John Marston returns in Red Dead Redemption 2

Posted on October 21, 2018

Rockstar Games’ newest edition to the western saga launches with a brand new trailer for television and cinema – featuring the infamous John Marston.

The minute-long narrative driven trailer teases a little more of how expansive the Old West is in Red Dead Redemption 2. Beginning in America, 1899 where the end of the Wild West era is upon the main protagonist Arthur Morgan and the Van Der Linde gang. A robbery goes sideways in the renowned town of Blackwater and they are forced to flee.  Bounty hunters, competing gangs, and federal agents are all chasing down the gang, for dead or alive. The trailer shows them shooting and stealing their way out of the hairy situation, across many train heists and confrontations.

Ol’ mate John Marston makes an appearance at the 00:38 mark to ask quite a simple, yet historic, question: “what about loyalty?”. Previously the infamous character was only seen briefly in a prior teaser, theorists assuming it was simply a cameo or easter-egg in the game. The snippet is followed by a derailed train ablaze in what seems to be a horrific accident. For those who know the lore of the Red Dead Redemption series, this marks the incredible betrayal that Marston pulls upon the Van Der Linde gang. The protagonist from Red Dead Redemption begins his story soon after this event. Without saying too much more to ruin the surprise for those unaware, Marston continues through Red Dead Redemption looking to right his wrongs and find “redemption“. This moment in the trailer is quite significant for this reason.

Additionally, the inclusion of John Marston in the trailer, or as a voiced character at all, is quite the surprise. The character’s voice actor Rob Weithoff departed the industry after his famous role as the western outlaw. Weithoff left to focus on his family life rather than work. A short documentary online presents his point of view on voicing Red Dead Redemption‘s protagonist with Rockstar and his motives behind leaving the industry. Having the actor come back for what might be even a short snippet is quite astounding, but obviously important to the narrative of the sequel.

From what is now known, intensifying personal desires threaten to tear the gang apart and make up most of Red Dead Redemption 2‘s climax.  Morgan clearly states his frustration with another “goddamn train” led under the gang leader’s influence. Dutch van der Linde explains that “one more big score” will give the crew enough money to finally ride saddleback into the sunset for good. As Rockstar best puts it, “Arthur must make a choice between his own ideas and loyalty to the gang who raised him“. It’s clear trust and loyalty will be strong themes across the story of the upcoming western epic.

Oh, most importantly, that bear may be thirty or forty times more terrifying than those in the original game. The animals in this game are unbelievable. Yikes!

Watch the new launch trailer below. Red Dead Redemption 2 is “an epic tale of life in America at the dawn of the modern age“. It releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 26 October 2018.