As you may have seen on Twitter and Facebook, Rockstar Games appears to be tickling everyone with the possibility of a sequel to Red Dead Redemption, the acclaimed Western-themed sandbox game of 2010.
It's been close to five years since Rockstar have announced a new game, instead filling the time with free DLC content for Grand Theft Auto V - the most recent of which is the excellent Bikers update. Earlier this year, Red Dead Redemption was made backward-compatible for the Xbox One and Red Dead Revolver just recently became available on PSN, so the thinking is that Rockstar is reacquainting everyone with the series.
So, what would we like to see in the Red Dead sequel? We've a few thoughts, to say the least.
6. VOICE ACTORS, GOOD VOICE ACTORS
Samuel L. Jackson, James Woods, Ray Liotta and Burt Reynolds all turned up in a Grand Theft Auto game. However, when Grand Theft Auto IV hit, that pretty much went out the window. It's easy to see why - games are set a certain budget and you can either divert the money into programming new features and making new things for the game or you can spend it on well-known actors. While both Grand Theft Auto IV and V had competent voice actors, and so to did Red Dead Redemption, there was a little something missing in them that could definitely be rectified with some more talented and skilled actors. It doesn't even have to be household names, either. Character actors like, say, Richard Jenkins or something would fit nicely into Red Dead Redemption's world.
5. A MORE INVOLVED SHOOTING SYSTEM
While there was a simplistic elegance to how Red Dead Redemption approached shooting, it did get a little bit repetitive in places and the drawing system felt clunky and scripted when you played it. This time around, how about something a little bit more involved and in-depth? Speaking of in-depth...
4. MORE CLOTHING OPTIONS, MORE CUSTOMISATION
The gap between Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption in terms of customisation was pretty damn spectacular. Fine, there was a difference in what was available and what could work on each game, but it definitely felt like skin customisation and costume changes were hugely lacking from Red Dead Redemption. One of the brilliant things about Grand Theft Auto V was how you really felt you could change and own the character - all three of them in Single Player, as well - and make them more than just stock avatars.
3. REFINE THE MULTIPLAYER SYSTEM, MAKE MULTIPLAYER GREAT AGAIN
Yes, we're comparing Red Dead Redemption to Grand Theft Auto V quite a bit and, yes, they're two different experiences. However, there's a lot to love about it and there's a lot that could be readily applied to the Red Dead sequel. For one thing, how about an open world multiplayer like GTA Online? The map in Red Dead Redemption's single player campaign was just begging to be populated with random scavengers and the like. Think about applying the same mechanics of GTA Online to a Red Dead setting. You need to round up a posse of players, hit a stagecoach and get out before the Union Army or whoever comes after you.
2. PLEASE DON'T STOP THE MUSIC
Red Dead Redemption had, in our opinion, one of the greatest musical interludes in any gaming experience we can think of. The moment when John Marston leaves the boat and heads into Mexico and Jose Gonzalez's Far Away comes up slowly as your horse pounds through the desert is just haunting. It felt so raw, so deep and so pregnant with emotions. The same goes for the moment when Marston returns to his ranch and Jamie Lidell's Compass blasts off. If they can keep that tasteful music up, they're on to a winner.
1. A GOOD STORY
The thing that separated Red Dead Redemption from Grand Theft Auto was that it had a deeply involved story that players felt truly involved in. A resonating story about the end of the American frontier, an anti-government message and whether or not vengeance is the answer. Red Dead Redemption had all the hallmarks of a Spaghetti Western, complete with the music and imagery to back it up. That level of depth and storytelling has been missing from games lately and it's something that the Red Dead sequel can bring back.
Did we miss any features? What would you like to see in the Red Dead sequel? Let us know in the comments!