One of the most commonly discussed topics regarding RDR2, in lieu of any concrete information, is whether or not we’re looking at a sequel or a prequel in terms of the game’s storyline. A number of clues – including common sense, based on the ending of the previous title – point at the game being a prequel, however a few clues also suggest that a sequel might be possible.
First of all, let’s look at what we know, and be warned, spoilers are ahead.
Red Dead Redemption’s overarching theme was that the time of the Old West is ending, and the next era is pushing in. The cowboy archetype is no more and the days of the outlaws are numbered. With that kind of ending, it’s reasonable to expect the next title to go back in time rather than forward. Beyond this, recent connections between the voice cast from 2010’s RDR and newcomers who listed RDR2 in their portfolios also suggest this.
However, what if Rockstar wove two tales into one game, and players will be leaping in between the times before Red Dead Redemption and after over the course of the missions?
What if the multiple protagonist approach rumored to be coming to the game will see players switch between timelines as well. Some of the clues which, in opposition with the discovery related to the voice actors, suggest the game will be a sequel mainly include the level of technology seen in the release trailer, such as telephone lines.
Red Dead Redemption closed with Jack Marston exacting revenge for the murder of his father and thus becoming an outlaw just like him. At the time, this very much felt like set-up for a sequel where he would be the protagonist, forced to survive in a changing West where the old ways are gone. In contrast with this, many players think Red Dead Redemption 2 will be about the time when Dutch’s old gang was still active and John was running with them. What if both are true?
It’s possible that the two protagonists of the game will be a younger John and an older Jack, and the various missions will time-hop between the two of them. Possibly we’ll see a tale of Jack retracing the steps of his father back when he was at the height of how outlaw career, trying to learn more about his father’s past.
Hopefully in the coming weeks or months Rockstar will be more forthcoming with information on Red Dead Redemption 2. Something along the lines of a story trailer would of course be appreciated and shed some much-needed light on what to expect from the game’s narrative. In the meantime, we’ll make do with speculation.