Everything we know so far about Red Dead Redemption 2
It's now been almost six years since players explored the wild west in Red Dead Redemption. While we've been happy raising hell in Los Santos once again with the numerous launches of GTA V, many are yearning to once again don the cowboy boots and get up to no good in old America's many saloons.
Speculation was rife in 2014, with many expecting a Red Dead Redemption 2 announcement, but alas nothing happened.
Of course, we assume the next game won't actually be called Red Dead Redemption 2 (considering we've had Red Dead Revolver followed by Red Dead Redemption, it'll some variant on 'Red Dead'). Until we have solid confirmation, we’ll stick with RDR2 for now.
Until there’s an official Red Dead Redemption 2 announcement, we’re collating all the news, rumours and speculations in one place - so keep this bookmarked.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Release Date - When is it coming out?
Although there’s been no official word from Rockstar Games as to when the next installation in the Red Dead series will arrive, at least we know it is a case of when and not if.
Back in 2012, Rockstar confirmed it wasn’t totally finished with the Red Dead franchise and had plans to release a new installation in the future.
"We don’t always rush to make sequels but that does not mean that we won’t get back to them eventually. Stay tuned for further announcements about the future of Red Dead series", said Rockstar Games.
Following this, the developer revealed it has been working on "the next version of a famous IP" since June 2010. Of course, this could refer to an entirely separate game series, but seeing as Red Dead Redemption was released in May 2010, it would make sense for Rockstar to start development on the next game just after release.
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Red Dead Redemption 2 News - What do we know so far?
Red Dead Redemption 2 map
A recent leak seemed to provide the map for the forthcoming Red Dead Redemption 2. The image was posted to NeoGAF before very quickly being taken down, but not before being screengrabbed and shared all over the place.
A closer look at the map reveals Great Plains and multiple Caravan camps as potential locations we'll be visiting. There are also several islands located amongst the rivers and large expanses of water, let's hope the missions centred on these aren't as tiresome as when John Marsden had to cross ravines to new areas on the map in Redemption.
Sources at Techradar later claimed the leak to be real, citing its own sources.
Take-Two drops some Red Dead Redemption 2 hints
During the Take-Two earnings call, the publisher provided a glimpse of their line-up for the next fiscal year and beyond.
Firstly, the publisher confirmed a brand new entry into the NBA and WWE 2K series, which won't come as much of a surprise. However, Take-Two also gave us a few hints as to what else is in the pipeline, including new IP and new releases from "proven franchises", which obviously includes Red Dead.
"Users can expect new annual releases from our NBA and WWE 2K series, as well as exciting, yet to be announced titles from other popular franchises."
"Looking further ahead, we have a robust pipeline of titles in development, including ground breaking new intellectual properties, and new releases from our proven franchises. For example, we can confirm that 2K and Gearbox software will develop an all new Borderlands game built specifically for next-gen consoles."
In addition, we have numerous unannounced titles in development, as well as innovative offerings designed to maximize player engagement and drive recurring consumer spending."
We have more to announce about our future line-up in the coming months."
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Rockstar San Diego looking to hire 37 new staff
In September 2014, Rockstar San Diego listed a total of 37 mew job openings, strengthening the idea the developer is building up to launch an as yet unannounced project for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Of course, the job listings didn't indicate which game these new recruits would be working on, but we'd put money on it being the next Red Dead title.
Red Dead Redemption 2 to be announced within the year?
According to Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Baird Equity Research, Red Dead Redemption 2 will be announced by the end of 2014, along with the GTA 5 PC edition.
"Take Two continues to produce some of the highest-quality console and PC games, which we believe should transition well on next-gen platforms," said Sebastian in the 2014 Video Game Industry Predictions and Q4 Results Preview.
"We expect product announcements over the next year such as extending GTA V to other platforms (e.g. PCs, next-gen consoles), the next Red Dead, etc., to help improve revenue and earnings visibility."
"We also believe the next Red Dead game is in the works potentially for a 2014 launch."
Although this is far from official confirmation, it has ramped up the hype ahead of a potential 2014 announcement.
Red Dead Redemption 2: Name
We definitely know the next Red Dead title will not be called Red Dead Redemption 2. The original Red Dead, released in 2004 was called Red Dead Revolver. This was then followed in 2010 by Red Dead Redemption.
Rumour has it that the next game will be called Red Dead Rebellion, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Red Dead Redemption 2: What we’d like to see
Until Rockstar or Take Two eventually provides us with some official details surrounding the next entry in the Red Dead series, here are a few thoughts as to what we’d like to see:
1. Increased protagonist depth
The Red Dead Redemption storyline was one of the best and came complete with a cast of amazing characters and a rather poignant end. However, sometimes we weren’t convinced by the protagonist John Marston.
