In the era of sequels, prequels and epic sagas, Red Dead Redemption 2 is still a mystery. We go through the legends that surround this title and what can we expect from Rockstar Games.
We are entering into wild lands here, so be careful. The world of leaks and rumors is infinite and prone to future disappointments… Before taking anything for granted, remember that it could well be a simple falsehood. Nonetheless, when we talk about highly expected titles such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and especially to the amount of leaks and conversations around them that have been dripping during the last months, one feels the need to put two and two together and try to unveil the possible truth behind it. Or at least answer the question that everyone is asking: can we expect a second installment to the franchise anytime soon, pretty please?
Let’s start with the official bits.
Rockstar’s secrecy and their ability to keep their projects hidden from unwanted eyes is well-known in the industry. They own that agency and it has worked good for them in the past. Red Dead Redemption is probably one of their biggest hits to date and it would only make sense if they eventually would tackle again the world they created. A fresh chapter for the new generation of consoles would be completely welcome, almost logical. Gamers and critics would love to see this happen.
Although Red Dead Redemption 2 has never been officially confirmed by anyone in Rockstar, Take-Two’s CEO Strauss Zelnick mentioned back in 2014 that the first installment was part of a “permanent franchise.” He put the game on a par with the Bioshock and Borderlands sagas, mentioning that all of them were likely to expand in the future with new entries due to the incredible quality of their stories and gameplay.
The E3 2015 Leak
Just prior to the E3 show of last year, a mysterious user called AnonDN1978 appeared on Reddit and decided to spread some news, free like a bird. Allegedly a former Rockstar developer, this outlaw-like figure confirmed that the game is coming, that it is called Red Dead Redemption 2: Legends of the West and that it is not a sequel but a prequel.
According to him, the story is to be set 12 years prior to the events of the first game in a setting already familiar to old fans. Players would be able to play three characters: Seth and Irish, two charismatic guys already seen in Red Dead Redemption and a third one, customizable and completely new. He also confirmed a whole set of features aimed to make our experience more unique (different outfits, houses, horses, etc) and talked about a total of 30 missions for the main campaign. Last but not least, he revealed a system of gangs that we could join with or defy during our adventures. This would also include joining the law enforcement of certain towns, bringing different outcomes for abilities and missions, depending on the chosen side.
AnonDN1978 mentioned that Rockstar would use E3 to announce all of this. Guess what, E3 2015 happened and Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the big absentees. The studio never confirmed or refute any of these statements, on the other hand.
The LinkedIn Leaked Profile
Back in March this year another leak appeared, this time on LinkedIn. There is nothing wrong with updating your portfolio there to lure prospective employers but beware of the masses of people scanning the wide web. Specially if they are hungry for news. In this case, a Senior 3D Artist working for Rockstar San Diego listed the plethora of cool projects he had been working on. One of them was Red Dead Redemption 2.
The timeline could include both the development and shipment of the original game but could also hint at Red Dead Redemption 2 being developed behind the scenes during the last years. Another visit of this LinkedIn profile tells now a different story so one wonders whether this was a huge slip-up or just a typo.
Getting an “Early Access” Map
The last addition to the list came this week when a picture of a map appeared on NeoGAF. It was taken down very quickly but an independent source confirmed to Techradar in the meantime that the map was real and a very recent art direction model. This source also mentioned that Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel and will take players further to the East without forgetting the old familiar places. Proof of this is the presence, in the bottom left corner of the image, of the Great Plains and Blackwater city, which featured heavily in the first game. The absence of the railway through these lands clearly speaks in favor of those prequel statements.
Another interesting bit that raises questions is the inclusion of islands since Red Dead Redemption did not include swimming or boat sailing among its list of features. And if you are into Mafia 3, another title to be published as well by Take-Two later this year, then you may know that the story is set in the fictional location of New Bordeaux. Which is a place that also appears in this map, on the bottom right. If this is a crossover between these two big franchises it could be very juicy to see the extend and depth of it.
What do you reckon, all things considered? Shall we all make ourselves hopeful for the future release of Red Dead Redemption 2 or do you think it is way too early to sing victory?