Red Dead Redemption 2’s lack of the Rockstar Editor or a good photo mode means that the company ignores everything players love about the visuals.

The world of Red Dead Redemption 2 is a stunning one. Running on Rockstar Games’ custom RAGE engine, the game hosts arguably one of the most beautiful experiences on a console to date. However, in an era of gaming in which “photo modes” are becoming increasingly popular – from the addition of such features in recent hits like Marvel’s Spider-ManGod of WarShadow of the Colossus, and more, to the evolution of a photo mode throughout game series like ForzaAssassin’s Creed, etc – Rockstar’s latest hit is severely lacking.

On April 13, 2015, Rockstar Games announced that the soon-to-be-released PC version of colossal hit Grand Theft Auto V would include a brand new feature titled the Rockstar Editor. This addition would allow players to save recordings of in-game footage and edit elements such as camera angles, music, coloring, and more.  Content creators, creative fans and players everywhere expressed joy and began to experiment with the tool.

Partnered with even more tools that Rockstar Games added to allow more diverse fan content, the Rockstar Editor quickly became a one-of-a-kind feature. These other tools included Director Mode – which was mainly a “you can change whatever you want” mode – and the Snapmatic phone app that had existed since Day 1. The tools were so diverse that multiple players are making fully-fledged films with what is available to them.

When you look back upon just how many tools Rockstar designed for players to create content with, it’s a real shame that Red Dead Redemption 2 doesn’t have a shred of that.

Instead, Red Dead launched with no photo mode, director mode, or Rockstar Editor. The game’s only option for in-game photography is with a limited in-game camera or by simply turning the HUD off. Not the most ideal way to create visual content, especially with one of the most gorgeous games ever made. Of course, with the talent that a lot of fans possess, they were able to make do with the camera.

For most, the addition of the Rockstar Editor and a better photo mode is a no-brainer. I talked to a few members of some large “GTA V Snapmatic crews” who expressed their opinions on the lack of tools for photography/videography in Red Dead Redemption 2.

“I believe that they do in fact already have the Rockstar Editor tool at the ready and are not releasing it either due to a marketing strategy or the lack of information regarding how requested it is[,]” says Zorvaine, the leader of gaming photography crew Rezylo Syndicate.

When asked how he felt about that, the photographer said that he feels patient. “I think it will come at some point and I don’t mind seeing photographers push their limits with the limited tools we have as the ‘Snap Game’ will undoubtedly change when it does release.”

Red Dead Redemption 2

Some other fans, however, take a more hard stance on the lack of creation tools in the game. “Honestly, it makes no sense to me that [the Rockstar Editor] didn’t come with release.” avid content creator GTAGFX tells me.

“They have the tools and they know how good it is for them for marketing. I’ve just avoided even trying other conventional methods and just stuck to GTA V for easier photos for my Instagram.”

Infamous Rockstar Games insider Yan2995 weighed in on the conversation, adding that “[the Editor is] gonna come later, it has to. It’s such a great tool giving them free marketing. Could be a PC exclusive later added to consoles, like they did with GTA V, even though it’s pretty silly to do it like that.”

Yan has gained a following over the years for leaking accurate Rockstar Games information – something which he retired from partaking in just earlier last year.

Red Dead Redemption 2

For those who question if Rockstar Games are oblivious to the absence of this large portion of their community, all it takes is a simple glance at their social media pages to realize that they have been heavily promoting fan content made using GTA 5‘s tools for years. Now, they are starting to share content created in Red Dead’s limited camera mode.

The Rockstar Editor’s addition to GTA 5 was not just a small thing; the company pushed heavily on the usage of this tool – even going as far as to run a competition for submitting short films made in the editor.

We can only hope that the delay in adding tools like these means that they are working on bigger, better versions of the existing Rockstar Editor – or the company is, as speculated by some, waiting for a PC release to bring out the various features. Only time will tell, but the game’s lack of involvement with these tools is hurting its residual media presence.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is currently available on PS4 and Xbox One; you can read up on our review before picking up the game on Amazon if you haven’t already.

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