The Adventure Continues
Red Dead Redemption 2 recently launched earlier this month to some of the highest acclaim in the gaming industry. Rockstar outdid themselves, creating an ever living and reactive world for the player to enjoy. This week, Rockstar finally announced the start of the Red Dead Online Beta. They are releasing access to the beta in “waves”, based on the version of the game you own. The schedule was posted in a blog and you can find all the details right here.
- Tuesday, November 27th: All Red Dead Redemption 2: Ultimate Edition owners. Please note, players who purchased the physical Ultimate Edition must redeem the Ultimate Edition code in the packaging to be eligible.
- Wednesday, November 28th: All players who played Red Dead Redemption 2 on October 26th according to our data.
- Thursday, November 29th: All players who played Red Dead Redemption 2 between October 26th to October 29th according to our data.
- Friday, November 30th: All players who own Red Dead Redemption 2.
I got the chance to play when the Beta launched with the first wave. Having put in a decent amount of time have come away fairly impressed, but there are some concerns that should be addressed.
Honor Or Dishonor
You start off with your typical character customization. You got your Cowpoke or Cowgirl, a variety of disheveling looking hairdos. Serious dental work, a custom whistle and just a whole bunch of ways to make your character stand out in the wild west. I did my best to make my character look fairly clean cut but ended up looking like I was ran over by a wagon. The cleanest “Chompers” you can get make you look like you’ve got the best dental care in the western world.
You are then gently led into the world of Red Dead Online. Once you are done creating your character, you are taken through a series of quests to get you accustomed to the game. It’s a fairly simple and short tutorial, and surprisingly enjoyable. Just like in single player, there is an honor/dishonor system and works the same way. There is an ‘Honor Trader” that will allow you to go from one extreme to the other, for the cost of a few gold bars. High on the honor bar but want to become dishonorable? This is the guy you want to see.
What To Do
I’ve seen some people on social media mention that they are concerned about the content in Red Dead Online. Well rest assured, there is no end of activities in sight. There are the typical Rockstar activities that you can queue up for such as Racing, Small team PvP and Large team PvP. That’s not including the activities/quests you get from “Strangers” who are placed all over the map. Hunting, Robbing, Train Heists, Random Encounters are all just as relevant as it was in the singleplayer game. With all the little things to do, you end up having a fairly full and fun experience from the start.
You will end up doing Free Roam Missions fairly often to gain experience, which are given out by the strangers and other NPC’s you encounter. These missions play out differently depending on your honor level, so if you are a bad guy/lady wanting to do some good.. that may be a little hard to come by.
Cowpoke vs. Cowpoke
When I first loaded into free roam, it was onto a heavily populated server where i counted around 28 players all on the map at one time. Knowing the chances of running into another player on my journey had me concerned, but also excited. Will I get ambushed? Will they just ride on by, or stop and want to posse up? I found out fairly quickly that it’s safe to be on your toes when you are near another player. I’ve been ambushed and shot dead a few times, once by a group of 4 outlaws blocking a cliff side road and killing those who used it. Upon revive though (I lost basically nothing except for some coin) I was able to spawn on the cliff above, and proceeded to kill their horses. Needless to say, they ran away to go revive their horses and bandage up, the payback was swift.
Your adventures with other players in Red Dead Online will be very dynamic. Rockstar created a world where almost anything can happen, and when you shove a bunch of players into that world together…you’ll never have two of the same experiences. Oh, and there is area chat. You can talk to other players who are in your vicinity, use that information at your own risk. My player experiences so far have been entertaining, and thankfully not overly negative which I kind of expected it to be. Keep on your toes, keep your distance and everything should be fine.
Is This What You Call A “Posse”?
Sometimes banding together with friends is fun, right? Well the game is definitely a lot more fun when you are playing with friends. You can form a “Posse” by just simply inviting your friends to your game (if there is room in the lobby). If you really feel like you’re up for an adventure.. you can match make with another group. Usually they are already in the game, and you join in on whatever activity or nonsense they are up to. In the start screen of Red Dead Online, beside Free Roam you’ll see the “Posse” mode. This will send you off to group with randoms for random adventures.
What You Think Partner?
Red Dead Online has been a really fun experience so far, but I do have some concerns about it. Rockstar has created a world where having a multiplayer aspect, it’s become one of the most dynamic worlds you could experience. With adding people, you get the thorns that come with them. You can shoot and kill any other player you encounter, so how often am i going to have a group of people hunting down and killing tons of people at random? Will they end up picking a single player and hunting him down each time they respawn? I hope it never comes to this, but I think we all know that it’s guaranteed to happen. There should be a way to have a “Safe Zone Time Limit” after each respawn, some sort of measure without having to resort to turning the game off.
What in the hell is with the pricing for items in the game!? Everything is x3 the price they were in the singleplayer game! I mean I get we are supposed to be doing a whole bunch of stuff constantly…but $1000 for one of the best pistols? Ouch! I’ll give them some credit though, you need to reach a certain rank to unlock certain weapons/items throughout the online game. By the time you actually hit the rank for the weapon/item you want to buy, you should have more than enough to purchase it. This also goes for their odd implementation of the Gold Bars. You earn a little bit of a gold bar every know and then as you play, of course the more you play the more you earn. Some items/weapons/horses/cosmetics are locked behind these gold bars. Many of these items take quite a few gold bars to unlock, like 50-80+. These items are all the highest ranked items you can unlock anyways, so by the time you hit rank 50, 55, 60+ you might have enough gold bars to purchase what you want.
All in all, Red Dead Online is a must-play experience. If you liked Red Dead Redemption 2 at all in anyway, you will enjoy the online portion. The support Rockstar will put towards Red Dead Online will be heavy, so you will never run out of things to do. Red Dead Online will continue to satisfy the need of wanting the game to never end.
Tips And Tricks
If you’ve played the main game, you already know what to do in order to survive the wild west. For those of you about to dip your toe into the waters for the first time for Online, here’s some tips.
- Hunt/Harvest when you can to have a steady supply of resources
- Explore, there’s a ton of stuff to discover out there
- Take care of your horse, the bond is sacred
- Keep your eyes out for other players. They can kill from afar
- You can set up your camp in many different areas
- Keep doing activities to level up quickly and gain cash
- If a moral decision ends up being 50/50, the game likes to choose the greater of two evils
- Fast Travel posts are your friend
- Craft/cook when you can
- It pays to be friendly
If there are aspects of the game you don’t like, always give feedback! This is probably the most valuable thing you can do, to help shape the game you want to be in. If you have yet to play the game at all, and want to read a comprehensive review about it, you can find the official TiCGamesNetwork review right here.