Look, I know people love their fast cars and big guns because they stick to the bank and narrowly escape man. I loved playing GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption as a teenager, so I got it. But after playing Red Dead Redemption 2 four times and still cherishing the story it tells, it gives me more hope for Rockstar’s next entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise.
While GTA started off with a sillier game, and the first Saint Street told a milder story of gang life, the roles switched quickly. Saints Row 4 sees you take on the role of the President of the United States, using your superpowers to fend off an alien invasion in a simulation. GTA 5, while still featuring some oddities in its side quests, opts for a slower, more substantial story – although it’s not as gritty as GTA 4. Red Dead 2 just cemented the importance of a darker story, so that definitely means we’re going to see that tone melded into the heart of GTA 6, right? unnecessary.
We all know that GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 are two of the most popular and well-made open worlds of the past decade. However, if you ask fans what they like about GTA 5, the answer will hardly be the story. No, it’s going to be a sandbox where you can play with guns and cars, most prominently – online mode. Only a few people will say they like the well-paced and serious story, and even then, let’s be honest: the story is weak – it’s good, but not great. The characters never feel very real or connected, plus one tedious job after another, score after score.
But for Red Dead Redemption 2, most people would say they liked its story, the depth of its characters, and its world. Less will admit to a fondness for the online mode – if anything – or the spontaneity of the game. Love is still there, that’s for sure, but appreciation is more important than anything. People love ragged outlaws, and you cheer them on because you care about them—you want them to get out of that life and be all right in the end. However, the people who love Red Dead Redemption 2 for these reasons are often different than GTA fans — not always, but usually.
So while we’ve seen Rockstar lean towards a serious and slow tone in some of its late games, will it really stick? I can only hope so. On the one hand, Red Dead Redemption 2 has been admired and won multiple awards for its superb production and visceral experience, earning endless acclaim and recognition. On the other hand, GTA 5 made a lot of money. Let the CEO choose which voice they prefer, and we can safely guess the answer — and with GTA+ becoming a subscription service for a nine-year-old game, it’s going to get some attention from fans.
GTA Online is where Rockstar defined the franchise’s vision. GTA 4’s online mode was fun, but it wasn’t until the fifth game that it finally achieved scope and scale. This continued for the next few years, with no single-player DLC coming, planned or not – all online-centric content, including the return of characters in the story, now GTA+.
However, Red Dead Online… well, it never had a chance. Rockstar knows it can’t match GTA in terms of success or longevity, so why try it? Instead, the focus has been on Red Dead Redemption 2’s story rather than the online mode, which has worked well for both the quality and direction of its narrative. However, I can’t say I can see the same results in GTA 6, where the story takes precedence over GTA 6 Online, which could throw light on the weight of the story the game tells.
I don’t think Rockstar will be completely out of GTA mode – after all this game has a certain identity.But maybe Rockstar can leave the online mode to explore the quirkier side of things and use the story to tell the true nature of the crime in more depth very bad, featuring characters that players will care about. These may be characters who have fallen into a life of crime because they have no choice but to just leave it behind and escape the horrific world it brings.
However, this rarely happens, and we don’t always see these people get away with millions of dollars and zero consequences forever. Red Dead Redemption proves that neither game is usually happy, so GTA should communicate the problem of modern crime and the realities it brings, rather than the glorified heroism that pervades its games.
It all depends on how Rockstar fits into the theme. Will we get a game whose primary purpose is to be another money-making machine that will fuel developer margins for the next decade? probably is. However, Red Dead Redemption 2 has earned itself enough profits and accolades to tell a meaningful story in the process, so why not make it a priority?
GTA 6 Online can continue to bring in the big bucks indefinitely, but Rockstar can do so much more with the single-player mode. Games can be fun, but we don’t need to worship the lives these characters lead. After all, all we want is Red Dead Redemption’s Arthur Morgan walking away for his own sake, but never giving Franklin, Michael or Trevor so much affection.
Next: GTA Online’s subscription cash grab could make the game worse