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4 things Rockstar needs to take from Red Dead Redemption for GTA V
Posted on November 08, 2011 by Oscar Gonzalez

 

The hype for GTA V has begun with the release of the debut trailer causing gamers everywhere to wonder what’s in store for them this time around.   Grand Theft Auto IV received plenty of high marks when it came out, sitting at the 96-97% on Gamerankings (depending on the platform) however, a growing sentiment amongst gamers is that the game was not deserving of such high scores.

As a fan of the series, I gave the game a 9.9/10 as I felt that it was incredible all around.  Even then, I’m hoping that Rockstar will learn more from Red Dead Redemption, which got a 10/10 from me, than GTA IV to make GTA V the best of the series.

 

 

4. Stop Forcing Us To Play Mini Games

 

We get it Rockstar, you came up a bunch of extra games for us to play to keep us occupied as we wait for the next mission.  I may not be one to play these games for hours on end, but there maybe someone that wants to be the Grand Theft Auto dart champion.  The point being: stop making me play the damn games!  I didn’t buy a GTA game for bowling or darts, I bought it for some fun mayhem with a (hopefully) solid plot.  It’s not Grand Theft Auto: Coney Island, so stop focusing on it.  We all know that only the most OCD gamer NEEDS to play all the mini-games while the rest of us are trying to beat the game or at least figure out how to bang a hooker.

 

What Red Dead Did

Red Dead Redemption has a multitude of mini-games but you are rarely forced to play them.  There’s no jackass hitting you up on the telegraph asking you to play some poker several times an hour. It’s left up to the player if they want to partake in the games.  Feel like being the best at Liar’s Dice?  Go for it.  Want to play Poker for hours on end? It’s all yours.  There’s no constant going back to the mini games like in GTA IV, in Red Dead it’s up to you.

 

 

 

3. Enough With Annoying Characters

 

Rockstar, listen to me here, you know that Brucie was annoying as fuck in GTA IV.  Don’t tell me that everyone signed off on him as this pinnacle of brotherly love in hopes of being the next gaming icon.  The guy was an annoying douche, which is what I’m sure you were shooting for.   Roman is also not much of a joy either, and we have to put up with him throughout the game.  Gamers are used to dealing with utterly aggravating characters throughout a game, but there’s only so much that we can take before we want to just blast them in the head ourselves.  It may seem funny to have them around when you’re creating them, especially when you make fun of them so well, but keep forcing gamers to spend way too much time with these annoying jerks.

 

 

What Red Dead Did

There’s only one character that would be deemed annoying in Red Dead Redemption that you have to deal with and that’s Nigel West Dickens.  How did Rockstar make him less of a jerkoff than Brucie or Roman?  By actually making him somewhat charming with all his scams and attempts to swindle the townspeople.  He tried to screw you over a few times and gave you some quests that you knew were going to be a pain to complete.  Yet the guy was still a charmer making for a more entertaining time with him than most of the crew from GTA IV.

 

 

 

2. Don't Try Too Hard To Give The Game An "Aeris"

 

GTA 4 was a real culprit when it comes to this.  Rockstar tried to make you feel for certain characters so that when they were killed (or not), they wanted you to feel crushed.  Instead, because we’re forced to interact with them, which makes us resent them and just not care when they meet their end.  I’m reminded of Suikoden in which the main character’s guardian, Gremino, would never leave your side requiring you to have him in your team every time you headed out.  When Gremino is killed off, I could have given less of a flying fuck about his death.  Now, when --- died off, I felt for her because I was digging the relationship, but many other gamers were turned off pretty quickly.  Of course the other option was letting Roman die and if he died, NO ONE cared.  There was also a point where Niko finally confronts the man he’s been chasing for throughout the game, and even after that moment, it still just wasn’t that emotional.

 

 

What Red Dead Did

At the beginning of the game, you meet up with Bonnie MacFarlane, who I insist is named after comedienne Bonnie MacFarlane, and the two of you have a budding relationship.  Even though John Marston constantly talks about how he has a wife to save, that sexual tension builds up over time.  Then when you have to save her and her farm, it’s not some tedious task since you actually care about the character.  The same goes the end of the game when John has to fight off an onslaught of soldiers as his family escapes, you can feel that suspense as you continue to fight wave after wave of soldiers.  That is how you make a player care for a character, not by constantly taking them on in-game dates.

 

 

 

 

1. Go Easy On The Parody

Every Grand Theft Auto takes place in a city that is a parody of a real city, except for GTA 2.  Since GTA 3, the jokes have gone from a full fledged mocking of pop culture to sophomoric dick and fart jokes making many people roll their eyes and holler “WE GET IT ALREADY!”  There’s only so much schtick that a gamer can take, and it doesn’t help when the tone of the game switches from parody to serious.   When a character death happens that was supposed to cause some sort of emotional reaction, it doesn’t help that a minute later I can steal a scooter called a “Faggio” or listen to a station with some guy giving the not-so best of love advice.  It’s entertaining to play in a world that mocks the real world, but it also kills some of the impact of the truly dramatic events.

 

 

What Red Dead Did

From the very minute you start Red Dead Redemption, you immediately feel that the world could be a representation of the real Old West.  New Austin could easily pass for an area that’s near the Mexico border during the early 1900s.  There are little puns and jokes here and there, but it’s all subtle, thus never killing the immersion.  Instead the world makes you want to really focus on the characters and the events that are happening to them so that you get sucked into the game.  On the contrary, Undead Nightmares was really far-fetched in everything creating a tone along the lines of Evil Dead.  However, because it was so light-hearted, it also made me care less about what John Marston was going through and had me focus more on killing a bunch of zombies…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

 

Oscar Gonzalez - Editor-in-Chief og (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

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