Rockstar Games has a lot riding on Red Dead Redemption 2 (apologies for the pun).
This is their first new game announced in the past five years and it will be the first new game to be released in the last four when it finally launches. While it's hardly intended to be a replacement, it is the successor to GTA 5.
GTA 5 happens to come up a lot when RDR2 is discussed and for good reason. Grand Theft Auto 5 achieved such immense magnitudes of success amid universal praise from critics and players alike, that it set the bar pretty damn high for Rockstar. Thing is, being just as good isn't enough. In order not to disappoint, Red Dead Redemption 2 needs to surpass GTA 5. While this might seem a gargantuan task, there are some ways to make it simpler. Namely, Rockstar needs to make sure that they don't make some of the same mistakes they did with V.
GTA 5 and Online, upon launch, were filled with content and were well designed for their times. However, three years later there are certain aspects that show their age. Granted, Rockstar has filled some of these gaping voids since, but for Red Dead Redemption 2 to truly rise above its predecessor, it will need to get things right at launch.
It took 3 years before this feature - which was planned for launch, but ended up being cut - to be added to GTA Online. This really is a basic feature, the inclusion of which is to be expected in massively multiplayer games. Red Dead Online needs to allow players to alter the appearance of their characters whenever they want. Make it a paid service, just like GTA Online and pretty much every other MMO does, but keep the option open!
GTA 5's bloated and cumbersome weapon wheel was somewhat improved with the addition of the weapon locker, but the issue remained that sometimes access to said locker was restricted, meaning that it really was just half of a solution. Players will need to be allowed to customize their loadouts in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online. We don't need to clutter our inventories with guns we'll never use. At the very least, let us set favorites and customize the order in which we cycle through individual weapons.
Lobby Browser and host tools
Wouldn't it be awesome to host custom lobbies where you can mess around with a bunch of settings and features, tailoring the experience to your fancy? You know, like you're able to in the vast majority of online games? Yeah, that would be neat. It's clear that Rockstar didn't implement this in GTA Online because, by their own admission, they didn't expect the game to be particularly popular, meaning such a feature would have been pointless. Adding it in later would take immense amounts of maintenance and resources, so it really isn't viable. However, with Red Dead Online, they have the chance to hit the ground running, releasing the game with such a feature to boot.
What kinds of features do you want to see in Red Dead Redemption 2 day one?