As we all know by now, Rockstar has announced that Red Dead Redemption will hit consoles next year.
This comes after the mischievous brand posted two images hinting at a return to the world of cowboys, deserts, and sun-bleached shoot-outs at the weekend. Rockstar then let us speculate for a couple of days, before confirming those cryptic pictures are indeed the sequel we’ve all waited for.
It’s surprising news of a sequel has taken so long to arrive, considering the HUGE amount of love many of us have for Red Dead Redemption. The game’s a massive, sprawling, visceral, deep, brilliantly-written masterpiece, filled with pretty much everything you could want from a Western. So, with a sequel on the hazy horizon, fans are sure to be vocal about what they actually want to see – and we’re no different!
Check out our seven must-haves and let us know what you think…
A Better Fast-Travel System
Red Dead Redemption’s a big, beautiful game – nobody’s in any doubt about that. Still, the big problem with such MAHOOSIVE open-world games is getting around in a speedy manner.
Sadly, one of Red Dead Redemption’s few flaws is its slightly frustrating fast-travel system. Rather than being able to simply find your destination on the map and click on it, like with other open-world games, you’re forced to set up a camp and select from a list of locations.
This means you have to actually check the map, find the nearest major spot listed, and then scroll through again until you find it. If you’re looking to enter a specific town available, the fast-travel works great – but if you need to reach somewhere further afield, it’s a pain in the saddle-warmer.
Exploring the world on horseback is a beautiful thing … but sometimes, you just want to take the easy route.
A Choice of Playable Characters
John Marston’s a fantastic protagonist, but we’d love to see the option to switch between playable characters in the sequel.
This doesn’t even have to be in the main campaign – perhaps a number of side-quests could give us the chance to step into someone else’s dusty shoes for a change, or even a separate challenge mode. There’s huge potential: just imagine playing as a female gunslinger, a Native American, or a Mexican bandit!
Of course, if Rockstar wanted to introduce the character-switching mechanic to the main campaign, that might work brilliantly. After all, they did it with GTA V.
Build Your Own Cowboy/girl
John Marston has a fixed look, and the closest we can get to tweaking this is by unlocking the various extra outfits. In a sequel, we’d love to have the freedom to build our own hero or heroine, choosing from a huge selection of skins, hairstyles, beards, shapes, colours, scars, accessories, clothes, and more. Imagine recreating yourself in a Western world!
Games like Skyrim and Fallout 4 (to name just two) have given us incredible freedom in designing custom characters, so Rockstar should seize the chance for players to bring themselves into the Old West.
The Freedom to Form a Badass Posse
Red Dead Redemption allows you to team with other characters at times, but we’d love to see this made into a deeper, more permanent feature.
One of Rockstar’s teasers was an atmospheric shot of seven figures against a burning sunset. Is this a hint of a more gang-centric angle on the sequel, or just a way to ride the publicity surrounding The Magnificent Seven’s reboot? We doubt it’s the latter, to be honest – Rockstar don’t really need to jump on any bandwagons.
We really, really hope Red Dead Redemption 2 gives us the ability to create our own band of gun-toting heroes (or villains). Imagine recruiting people as you did in Mass Effect, or something a little looser – being able to wander into a dusty bar and sign-up a couple of mysterious strangers to your cause would be awesome.
A Deep Progression System
Some people may have found Red Dead Redemption’s lack of an RPG-like progression system refreshing, but being able to improve Marston’s attributes and skills throughout the campaign would make his movement through the story feel a little more engrossing.
It doesn’t have to be anything too flash, but the ability to expand the protagonist’s shooting, riding, and hand-to-hand skills would be nice. You could even learn new moves to improve combat and interacting with the environment, such as climbing cliffs or swimming.
Branching Conversations and Moral Choices
Red Dead Redemption’s conversations play out in fully-scripted cut-scenes or dialogue during gameplay. As a result, there’s no way to direct the way in which dialogue unfolds or which choices Marston makes – you’re simply watching him, rather than altering his fate.
Games like Mass Effect (and many others) give us a variety of responses and prompts during conversations, which affect not only the character’s morality but also lead to further developments. Imagine the thrill of aggravating some cheating card-player in a bar with a series of attitude-soaked responses, or talking someone out of a gunfight you stand to lose. There’s plenty of potential!
Opportunities for Career-Minded Cowboys
Working small jobs is a real highlight of Red Dead Redemption, but we’d love to see this expanded in the sequel.
Rather than working as a night-watchman or taking bounties, wouldn’t it be great to delve deeper into a career? This would make a great long-term distraction from the campaign, and allow you to evolve your character in various ways. For example, taking a job with the local sheriff, starting your own team of bounty-hunters, or working security on money trains would all work brilliantly.
Sure, it’s not the be-all and end-all, but this could add more depth and diversity to the game.
That’s it for our Red Dead Redemption 2 wish-list! Here’s hoping the finished game’s everything we could want.
What would you like to see in Red Dead Redemption 2? Let us know!