Why I’m Not Excited for Red Dead Redemption II

Red Dead Redemption II is an upcoming game from legendary game studio Rockstar who produced classics such as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and Bully. Millions of fans anticipate this game excitedly but I personally can’t help but feel uninterested.

Red Dead Redemption was a good game, I did like it a lot but I did not feel it was as good as Grand Theft Auto or Bully which to me were pinnacle of open world game play (at the time). Either way it was a Rockstar game through on through and it certainly deserves the praise it gets.  

Then came Grand Theft Auto V which in my opinion is the both the best and most disappointing Rockstar game ever created. When I played it for the first time I absolutely loved it. It was set in my favorite location from the GTA Universe, it had amazing cast of characters and a great story with amazing humour. Then GTA Online came and ruined it all for me.

GTA Online on paper seems like a great idea. Playing GTA game with others sounds like great fun, yet in the reality it isn’t. It’s full of cheaters, it has an awful community, and what’s worse, it’s full of money grabbing practices. It’s done incredibly well though. GTA V has sold over 95 million units making it one of the most sold games in the history, just below Minecraft and Tetris, all thanks to it’s Online mode.

You may be wondering now might be “what does it all have to do with Red Dead Redemption II?” 

Red Dead Redemption is coming out in the October, and we still know little of the game really. We haven’t seen any substantial gameplay or list of features.

What we heard a lot about though was microtransactions, special items, gameplay boosts, and cash bonuses, a.k.a. typical online game’s money grabbing fluff. Or in more relatable terms, pay to win. There is no question about it, Red Dead Redemption II will put tons of emphasis on its online mode, and that automatically makes me disinterested. Though I’m not one to think that single player should be a requirement in every single game that comes out, there are some games that should remain online free. Red Dead Redemption II should be one of them.

“But there will be a single player mode so there is nothing to worry about!” you may be saying. Well… first of all is Red Dead Redemption II really a single player game? That cannot be either confirmed or denied at this point but from what we saw so far, there is a chance online features will be implemented in the main aspect of the game. All of the marketing seems to be focusing on a group of characters this time around, which further deepens my interest in this project.

Even if the single player is separated from the online mode, there is no question that Take-Two will force Rockstar to put much more emphasis on this rather than on the single player, which is exactly what happened to GTA V. Remember those single player expansions that we were promised? They never came to fruition and I feel it will be the same for Red Dead Redemption II.

Yet, I might be wrong! This game might be the best thing since Witcher 3, and until we actually get our hands on it, we won’t know for sure. People at Rockstar are a talented bunch, but they also sell special editions of this game without the actual game in it. So I believe doubt is justified, but what do you think? Will Red Dead Redemption II be as good as the first? Or will it be as bad as GTA Online.