The issue of cheats is pretty divisive among gamers as some see them as little more than cheap boosts to help “noobs” out of the tricky parts of a Red Dead Redemption 2. In general, these people are right, however, some games out there have proven that cheats can actually improve a gaming experience rather than cheapen it, and the paragon of this approach is none other than the GTA franchise.
In the most recent title in the series, Grand Theft Auto 5, Rockstar included a great many cheats that weren’t designed to make the game easier, but rather to add a few features that otherwise didn’t fit the bill. Of course, the GTA series in the past had similar cheats alongside your garden-variety difficulty decreasing cheats, but they were most prominent in GTA 5.
Alongside things like invincibility and vehicle-spawning cheats, you could affect the weather, decrease the force of gravity, remove all traction from vehicles, gain explosive melee attacks, run super fast and jump super high, among a whole lot of others. Some outright made the game harder if anything, while others were entertaining without giving players an unfair edge.
Rockstar is soon releasing their next big hit, Red Dead Redemption 2. The original RDR, released in 2010, had many things in common with the GTA titles. Of course, the game had its own feel and was unique in many ways too, but among other similarities, it handled cheats in a similar way. Not from a technical standpoint, but in terms of mentality. Beyond a few standard cheats that make things easier, the game was filled with fun ones that turned animals into your bodyguards, for example.
Red Dead Redemption 2 could harness lessons learned from both its own predecessor and GTA 5 when it comes to cheats while further polishing the formula. At the end of the day, we too feel that a proper playthrough is sullied by the use of cheats mid-mission, so one way to improve on the formula would be restricting cheats to times when the player isn’t on a story mission, or only unlocking them once a certain percentage of completion is achieved, ensuring the players get the full experience.
However, once the cheats are unlocked, let them rip. The true key to making cheats in a game more than just a cheap way to the prize is through variety and creativity. We saw this in GTA 5 with the various world-effect cheats that added new ways to enjoy familiar activities. You might have played all the races, but what about playing them with decreased gravity and no traction? You might have traveled through the city enough times to know each alleyway by heart, but have you leaped from building to building with super-jump?
We don’t know what kinds of missions and activities we’ll get to play, but we hope that RDR2’s cheats are crafted with the aforementioned themes in mind so that they will alter factors that will truly make things different a second time around. Also, cheats can be a great way to extend the longevity of a game. A very simple cheat that would instantly turn all NPCs hostile and made aware of your location would allow for fun, if short, bouts of survival gameplay without throwing the entire feel of the game to whack.
Cheats need no longer be looked down upon by players, Rockstar proved that already. However, with RDR2 they have a great opportunity to further wash the negative connotation from the practice if they apply what they learned from GTA 5, and augment it with some new ideas too. Less invincibility, more slippery cars.