For someone who is supposed to be the most fearsome gunslinger of the Wild Wild West, Marston isn’t exactly all he’s cracked up to be. He never seemed to quite portray the right emotions during cut scenes and despite committing various crimes and atrocities managed to constantly dwell on his supposed strong moral fibres.
The Red Dead Redemption 2 protagonist needs to be a fear-inducing, gun slinging cowboy of the bad ass kind. Make him stand out against the various other cowboys in the Wild West, make him count.
Either that or introduce conversation options similar to that of Mass Effect to let you choose your character’s moral compass. Of course, we don’t want to miss out on the cinematic quality that Rockstar is so good at, but it could make for a very interesting Wild West adventure if you had a little more control.
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2. Similarly beautiful environments
No-one can deny the sheer beauty of the Red Dead Redemption environments. We rarely found ourselves resorting to the Quick Travel feature, instead opting to traverse the sprawling desert landscapes, taking in the scenery, the wildlife and the stunning sunsets, even if the destination was the other side of the vast map.
Any sequel (or prequel) game has a lot to live up to if it aims to have the same effect on gamers, but that’s not to say there aren’t some improvements to be made.
We thought the cities in Red Dead Redemption, and Blackwater in particular, were a little disappointing. Beyond the cinema screens, brothels and stores, there wasn’t much to entertain, forcing you to spend the majority of your time in the desert on horseback.
Through the most part of Red Dead Redemption you are building up an image of Blackwater as a bustling city that claims to be on the fringe of modernisation, but in reality hardly lived up to our expectations.
Red Dead Rebellion could be set further on in time than Redemption, which is centred around 1911. The next game could well focus on a time period where an industrial revolution is threatening to wipe out the Wild West way of life.
Either that or Rebellion could focus on a time where the cowboys really were entirely relevant, giving Rockstar the opportunity to explore the Wild West in its heydays rather than as it draws to a close.
3. Create a prequel
Rockstar Games may well opt to do a Red Dead Redemption prequel with the next game. Marston and the other characters in the game continually refer to Marston’s past where he ran in Bill Williamson and Dutch van der Lind’s bandit gang.
It could be extremely fun to play as a younger Marston who is a notorious criminal in the Red Dead world. Imagine the over the top, GTA-esque missions that could feature in such a game.
John Marston has been one of the more celebrated videogame protagonists, so it would make sense for Rockstar Games to hold on to him for just a little while longer.
4. Improve the control system
Similar to the improvements made between GTA 4 and the latest GTA 5, the next Red Dead game could do with some mechanic improvements.
Cover mechanics were a little sluggish at best, although they did allow you to take a breather in between shooting, but was greatly improved over the original.
The horse animations were fantastic, and possibly the best in any game, but could also use some tweaking. The controls were too loose, which often made guiding your faithful four-legged friend a little clumsy.
We particularly hated the fact you had to repeatedly tap A or X to run fast when riding or on foot, and the fact making our way across the map caused us all to get hand cramps.
With GTA 5 showing great improvements in mechanics, Rockstar Games has no excuse not to transfer them to the next game in the Red Dead series.
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5. More varied missions
Like the GTA games, the mission routine of travelling to a location with some conversation, action and then go home again does get a little tedious at times. Rockstar could introduce a little diversity with the way missions work and the objectives presented within them.
The vast Red Dead environment lends itself to all kinds of side missions. Apparently there were around 200 random missions to encounter in Red Dead Redemption, but they were all a little too similar to stand out.
What about train heists? Or sneak attacks on unaware Pinkerton agents? Or the ability to break free posse members from the Sherriff’s office?
Red Dead Redemption was so close to perfection, but if the missions were a little more eventful and the side missions characters more developed and unique, the next game may well be totally mind-blowing.
6. Introduce single player posses
Building on the previous point, single player would be greatly enhanced by the ability to enlist in-game characters to form a posse.
The online portion of Red Dead Redemption allowed you to join with your friends in a posse to attack competitors with, and was often recreated within single-player missions.
However, the mechanic could be made more of in future single-player campaigns, especially with a type of posse list that includes anyone you’ve met along your travels.
Say if your relationship with any specific character is high enough, you could enlist them to fight with you whenever you needed them. The more you use each, the stronger they become, even perhaps levelling up different abilities according to your relationship with them.
Again, this is taking a few hints from the Mass Effect series, but could lend itself to interesting side missions, including breaking any captured allies out of the jail or sheriff’s office as mentioned previously.
What would you like to see in the next Red Dead game? Let us know in the comments below.