After nearly eight years, fans of Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption are finally getting a sequel. The aforementioned follow-up was initially slated for release in the Fall of 2017, but a hardly unexpected delay likely places the game in the first quarter of next year.
As it currently stands, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most anticipated games of 2018, and it is also one of the biggest question marks. Aside from a few leaks and a relatively short teaser trailer, fans do not have a lot of information to go on. And as always, as it pertains to the Internet at least, with a lack of information comes a healthy dose of rumors and speculation.
As one of the industry’s most anticipated announced titles, Red Dead Redemption 2 is certainly no exception. Leaked maps, inside reports, former Rockstar Games employees, and even a potential shared universe all lie ahead. Here are more than a dozen of Red Dead Redemption 2’s most fascinating, most mind-blowing rumors.
15 A Shared Universe?
In April, a map leaked online, claiming to be the setting for the Red Dead sequel. This has yet to be confirmed, but if it is true, there is a possibility this could be a tie-in with a recently released Take-Two Interactive-published title, Mafia III.
At the bottom right corner of this “leaked” map is the fictional New Orleans-based city, New Bordeaux. New Bordeaux is the location of the studio’s other title–Mafia III–so fans are left to speculate if this is simply a fun Easter Egg, or rather an intricate tie-in.
For now, the smart money is on the former, but seeing as gamers know very little concerning Red Dead Redemption 2, nothing is yet certain.
14 On The Water
While the original Read Dead Redemption did not even allow characters to swim, a glimpse of a character out in open waters in a kayak has caused some to speculate whether gamers will be able to travel across the seas. This might seem like a stretch for some, but again given the limited amount of information fans have to go on, speculation is all that remains.
Additionally, the aforementioned leaked map showcases a lot of blue and an island to the east–perhaps suggesting water could be a prevalent feature within this game. If that were to be the case, then it would only make sense that the developers would make travel by sea a possible feature in the sequel.
13 A Handy Travel Companion
“Inventory management” may not be the sexiest two words in the world of gaming, but they are certainly important. When poorly implemented, this one gameplay mechanic can tarnish even the best titles in the genre–looking at you, Breath of the Wild.
Again, while this might appear like a stretch from the viewpoint of the casual onlooker, Red Dead Redemption fans have been little to go on thus far, and as anticipation grows, so does rampant speculation. However, as far as rampant speculation goes, this rumor sounds fairly believable.
12 A Massive Open World
Also coinciding with the aforementioned map leak, is the fact that this world is said to be about 150% bigger than that of its predecessor. Red Dead Redemption was praised for its open world and exploration, but that game debuted back in 2010. This may not sound like a long time ago, but open-world games have taken quite the leap forward since the last console generation.
Two of this year’s biggest hit games, Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild, have cemented this generation as the “open-world” gaming generation, and the latter, especially, is seen as an iterative step forward for the genre.
As far as believability is concerned, this report actually makes a lot of sense.
11 First-Person Mode
The first-person mode has been a big hit for Grand Theft Auto, so it would make sense that they would include this feature in Red Dead Redemption 2. While a first-person mode can appear somewhat gimmicky in other games, Rockstar has implemented the gameplay feature quite well in the past.
All in all, giving gamers more ways to consume content is a good thing. The definitive way to play a Red Dead Redemption title will still likely be in third-person, but there is no reason why players should not be allowed to experiment with other mechanics as well.
For most developers, a mode like this could be seen as a throw-away gimmick that can be added as a headline to the back of the box, but Rockstar Games has proven itself as one of the finest developers working today and, at this point, should be trusted.
10 PlayStation Exclusivity
With Sony and Rockstar Games’ partnership, the two companies are said to be teaming up on some timed-exclusive online content for the Red Dead sequel.
Now, timed-exclusives have been received rather poorly by gamers–and rightfully so. No one wants to feel like their console is the inferior box, or that they made the wrong purchasing decision. However, that is simply the nature of the business today, and short of owning every current gaming system, there is truly no way to guard against this sort of marketing strategy.
As far as exclusive content goes, PlayStation has taken quite the commanding lead on that front. So, if you still have yet to purchase a current generation console, and you are looking forward to Red Dead Redemption 2, a PlayStation 4 might be the way to go.
9 Better On Xbox One X?
With that being said, reports have surfaced claiming that Read Dead Redemption 2 will show off the power of the heavily touted Xbox One X–Microsoft’s powerhouse luxury console. Rumor has it, the game will run at 4K and 60FPS on the upcoming console. However, we still do not know how Red Dead 2 will look on Sony’s high-end unit, the PlayStation 4 Pro.
At this point, it is still questionable whether this highly anticipated sequel will even make it to PC, so this rumor should obviously be taken with a grain of salt. However, optimizing the game graphically does sound like something Rockstar Games would want to do, and the trailer does luck absolutely stunning.
