It seems like a long time ago I was first told about this Western game for my Xbox 360 called Red Dead Redemption. It was explained to me that it was a lot like an old west version of Grand Theft Auto. It had a large map and a sprawling space, but it was not the jumbled traffic mess that GTA, any of its sequels, or any of its clones had (I’ll admit I’m a huge fan of the Saint’s Row series than GTA). And while I heard a lot of great things, it was the inclusion of tying a nun to some train tracks for the inevitable SPLAT that had me hooked.
But with all that inclusion of swearing religious leaders, that dude who had a weird relationship with his horse, and all the other strange and weird side quests in the game, it actually had a complete and riveting story for me. Playing along as former Cowboy Gang Member John Marston as he tried to right the wrongs of his life and rescue his captured family, and then the adventures of his son to avenge his father made not only the story complete, but it lived up to the “Redemption” end of the title as well. It had little if anything to do with its predecessor “Red Dead Revolver” but I didn’t care since I didn’t play that game and this didn’t need any explanation of the previous game to work. The DLC add-on missions added their own flavor, but I never got to play any of those. My system was never set up for downloading and honestly didn’t want to anyway. Heard some crazy stories about being turned into zombies though.
But that was in the past. The game was good. Really good. But it seemed to get lost in the sands of time. As the WWE 2k Games, Saint’s Row, Fallout, and just about any other game made in that time frame, DLC’s would only get you so long before people have done everything and moved on. Sure there was plenty of rumors, but that’s happened a billion times before, rumors. They typically are “ideas” or “works in progress” at best but don’t add up o anything. In my mind, most of the story was told. You found out what happened to everyone involved and things wrapped up nicely.
So here we are EIGHT years later and a sequel is actually announced complete with video to explain just what the next game in Rockstar’s series has in store.
And after years of announcements and what looks like pushbacks, it turns into a mess. The game itself is not “just” a sequel. Both Marston characters look to be involved, but a majority of the story seems is a “prequel” game set in 1899. A good 12 years before a majority of the game it’s based on. It features some of the characters talked about but not really seen in the first game, like gang leader Dutch, and the main character that the story is told through, Arthur Morgan. John Marston’s gang “brother”.
At this point, with the latest game announcements putting this 5 months away, not a huge heck of a lot is known about what you will be doing. The timing of the plot makes me think it is going to be a lot about the Gang’s adventures while they were still going. Leading to possibly the inevitable end that led John Marston on the story seen in the first RDR game so many years ago. A prequel that has taken so long to bring to reality gives the developers a lot of time to fix issues or fill in the gaps left from the original game from 2010. Whether they want to include any of the downloadable extra stuff is up to them.
A big question for me is how are these characters going to fit into the narrative that was already told and fit in with the newer characters and story. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Fails have happened before too. Even though it’s months away from release, the asking price is already at $60 bucks and that is just the normal edition.
The Red Dead games are always a big seller, but like any sequel/prequel, I’m not ready to shell out money just yet. Give it some time to explain things better and see what, if any, plot or game holes emerge closer to release time.