Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer breakdown: Returning characters, heists, story, and more

So much to pick apart in a minute and a half.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most anticipated games of 2018. The sequel to Rockstar's beloved western has been brewing for many years and players are excited to see what Rockstar has to offer in a post-Grand Theft Auto V world.

After its reveal last October, the studio has been incredibly quiet regarding the game and all we've gotten since then was news of a delay to 2018 and a few screenshots. Today we got a gorgeous new trailer with gameplay captured on PlayStation 4 filled to the brim with details compared to the first trailer, so we should probably pick it apart.

Eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed things like the inclusion of characters from the original game like Dutch and Bill Williamson but there's quite a bit more to this trailer than may meet the eye.

The return of Dutch Van der Linde and Bill Williamson:

This trailer finally confirmed the big rumor circulating for nearly a year: Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel that focuses on Dutch's gang. Folks who played the original game will know that is where John Marston spent most of his life, riding with the most dangerous gang of outlaws in the wild west. Marston spends most of the game hunting down his former gang members to redeem himself and get his family back from the government.


One of those gang members is the dastardly Bill Williamson, the man who shoots Marston at the very start of the game and holds down Fort Mercer until you storm with a Gatling gun. Both Dutch and Bill are seen in the trailer (Bill is on the left of the three men walking away from the burning building and Dutch is the mustached man in the gif above) and it's likely Marston and Javier Escuella will make appearances as well.

Main character Arthur Morgan is an unhinged outlaw:

Our new protagonist Arthur Morgan is a member of Dutch's gang in this Red Dead Redemption prequel but he isn't as noble or respectable as John Marston. The man is unhinged and a bit psychotic. He's aggressive and menacing.

Near the start of the trailer, we see Morgan talking to the son of a mourning widow. "When your mother's finished mourning your father, I'll keep her in black… on your behalf." He then shows a bit of a smile. This is probably implying that he's going to make this family's life hell and kill the son once the mother goes through the various stages of grief.


We also see that he isn't afraid to use force to get what he wants and will strong arm anyone who gets in his way.


Native Americans make a return, will potentially aid you:

In Red Dead Redemption, John Marston encountered Native Americans and usually tried to defend them. It looks as if they'll play a large role in the prequel, aiding Dutch's gang and Arthur Morgan by giving them weapons like bow and arrows.


Heists will return:

In Grand Theft Auto V, the story centered around various heists which served as the game's major set pieces. It saw players robbing big banks, invading government buildings, hitting armored trucks, and more. The heists involved extensive planning where players would have to plan out how they wanted to approach the mission, get the equipment they'd need, and gather a crew. Heists also moved into the online mode and were a major success for Rockstar and it appears they'll be returning in Red Dead Redemption 2 to some extent.

Throughout the trailer, we hear Morgan constantly talking about money and interrogating people for what they owe him. We also see Morgan potentially holding up a train (or multiple trains) as well as blowing open safety deposit boxes and safes in some sort of vault.


A scrappy female character unafraid of getting her hands dirty:

One criticism Rockstar has faced over the years is their lack of female protagonists. In Red Dead Redemption, we had Bonnie McFarland but she ultimately ended up in a situation where John had to rescue her. RDR 2 looks to change that by adding a female character who is willing to get into fights with men and even tags along with Dutch's gang if the first trailer was anything to go by.

It's unclear if she'll be playable or how much she'll be in the game as she isn't on the cover of the game like the other members of Dutch's gang. Grand Theft Auto V had three playable characters, could this unnamed female character be one of three playable protagonists in Red Dead Redemption 2 along with Arthur Morgan?


New gameplay mechanics and features; Ability to walk in water, dual wielding, and more.

Finally, Rockstar has created some really great gameplay with the shooting mechanics in games like Max Payne 3 and driving at high speeds in Grand Theft Auto. Red Dead Redemption was a well-made game but it had some flaws in the gameplay department.

If you stepped a few feet in the water, you'd automatically die and the shooting consisted of mostly auto-aiming at people which could get old after a while. A lot has changed since the release of RDR 1 in 2010 and it looks like Rockstar will be making big changes.

  • You can finally walk through water without drowning even though your knees are above water.


  • You can dual wield revolvers like in Max Payne.


  • Arthur Morgan will have a variety of outfits to wear.


  • Lassoing horses and other potential ranch activities.


  • It also appears that there we will be doing some hunting once again.


That's all we were able to gather from this Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer, did you notice anything we didn't? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to also check out our other article which compares some of the land we see in the new trailer with the geography of a leaked map from early 2016.

Red Dead Redemption 2 drops in Spring 2018 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.