Red Dead Returning: Teaser Speculation

After Rockstar Games teased gamers with two images related to the Red Dead universe for two consecutive days, the internet is rife with speculation as to how Rockstar will bring gamers back to the Wild West of the award-winning 2010 title Red Dead Redemption. The second teaser tweeted out by the game developer’s featured seven silhouetted characters (The Magnificent 7 reference?) coming over the horizon, but no details have been revealed as to who these characters are or what gamers can expect from Rockstar Games going forward.

Many fans are hoping for the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2, but although an option, it seems somewhat unlikely given the ending of the previous title (no spoilers). Additionally, a sequel seems to run contrary to some of thematic elements presented in Red Dead Redemption. Taking place in 1911 it deals with John Marston and essentially the “end” of the Wild West as civilization expands and begins to overcome the lawlessness of the environment. With the First World War soon on the horizon, it doesn’t seem likely for the game to return to that setting and continue forward – though gamers should certainly not rule anything out.

Instead, let’s take a look at three alternative possibilities for the direction of Rockstar Games and the Red Dead franchise.

The first option is an unrelated title within the Red Dead universe. Many gamers may be unfamiliar with the original Red Dead title. Released in 2004 it sold just about 2 million copies worldwide, compared to Red Dead Redemption’s 13 million. Nonetheless, Red Dead does have a storyline and future outside of the world of John Marston, and like their modern franchise Grand Theft Auto, there are plenty of other storylines to craft and characters to create for Rockstar. The two previous Red Dead titles are separated by about 30 years within the universe, so the opportunity for call-backs to either of the previous titles would be available, but a wholly original title within the Red Dead universe would be in line with their treatment of the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

The second option would be a prequel that explores the origins of John Marston. The figure coming over the horizon does have his profile, though Marston is hardly unique in his silhouette. He is not much different from Nate Harlow from the first Red Dead title, Red Dead Revolver. And both main characters from the Red Dead franchise draw significant inspiration from classic Western film characters portrayed by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Nevertheless, if that is John Marston coming over the horizon, he could be accompanied by some of his old gang from the West, introducing us to Marston’s origins as an outlaw. Playing “the bad guy” is certainly not out of character for Rockstar Games.

The final option, though not as exciting as the previous two, would simply be an HD Remaster of the original title. Numerous other titles have received this treatment such as Bioshock 1 and 2, with Skyrim’s remastered edition slated for release in under two weeks. Obviously this would open up current gen consoles to new features and improved visuals. But the biggest reason to be excited about this possibility is for PC gamers who would get the opportunity to gallop around the Wild West and, given the PC gamers community, mod the crap out of it.

Nonetheless, gamers are relatively limited in their knowledge of what Rockstar games has planned and will have to wait for further teasers, or an official announcement. Check back with Common Sense Gaming as more details about Rockstar’s upcoming project becomes known.

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