After several days of teasers, Rockstar Games has confirmed Red Dead Redemption 2 is a reality and will be coming in the latter half of 2017. As the follow-up to the wildly popular Red Dead Redemption, there’s a lot riding on it (don’t mind the horse pun) and the changes it will introduce to Rockstar’s long-beloved open-world formula.
While we await the new trailer coming this Thursday, we here at Shacknews sat down and discussed what changes we’d like to see in Red Dead Redemption 2. Have anything you’d add? Tell us in the Chatty!
Playable Female Characters
The official announcement released on Twitter shows a gang of seven men, strolling across the horizon. It’s a neat poster, but Rockstar has a history of leaving out playable female characters in their open-world games.
It’s a shame, too. There’s an expansive history of outlaw women in the old west, many of whom were just as violent and devious as their male counterparts. Plus, it’s always nice when people are able to see themselves represented in the media they consume, and diversity is only ever good for the overall quality of a story and the world’s authenticity. We’ll know definitively if there are no female characters in the game on Thursday, but we’re still hoping Rockstar does a little more. Speaking of which...
Just like the many women who wreaked havoc in the Old West, there were many people of color who also forged their way in the frontier. Escaped slaves, native Americans, Asians...there was more diversity in the Old West than we typically remember seeing in history books and films. Since it appears we’re getting a cast of seven characters (based on the teasers, obviously), it’d be awesome to get those other, less appreciated stories in the mix, too.
The Old West was all about opportunity. People rushed into it to claim land and strike their fortune and find a better life than they had had in the East. In RDR2, it’d be a neat addition to be able to have the option to build up a homestead and customize it. Take some of the base building abilities of Fallout 4 and expand them to better suit the setting, and you could create an engaging mechanic that lends some permanence to the game world.
Heists and Train Robberies
One of the most cliched staples of adventures set in the Old West deal with heists and train robberies. So many outlaws made names for themselves raiding trains on horseback, and these crimes are frequently romanticized in pop culture media. Considering Grand Theft Auto V introduced heists into its game, being able to pull off massive robberies in the same vein as the West’s most infamous outlaws would be a welcome addition.
Being able to quickly draw a pistol and shoot your opponent in a duel is a huge badge of honor as an outlaw, and Call of Juarez has introduced the perfect quickdraw mechanic to include in Red Dead Redemption 2. It involves reading your opponent, being opportunistic, and timing your draw just right to make sure you’re not taken out prematurely. No better way to feel like an epic gunslinger than besting all of the others across the frontier.
When not hunting, rustling cattle, and committing all number of crimes, many cowboys in the old west turned to gambling as a way to pass the time. Red Dead Redemption had its share of gambling, and it’d be awesome to see it expanded in the sequel. New games, locations, higher stakes...imagine having a Gwent equivalent in RDR2, an original mini game that expands beyond the main game itself. Awesome? Awesome.
Deeper Survival Mechanics
The frontier is an inhospitable place, and increased consequences for being stranded out in the wild would be a cool addition to RDR2. Build shelters, hunt and forage for food, build fires, and rely on oneself to survive. When coupled with the possibility of having multiple characters in the mix, it could be a neat way of giving more life to the world of RDR2.
Simultaneous PC and Console Release
PC players get left out in the cold when a new Rockstar game rolls around. As a show of goodwill, it’d be great to see everyone across the PS4, Xbox One, and PC get access to the game on release day. And hey, as an added bonus? Put it out on the NX. Hopefully Nintendo’s new console is available at that point.
VR Exclusive Mission
Star Wars, Tomb Raider, and several other franchises have their own tailor-made experiences available for PSVR, and the ability to have a similar experience in RDR2 also has the potential to be neat. Even if it’s just donning a ten-gallon hat and firing six-shooters at bottles set up in a barn, the immersion of VR could be a fun addition to the larger game.
We got zombies with Undead Nightmare, so it seems only reasonable to move on to aliens in some eventual horror-like DLC. We're not picky. Just let us chase down a UFO on horseback.