Red Dead Redemption 2 – what can it teach GTA 6? (pic: Rockstar Games)
So I’ve just finished the main part of Red Dead Redemption 2 and a fair number of side quests and random encounters, with 80.3% total completion.
I’ve played the game a few times before but never got much further than about halfway and had pretty much given up on it before I gave it one last try.
I think this time it clicked with me more because I was playing on the Steam Deck. This meant I was able to play most nights and I definitely think Red Dead Redemption 2 is the type of game you have to commit to rather than dipping in and out of. Overall, despite its flaws, I’d say it ranks as one of the best games ever made and an argument for considering whether video games can be classed as art.
I used to consider GTA 5 the better game but now, after giving it my full attention, I’m now kind of wishing we had Red Dead Redemption 3 rather than GTA 6 on the horizon. With this in mind, here’s where I think GTA 6 can take inspiration from Red Dead Redemption 2:
Sometimes less is more
The negatives first, I definitely think Red Dead Redemption 2 is too long. I don’t mind the side stuff, such as stranger missions, hunting, mini-games, etc. because that’s not compulsory. However, the main story is like 104 missions (I think). In my view the first chapter is a bit tedious, the Guarma chapter is unnecessary, and the epilogue could have been half the length – if not even shorter.
I think shaving the time of the main story by as much as a third would have improved the game. Frankly I’d be happy if GTA 6 had a shorter 10-to-20-hour main campaign and then players could pick and choose how they wanted to approach the side content.
Play to your strengths
From a technical view Red Dead Redemption 2 still holds its own. The graphics, even today, are some of the best ever and the world itself, even though much of the terrain is essentially the same, is so detailed and varied from one part of the map to another and the amount of wildlife and how each animal looks and behaves is staggering.
I love, also, how you can come across chance encounters that other players won’t experience. I’ve played other open worlds that might have better gameplay features but when it comes to creating immersive open worlds that feel lived in Rockstar are on another level. I’m sure judging from the trailer this will still be the case with GTA 6.
GTA 6 – will Lucia be a sympathetic character? (Picture: Rockstar Games)
Borrow the Dead Eye feature
The core gameplay of Red Dead Redemption 2, although not always the most groundbreaking, kept me entertained and I can’t think of any other game that uses the Dead Eye targeting feature and the slow motion headshots always felt satisfying. I definitely think the gunplay in Red Dead Redemption 2 is a step up from what I recall of GTA 5 and they could definitely benefit from implementing certain features of this.
Create likable characters
The best part of Red Dead Redemption 2 was the story and the characters. Even though they commit acts of violence and aren’t necessarily good people you can’t help but root for them. I got very attached to Arthur, even reloading my game so I didn’t lose any honour after accidentally hitting someone with my horse.
The various deaths were also gutting. It takes a little while to get going but soon had me hooked. With the exception of The Last Of Us 1 and 2 I think this might just be the best written game I’ve played.
With GTA 5, on the other hand, I had virtually no sympathy or empathy for any character, as not one seemed to have any redeeming features. I get that Red Dead Redemption 2 is meant to be more earnest and GTA 5 is satire but Red Dead Redemption 2 still has moments of comical moments and there’s a better balance between the serious and lighter moments.
So there we have it, I’m sure whatever happens GTA 6 will be a success and if you’d asked me a month or so I’d have said Red Dead Redemption 2 was overrated and shouldn’t influence any aspect of a GTA 6. However, I now see what a great game Red Dead Redemption 2 is and how it might inspire future Rockstar games.
By reader matc7884
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