What we want from Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is on its way, as slowly but surely revealed by Rockstar games, who teasingly Tweeted a series of images this week (while the internet predictably yet wonderfully played along). 

Now that we know it’s a-comin’, I reckon it’s a good time to talk about what we hope to see from RDR2. Take a gander, partner.

For it to come to PC 

Perhaps we’re stating the obvious here, but unlike Rockstar’s other open world franchise, Red Dead Redemption never galloped onto our desktops. We know Rockstar can make games for PC, even if they often arrive a bit later than they do on console, so it would be baffling and more than a bit maddening if Red Dead Redemption 2 didn’t hitch itself to the PC wagon.

RDR2 has only been announced for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, arriving in Fall of 2017, but that doesn’t mean it’ll never show up on PC. We’re just hoping it won’t be too long a wait.

For the last one to come to PC, too

While we’re on the topic, how nice would it be if Red Dead Redemption itself arrived for PC arrived right along with the sequel (or prequel, or whatever it is)? Better late than never, and remastered versions of games seem to be the hot ticket on PC right now, so it’s not beyond imagination. Even though Redemption was a game worth buying a console for, we’d still desperately love to see it grace our desktops.

Train robberies, and other online heists 

The Wild West doesn’t have big complex facilities to steal from, but it does have trains. Think of planning a train robbery with a gang of friends. Imagine: sub-team A rides alongside the carriages, taking out guards from horseback. Sub-team B is set up way ahead, sabotaging the tracks to slow or stop the train. 

There’s huge potential for exciting period crime capers. There are banks to rob, rival gangs to ambush and plenty of opportunities for creative co-op. Replace breaching charges with sticks of dynamite, switch getaway bikes with horses and bring the Jesse James fantasy to life.

Online gang hideouts 

GTA Online has swanky, sprawling apartments in skyscrapers, but for RDR2 Online we don’t imagine becoming crime tycoons worth millions and living in whatever the Wild West considers to be opulent accommodations. 

But a sweet ramshackle hideout away from town, somewhere hidden in a canyon, up in the hills, maybe across the border (presuming there are borders) would be killer. Stock it with goods, guns, ammo, and the fastest horses you’ve got, use it to plan your next heist, and defend it from the posse when your heist goes terribly wrong.

Way more random encounters 

One of Red Dead’s defining features were the random encounters, a grab bag of small story events that took place without warning all over the map. Sometimes, a gang would ride through town dragging a poor lassoed man behind them. You could give chase and free the poor guy or ignore him without penalty. In another, you might encounter a man walking along the road dragging a mule tied to a rope. You can shoot the rope to let the mule run free and the man will give chase, or you can shoot the mule and the man screams, “You break, you buy!” before attacking. 

But the best encounters are the ones that don’t directly involve the player. We’ll never forget the time we stumbled onto a person grieving over a dead body in the snow woods up north. After sobbing for a good minute, they pull a gun and commit suicide on the spot. It's a powerfully sad moment that has nothing to do with Marston’s story, but servses to make the world feel like a lived in, troubled place. We’d be surprised if RDR2 doesn’t bring random encounters back, but this time we'd like to see more of them, though not necessarily more often. By the end of RDR, some of the events started repeating. With a deeper well and a focus on incidental world-building, RDR2’s random encounters could establish it as a more believable world.

A playable female character 

We don’t yet know if singleplayer RDR2 will have multiple playable characters like GTA 5 did, but you can’t so much as skim a history of the Wild West without encountering a bunch of gun-slinging, hard-drinking, card-dealing, bank-robbing female outlaws. Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Pearl Hart, and Laura “Della Rose” Bullion, who robbed trains with Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch, just to name a few.

The American frontier represented a new freedom for women that they typically couldn’t experience in large cities, and many of them were landowners, business owners, politicians, and, in the case of “Stagecoach Mary” Fields, a mail carrier (the first black woman to be contracted by the United States Post Office, at the age of 60, no less). Of course, many women became outlaws who engaged in cattle rustling, bootlegging, and bank robbing. It’d be a refreshing experience to step into their boots.

A more customizable cowboy 

In singleplayer RDR, John Marston had about a dozen outfits that could be unlocked, but we’d love to see a full range of cowboy dress-up taking place. Being able to mix and match boots, trousers, coats, hats, bandanas, and other accessories would let each player put a stamp on their character. A nice selection of beards, moustaches, haircuts, and scars would be welcome as well.
Needless to say, this extends into multiplayer as well: a completely customizable online avatar so we can stand out from the herd.

GTA 5’s editor

One of the nicest surprises of GTA 5’s (eventual) appearance on PC was the editor, which allowed players to record gameplay, take killer screenshots, move the camera around in the 3D space, edit footage together, add effects, and make films. The editor is a trifle clunky to use but resulted in tons of enjoyable short films and vignettes. Bringing it to RDR would allow players to create their own Westerns, showcase their best shootouts and robberies, and flex their creative muscles all over again. 

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