5 killer Red Dead Redemption 2 features we need

With unofficial news landing today that Red Dead Redemption 2 is in development, PSU takes a look at five features that would be an improvement over Rockstar’s original Wild West-themed adventure.

Note: Rockstar has yet to officially announced Red Dead Redemption 2 so we currently have no idea about its plans, but these are a few of the things that we’d really like to see.

1. Branching storyline with multiple playable protagonists
One area that Red Dead Redemption didn’t need improvement on was the storyline, but it could learn something from Rockstar’s GTAV for its next iteration in the rootin’-tootin’, gun-shooting open world adventure, specifically the way it tells its narrative. How about adopting the branching storyline idea that was such a success in GTAV? Imagine switching between two or three protagonists with different personalities and demeanors and having their storylines arc into each other. You could have a gun-slinging hero, for example, a corrupt lawman (perhaps a Sheriff) and a Drifter, usually the quiet one in movies who rolls into town and ends up getting heavily involved in people’s business.

Whatever its approach, Rockstar needs to ditch the idea that the protagonist is all bluster whenever another character defies him or sends him on meaningless tasks. John Marston was a Wild West gunslinger, not an errand boy. There’s vast potential to create interweaving storylines in a Wild West setting that could give us new viewpoints and different skill-sets to utilise, thus making it feel like an evolution of the original. The Wild West genre would also be perfect for giving players the chance to play through the main campaign as either a lawmaker or an outlaw. Now that would add great replay value.

2. More things to do and fun random encounters
Did anyone else find that galloping across miles of barren, dusty lands – with the only thing to entertain you being the beautiful sunset, or the opportunity to stop for a few minutes to go hunting for a bear or a cougar- a little bit tedious? Apparently, there were approximately 200 random encounters built into the game, but it certainly didn’t seem like that many; either that or most of them weren’t particularly memorable. Consequently, come the end of the main storyline, there wasn’t much else to do and replay value fell down to the multiplayer mode. It would be nice if there was more to do within those huge open spaces, whether that be with more frequent and meaningful encounters, or even items to search for to break up the monotony of a long ride across country. Once again, inspiration could be taken from Rockstar’s GTAV. Give us some fun Easter Eggs to find!

3. Better customisation

The weird “hereditary-based" system of Red Dead Redemption had limited options which meant that players couldn’t really personalise their characters to a large extent. Maybe animations in the game would have suffered somewhat as a result, but In Red Dead Redemption 2 we would love to be able to create a more detailed look with a wider range of faces available or even sliders that allow us to change everything from chin-size to pupil colour. We want RPG-style customisation from the outset with a decent array of different outfits to choose from that take into account some of the different styles of the era. Yes, RDR had a variety of costumes, but we’re talking about changing individual articles of clothing from boots to holsters. Customisation should be more in-depth so we can give our characters a personal touch.


4. Improved mechanics
Snapping in and out of cover in RDR was sluggish at best, so much so that we rarely used it, yet cover is so vitally important in a shoot-out. It’s the same problem that we saw in GTA3 and one that still wasn’t much better in GTAIV. We’ve now seen the improvements with GTAV so there’s no excuse for the San Diego-based developer to get it wrong this time around. It’s not just better cover mechanics needed either as shooting without auto-aim was far too fidgety and difficult to master, yet with auto-aim on it was too easy. There needs to be some serious re-tweaking to get more of a balance. We’d be in favour of ditching auto-aim completely and just devising a better overall shooting mechanic like many of the triple-A shooters; one that feels much more intuitive and gives us a fighting chance.

5. Spin-off DLC featuring different characters
Rockstar focused largely on multiplayer DLC when there was so much inspiration it could have gleaned from the many interesting characters that we met in Red Dead Redemption, such as gang leader Dutch van der Linde or Marston’s former gang partner, Bill Williamson. It’s granted that RDR 2 will also be full of unique personalities who would have really interesting back-stories to explore in the form of DLC. Yes, the single player DLC for RDR, the zombie-infested ‘Undead Nightmare,’ was fun while it lasted, but what about giving some content that has depth to it and builds on Red Dead Redemption lore?

Red Dead Redemption was a brilliant game, but it wasn’t perfect. Though perfection is difficult to achieve, there are a number of lessons that Rockstar should have learned from its first Wild West title that it should take into the second iteration. If it does take note, then there’s no doubt Red Dead Redemption 2 has the potential to be one of the best action adventure games on this generation of console.