As you may have noticed, during my time off I've been playing a lot of Red Dead Redemption 2.
I talked about it a bit at launch and it continues to live up to and exceed all my expectations. It really is a masterpiece.
Today I'm going to talk about the story and as I've progressed quite far into it I'll put a big spoiler warning here and tell you all to come back when you reach chapter six in the game.
Still with me? Good.
Boy do I miss the simple, easy life living down by the water in chapter three! Life was, by comparison, so much better back at that camp. Sure we'd lost some men at Blackwater and had been chased out of our last camp but it was not too bad at all just outside of Rhodes. Even when Sean got shot down in the street things weren't too bad.
By the time we were hiding out in the bayou the creeping dread started in on me though.
Bear in mind I've not finished the game yet, I'm in what I believe to be the final chapter of the story and won't spoil anything beyond the end of Chapter Five.
It was the final mission of four where everything went well and truly to shit though; a bank heist in St. Denis gone wrong, betrayed by an unknown informant, Hosea, our moral compass and the other-father figure for at least Arthur and John executed, John captured, poor young Lenny shot dead during a daring escape... all this before being ship wrecked and stranded on an island.
I could go on but it would just end up being my recounting the harrowing time the gang has had of late.
Amazingly we made it off Guarma without anyone else dying.
Right now Dutch is starting to lose it, Micah clearly has his ear and I'm expecting him to be a treacherous son-of-a-bitch in the not too distant future. Arthur has been diagnosed with TB and seems pretty resigned to his fate. John is locked up awaiting rescue and the gang seems to be hanging by a thread.
Some speculation for the end of RDR2 follows.
It's pretty awesome how tightly the story of this game ties into and informs the first. This is a prequel set about a decade before the first one I believe, but it wouldn't surprise me if, by the end of it those time lines and a lot closer.
There is a certain amount of false tension with some characters as I know they're still around during the events of the first RDR, but I now actually care about them instead of them just being people in the world.
I've thought all along that the hostility between Arthur and John would wain as the game went on and it would actually be Arthur who starts to become disillusioned with Dutch and sees the cracks forming. Then, as he and John grow closer, it'll be a sacrifice by Arthur, the protagonist of this game, that causes John Marston, the protagonist from the first game, to break off from Dutch and inevitably agree to hunt him and the remained of the gang down.
It's not the most brilliant, mind blowing story telling in the world, I had it pegged from early on, but if it does play out that way, it has still been executed very well and that is what matters.
The end of Red Dead Redemption had you, as John Marston, dying and then in all the end game stuff you pick some time later as his son Jack, who we have as a character in this game too as a young boy.
I am fully expecting to die as Arthur Morgan at the end of the story of Red Dead Redemption 2 and to pick up as the surrogate younger brother, John.
My hope is, that when Rockstar inevitably get round to making a third game to close out this trilogy, they continue the trend and actually made it a prequel again. The ending is already written; the job-gone-wrong in Blackwater. There are characters we've heard about but never knew who didn't make it out of that job alive, I'd suggest we play as one of them.
The bulk of the game could be set around joining the fledgling Van Der Linde Gang and could introduce us to all the characters we know from RDR2.