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Prequel, Sequel Or Entirely New Game: What Direction Will Rockstar Take With The Red Dead Series?

It’s been 6 long year’s since John Marston and Red Dead Redemption first rode into our lives, taking us back to a far simpler time; a time where outlaws and bandits ruled the land, where one harmless game of poker between men could and most likely would end in a typical shootout. Not a direct sequel to 2004’s Red Dead Revolver, Red Dead Redemption placed players firmly in the shoes of everyday hero and all round friend to the people John Marston, a family man first and foremost but also a former outlaw whose dark past returned to haunt him, with heart-wrenching consequences.

After its release for Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2010, Red Dead Redemption received a wealth of praise for its storytelling and gameplay as players embarked on the adventure of a lifetime across the ruthless wild west and with the developer recently making the third person shooter available via Backwards Compatibility on Xbox One and with PlayStation players able to relive its predecessor on PS4 via emulation the beloved Red Dead series is firmly back in the spotlight.


While Rockstar is yet to make any announcement regarding the possibility of a brand new Red Dead title, it seemingly stoked the campfire with yesterday’s drastic colour change of both website and social media outlets, with a wash of red indicating a possible return to the western front for the Grand Theft Auto creator. With the studio operating on a 3-year game cycle, we could possibly see a new Red Dead title sometime in 2017, but where could the famed studio take the series if it is to make an announcement in the not too distant future?

Red Dead Redemption sequel – Red Dead Redemption concluded in such a way that a direct sequel may at first seem unlikely. With the game’s protagonist dead and Jack, Marston’s only son avenging his late father’s death by killing government man Edgar Ross, a follow on story starring Jack post-John’s death is a possibility and an exciting prospect. Despite its obvious potential a Red Dead Redemption sequel or RDR2 with Jack as the game’s main playable character, the idea isn’t a certainty by any stretch of the imagination, but if Rockstar were to take that route what are the likely outcomes for John’s only son?

Jack could possibly become an outlaw much like his father before him, and after killing Edgar Ross might well find himself being hounded by government officials looking to seek revenge for the killing of Ross. With no mother around to guide him after her passing in 1914, the story of Jack Marston as an outlaw would certainly be an interesting one and one that certainly makes a lot of sense. Of course, he could choose to go down a similar path to his father and turn away from a life of crime after exacting his revenge. Either way, a story featuring Jack Marston would surely be a compelling one.


Prequel to Red Dead Redemption – Now this notion definitely peaked my interest. Instead of going forward with 2010’s story, why not take it back to a time before John Marston ran around performing errands for every tom, dick and harry like every honourable ex-criminal does; back to a time when the game’s protagonist was a feared gunslinger, running with fellow outlaws Dutch van der Linde, Bill Williamson and Javier Escuella as they commit a whole manner of crimes whilst terrorising the western frontier. Sure, it would be world away from what we know but the Red Dead series wants to tell the story of life in the early 1900’s and Rockstar Games want to be as authentic as possible in their portrayal of western civilisation in that period, so what better than relinquishing the role of John Marston before he turned his back on crime.

Imagine riding the western plains with a gang of outlaws by your side, taking on opposing gunslingers, robbing up stores, getting into bar fights and generally causing all round mayhem across America and Mexico. A games protagonist doesn’t have to be a stand-up guy for a game to be both enthralling and exciting and taking Red Dead Redemption‘s main protagonist back to his roots wouldn’t be a bad way to go. Tell the story of how John came to be the man he was prior to starting a family and settling down on a ranch in Beecher’s Hope, that’s a story I’d personally love to see.


Entirely new game – Although their timelines run very close to each other Red Dead Redemption had next to no ties with predecessor Red Dead Revolver. The landscape remained similar with RDR locations such as Twin Rocks a feature, the story however, took a completely different direction and it’s entirely possible that Rockstar Games might leave the family Marston behind to once again seek pastures new with a third title for the popular series or Red Dead 3.

If there is one thing Rockstar Games exceed at, its the narrative. From Tommy Vercetti, Niko Bellic, Michael, Franklin and Trevor Phillips to John Marston and Red Dead Redemption the studio simply know how to write a wonderful script and ultimately portray a compelling story. With that in mind, an entirely new Red Dead storyline with a new protagonist to introduce and an array of new characters to acquaint yourself with might just be the way to go. Rockstar is more than capable of building upon the wonderful locale of 2010 while also opening up the wide open plains for all new areas of interest. As for a new plot that would be anyone’s guess, heck we could even see a female protagonist for the first time in the series. One thing we do know for sure is that Rockstar is seemingly setting the world up for something big and although it could merely turn out to be a coincidence, the change to the classic red of 2010 has got the world talking about the west once more and that in itself is a great thing for the industry.

[Update] Rockstar has now updated its Twitter page to feature an image of 7 men atop a field with the sun rising in the background, in what appears to be a direct reference to the Magnificent Seven.

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Dan has been gaming for nearly 30 years and has survived everything from Nuclear Fallouts to Zombie Outbreaks but his main love is Survival Horror and don't we all know it. Favourite games include Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto, he can be regularly found cruising the streets of Vice City listening to the classics.


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