but also harvest them by taking their entire carcass back to base? We really have no idea, but it would add a lot of depth to a repetitive, yet fulfilling mechanic.
11 Major Female Protagonist
Earlier, I mentioned how important Native Americans were to Western culture and how excited we are for the possibility of them sharing center stage. Another character that doesn't get enough play in the Western genre happens to be the female outlaw. In the closing scene of the teaser trailer, it seems as though the left most rider happens to be a lady. Their clothing is brighter than the other and her body structure seems to lend itself to a more feminine figure. A lot of players feel as though there isn't enough diversity when it comes to protagonists in video games. Having a leading lady that also happens to be a badass would be a great, but not necessarily a new addition to the Red Dead series. There have been plenty of awesome females in the franchise, but it would be great to finally play as one.
10 Campfires Return
Fans of the first Red Dead Redemption understand the importance of a good campfire. Not only was it treated as a save location, it was also the area in which you could fast travel and change outfits. Fans were treated to a beautiful shot of a campfire deep within the wilderness with a gorgeous backdrop of the night sky. It wouldn't surprise us if the campfires served the exact same purpose they did in the first Red Dead Redemption. The only other element that would be a welcome addition to the campfire menu would be if it were the area in which you could level up and/or upgrade your skills. This would assume that Rockstar is leaning more into the RPG mechanics of an open-world experience.
9 A Technical Masterpiece
If there's one thing Rockstar nails, it's scope. Their games might not be as 'deep' of role-playing games as their Bethesda counterparts, but they're every bit as meaty and way more technically advance. Rockstar's major releases always push the boundaries of what people think is capable on the current hardware. They take their engine and push it to its absolute limits. With the recent release of PS4 Pro and Xbox's Project Scorpio imminent, look for Red Dead Redemption 2 to be featured heavily on both of those platforms. As technology progresses and the tools game developers have multiplied exponentially, so does Rockstar's vision of what a video game can be. Look for Red Dead Redemption 2 to be the prettiest game you've ever laid your eyes on.
8 Dual Wielding Guns
Though dual wielding is such an iconic part of Westerns, it's never been a part of the Red Dead series. The ability to fire two guns simultaneously has to be one of the most electrifying feelings in video games. At the end of the trailer, during the shot of the seven riders, we get a glimpse at one of the rider's dual wielding pistols. This doesn't indicate that the player themselves will be able to do this, but the fact that it's a primary characteristic of a main focus of the trailer does give us hope. It's not crazy to think that in a game that may have an RPG skill tree, a player could unlock the ability to fire two pistols simultaneously. At the very least, we'll have the opportunity to fight with or against a character with the ability to shoot multiple people at the same time.
7 Wildlife Density/Diversity
Even though Rockstar games are huge, they've never really showcased a large variety of animals. Some of this is due to most of their games taking place in heavily occupied cities, while other games, such as the first Red Dead Redemption, just didn't feel as though there was a lot of variety. It seems that Rockstar has made it a major point to show fans how many different types of wildlife will be in their next big game. We not only see countless numbers of birds, we're treated to buffalo, weasels, field mice, dogs, vultures, coyotes, deer, and much more. This game seems to be taking place closer to the American Midwest. During the time period in which this game will take place, it's accurate that there would be so much wildlife in every inch of unoccupied land. Hopefully, we'll be treated to a glimpse of the infamous Rockstar Bigfoot.
6 There Will Be blood!
During the late 1800s, the oil industry was off to a competitive and dangerous start. It seems as though this is a major theme that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be tackling wholeheartedly. Towards the end of the trailer, fans are treated to a voice-over while images of an oil plant going up in flames fills the screen. The first Red Dead Redemption was primarily about the death of the cowboy. This one might center around the invasion of the industrial age and how it killed the American wild west. It seems like a lot of themes in the trailer center around beautiful landscapes and vistas that directly contrast the shadowy scenes of oil and flames. Once again, Rockstar knows how to visually tell a story and communicate areas of thematic importance.
5 Environment Diversity
For all of its merits, the first Red Dead Redemption's environments were criticized for a lack of diversity and interest. Some people felt it was due to the area in which the game was set, as John Marston seemed to traverse a land of mostly dirt, rocks, and shrubs. The game's color palette was considerably seen through the lens of various beiges. The teaser trailer not only confirmed a change in scenery but provided players with a true sense of environmental diversity. From all accounts, Red Dead Redemption 2 will be taking place in the American Midwest. This is great considering that area of the continental United States is a gorgeous merging of several different biomes. Look for the sequel to provide players with a level of diversity in terrain that might blow GTAV out of the water.
4 Inspired by The Magnificent Seven
First, let's understand that The Magnificent Seven itself was inspired by one of the greatest films of all-time, Seven Samurai. Now, The Magnificent Seven (the original one, not the Chris Pratt one) is regarded as one of the best Westerns ever made and has been an area of inspiration for numerous pieces of media over the last 50 years. People have been so hungry for anything related to the iconic film that it led to the release of a sub-par remake of the original film last year. The reason that there is absolutely no doubt this game is heavily inspired by that film is Rockstar's use of imagery. They decided to specifically include seven characters in their teaser image, as well as make it the final shot of their fantastic teaser trailer. Whether it's just a nod or something more, be prepared to see plenty of callbacks and references to the 1960s classic.
3 Bill Williamson Will Be Involved
This one's a bit tricky, but it might have a stronger case in your mind after reading #2 on this list. In the original teaser image that Rockstar released of the seven cowboy silhouettes against a red backdrop, one of them has a very familiar characteristic. The man just to the right of the center character happens to have the left side of his brim pinned to the side of the hat. This unmistakably has to be Mr. Bill Williamson. He's a character that players are introduced to early on Red Dead Redemption. He sports a hat exactly like the one mentioned here and is the only character in the entire game with a cowboy hat that looks anything like that. Here's hoping Mr. Williamson is somehow involved in this new Western adventure.
2 It's A Prequel?
Now, many people are quick to assume that a game with a '2' at the end is automatically a sequel. Rockstar isn't necessarily the typical company and rarely follows industry trends. All of their GTA games, though numbered, take on different cities and feature new lead protagonists. The teaser trailer points towards this game being a prequel centered around John Marston's early days riding alongside Dutch, Bill, and Javier. Some of the key hints to this being a prequel include the number of buffalo (kill the last herd in RDR), the condition of shop signs and stagecoaches, and the hints of Bill Williamson and Javier Escuella. Fans feel that the subtle power line mean it's a sequel, but if this game takes place in the midwest, the timing of technological advancement in this area makes perfect sense.
1 A Release Date
The Red Dead Redemption 2 release date seems to have been possibly leaked by a retailer. A Polish retailer named Media Markt mistakenly posted Red Dead Redemption 2 with the release date of October 3rd, 2017. They've since updated the posting to include a release date of December 31st, 2017, which is a typical placeholder date for games awaiting a more specific announcement. The initial date does fall in line with Rockstar's previous announcement of Fall 2017. That being said, take this with a grain of salt for two major reasons. First, this could have easily been a guess on an employee's part and a way for them to troll a very excited and eager audience. On the other hand, if this date is indeed true, please refer back to #15, where I talk about how often Rockstar Games tend to delay their major releases. Let's all hope that we get our hands on Red Dead Redemption 2 by the end of 2017 at the very latest.