8 To PC, Or Not To PC
As alluded to in the previous entry, questions have been circling as to whether or not Rockstar’s highly anticipated title will arrive on PC. Rumors have stated that the game will run on PC at 4K and 60FPS, but it has yet to be confirmed that the title will indeed be released on the platform at all.
Public consensus points to a delayed release of Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC – which, given the company’s history, sounds like a plausible move. That said, neither Rockstar Games nor Take-Two Interactive has been vocal concerning this point, and as of right now, the only two platforms confirmed to be housing the follow-up is Microsoft’s Xbox One family of consoles, as well as the PlayStation 4.
7 Cross-Platform Play
Cross-platform play was reportedly planned by Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive but with Sony’s recent reaffirmed stance concerning the service, that would seem rather unlikely. If the game does come to PC, there is the possibility that Xbox and PC users could play together, however.
Sony infamously refused to participate in cross-platform play with the extremely popular racing/sports title, Rocket League. With Rocket League coming to the Nintendo Switch later in 2017, fans are excited to play with gamers on multiple consoles. However, PlayStation has stated that they will not be taking part, stating that Sony wants to maintain control of its online ecosystem.
This political answer has not been taken so well by the gaming community, and now it seems as though Red Dead Redemption 2 could be the next game to be affected by this power play.
6 An Open World Online Akin To GTA5
Grand Theft Auto V still thrives today, largely due to its ever-expanding online multiplayer. Rumors claim something similar could be heading to Red Dead Redemption 2. If this is true, it would certainly be seen a big coup for Red Dead Redemption 2 fans.
Even after releasing in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V is still one of the top 10 best-selling titles each month, mostly because of its ever-expanding multi-player mode. Fans are continually surprised with how much content is being added to the game on a regular basis.
If anything like this ends up coming to the Red Dead Redemption sequel, this game will likely continue to maintain massive player numbers years down the road.
5 An Online Beta
Nearly every multi-player game coming out these days seemingly needs a beta to precede its commercial release, and the Red Dead sequel might not be any different. If anything even remotely close to a Grand Theft Auto V online game mode makes its way to Red Dead 2, then it would only make sense that Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive would want to stress the servers by introducing an online beta.
Additionally, online betas have also been seen as a way to advertise a great game. 2016’s Game of the Year, Overwatch, was spreading positive word of mouth before the title even hit store shelves due to a successful online beta. Red Dead Redemption 2 might not need the additional hype, but it certainly could not hurt if the game is as good as it appears.
4 Red Dead Redemption 2 Is Actually A Prequel
Perhaps one of the most discussed rumors concerning the follow-up is the fact that it could actually be a prequel. According to early rumors from an anonymous source, the events of Red Dead Redemption 2 might actually take place it before its predecessor.
Again, going back to the leaked map, structures such as railroads and more developed areas are inexplicably absent from the landscape. Even Rockstar Games has stated that the world of Red Dead 2 would be more barren than the original.
Given all this information, it is reasonable that more than a few have concluded Red Dead Redemption 2 will actually be (at least partially) a prequel rather than a sequel.
3 Multiple Protagonists
An alleged former Rockstar employee supposedly leaked information stating that the game will feature multiple protagonists. Like most of the rumors on this list, there has been little from the mouths of those currently and officially working at Rockstar Games or Take-Two Interactive to go on, so this statement stands as a rumor.
The idea of multiple protagonists is certainly not new to the team at Rockstar Games, and it has been proven to be a successful model in the past. Video game protagonists from other companies have often received flack for being too generic or boring, but giving fans more than one character to connect to might be a smart move in the end.
2 The Connection to the Original
The current leading theory is that the protagonist of the upcoming title will be either the father or son of John Marston from the original. Some believe that the game could even switch between the two, which would tie in quite nicely with the rumor that this game will feature multiple protagonists.
However, the idea that the sequel/prequel mash-up would not only alternate between characters but also timelines, could also be an interesting twist. And bonus points would be given to Rockstar Games if both characters were related to the fan-favorite hero from the last generation, John Marston–at least, that is what some fans are thinking.
Some are speculating that the two protagonists could be both Marston’s father and his son. Is there any proof of this? No. But it would be an extremely intriguing idea.
1 The Return Of John Marston
With the prequel rumors come the idea that protagonist John Marston could return to the world Red Dead Redemption. As previously stated, Marston was a fan-favorite protagonist from the original, and gamers largely want to see him back in the saddle so to speak.
John Marston’s return is by no means a done deal. As with most of the rumors on this list, they are born solely out of a few reports, a couple leaks, and one stunning, albeit short teaser trailer.
Out of all the rumors on this list, Marston making an appearance in the sequel is based least on currently known facts, however, that does not make it unlikely. It simply means we will have to wait and see.