Red Dead 2 is coming, has Rockstar planned properly?
The hype train is running fast towards the Wild West. It’s fair to say that Rockstar Games are lining up the swing that they need to hit it out of the park with Red Dead 2. As much of a money-maker GTA5 was, particularly with Online extending the game’s lifespan (still going strong after 5 years!), it’s also fair to say that there were a number of things that Rockstar got wrong. And no, I’m not talking about the lack of a 2nd biker DLC, although that one still stings.
Here, I take a look at the blank canvas Rockstar has with this game and what they need to get right if they want Red Dead 2 to be as much of a success.
No crazy and extreme weaponry and vehicles
I’m firmly of the opinion that Rockstar screwed up GTAOnline with some of the weaponry and vehicles they unleashed. The fascination with militarizing vehicles, allowing players to arm themselves to the teeth and become warlords to me is completely at odds with what GTA is all about. I think that in the last 18 months of GTAOnline Rockstar were struggling for new content and went in a direction that ruined the game.
Right now you can’t go into a public lobby alone; you actually need a crew of people to help you do anything because the moment you start a supply run or a sale endeavour, you have kids in hydras who want to do nothing more than fly around blowing people up. That’s not GTA to me.
I’m glad that Rockstar has limitations when it comes to Red Dead 2. They can’t have flying carriages, rocket powered horses or weaponry that looks out of time, because they are representing the Wild West in a time that never had these crazy and extreme weapons.
They now need to resist temptation to keep adding more weapons and vehicle options.
Better character customisation
In GTAOnline, you are 6ft tall and slim. You can’t change the height and weight of your character. Remember when you could make your character in San Andreas fat, thin, muscly, etc? This needs to return. On top of that, I’d like to see lots of clothing choices, horse options (saddles, markings, etc) and hair options.
Red Dead 2 should be the most ambitious game ever from Rockstar and they’ve been able to knock these options out in previous games they’ve made, so some of those aspects should make a very welcome return.
Customisation should be possible so that you can make your character completely unique, or even just closer to the way you look in real life.
In GTA Online, you can run 24/7. You can fight, shoot, steal, and murder for as long as you want to without any sort of consequence at all. Cars that you steal can defy physics and run forever, no matter how many times you smash them off a wall. They never run out of fuel either.
I’d like to see Red Dead 2 take a different approach. I’d like to see that after a tough gunfight your stamina is low and you need a rest. I’d like to see that after a long period of riding your horse needs a break.
This should make you play more tactically; if your horse needs a 10-15 min (real life time) break, then you have that time to take a walk around, exploring the area you are in. If you stop for food, or rest, it makes you more vulnerable but if you don’t, your stamina will be low and you’ll definitely lose that next fight you get involved in.
More places to enter
In GTA Online, you are only able to enter a small percentage of buildings. I’d like to see this expanded upon in Red Dead 2. I want to be able to enter more buildings. Great for hiding out, waiting to spring an attack on someone. Also great for hiding away when you’re being chased by another player or group of players.
This would not only be good for tactical battles with other players, it would also make it easier to explore the game and keep things fresh. Rockstar could hide little surprises in some of the buildings, switching things around.
Better control of griefers and modders
No matter what Rockstar do with Red Dead 2, there will always be players who want nothing more than just to ruin people’s days. It’s a fact of life that there will be players like that in Red Dead 2.
What Rockstar needs to do in this area is have more account suspensions and bans. Bad Sport lobbies don’t work, it just breeds worse behaviour and becomes a badge of pride among the community of people who just want to ruin things.
On the modding side, better detection and quicker removal needs to be key here. Let’s have a level, fair, playing field where it’s the skill of the player that determines whether battles are won or lost.
I strongly believe that Rockstar can get these things right; and if they do then we are in for a timeless classic of a game that people will be talking about for years to come.