Rockstar Games struck gold with Grand Theft Auto 5, a title that bagged so many perfect reviews it is among the most critically praised games in the industry. The amount of effort and work that goes toward such an achievement is immense, however things can be made easier if you don’t need to tackle the same issues over and over. Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar’s upcoming release, shares many points of similarity with GTA 5, and the guys working on it could take a few cues from the previous release.

While Red Dead Redemption 2 probably won’t threaten GTA 5’s sales records, it has the potential to eclipse it in terms of quality. However, to truly craft a better game, Rockstar will need to take a long look at GTA 5 and make note of what they need to replicate, and what to fix. When it comes to a game as massive and expansive as GTA 5, it’s easy to lose sight of smaller flaws that end up sticking in the minds of the players.

If we were to jot down all the things GTA 5 did right, we’d be left with a list so long that you’d wear down your scroll wheel getting to the end of it. Instead, we should focus on the things Rockstar should improve upon for their upcoming release. Despite the overwhelming success and critical praise GTA 5 has earned, it isn’t flawless.


In fact, there is something that GTA 5 got wrong and which Red Dead Redemption’s first installment, got right back in 2010: guns.

Red Dead Redemption's shooting

Red Dead Redemption’s shooting (via YouTube)

RDR’s guns have weight, have power and have a true sense of force to them. On the other hand, the weapons in GTA 5 feel weak in comparison. There are uncharacteristic and relatively quiet sounds accompanying every shot while in terms of visuals, there is little by way of animation. Your character’s hand slightly hops backwards and there is a small muzzle flash, but that’s it.

One way to remedy this is by activating one of GTA 5’s many well-known, developer-included cheat codes, specifically, the “explosive ammo cheat”. The only problem with that however, is your pistol then being able to take out choppers with a single shot.

Cheat codes aside though, while it’s true that modern weapons generally cut back on recoil and muzzle flash for the sake of accuracy and stealth, people who’ve fired guns in real life will know that GTA 5’s depiction is too tame. Red Dead Redemption’s guns are loud, mean and powerful. Shooting has weight and feels like something serious and dangerous. We hope that kind of feedback returns with Red Dead Redemption 2, instead of GTA 5’s peashooters.

Wanted Dead or Alive

Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5 (via Rockstar Games)

Another feature that’s a tad lackluster in Grand Theft Auto 5 is the wanted system. If you are out in the desert alone with one other NPC at night, and nobody else is within earshot or visible range, and you kill said NPC, the Los Santos Police Department will instantly zero in on your location and have perfectly-aiming terminator cops on you within moments. RDR, on the other hand, has a proper witness system where crimes must be observed to be reported, and if the player dispatches the witness (or witnesses), they can get away with the felony.

World Wild West

When it comes to multiplayer, GTA Online is an even greater achievement than GTA 5’s single player component, at least financially. It was something of an unexpected success too, since Rockstar didn’t anticipate it exploding into the hyper-popular game it is today (it receives 8 million weekly logins at last count). That is probably why instead of investing in a massive server park of their own, they opted for a peer-to-peer setup. Let’s hope they use some of the immense profit GTA 5 has generated to get proper dedicated servers for Red Dead Online.

GTA Online

Grand Theft Auto Online (via YouTube)

See, the peer-to-peer architecture of GTA Online has resulted in numerous issues, the main one being instability. Since players are constantly downloading data from one another, one player with a shoddy internet connection can make things choppy for everyone. Often, you’ll be booted from sessions or dropped into one on your own. There aren’t any lobby options nor is there a server browser either, both of which are essentially mandatory features in multiplayer games nowadays. Grand Theft Auto 4 and Red Dead Redemption’s multiplayer modes both featured infinitely better systems. We can’t quite figure out why Rockstar took several steps in the wrong direction with GTA Online, but we’re sure hoping Red Dead Online will make up for those steps, while also taking some forward too.

As the fall release of Red Dead Redemption 2 approaches, it’s almost certain that the game is very close to going gold, meaning that major changes in the base system won’t be implemented at this point. So we’re just hoping that Rockstar Games thought of these issues and suggestions themselves.