We recently looked at how Red Dead Redemption 2 will be better than Grand Theft Auto V given that Rockstar has had 3+ years to push current gen hardware to its boundary. But how will it manage to be better than its predecessor, which is widely considered a masterpiece of modern gaming?
Red Dead Redemption 2 speculator LegacyKillaHD has some great answers to that question.
First, it should be noted that the original Red Dead Redemption was expected to fail. It suffered from "budget cuts and development hell" and was inevitably delayed before its release on May 18th, 2010. As we now know, it was a gamble that not only paid off for Rockstar but the game netted multiple Game of the Year awards and is still praised to this day.
There’s no doubt today’s Rockstar has the budget and manpower to create a spectacular follow up to its Western franchise. It also goes without saying that the graphics and gameplay will receive significant improvements. But Legacy ponders the question, can Red Dead Redemption 2 be better than or just as good as Red Dead Redemption?
Legacy argues that Grand Theft Auto V was missing key ingredients that Rockstar is known for, namely a sharply defined storyline with unique narratives and a main character players could become emotionally attached to. He offers up some suggestions and solutions that could turn Red Dead Redemption 2 into Rockstar’s next masterpiece.
Within Grand Theft Auto V it was clear online was their main priority. With Red Dead Redemption 2 that cannot be the same approach.
Legacy stresses that RDR2 can’t focus on multiplayer over telling a rich story. Furthermore, if the 3-protagonist system returns, it may make it more difficult for Rockstar to tell a compelling story.
Rockstar’s ability to deliver intriguing characters is part and parcel of its games. But many fans think that while GTA V had memorable protagonists, its villains fell short of the mark, leading to a somewhat lackluster resolution. On the other hand, John Marston’s story was gripping from beginning to end, starting with him fighting his past life as a vigilante and concluding with the government’s shadowy influence as it works to end the Wild West once and for all.
If we are getting three protagonists again, I really think that Rockstar needs to lay down a tone that these characters are working together, make them feel like a gang, or even better, a band of brothers, which hopefully can make our journey more immersive.
Other details like the soundtrack that took 15-months to make, the fluid gameplay and animation that utilized Rockstar’s RAGE engine, and a game that generally felt ahead of its time, also need to be considered when trying to top the original Red Dead Redemption. We take for granted the details found in Rockstar’s games, but they’ll need to go above and beyond the scope of RDR if RDR2 is to be a worthy successor.
Finally, Legacy has a simple reminder for Rockstar:
What it comes down to is creating a unique, emotional, long story that they did so well with Red Dead Redemption, but not all that well with Grand Theft Auto V... If they can utilize our characters in a proper way and make our journey insightful and enjoyable, this can be just as good or even better than Red Dead Redemption.