Rockstar Games put the “tease” back in “teaser trailer” today with the first official glimpse of their recently announced Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer. The minute-long video is short on details, offering only hints at what’s to come, but the set-up is rendered in an absolutely breathtaking manner—giving fans a taste of just how amazing the game will be. Check out the video followed by a scene-by-scene breakdown of each shot in the teaser below:
The trailer begins with the familiar Rockstar Games logo—a welcome sight for all gamers!
The video begins with an eye-poppingly beautiful series of scenes that show off the full power of the current-gen consoles, with majestic views of a land largely untouched by man.
This is likely the Heartland, the center of April map leak, confirmed to be in the game by Rockstar’s official statements over the past few days. The leak suggested that the game would be set further east than Red Dead Redemption, so expect to see areas that feel more like the Midwest and Mountain West than the first game’s buttes and painted deserts.
This scene in particular feels indicative of the shift eastward. This lush valley looks like something out of Colorado, and it’s proof that while the scenery may be slightly different, it will still have the potential to turn heads with some shockingly rendered natural beauty.
If the leaked map is accurate—and we haven’t seen anything to lead us to believe it isn’t, this is quite possibly the area known as Big Valley. It may also be The Grizzlies, which we’d guess is the game’s take on the Rocky Mountains.
There’s also the possibility that this area is Tall Trees, one of the few locations on the leaked map that were also in the first game. The atmosphere does feel slightly different than the more snowy and mountainous locale, but maybe that’s just a byproduct of the visual upgrade.
Not a lot to say here, other than “Hot damn.” That is one gorgeous night sky.
There’s a chance this is the Great Plains region from the first game, as that’s one of the other areas the leak said would be returning. It could just as easily be the new map’s largest and central-most region, known as The Heartlands. Given that Rockstar has already checked this region by name, it’s likely to figure heavily into the story, at least in the early chapters, much in the way that Hennigan’s Stead did in the first game.
Also curious is the deer strapped to the top of the horse. Is this just a sign of the variety we’ll see among NPCs, or will the first game’s hunting mechanic be expanded to allow you (or require you) to bring your kills back to town to sell.
The canoe could be one of the biggest teases in the whole trailer. Fans who saw the leaked map were quick to point out that some areas were surrounded by water, and the first game didn’t feature any swimming mechanic. It’s entirely possible Red Dead Redemption 2 will allow you to travel by water, either by paddling your own canoe or by chartering a Native guide to take you where you want to go. It’d certainly be an interesting addition either way.
We move from the badlands of the Old West, inching towards civilization—again rendered with the same amazing levels of detail we’ve come to expect from Rockstar Games.
Trains are definitely back, which means plenty of opportunities to strap some innocent bystander to the railroad tracks. Whether or not the achievement you got for doing so, Dastardly, will be back in some form remains to be seen.
We also see a herd of buffalo much more detailed, and quite possibly more populated, than any of the wildlife in the first game. The opportunities for interacting with the natural world seem to be greatly expanded by the power of the new consoles.
A stagecoach passes to reveal Worth’s General Store—the first signs of civilization and what is sure to be a destination to gear up before setting out on your adventure. While this is just a small scene in a trailer, there are more people in this town than we ever saw in the Red Dead Redemption. Perhaps the move back east (and the more powerful hardware) will allow for more bustling cities and towns.
A cowpoke saddles up to herd some cattle. Will players be able to do the same? Red Dead Redemption fans will remember that there was a surprisingly fleshed out system for riding alongside the herd and driving them where they needed to go. While it wasn’t the most thrilling gameplay, it did help flesh out the world, and it’ll be interesting to see if Rockstar adds even more depth. Given that an online mode akin to GTA Online is coming, maybe players will even be able to team up to protect their herd from smugglers.
Another sign that life in settlements will feel much more vibrant this time around. There’s also that scrappy dog barking at what appear to be some turkeys. In Red Dead Redemption, Marston had a dog that helped him hunting in a few missions near the end of the game. Will we be able to get a more fleshed-out canine companion this time around?
These darkened oilfields are ominous. They’re far more built up than the first game’s oil drilling settlement of Plainview. (They’re also slightly more on fire.) While Redemption did borrow that name—Plainview—from There Will Be Blood‘s oilman antihero, this scene certainly looks more in line with the tone of Coen brothers film. Maybe the oil business will play a bigger role as a side effect of the move east.
An unknown narrator warns, “Listen to me: when the time comes, you gotta run and don’t look back. This is over.” Who’s talking, and who is this silhouetted figure? Is that our protagonist? Rockstar appears to be cagey about who we’ll be playing as. Could it be a younger John Marston, as was rumored heavily before the official announcement? Would Rockstar really be so bold as to make a prequel with a “2” tacked onto the end? Looks like we’ll have to wait and see.
If we are stepping back into Marston’s boots, it’s a fair bet that these riders are Dutch’s gang, the bank-robbing bandits he ran with before he tried to turn over a new leaf in the first game. That would make Bill Williamson and Dutch van der Linde safe bets for recurring characters. Then again, this could all be an elaborate misdirect.
One thing’s for sure, though…
Whoever they are, the horizon they’re riding towards is filled with the kind of sights and sounds that only Rockstar can deliver.
The trailer closes out with the new logo and the promise of a fall 2017 release date.
Source: Rockstar Games YouTube Channel