Warning: Heavy spoilers for Red Dead Redemption 2. If you don't want to be spoiled do not read any further.
2010’s Red Dead Redemption was a game I played, beat, put away, and then never thought about again. While I enjoyed it and had fun with it, it did very little to pull me into the story. Of course, I was intrigued by the story of John Marston. He was an outlaw who was caught by the authorities and separated from his wife and son. There was an aura of mystery surrounding John, naturally. Who was he? What awful thing did he do? Why did Bill, his former cohort, shoot him outside of the fort’s walls? I didn’t get answers to any of these questions. What I got instead was a lot of talking in circles, and a lot of, “well, umm, gee, you know… that thing we did back then…” I wasn’t captivated by any of this. I cared more about the fate of Bonnie McFarlane than I did Abigail and young Jack Marston, to be honest.
Enter 2018’s Red Dead Redemption II, and a new protagonist, Arthur Morgan. Arthur is a self-admitted bad man. He runs with the Van Der Linde Gang in this prequel to the 2010 game. There are also a few familiar faces from the first game, Dutch, Bill Williamson, Uncle, and Javier Escuela. Later in the opening chapter we are reunited with a younger hardheaded John Marston, who has run out on his wife and young son twice at the start of the game. You are all part of this gang, which acts as more of a small community of liars, cheats, thieves, and killers.