Red Dead Online Leaves Beta

Red Dead Online officially left beta yesterday with a new update adding a few new modes, Rockstar dropped the Beta splash from the loading screens on the sly and didn’t really make a giant fuss about the end of the Beta period.

At first glance, it appeared that not a lot was added. A few new Co-op missions, a few new free roam missions, and some new gear, such as the LeMat Revolver. I say first glance for a reason, peering into the announcement quite a few changes are quite promising as well as a few things that are teased for future updates.

New Goodies for Red Dead Online:

  • Poker is here! All poker tables seat up to 6 players, available in 5 locations: Blackwater, Saint Denis, Tumbleweed, Valentine and Flatneck Station.
  • Posse Challenges. Biggest Fish, Bird Shooting, or Herb Picking Contest.
  • Dynamic Events: Random encounters such as found in single player will now show up.
  • Playing Styles. You can choose between Offensive and Defensive playing styles. Offensive being the baseline for how the Online has worked since launch. Able to attack any player and meet the consequence of that action. Defensive mode is for players who want more exploratory experience in Free Roam. From the announcement, “Players in Defensive mode will be indicated by a shield icon, will take reduced damage from enemy players, cannot be lassoed, melee attacked, executed or targeted with auto-aim. Defensive players will also be excluded from being targeted in PvP-related missions such as Player Assassination. Those who attack Defensive players receive hefty penalties via the Hostility system, while players who initiate conflict while in Defensive mode will be instantly pulled out of Defensive mode and also receive similar Hostility penalties.”
  • A host of tweaks and modifications that can be found here.

The future updates that were teased will be the addition of roles that you can select for your online character. Bounty Hunter, Trader, and Collector will be the first three that will drop during the summer months. Each will come with its own quest line and gear to help individualize your own story.

It has been awhile since I have stopped by the Red Dead world, the inclusion of poker and some of these future updates might be enough to bring me back into the fold. Are you still playing? Tell us your thoughts on these updates.

future update


Red Dead Online Bonus This Week

Are you playing Red Dead Online? If so, and your online character gets (or is already) above level 10 at any point this week, you will get a 100$ in game bonus for your character. The bonus will be paid out to your account no later than May 15th. This writer has long since decided to wait until the Online is a little less Beta, but if you are running races or involved in any of the battle royales, this is a deal for you.

Update Coming to Red Dead Online Next Week

On February 26, there will be an update to Red Dead Online. This update is set to include a new Free Roam Event, Showdown Modes, Races, Guns, emotes and cosmetics.

The new Free Roam Event, Fool’s Gold, is a competition where players will fight over a gold suit of armor. To earn points and wear the armored suit, players must take down whoever already has possession of the gold armor.

Red Dead Fool's Gold

Along with Fool’s Gold, comes new fishing challenges, and three showdown modes called Up in Smoke, Spoils of War and Plunder. Rockstar is also adding a new style of races called Target Races. The races will consist of players racing from target to target where they must shoot the targets while riding on horseback. Players will be able to purchase two new guns called the Evens Repeater rifle and the Rare Shotgun, as well as new clothes. New emotes will also be added in the update.

My Red Dead Online First Impressions

I purchased the Ultimate Edition of Red Dead Redemption 2 the minute it became available, yesterday I was able to taste the last string of bonuses that my extra dollars paid for, the first day of the Beta for Red Dead Online.

I have fond memories of being online for the first Red Dead, it was actually the first time I played a game online. Being in my mid 30’s, I felt a bit old playing games online. I saw that poker was available and thought, “What the heck?” and gave it a try. I actually won my first hand with a bluff, got an achievement, and got hooked. I explored the online component pretty extensively and got over my age issues and just decided to enjoy the new way to play a fun game.

Cut to yesterday, I had to wait until my shift at work had ended, missing the early access by several hours. Finally, I got home and clicked the Red Dead 2 icon… and had to wait for a five gigabyte download to finish. So I made a snack, played around on my phone, and ruminated on the days when such a download would have taken hours, if not days.

