Red Dead Redemption 2: Who’s Back

The second trailer showed off some familiar faces

Rockstar Games recently delivered the second trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 and now we finally have some idea of what to expect in terms of story. We have a face and a name to attach to our protagonist, for example, and a vague idea of what the plot will be. However, the most concrete info the footage, which was full of scripted events, could give us concerns the game’s characters.

The original Red Dead Redemption introduced gamers to a varied cast of well rounded and believable characters back in 2010 and it would be a shame not to see some familiar faces returning for the prequel (because we now know it is, in fact, a prequel). While the trailer switching between scenes rapidly and being pretty disjointed kept things somewhat mysterious, certain names were dropped and some faces were left recognizable.

While most of the cast of Red Dead Redemption 2 seems to be made up of new arrivals – or at least that’s what Rockstar wants us to think – we now know for certain that two characters of the previous game will be appearing in some capacity, and both of them are quite prominent ones. However this time the tables have turned.

In Red Dead Redemption, John Marston is sent after his former gang members, and two of his targets are Bill Williamson and gang leader Dutch van der Linde. There are others, of course, but these two are the ones who appear in the upcoming title’s trailer, and their mere presence indicates the title will be a prequel, because they wouldn’t be able to show up in a sequel.

Dutch plays a prominent role in the trailer, having his name dropped, getting a few seconds of full-face screentime and appearing in multiple scenes. This indicates that he will play a central role in the game’s storyline, especially considering protagonist Arthur Morgan will be a member of his gang during Dutch’s active years. We’ll likely get some insight into how the gang operated before it was broken up. We might see what an idealistic, non-disillusioned Dutch was like before descending into hatred and madness. In fact, we may very well witness said descent from the front row, so to speak.

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Even with this second trailer, we don’t know any real details about the storyline, so we don’t know if there will be any twists forcing Arthur and Dutch to switch allegiances, however the trailer indicates the two will act as allies at least for a while. As a member of Dutch’s gang, Arthur will interact with the leader on a regular basis.

The other returning character was only realized once the initial excitement wore off and fans initiated the obligatory frame-by-frame analysis phase of a trailer’s lifecycle. In one particular scene, even if only for a split second, another familiar face appears – Bill Williamson. Bill is John’s first target in Red Dead Redemption, and by the events of that game has founded his own gang.

Bill was a member of the military before joining Dutch, and his leader’s gradual descent into madness had the same effect on him, leading him to become a particularly cruel and violent outlaw, not hesitating even for a moment to kill his former friend and comrade.

Whether any other characters from the previous game will make a return is anyone’s guess. As was expected, Rockstar has retreated into its turtle-shell of radio silence, having fed the hunger fans with a juicy trailer for the time being. As time between now and the Spring 2018 release window decreases we can expect more info to arise – maybe including whether or not John will actually be in the game?

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Dutch van der Linde

Bill Williamson