The upcoming release of Red Dead Redemption 2 is the single most hotly anticipated game launch of the year, even though it has some tough competition to go up against. That said, after the insane success of GTA 5, it’s pretty much a guarantee that the next thing from Rockstar will be hyped up and extremely popular.

That said, we hope GTA 5 will leave a mark on RDR2 greater than simply providing it with publicity. While the game got a boatload of perfect and near-perfect review scores, no game – not even those made by Rockstar – is perfect. GTA 5 did many things right that we want to see return in RDR2, however it also did a few things wrong, and we hope Rockstar learned their lessons.

There can be no doubt as to the fact that GTA 5 will influence RDR2 in many ways, simply due to how similar the base concepts and mechanics of the games are, and thanks to its popularity. We’ve put together a list of things Rockstar got very right with GTA and that we hope to see implemented in the upcoming release, as well as some issues that we hope were ironed out.

The Pretty

While much good can be said about GTA 5, most of it is such an inherent part of the game that you can’t just take it out and plop it over into some other title in the hopes of success. That said, what Rockstar crafted particularly masterfully in that title was the open world sandbox. We hope the Red Dead Redemption 2’s setting will be at least as vibrant, varied and alive as Los Santos and Blaine County are.

The world in GTA 5 felt like it was more than just a device manufactured to respond to player input, but rather a living, breathing environment which did its own thing at its own pace. Interesting things happened without the interference of the player, and the world was happily going about its business on its own.

When not running with screams away from gunfire, a corpse, or you having just activated the invincibility, weapons and explosive ammo cheats and gone wild, the citizens of the game have their own unique behaviours, personalities and a set of activities to perform.

We hope to see a similar vibrancy and independence in the setting of RDR2. It shouldn’t be beholden to the actions of the player, but rather giving the experience structure and form. We want things to happen regardless of what we do, and we naturally hope that the developers bring their meticulous attention to detail over into the new project as well.

Very early indications (thanks to the trailer) are that Rockstar will get this one right, however we’re going to need a bit more than 30 seconds of non-gameplay video to make a conclusive ruling!

The Ugly

When it comes to the flaws of GTA 5, there is not a whole lot that comes to mind. That said, one glaring issue with the game needs to be solved for the new release – weapon selection. GTA 5 is loaded with all kinds of guns, and GTA Online even more so. Thing is, players are always lugging their entire arsenals around with them, and the only way to access your weapons is through the weapon wheel. This thing is cut into 8 slices, each representing a category of weapon, however the order and arrangement cannot be altered within categories. You might only ever use a single assault rifle, but you’re running around with a dozen at any given time and need to scroll through all of them before getting to your desired weapon.

Rockstar kinda-sorta addressed this issue in GTA Online with the relatively recent addition of gun lockers, however these only store weapons for freeroam, and even then, they often don’t work. Each time you play a mission or even merely reinitialize, the weapons will be back to clog up your inventory at the worst possible times.

In the end, it is indisputable that GTA 5 did way more things right than it did wrong, and we’re sure that RDR2 will refine the formula even further once it is finally released. We don’t have a concrete date yet, but eagerly await any new information about the game.

This article was submitted by Samuel Dickens.

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