How are Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2 Connected?

How are Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2 Connected?

Even though Red Dead Redemption 2 came after eight and a half years after the original Red Dead Redemption, in true Rockstar fashion, the two titles are still connected.

Both titles are set in the same universe; Red Dead Redemption 2 is the prequel to the first title. You will encounter younger versions of most of the characters from Red Dead Redemption in the second title, given the fact that the Van der Linde Gang has a central role in both the storylines.

But how closely are the two games related? Can you play Red Dead Redemption 2 even if you never played the first game?

1. Can You Play RDR2 Without Playing The Original?

Doesn’t matter if you played the first Red Dead Redemption or not; you can still enjoy Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar balances rewarding returning players without alienating the newcomers well.

How Are Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2 Connected?
Red Dead Redemption 2 | Source: Steam

Your enjoyment and interaction with RDR2 won’t in any way be affected if this is your first introduction to the characters.

Seeing them from a different perspective in their lives and witnessing what kind of people they become in Red Dead Redemption 1 is a great treat for the series’ fans.

For those of you who still need a refresher course on what happened in the last title before they start their journey in Red Dead Redemption 2, read on.

2. Red Dead: The Story So Far

Red Dead Redemption was set essentially in 1911. The American administration tries to tame the Wild West forever. Officials from the Bureau of Investigation are hoping to gather together what’s left of the Van der Linde Gang, who once controlled huge areas of the West and South.

So they extort one of the ex-members, John Marston, into chasing down three of his previous confidants — Bill Williamson, Javier Escuella, and Dutch van der Linde himself.

Now twelve years in the past, Red Dead Redemption 2 follows the Van der Linde Gang when it was at its peak in 1899. Dutch, Bill, Javier, and John are one of the group’s key members, but they are not the only characters that appear in both the games.

3. Explore Key Places from RDR1 in Red Dead Redemption 2

The characters are not the only elements that RDR2 retains from the original game. If you progress deep enough in the storyline you will definitely come across some locations from the OG game and suddenly it will all make sense.

This element of surprise will be only worth it if you have played the first title, nonetheless, these locations are fun to explore for new players too.  Beware the following locations may spoil the story for you so consider yourself warned.

  1. Blackwater

If you venture south in the map, you will discover Blackwater’s high street but with an all-new terrain texture.

How Are Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2 Connected?
Blackwater’s high street
  1. Armadillo Saloon

One of the most iconic buildings in Armadillo, home to Walten’s gang, can be found in RDR2 near Cholla Springs.

How Are Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2 Connected?
Armadillo’s Saloon
  1. Armadillo Ranch

Along with the saloon, players can discover the ranch too, which is one of the few remaining boomtowns of the American West.

How Are Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2 Connected?
Armadillo Ranch
  1. Blackwater Hotel

Well if you have a good eye, you can spot the old Blackwater hotel, which apparently in 12 years was rebuilt from scratch in RDR1. In the prequel, the building is missing the large frontside windows that were supposedly added in the rebuild.

How Are Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2 Connected?
Blackwater Hotel
  1. Blackwater Clocktower

Talking about rebuilds there’s another iconic location whose historical counterpart we see in RDR2 (Historical might not be the correct word as it’s just 12 years in the past).

The Blackwater clocktower’s older counterpart has a low bell and wooden posts fence. In real life it might not be the case to see such changes in just 12 years but this is what you get with a new and improved game engine.

How Are Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2 Connected?
Blackwater Clocktower

Players need to have a keen eye to notice these radical changes in architecture but the storyline characters are upfront and central to connect the original series with its prequel so you don’t miss anything.

Some of the other famous recurring characters that need no introduction will surely catch your attention.

4. Other Returning Characters From Red Dead Redemption 1

1. Abigail Marston (Roberts)

Not to be played with, Abigail Marston is brisk with firearms and wits. She’s an orphan who grew up without the shelter and care of a family, spending most of her years managing obscure characters in bars and houses of ill-repute.

Her upbringing eventually made her understand human nature, and she can immediately read a room. Her tough exterior shrouds the fact that she is a committed companion. When she was eighteen, she had a son with John Marston.

2. Jack Marston

Jack, son of John and Abigail Marston was naturally introduced to the gang life. Inquisitive and learned, worried about his dad’s disapproval, he attempts to substantiate himself with crazy undertakings that are too dangerous for a kid his age.

By and large, Jack is good-hearted, and he refers to Bill and Javier as uncles and thinks back about their adventure fueled stories. Still, Jack can be short-tempered with a profound regard for ladies and often respects individuals who’ve gained it.

3. Uncle

The oldest individual from the group, Uncle, whose real name is a mystery, is a living legend. A heavy drinker and only a numb-skull would rely upon him to finish an assignment.

Notwithstanding this, he has the ability to charming himself with people who matter. Even though his elusive ways are baffling, he is a thoughtful individual, talented shot, and a skillful horseman.

Now, no matter if you are a skilled veteran or a complete rookie to the Red Dead Universe, you can go guns blazing into Red Dead Redemption 2 to enjoy the masterpiece that the game is.

About Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2, prequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption, is an action-adventure game produced and released by Rockstar Games in 2018. The story, set in 1899, follows outlaw Arthur Morgan, a member of the Van der Linde gang.

Red Dead Redemption 2 portrays the Wild West, while being set in the fictional Western and Southern United States.