Why Red Dead Redemption 3 is unlikely to be set after RDR1

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Red Dead Redemption as a franchise has excelled in providing the definitive Western gaming experience. Over nearly 20 years, the franchise has consistently relied on its own success to shatter fan expectations and redefine the possibilities with each subsequent release.

With the latest episode of Red Dead Redemption franchise being one of the most beloved titles ever released, it’s no wonder fans are already wondering about the details of the potential next iteration of the gunslinging franchise. That being said, there are a lot of implications to consider when discussing the next game’s setting, as moving forward in time might not be the obvious choice it seems to be.

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The History of Red Dead Settings


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The first game released under the name “red death the nickname was Red Death Revolver in 2004, Rockstar’s first foray into the western shooter genre that paved the way for its landmark games. Introducing the third-person point of view that has remained a constant for the franchise, Red Death Revolver was more linear and limited than its successors, but remains an invaluable influence.

Red Death Revolver boasted a unique cast of characters, who are only referenced briefly in subsequent games. The game is set in an unspecified year during the 1880s, the early years of the stereotypical “Wild West”. This setting provides the most classic version of a Western experience, with the time period in which the game is set not lending itself to the nuances and conflicts of changing times and technological innovation that threaten the “cowboy” lifestyle. “.

The next game in the franchise is the now iconic Red Dead Redemption. Released in 2010, Red Dead Redemption provided fans with a more open and detailed online experience with the Rockstar formula that fans have come to expect through Grand Theft Auto. Red Dead Redemption is the most recent game chronologically, taking place primarily in 1911. The game emphasizes the taming of the Old West and the urbanization of the frontier, with the outlaw age becoming more archaic.

The most recent version and undoubtedly the most complete installment of the red death franchise is from 2018 Red Dead Redemption 2. Basically the game is a prequel to Red Dead Redemption, a decision that contributed significantly to its positive critical reception. The game is set in 1899 and tells the story of the infamous Van Der Linde gang who featured so well in the first Red Dead Redemption.

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The problem with Red Dead Redemption 3 over time


Red Dead Redemption 2 Arthur Morgan Train (2)

A point of contention in the discourse around Red Dead Redemption 3 is in which year the inevitable next installment should be fixed. Many fans suggest that the logical next step for Red Dead Redemption 3 would fix the game after the events of Red Dead Redemptionfollowing the life of Jack Marston – the son of iconic protagonist John Marston.

While that might sound like an enticing prospect to many fans, going beyond 1911 poses a serious problem that will most likely mean the next game will have to go back in time instead. The following red death game will have to match and exceed the detail of Red Dead Redemption 2, and requires a story and setting that facilitates this. Should Red Dead Redemption 3 follow Jack Marston after the events of RDR1the relative modernity of the time would completely undermine the Red Dead Redemption formula.

The advent and standardization of cars in a 1920s setting would be just one example of how a more modern setting would detract from the alluring aspects of the red death franchise, not to mention the reduced need for things like hunting and exploration. While a game set in this era could be interesting, it would lose the character and charm of classic westerns that previous games have captured, and run the risk of providing an experience closer to the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

Perhaps a more sensible option for the sequel setting is to go back in time. While Red Dead Redemption 2 shows the Van Der Linde gang fully formed and close to demise, there’s still a huge chasm in time that remains ripe for further exploration. Red Dead Redemption 3 could easily be set in the 1870s or 1880s and show how John Marston, Bill Williamson and Arthur Morgan came to join the ragtag group as young men. The game might even have Dutch Van Der Linde himself as the protagonist, a younger man who is more idyllic and compassionate than the twisted and scheming one who ends up becoming.


Although these details regarding the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 3 are only hypothetical at this point, going back further in time may be the best way to provide an expansive story while maintaining the integrity of the red death franchise as a Wild West shooter. One thing is certain, whatever the setting for the next Red Dead Redemption, fans will always be eager to explore it.

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