As a prequel, Red Dead Redemption 2 is, by design, the kind of game you can enjoy without having much (or any) knowledge of what happens in the first game. But if you do have that knowledge, Red Dead 2 ensures that you will be rewarded for it in several ways, with similarities, connections, and callbacks both big and small that make it a much more rewarding and satisfying narrative experience. There were several ways Red Dead Redemption 2 harkens back to Red Dead 1, some of them quite obvious, others much more subtle, and in this feature, we’re going to talk about fourteen moments when the game displays interesting similarities with its predecessor.
This feature contains major spoilers for both Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2. If you don’t want to spoilers for either of them, turn back now.
“I’VE GOT A PLAN”
Dutch Plan der Linde’s obsession with goddamn faith, needing more money, and having a plan has already become a meme by this point, but there’s one particular moment in Red Dead Redemption 2 where Dutch and his “plans” call back to a pivotal moment from the first game. In a particular scene where Arthur and Dutch are surrounded by the US Army and stand at the edge of a cliff, Dutch tells Arthur that he “has a plan”, and that “this is a good one”- the plan, of course, is to escape certain death by jumping off the cliff and into the rushing river below. As anyone who’s played the first Red Dead Redemption would recall, “I have a plan, this is a good one” is exactly what Dutch says to John before jumping to his death to avoid capture in the game’s final act. The monologue that follows that line about fighting change and nature is also almost exactly the same in both games.