At just over a minute, the teaser for “Red Dead Redemption 2” brings more questions than answers, but leaves no doubt that this is Rockstar’s most beautiful game yet; the buffalo and the steam engine train stuck out particularly to me. That said, what is this game about and when does it take place?
The one line of dialogue from the trailer is: “Listen to me. When the time comes, you gotta run and don’t look back. This is over.”
First, let’s delve into the context. This game could have been called “Red Dead Revenge” or some other phrase with an RDR acronym; similar to how the original game “Red Dead Revolver” features an entirely different cast of characters and time era from its sequel, “Red Dead Redemption.” However, the reason behind calling this game “Red Dead Redemption 2” stems from the fact that this is a continuation of the “Redemption” story.
Spoiler alert: John Marston, the main playable character, is killed by the U.S. government at the end of “Red Dead Redemption” and his son, Jack Marston, gets some bittersweet revenge in the final mission. Knowing this, it is clear that Jack will be on the run after killing those federal marshals.
In “Red Dead Redemption,” the Wild West is being tamed and John Marston is believed to be one of the last outlaws. Although John retired from being a criminal to own a farm and raise a family, the law could not let such an offender go free.
The Death of the Wild West
Therefore, it is safe to assume that Jack Marston’s life will be plagued by even tighter federal policing and even darker punishments for outlaws such as himself. If “Red Dead Redemption” is about the decline of the Wild West, “Red Dead Redemption 2” is about the death of it. Expect an even darker story for Jack Marston and for the setting to be both simultaneously advanced and ravaged by the incoming federal pressure—the brief scene with the wild buffalo and the steam engine underlines this theme.
Additionally, the dialogue in the trailer further underlines the themes of brutality and finality. In fact, it sounds as if Jack Marston is an old man at some point in this story. I would not be surprised if he is speaking this line to his own son in order to break the cycle of violence and redemption in the Marston family.