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What Rockstar Learned from GTA V, And How It’ll Effect Red Dead Redemption 2
(Matt Gibbs) 06:19 AM EDT - Mar,25 2017

Since Grand Theft Auto V came out in Fall 2013, GTA developer Rockstar has been busy. Not only has Rockstar funneled resources to continually improve Grand Theft Auto Online, but it’s been hard at work on Red Dead Redemption 2, the long awaited follow-up to the studio’s 2010 masterpiece.

What lessons has Rockstar learned from GTA V, and how will it improve Red Dead Redemption 2? Let’s take a look.

Multiple Characters to Care About

It’s no surprise that with a world as big as Grand Theft Auto V’s Los Santos, Rockstar would tell not one but three stories. Characters grow, their lives change, and we don’t always have to feel sympathetic to their cause. Rockstar likes to play with our expectations, giving us protagonists like Max Payne and Cole Phelps who in the end aren’t the heroes we’re lead to believe.

With Red Dead Redemption 2 set to be the largest landmass Rockstar has created, it’s likely we’ll see three main characters, if not more. We wouldn’t be surprised if Rockstar introduced even more playable characters, only to give some of them the axe (er, tomahawk?) down the road.

Improved Quests and Challenges

While the original Red Dead Redemption was pretty narrow in its mission objectives, GTA V lent itself to the three character dynamic by letting players choose how they wanted to approach a heist or mission. It also expanded the amount of side quests one could perform, with a variety of business ventures that, once purchased, unlocked even more missions to play. Of course there was also GTA 5’s infamous cheat codes too, if you wanted to let off some steam.

Given the magnitude of Red Dead Redemption’s world, quests will be more diverse and open ended, more cinematic in their scope, and will have much larger consequences for the character. You also won’t be meeting a character, completing their 4-5 missions, and moving onto the next. Characters will drop quests and return, perhaps unexpectedly, to task you with less predictable adventures.

Customization Galore

The shear amount of customization available in Grand Theft Auto V is still impressive. Cars, outfits, homes, and weapons can be tinkered with to the player’s content. Along with a refined crafting system, expect an incredible amount of customization in Red Dead Redemption 2. Not just the color of your horse, but how your guns shoot and load, how your ranch (or town) performs, and how you and your gang look and act.

Better Multiplayer

Grand Theft Auto Online is a formidable multiplayer experience in its own right, but Red Dead Redemption 2 will take everything Rockstar has learned to make it better. Sure, you won’t have a smartphone in the Wild West to instantly join a club or buy a tank, but you’ll probably be able to recruit new members at the nearest watering hole so you can finally rob a train.

Either way, the experience will probably be seamlessly integrated into RDR2’s main story mode, allowing you to switch to your custom online avatar at any point.


It’s hard to say what, exactly, Red Dead Redemption 2 will be like. So far there’s not much information besides a quick 1-minute trailer. But what is easy to say is that Rockstar continues to improve its formula with each game, and Red Dead Redemption 2 is no different.

platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
release: 2017
developer: Rockstar Games
publisher: homepage

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