The makers of ‘Grand Theft Auto’ have a new game on the way, and it’s going to be huge — here’s everything you need to know about ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’

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Rockstar Games

The company that makes “Grand Theft Auto” isn’t known for pumping out games. You may recall that the latest “GTA” game came out in 2013 – that’s the most recent release from Rockstar Games.

But a new game from Rockstar is just on the horizon: “Red Dead Redemption 2.”

The relentlessly gorgeous “Red Dead Redemption 2” is just days away, with a scheduled launch on October 26 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

So, what’s “Red Dead Redemption 2” all about? Is it basically “Grand Theft Horse”? Yes and no! Let’s dive in.


Unlike “GTA,” the “Red Dead” series is set in the American frontier. That means campfires and starry skies.

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Rockstar Games

It also means gunslingers and six-shooters and bandit masks. This isn’t just a tale of America’s Wild West, but a tale of cowboys, robbers, and the evolution of American society.

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Rockstar Games

Rockstar characterizes the game’s story as an “outlaw epic set across the vast and unforgiving American heartland.”

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Rockstar Games

Major pillars of the era, like cross-country railroads, directly play into “Red Dead Redemption 2.”

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Rockstar Games

Specifically, in robberies.

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Rockstar Games

That’s because, in “Red Dead Redemption 2,” you’re part of a gang: the Van der Linde Gang.

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The Van der Linde Gang.
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Rockstar Games

That gang is headed by a major character: Dutch Van der Linde.

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Do you think Dutch Van der Linde is Dutch? Probably.
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Rockstar Games

Unlike the last “GTA,” which had players jumping between one of three playable characters, “Red Dead Redemption 2” stars one playable character: Arthur Morgan.

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Arthur looks like he walked out of a Marlboro ad from the mid-’80s.
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Rockstar Games

The game is a prequel to the previous game in the series. It follows the Van der Linde gang as they “rob, fight and steal their way across the vast and rugged heart of America in order to survive.”

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Rockstar Games

Survival for the Van der Linde gang means robbing, stealing, and staying on the run.

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Rockstar Games

Make no mistake: “Red Dead Redemption 2” is a road trip story. The Van der Linde gang is picking up camp and moving from place to place.

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Rockstar Games

The game is set in 1899, and its setting is vast: the entirety of America — albeit a shrunken, alternate version of the US.

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Rockstar Games

Like the real 1899 American frontier, much of the game’s frontier is vast, empty space. The towns are relatively ramshackle, and look like something out of a John Wayne movie.

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Rockstar Games

There is at least one major city — a version of New Orleans that looks gorgeous:

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Trolleys! Statues! Paved streets! It’s a totally different world.
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Rockstar Games

Since “Red Dead Redemption 2” features a massive open-world environment — and Rockstar Games is notorious for filling its massive open worlds with stuff to do — you can expect an unusually lively world in “Red Dead Redemption 2.”

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Rockstar Games

To that end, every single character in the game’s world can be interacted with, from the stagecoach driver you see above to the Charlie Chaplin-looking fellow seen below.

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Rockstar Games

Some of the best moments of the original “Red Dead Redemption” were being alone in the wilderness, marveling at the lush environment while trotting along on horseback. Those quiet moments will clearly make a return in the sequel.

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Rockstar Games/Take-Two Interactive

If this looks an awful lot like a Western take on the “Grand Theft Auto” formula, you’d be right. The main difference is in tone: “Red Dead” is a more serious game.

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Rockstar Games

The other main difference is nuance: “Red Dead Redemption 2” aims to evolve open world gameplay. Rather than automatically turning to deadly violence, you’re able to threaten or even completely diffuse situations.

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Here’s Arthur Morgan firing into the air — a warning shot rather than directly taking aim.
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Rockstar Games

There’s a ton more to know about “Red Dead Redemption 2” — the game is a truly massive effort from thousands of people working for over many years.

Read more about “Red Dead Redemption 2” right here.

And check out the latest trailer right here: