The fictional world of Red Dead Redemption 2 spans many diverse landscapes and stimulating geographical locations. If you ever wondered where does Red Dead Redemption 2 take place and how the world in the game looks like.
The landscape range from dense forests to sunbaked deserts, mountain tops to valleys below – encompassing many towns and villages in between. Each entailing a story of its own.
In all totality, Red Dead Redemption 2 plays between five fictitious states. Namely:
- New Austin
- West Elizabeth
- New Hanover
Most of which are quite analogous to real-world American states such as Texas, New Mexico, New Orleans, and more. Each in-game state features its own unique geographical landscape, keeping the game fresh and exciting as you travel through.
Let’s take a deeper look into these states, and talk about the profusion of interesting locations set within. In addition, we’ll talk about how these in-game locations compare to the real-world landscapes of the central and southern states of the US.
1) New Austin
The land of New Austin stretches over vast arid deserts and drylands which are quite reminiscent of the 19th-century American wild west setting.
Furthermore, situated in the southernmost part of the map, New Austin is home to run-down towns like Armadillo and Tumbleweed. Both of which possess a history of misfortune and affliction.
Armadillo became a victim of the Scarlet fever which drove out massive portions of the population and left the rest either heavily ill or succumbing to death.
Meanwhile, Tumbleweed fell to its decline due to a lack of infrastructure and resources. Ultimately, the emergence of Armadillo with its functional railway and better resources drove the nail in Tumbleweed’s coffin, leaving the town abandoned – inhabited only by thieves and degenerates.
The terrain and visuals of New Austin are comparable to the deserts of New Mexico and towns of old Texas situated north of the Rio Grande.
Moreover, we are already familiar with most parts of this state from the prequel, Red Dead Redemption. While the main objectives are focused around the towns mentioned above – other notable locations also include MacFarlane’s Ranch and Thieves Landing.
2) West Elizabeth:
Also known as the Commonwealth of West Elizabeth, West Elizabeth is relatively smaller than New Austin yet way more developed. From 1899 to 1907, it was the leading state when it came to modern civilization and culture.
When it comes to geography, West Elizabeth contrasts the arid nature of New Austin with tall trees, dense forests, and big valleys. Putting points in its tourist attraction and welcoming landscape.
The state harbors the thriving port of Blackwater, which serves as the state’s capital as well as the RDR 2’s second biggest settlement – right after Saint Dennis.
Blackwater is known for its heavily industrialized nature and modern lifestyle. The town features mass-produced automobiles, telephone polls, and gas street lamps.
Bordering Blackwater is the town of Strawberry. Founded as a small logging town, the town has grown significantly over the years.
Additionally, the increasing number of gold mining operations conducted here only added to the town’s wealth and development. The mayor dreams of converting the town into a resort town.
3) New Hanover:
New Hanover exists as the second-largest territory in the game. The state largely consists of dense forests and vast open plains. Similar to New Austin, the state is still going through the process of modernization and is not fully settled yet.
The majority of the population thrives in the two major towns, the cattle town of Valentine and the mining town of Annesburg. Not to mention the riverside decrepit trading post of Van Horn.
The state of New Hanover is rich with lush greenery and fertile grasslands, bordered to the east by mountainous woodlands. Due to this you will come across numerous ranches and homesteads throughout the countryside.
New Hanover is known to have German origins, which is evident by the name Annesburg, which is implied to be populated by German settlers
For the most part, New Hanover is depicted as sweeping valleys and great open plains. Additionally, the state features many combined elements from various real-life states such as Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
Especially the middle part of the state (The Heartlands), which strongly resembles the Great Plains region of the United States.
Ambarino is the state where you meet the mountains and face the rugged landscape dotted with cold glaciers and powerful geysers.
Situated to the north of New Hanover, Ambarino is the highest elevated state in Red Dead Redemption 2. Due to this most of the land is covered with either snow, icy glaciers, or frozen water bodies.
The frigid environment of the region has left the majority of the area unexplored and unsettled – with only a sparse number of inhabitants thriving here.
Traveling through the area has its own set of challenges and underlying dangers. The most imminent threat comes from the region’s wildlife, which includes ravenous wolves and lethal bears. On the other hand, settling in the region is made impractical by the frequent snowstorms and inaccessible landscape.
As a result, there’s a prominent lack of permanent settlements in the state, with exceptions being the abandoned mining town of Colter in the northwest and the native Wapiti Indian Reservation located towards the east.
The geography of Ambarino is influenced by many Rocky Mountain states such as Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho.
With the state of Colorado is the best example of its rough geographical nature.
Lastly, despite the hostile geographical environment, the state of Ambarino does manifest statehood and law enforcement.
This implies that the state still has unseen hospitable settlements with permanent inhabitants – as well as a capital city.
Last but not least, we have the bayous state of Lemoyne, which is the smallest in size out of the five.
Surprisingly, despite being the smallest, it still supports the largest settled population in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Situated to the south of New Hanover, Lemoyne is home to the most civilized and cultural settlement of Saint Denis; a former French colony that now serves as the state’s capital.
The state is distinguished for its booming industrialization and diverse biomes.
As factories and orchards crowd the swamplands of Bayou Nwa.
While farmlands, plantations, and the town of Rhodes can be found towards the west, in the region known as Scarlett Meadows.
The only other region, the Bluewater Marsh is relatively uninhabited due to its muddy and swampy nature.
Lemoyne was one of the short-lived confederate states through the American civil war (1861-1865).
Traces of the civil war’s battlefields can still be found in the deeper part of the meadows.
The giant forest-like marshland nature of Lemoyne bears a direct resemblance to the state of Louisiana.
As both contain major metropolitan areas such as Saint Dennis and New Orleans respectively; both of them even have similar names.
Not to mention the same French/African-American heritage and a Civil War history.
Now that we have explored the five states in-depth, it is clear how the streams of geographical inspiration come from the real-world states of America.
We see how each state harnesses its own unique and refreshing natural attributes.
All of these make the journey through RDR 2 fun and exciting while equally challenging. Learn more about the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 in our other guides below.