As gamers, we’ve had decades of failures, disasters and almost-rans looking for a truly great Western-themed game. A staple of the film world since the first reels were ever run, it wouldn’t be until Grand Theft Auto creator Rockstar Games set Red Dead Redemption into the wild that we finally saw a video game equivalent to, say, Unforgiven. With RDR, not only did the San Diego based developer create a spellbinding game, but made an experience often revered as one of the best games ever made.
Fast forward eight years and we are only a couple of months from the (much delayed) release of Red Dead Redemption 2. And if ever there was a game with massive shoes – or cowboy boots – to fill, this is it.
Set a little over a decade before the first Red Dead Redemption, players will be pulling on the spurred boots of outlaw Arthur Morgan, a member of the Dutch Van Der Linde gang. Those with decent memories will remember that the first game’s protagonist, John Marston, was once a member of this gang, giving any and all reason to speculate that the fabled video game cowboy may find himself in a front-and-centre role in the game; we’ve gotten a glimpse of him in recent trailers already.
It seems that Rockstar are going to be refining the mechanics they developed for GTAV’s heists for this one. Planning and executing robberies is one thing, but you’ll also need to help the gang before and after anything you pull off together; from resupplies to moving your camp away from prying eyes, keeping yourself and the gang away from the law will be a full time career for Morgan, and you.
With bigger and better machines comes bigger and better worlds. The huge world has been designed to be a living, breathing entity. Much like its predecessor, you will be fighting against an honour system – a relatively binary morality system that will have an overall effect on how wild the West will really be towards our man Arthur and his deeds. Be a good guy, be a bad guy, it’s completely your choice and the consequences of your actions are yours to live with. Hunting, foraging, random encounters with folk just wandering the landscape, all these things and more are expected to return.
Rockstar have garnered a reputation for being able to keep their secrets under wraps, meaning that we have very little in the way of solid information for the upcoming game. But, the developer has also built a reputation for massive, sprawling games whose technical prowess and beauty is only matched by their characters and storytelling. However Arthur Morgan’s story pans out; whether you make him a merciless killer or an honourable thief; you’re guaranteed a experience not to be soon forgotten with Red Dead Redemption 2.
As anticipation for the follow-up to the 2010 epic hits boiling point, it’s impossible not to get swept up in the tidal wave of hype two years in the making. Only a little over two months left to wait until 26 October and it will be here.