This past week, Rockstar re-released Red Dead Revolver on PS4 as a PSN title. This struck many people as a strange move because Revolver isn’t nearly as popular as its sequel/spiritual successor Red Dead Redemption, it’s more of a cult classic. Everyone has been clamoring for both the announcement of a third Red Dead game for next-gen systems and PC as well as a remaster of Redemption. This past E3 there were rumors of the imminent announcement of both of those things, including a leaked world map that could have been from a supposed third entry. Neither of those two games were announced of course and almost half a year later we still have nothing. Yet, here is Revolver on PS4 complete with Trophy support, something its PS3 re-release(Note: The PS3 release is no longer available as of 2014, it was removed two years after it went up for sale with no reason given. However, you can still acquire it by purchasing a download code from Gamestops website. I’ve tested it and it works.) did not have, which is another strange decision, especially since they did nothing else to the game. It’s not a remaster or a remake, it’s simply a PS2 on PS4 title upscaled to 720p with Trophy support. The fact that Rockstar even took the time to re-release this game again despite both its lack of popularity and the fact that a lot of Redemption players don’t even know it exists or write it off completely, tells me that perhaps they have more in mind for the original cast.
I’ll cut straight to the chase: I think the next Red Dead title is a sequel to Revolver, which in turn would make it a prequel to Redemption(No matter what anyone says I hold that Revolver and Redemption take place in the same universe.). Revolver was originally a game being made by Capcom before Rockstar bought to the rights to it, changed it to some degree, and then released it in 2004. The linear nature of the game was likely something carried over from Capcom’s version, and obviously not what Rockstar would normally do if we look at their games from that time: Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The basis for my assumption is that it appears the team at Rockstar, despite having adopted Revolver with Redemption being the game they really wanted to make, seems to have at least some fondness for the original cast if they keep re-releasing a game most people don’t care about. The voices are far louder for a remaster of Redemption than even a remake or remaster of Revolver. So why continuously release Revolver, especially after the PS3 version was pulled due to what I assume is low sales/lack of interest? The answer is simple: They want people to meet these characters and get reacquainted with them if they knew them already. Which brings up the question: Then why not just remaster or remake it instead of porting it? And that’s a fair question considering that’s what other developers tend to do to hype the latest installment in a large franchise, especially if its story is connected to the previous games. I’ve heard that Revolver ran on an engine that was hard to work with so maybe that’s why we’re only getting ports and not an overhauled version which would take considerably more time. The only other thing I can think of is that maybe they are remaking Revolver in the style of Redemption and this was just them trying to make a quick buck off nostalgic people like me(And it worked.) in the mean time.
But to be honest I feel like a Redemptionified remake of Revolver is less likely than an actual sequel. Rather than retell a tale that many already know, a brand new tale detailing what happened to everyone after the credits rolled would be far more interesting. For anyone that hasn’t played Revolver and likely never will, here’s the ending:
The story ends with Red walking off to parts unknown, now an outlaw and on the run. It’s never revealed what happened to him after that, but it’s made very clear what would happen if he was caught. And it’s hard to imagine that he’d just turn himself in to be hung. All we get in Redemption is a campfire story about him and a non-canon multiplayer appearance where he looks visibly older. Going off such a vague ending, Rockstar could tell whatever kind of story they wanted to in a sequel.
I’ll admit, I’m probably grasping at non-existent straws here. Odds are it’s nothing more than a cheap re-release with no significance behind it. But a man can dream can’t he? I still hold Revolver’s story high on my list and think that Red is just as good as John Marston. I’d love a remake of Revolver that expands the story, but I’d be even more excited for a follow-up to Red’s tale. Far more excited than a prequel to Redemption that explores John’s outlaw days, which many people seem to think will be the case. We already know how that tale goes. So I’ll cling to my more or less baseless hopes.
Update: 10.16.16 Rockstar Teasing Next Red Dead Game
After seeing the news today and having it suggested to me, I’ve decided to put an update on this article. This should keep people from misunderstanding when this article was originally written.
Rockstar has posted a new image just about everywhere without saying a word and that image is of their logo with a red background. Now, it’s kind of obvious what they’re teasing: Red Dead 3 and a possible Red Dead Redemption remaster that we’ve heard rumored for the better part of the year now. My hope still stands, I want Red Dead 3 to be a continuation of the story in Red Dead Revolver or, as a pipe dream, a remake of Revolver with the style of Redemption. A lot of people want it to be a prequel to Redemption featuring John Marston in his outlaw days, but we kind of already know that story from what we were told in the game. We know how it ends and where it leads. It’s not a mystery. A Revolver would remake would of course be the same, which is why I’m personally hoping for a sequel more than a remake. We’ll have to wait and see what Rockstar San Diego has up their sleeves, and I imagine we’ll know what that something is within the next few weeks.