Both games that I’ll be speaking about in this article are some years old. Red Dead Redemption 2 came out in 2018, while GTA V came out in 2013. So, I’m late to the game – I know. Also, let me preference by saying that I’m talking about just GTA V here – not GTA Online. I know there’s ton to do there and this article is in no means meant to be taken as slander against GTA V. I enjoy all of the GTA games – even though GTA IV has to be my favorite; I enjoy the fifth edition to the series.
However, as I’m going through Red Dead Redemption 2 for the first time, I’m almost in disbelief by how much there’s to do in this game. Now, it’s a tad funny, because I hear that Red Dead 2’s online world is “dying” while GTA V’s online is practically an endless world of possibilities. But, what if you’re like me and you’re not into playing the online version of games? You only want to play story mode – what then? Well, as someone who has played and beaten GTA V’s story mode about three times so far, I can tell you that there’s not nearly as much to do as Rockstar’s western franchise.
Sure, there’s strangers missions and random things that pop up on GTA V’s map, but there’s not nearly enough to keep you in the world outside of shooting people up and the main storyline. Eventually, you’re going to run out of things to do in GTA V – which, always becomes my problem. I beat the story, I’ve earned money, and then I get very bored by the seemingly empty world. Now, GTA V isn’t empty – but, I end up just restarting the story just to have an activity to anchor myself to.
However, I haven’t even beaten Red Dead 2, because there’s seemingly endless possibilities. I can keep myself entertained for hours in Red Dead, without a story mission and without just mindlessly shooting up towns. Between random things that pop up, the quests to either be honorable or dishonorable, and just everything else, I can spend hours in this game without ever having to do a mission related to the story. I think it’s apparent to anyone who has moved by the GTA series to the Red Dead series that Rockstar put a lot more time in their Red Dead franchise than the franchise that essentially inspired every other open-world game out there.
So, why does it seem as if Rockstar almost gave up on GTA V? I don’t mean to really be mean to GTA V – there’s people who have made their entire careers out of playing this game. However, it seems that without people not understanding the more serious tone taken in GTA IV that Rockstar essentially gave the audience the most ridiculous game they could with V and just saved any sort of seriousness or somberness in storytelling to Red Dead Redemption 2. That’s not to say Red Dead 2 is lacking in its strangeness – it certainly has that. However, these moments are saved for NPCs, while the main character Arthur’s story is much more profound than any protagonist in GTA V.
So, I’m serious when I ask – why did Rockstar put more to do in Red Dead Redemption 2 than GTA V? Was GTA V not as well-thought-through? Or do the side missions and activities in Red Dead meant to make up for the technological disadvantages it has? I.e. no cars, machine guns, etc.? Let me know what you think!
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A girl with too many fandoms to count.