THE MAN WITH NO NAME
Red Dead's plot was fantastic. An amazing cast of eclectic characters accompanied you all the way to one of modern gaming's most incredible finales, but John Marston was a questionable protagonist.
He rarely conveyed any real personality, instead submitting to the will of others before being brushed aside and stumbling his way into another sticky situation. He sounded bored when he was supposed to be angry, he seemed insincere when he was attempting to be funny, he claimed to be a man of morals but then committed atrocities. Overall it wasn't the best portrayal of someone that's regularly claimed to be one of of the Wild West's most fearsome gunslinger.
This isn't to say we didn't like Marston, but it felt strange playing as a good guy and doing horrible stuff when so much emphasis was placed on what a decent lad ol' Johnny boy was in the narrative.
With Red Dead 2, we want a true bad ass, the most awe-inspiring cowboy in the entire frontier. Give us gaming's version of Sergio Leone's Man with No Name, Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo or Stephen King's Roland Deschain. Make him stand out from all the other middle-of-the-road cowboys around him, put him at the centre of something huge.
It's a stretch to imagine, but dynamic conversations that change depending on your play style would avoid the jarring nature of Red Dead Redemption. Conversation wheels à la Mass Effect would let you actively decide your character's persona, but we don't want something so far down RPG Lane that it jeopardises the cinematic, driven narrative experiences that Rockstar excels at.
Some sort of complicated programming algorithm needs to be invented so we feel more like the gruff Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma than the cock-nosed Owen Wilson in Shanghai Noon moseying around the west.