Red Dead Redemption 2

Character growth in RDR2 (spoilers)

red dead redemption 2 - Character growth in RDR2 (spoilers)

I’ve come to the conclusion that Red Dead 2 is my new favorite game of all time, and I think a giant part of that is the story. And I think one of the things i love the most about RDR2’s story is that the characters DO grow. They do grow and change and evolve. Like compare rockstar’s last game. Jimmy is still a stoner loser at the end of GTA V’s story, Michael and his wife are still borderline alcoholic but their marriage is slightly better now. Trevor’s still a junkie psychopath, Franklin’s friends from the ghetto are still ghetto and useless as hell etc, etc.

Meanwhile in RDR2 pretty much NOBODY is the same from the start as they are at the end.

Sadie went from a quiet miserable widow to a bloodthirsty psycho out of control and then to a more chilled by the books bounty hunter in the epilogue.

Karen’s slight alcoholism becomes full blown alcoholism with her rarely being sober come chapter 6, to the point she’s clutching a bottle as she sleeps now.

Javier and Bill go through their own falls even before RDR1, as we slowly see Javier become a former shell of who he once was and we see Bill’s dementia slowly, tragically take hold of him.

Even Lenny, before the disastrous Saint Denis robbery has noticeably changed from the bright eyed optimistic 19 year old kid to a more jaded kid as the story went on.

Abigail goes from a woman fed up with motherhood and pretty much actively disliking John to a loving and loyal mother and eventually after John gains her trust back she stays a loyal wife.


John himself goes from a young, hot headed deadbeat dad who was almost apathetic to his family to a loyal and protective father and husband. Honestly if I didn’t know who John was before hand I wouldn’t’ve liked him in RDR2 for a while.

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Reverend Swanson straight up ditches the bottle when the gang needs him most. I can’t recall another Rockstar character that got rid of their alcoholism, he’s even clutching a beer bottle in his promotional art!

And of course Dutch has a massive arc with his mental decline from the stress and (possible) concussion, going from the charismatic in control leader to the screaming, bloodthirsty psychopath he eventually degrades to. And the other thing is all of this change felt natural, it wasn’t like bam this person is this way now, the characters just naturally evolved.

The only characters I can think of who didn’t change much are Charles and Uncle, but Charles, you can tell, has already had his arc. He’s already been through his own story, and Uncle is mostly just big fun, trying to keep everyone’s spirits up and he mostly stays that way, even trying in vain to keep spirits up come beaver hollow.

This was mostly just a ramble about how much I love how much Rockstar has matured over the years and how they’ve really grown with their audience. Anyone else have this same appreciation?

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

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