Game developers, take some notes. This is how you reveal a big game.
It started with a flicker and a little whiff of something brewing in the air. The teasing-est of tease images, which was simply the Rockstar logo on a red background with no text, which looked strikingly similar to that displayed on Red Dead Redemption’s case art.
That then became a blaze as the next day, they revealed artwork of a sunset with several shadowy figures approaching from over the horizon. Now speculation ran wild, Rockstar were preparing something big and we just needed to sit tight, wait patiently and we would be rewarded.
On Tuesday, we were. Red Dead Redemption 2 was announced and two days later, Rockstar released a minute-long teaser trailer to wet our taste buds in preparation for its release in the autumn of 2017.
The video did not show us too much, with the classic foreboding voiceover combined with quick glimpses of landscapes and potential activities in-game. Much like when they revealed Grand Theft Auto V, they don’t want to throw out everything they have at one.
They take it slow. They are little more subtle. They want you to really, really want it.
What we did see was jaw-droppingly gorgeous. It looks like they have sharpened their tools, making everything pop and look beautifully crisp, as if we were falling into our own personal Westworld.
It had that foreboading nature, carrying over from the first game, that sense of unease and danger lurking. There’s so many questions but we know that we are not going to get any answers for at least a good couple of months.
What I love most about Red Dead is that, unlike GTA, they can tell a more serious, darker story. They have their jokes, especially in the Undead Nightmare DLC, but the western setting allows them to be a little more adult than the hilarious lampooning that’s ever-present in their biggest franchise and you get those vibes again.
The biggest positive that should come from this is that hopefully the games industry see the crowd-pleasing reaction to such a successful reveal. Had it not been for the Nintendo Switch reveal in between, it would have been flawless but Mario had to stick his big, portable nose in.
Some may argue that we are still having to wait a while for the actual game, that maybe Bethesda did it better with Fallout 4 but Rockstar like to dance to the beat of their own drum. And I’m pretty sure it’s not just me that’s mesmerised by their most recent, almost erotic performance.