The final game to make OnlySP’s most anticipated games of 2017 is also the most mysterious: Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, which is currently scheduled to launch between September and November on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the long-awaited follow-up to the best Wild West-themed game ever made, and Rockstar’s breakout hit of the last console generation.
The only official information released so far are the few details that can be gleaned from the game’s short reveal trailer, but the leak of an in-progress version of the game’s map earlier in 2016 provided a few additional tidbits.
Notably, the game will be a prequel to its predecessor, taking place during the heyday of the Wild West, rather than recounting its demise in the wake of industrialisation and expansion. Furthermore, the bulk of Red Dead Redemption 2 will be set to the east of Blackwater, the township at the centre of the previous game’s final act.
Although the map is larger this time around, it will be broken up by large bodies of water, which several playable areas being nothing more than islands. This addition suggests that the protagonist, whose identity is currently unknown, will either be able to swim or pilot watercraft. The leaked map also highlights the return of a number of features, including railways, gang hideouts, and homesteads, which will provide travel options and employment for the main character.
The trailer, meanwhile, showcased the return of the wildlife system, hinting that hunting will return as a prominent feature, and powerfully evoked the sense of lonely exploration that also lay at the heart of the previous game.
No concrete story details were revealed, but the most prominent line of dialogue, “when the time comes, you gotta run and don’t look back,” suggests that the protagonist will be escaping from something. Whether that hints at a younger version of John Marston fleeing Dutch’s gang or an entirely new scenario will undoubtedly be clarified as more details about the game emerge.
Finally, shortly before the game’s unveiling, Rockstar filed a trademark for Red Dead Online, suggesting that the multiplayer component of the title will follow that of Grand Theft Auto V and be considered a separate game bundled in with the campaign. Around the same time, Sony announced a partnership with Rockstar that would allow PlayStation gamers timed exclusivity to certain online content and access to Red Dead Redemption on the PlayStation Now streaming service.
Red Dead Redemption seemed to come out of nowhere, a spiritual successor to a little-known and little-loved title that released in 2004, Red Dead Revolver. In the wake of Grand Theft Auto IV, and the return of Rockstar Games to the forefront of the industry, however, it garnered an immense amount of pre-release hype.
Despite a weak second act taking place in Mexico, the game lived up to its potential, marrying a strong story and memorable aesthetic to a trail-blazing world simulation system that continues to be built upon and refined in the present day.
Since 2010 and the release of Red Dead Redemption, the developers at Rockstar San Diego have contributed work to L.A. Noire, Max Payne 3, and Grand Theft Auto V, and have been toiling away at Red Dead Redemption 2 in the background. The first rumblings of the sequel emerged alongside the leaked map, before the game’s official unveiling in October 2016.
More recently, the game was found to be listed for a release on October 2, 2017 at a British online retailer called Littlewoods, though the veracity of the listing has not been confirmed.
Red Dead Redemption took the world by storm on its release in 2010, powerfully evoking the majesty of the Wild West in a way previously unseen in video games. The debut trailer for this successor recaptured that sense of magic, magnifying it with the power of modern consoles, and restating why Rockstar are considered among the best developers in the world.
Although almost no concrete details of the game have been released, Red Dead Redemption 2 earns a place among OnlySP’s most anticipated games of 2017 on the strength of its predecessor, its developer, and its debut trailer.