Red Dead Redemption 2 Story Trailer Analysis

The second Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer has dropped, and it has given us a much more detailed glimpse into the world that we will be riding through.

Along with introducing our apparent protagonist named Arthur Morgan, we now have a distinct impression of the man we’ll be playing as, and he doesn’t seem to have the same moral core that endeared us to his predecessor, John Marston.

In this snippet we saw him robbing banks and trains, collecting money on behalf of some ‘ledger’, and intimidating a young man while telling him he’d keep his mother ‘in the black’. The way he says this along with the gleefully wild glint in his eye leads us to think that this threat is very real and that we may be playing as something much closer to a monster than Marston ever approached. This progression would be a much more ambitious effort for Rockstar, having to straddle the line between being fun to play as without being too abhorrent in his ways to turn off fans. If they get this balancing act correct it will provide players of the series a lead for their game who could even surpass Marston in complexity, which is a high bar to shoot for. One which we should be glad they’re going for, as Rockstar’s track record allows them to aim that ambitiously, even if they fall short in the end.

Rockstar’s customary excellence in cutscenes seems very much intact here, providing movie-quality action and visual compositions that legitimately make you wonder how they top themselves with each outing. One set of shots seems almost lifted stylistically from the visually stunning Jesse James movie of 2011, particularly regarding the train heist, and that is a major accomplishment.

Other notables in the trailer include alligators being very much aggressive obstacles in the watery areas as much as bears can be everywhere. Fortunately, a new bow and arrow appear to make hunting them in silence a viable option, for those inclined to sneaky subterfuge. Additionally, we got to see Morgan and a crew wading through chest-high waters en route to a shanty base in a swamp, indicating perhaps outpost capturing type objectives, ala Far Cry. That, or it’s simply a mission unto itself, self-contained and not providing any type of ‘safe-haven’ capturing mechanic. Either way, it looks extremely promising.

The final words of the trailer indicate Dutch from RDR is back in play and looking much younger for it. Whether this means sequel, prequel, or that Dutch is a bookend framing device or something else entirely seems in keeping with the first game’s indications that the wild west was being slowly reined in by encroaching civilisation. Therefore, for there to be more western shenanigans Rockstar had to go backward or sideways, historically speaking.

“This place, ain’t no such thing as civilised” from Morgan seems to sum up his outlook, so far as we get to see it here. There’s no softness, and a willingness to completely justify his murderous actions and extortionist behaviours. It’s definite that the story will flesh him out far more into a robust, deep personality, but even with this taste, it speaks to the intensity that our protagonist is going to bring with him.

Still well away from release day, Rockstar has most definitely whet our appetites for another go around in the west.

Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.