Red Dead Redemption 2 Trailer Breakdown: Dutch Van Der Linde Gang, John Marston, And More
By Matt Espineli and Alessandro Fillari | @afillari on
After nearly eight months since Red Dead Redemption 2's previous trailer, a new one has finally been revealed by Rockstar Games. This time around there's greater focus on the game's narrative, giving us more insight into the inner turmoil of new protagonist Arthur Morgan, as well as information about the Van der Linde gang.
As previously revealed, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to the original RDR. In a press release, Rockstar wrote that the game tells the "story of outlaw Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang as they rob, fight and steal their way across the vast and rugged heart of America in order to survive."
The latest trailer makes it feel like the end of the road for outlaws, who seem to feel their time has come. The era of the Wild West was very much on its way out by the year 1899, which is the time period in which the game takes place. In addition, there were a multitude of narrative and mechanical elements teased about the game, along with the perhaps unsurprising confirmation that RDR protagonist John Marston--another member of the Van der Linde gang--will make an appearance. Here are 11 fascinating details that we caught from the latest Red Dead Redemption II trailer, including Marston and one aspect this game will apparently reveal about him.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is set to release on October 26 for PS4 and Xbox One. However, as with the first game, Rockstar hasn't announced any plans for a PC version. Hopefully, as with Grand Theft Auto V, we'll eventually see the game also make its way to PC and Steam. As for the release date itself, it's been delayed in the past, but Rockstar parent company Take-Two has said it is "confident" that the game won't have another setback.
Did you spot any interesting details from the trailer that you don't see here? Let us know in the comments below. For more about what we want from the game, you can see our feature on the 11 things we want to see from the game.
In past trailers and promotional artwork, there were strong indications that Red Dead Redemption II was going to be a prequel. With this latest trailer, it turns out that's true; the game takes place in 1899, 12 years before the events of the first game. The game's full synopsis is as follows:
America, 1899. The end of the wild west era has begun as lawmen hunt down the last remaining outlaw gangs. Those who will not surrender or succumb are killed. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal divisions threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.
Probably Not Bonnie
It appears that a character from the last trailer that we suspected to be a young Bonnie MacFarlane may not actually be who we think she is. In fact, she appears to be a member of the Van der Linde gang or at least an ally of sorts. Her name is Sadie Adler and she seems to be a close confidante of protagonist Arthur Morgan.
Bill Williamson In All His Glory
Red Dead Redemption 2's second trailer showed a silhouette of a man we could only imagine was Bill Williamson, a member of the Van der Linde gang that you kill early on in the previous game. You can see Bill several times throughout the trailer wearing his trademark hat.
What Towns Look Like In-Game
There's a shot of a town where you can see normal inhabitants walking around and going about their business. Past trailers gave some indication of what town life would look like, but they mostly appeared cinematic and scripted. This glimpse in particular shows a more natural version of that, and likely what we can expect when we walk through a town in-game.
Potential Side Activities
Given this is an open-world game, there's going to be a fair number of side activities to participate in. One shot gave us a glimpse at what seems to be a carnival-esque show you can possibly attend, complete with a fire-breathing act. Another shot later on shows a fight club of sorts, which could hint at the inclusion of a more nuanced melee combat system.
A Shot From The Beginning
The game's official synopsis details that Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are on the run after a robbery goes wrong. The shot above could potentially be from that same robbery early on in the game's story. The synopsis states the robbery takes place in the town of Blackwater, a location that fans will recognize from the first game. However, there appears to be a streetcar in the background, which wasn't around in Blackwater in Red Dead Redemption 1. While it's possible tech like this could've just been added in, it does stir up questions of the sorts of locations you'll visit in the sequel. If not Blackwater, what town could this be? At the very least, the shot shows one of the most industrialized looking towns we've seen in the series thus far.
Another important detail to mention is that the robbery itself could be linked directly to the Blackwater Massacre, a bloody gunfight mentioned in the previous game. This is further supported by Red Dead Redemption 2's time period, which aligns with the date the massacre was said to take place.
"Brothers Make Mistakes"
It's clear that Arthur Morgan is a conflicted character. This is alluded to in the conversation he's having with a fellow gang member, who tells him that "brothers make mistakes." This could be a direct reference to whatever caused the bank robbery to go wrong early in the game. But more importantly, the line appears to be a potential root of the disillusionment that Dutch's gang starts to feel after witnessing his fall into madness. Arthur's struggle with his ideals and loyalty to the gang that raised him could be the major narrative element that drives a wedge between Dutch and his other gang members.
Government Men and a Possible Young Edgar Ross
As we can see from the shot above of who we can assume to be the primary antagonist of the game, the go-to look for the baddies you're fighting appear to be red vests and bowler hats. It should come as no surprise given how this fashion completely contrasts the rugged clothing of the game's protagonists. It's worth noting that the man to the left of the antagonist looks very much like a young Edgar Ross, the main antagonist of the first game.
A Familiar Face
Towards the end of the trailer, we see a tense standoff with what appears to be government agents. Arthur and the others watch from afar as they bring out a hostage--who turns out to be John Marston. Placed in a chokehold, we see the lead character of Red Dead Redemption in his younger days. Interestingly enough, we also see some fresh stitching on his face showing his familiar scars. So we may very well see how exactly he got them.
For years we have often speculated upon the lineup of the Van der Linde gang and what members comprised its main roster. Many missions from the previous game gave us a general idea, but the new entry seems to give us a solid look at who was a part of the gang at its peak. So far, we know its key members include Dutch, Arthur Morgan, Bill Williamson, and John Marston. But from what we've seen in the trailer, there's a fair number more members that the game will likely touch upon.
A Younger, More Desperate Dutch
A line that stands out is when Dutch says: "Stay strong. Stay with me." It's clear that the game's plot is going to take the Van der Linde gang into some dire situations. But from this line comes a shot that indicates that the gang isn't just filled with outlaws, but other outsiders as well. If there's one thing that seems likely based on what we know about Dutch, it's that those who follow him are probably going to get killed. After all, Dutch seems to be at his most desperate during the events of this game, fighting to preserve his outlaw way of life while trying to achieve his dream of a "savage utopia." The events on display draw strong indications that this will be the game that shows how his desperation caused him to descend into madness, and how it disillusioned his closest members.