The rumours are coming in thick and fast of late, of a return to the world of cowboys, shoot-outs and bandits. Red Dead could soon be returning to the forefront of the gaming world having taken it by storm nearly six years ago. Question is, will it be a sequel or a prequel? Said rumours suggest a prequel of some sort … but could a sequel work too?
Now obviously there’s spoilers in this article, but let’s face it. If you haven’t played Read Dead Redemption right through to the end, then you really shouldn’t be reading this article at all until you do. If so, why the hell haven’t you played it yet! Stop Reading this and get to it! Anyway, you have been warned…
Still here? Right, let’s get down to it.
Red Dead Redemption as a prequel makes sense. You’ll probably go back a few years to see the early life of our grand hero John Marston, before the threats to his family (perhaps before his family even exists) and delve into his criminal past. It might put a more darker tone on the character, less a vigilante and more an outright villain, until he sees the error of his ways by the end. We all loved his progression during the first game, so a chance to get more time with him would certainly please the fanbase. It’s all logical.
However, there’s just as many logical ways a sequel could work too, the obvious of which would be following the future of John’s son, Jack. Cast your mind back and you’ll recall Jack as a 19 year old at the end of RDR, a playable character in his own right with a future that’s entirely uncertain.
Jack is the spitting image of his father, right down to a few scars he recieved thanks to his run-in with a certain Grizzly. If Rockstar do go down that route, Jack could be a vehicle for the same kind of story-arc John himself went through during the events of RDR. Given it’s been a little while between sequels, the early missions could retread certain plot points or story beats to remind returning players (and fill in new ones) of what came before. Plus, a somewhat familiar face on the front cover and maybe a few flashbacks would tied things together rather nicely.
From there, Jack’s story could go off in an entirely different direction, and that comes down to his age. At 19, Jack is on the cusp of World War 1, a changing world around him full of more dangerous weapons and enemies. Later in life, we could find an older Jack surrounded by WW2. That itself could add a ton of new assets, ideas and potential stories as an older Jack comes to grips with a world he never thought he’d see. Then again, that might push Rockstar into direct competition with many 1st person shooters that have told just as many stories within that era.Rockstar could also just as easily carry on the story directly from where RDR ends too, a direct continuation that begins meer moments after we last saw Jack. One of the rumours suggests a world map that has a few familiar places surrounded by a much broader world off to the East. Expanding into
new territories makes sense, but it’s reintroducing a number of familiar faces from the opening scenes that would set the tone going forward.
While I’m thinking aloud, just gonna throw this out there, if RDR does go backwards compatible on Xbox One, players could even transfer certain content from the first game to the second. Maybe that’s stretching things a little, but Microsoft could use that as a potential marketing strategy to bring in some punters, besides the fact that Rockstar want to reward returning fans.There’s one other possibility in all of this, something a little out of left field but still entirely possible. You may remember John and his wife briefly mentioning the supposed death of an unnamed daughter, who we never saw but were told had died from a severe type of fever. Thing is, the tombstone she was ‘buried’ in had no defining marks or names written on it and supposedly she was still alive around 1906, before eventually passing away. That’s all according to dialogue during a handful of missions … but what if she’s still alive?
What if John was hiding a secret the entire time, that his daughter was alive and well somewhere off in another part of the world? Worse still, what if John wasn’t even aware that she was alive after all? That leads to the possibility that this character could either become the main character of her own tale (and I’d take a kickass female lead within the RDR world any day of the week) or perhaps a villain?Unbeknownst to Jack, who’s trying to piece his life back together within the shadows, his sister could turn into an antagonist, leading him back into the world of deadly missions and crimes of the heart as he tries to discover the truth once and for all. A tale of family betrayal? I’d get behind that, and it’s the kind of tale I’m sure Rockstar could pull off.
Whatever way Read Dead Redemption arrives back into our lives, you can be sure it’ll have just as big an impact as its last outing. With a greater emphasis on multiplayer and making use of multiple leads in Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar could just as easily implement these ideas into the wild west, with a generous dose of twists. We’ll know for sure by E3, if the rumours turn out to be true…