It finally finished, and I loaded up the online game. The first thing you do is make a character, you can choose  gender, skin tone, hair and color… to make a reasonably ugly character(My GTA Online character is pretty ugly too, so wasn’t super surprised.). Once you settle on a look, the story starts you at Sisika Penitentiary, working the chain gang until you are chosen for a job in Blackwater. On the way, you are sprung from the wagon you are in and taken to your mysterious benefactor, Mrs. LeClerk, who informs you that you were to be hung for a crime you didn’t commit and she wants to help you get revenge. Cue the dramatic Western music.

So far… so good. You do a few random missions establishing your own camp and getting your own very sad looking horse and after about an hour or so, you are dropped into Free Roam. 32 other players can be in the same instance as you and a number of those 32 players were asses in mine. I took a stranger mission to drive two wagons to Manzanita Post from Blackwater. During my journey I was shot and killed 17 times. Now this was an open world mission, and players are encouraged to interfere in these kinds of quests.

So, I went to Blackwater to do one of the “Story” missions, where I was shot and killed by a camper who was sitting outside the starting position 2 times. I walked outside my camp to collect herbs. I was shot, almost to death, and then hogtied while two players danced with emotes over my prone body.

Later tonight, I plan on trying the gunfighting team based options that are available and see if I get a better experience. If I were to bemoan a missing component, it would be that there are no mini games in the beta. I have seen a lot of comments online that because micro transactions will be involved, poker may not be a part of the online component at all. Which would definitely be a bummer. I would also like to see a “Passive” mode, for players that just want to explore and hunt. GTA Online eventually brought such a feature and, in my humble opinion, it was a great addition.

Now this IS a beta and these rough moments are to be expected. Micro-transactions are NOT a part of the game yet and I am sure Rockstar is paying close attention to what works and what doesn’t. While I am frustrated with my experience, to be sure, I am in no way ready to throw in the towel.  I didn’t break out of video game prison to give up so quickly.

Day one players get access today, while people who played during the first weekend can start tomorrow and the rest of the world on Friday.

Tell us your thoughts and experience on the Beta and maybe we will see you on the plains.


Grand Theft Auto V has Finally Taken its Place as Best-Selling Game in US History

Normally even the most popular games die down after awhile, leaving only some dedicated players and those who have yet to buy or play the game. Though it really isn’t a huge surprise considering the long-time popularity of the series, Rockstar Game’s Grand Theft Auto V hasn’t strayed far from top-seller lists regardless of its initial release being even before the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

What is a little odd is that the price hasn’t dropped in those four years. Sure, there is the occasional sale at Gamestop, Amazon, Target, or even digital resources- most recently it has been offered at a 50% discount to Xbox Live Gold subscribers- but overall the game is still $60. Of course most of us will pay that price for a brand new title, but one that is four years old? It’s no wonder that Rockstar doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to drop the price if the demand is still so high.

Don’t believe us? Check out Gamestop’s website here.

Of course, the PC release in 2015 aided the game’s popularity because often Rockstar focuses solely on consoles. But we are in the holiday season of 2017 now and the game is still, well, killing it.

It was announced this week that Grand Theft Auto V is now the best-selling video game in United States history, at 85 billion copies. The previous record-holder was actually Nintendo’s Wii Sports at 82 billion. The sales for Wii Sports were largely in part the fact that it was bundled with the Nintendo Wii for quite some time, but it sold surprisingly well after it was removed and the system was sold on its own or bundled with other games. So that makes GTAV’s success all the more impressive, because that is 85 billion individual copies. Of course this probably includes gifted copies, rebuys for other systems, rebuys after a break or other issue with discs, and those who are buying the game for the first time. Maybe it has to do with all the kids that turn 17 every year and can finally buy it without their mom’s permission.

Aside from showing how a really great game can keep interest, this also shows that if it is really good and constantly updates content that people will almost always be willing to pay full price.

The popularity of Grand Theft Auto Online is a huge selling point for GTAV, because many fans had longed for such a title. From character creation to conducting heists with your buddies, there is always something to do. What really grabs players is that Rockstar keeps it running smoothly and updates it occasionally with new content. The scary thing is, that best-selling title doesn’t include the ridiculous amounts of money fans have spent on the cash cards for GTA Online.

This is definitely one for the books in video gaming history, and who knows if or when it will be beaten. If something ever does accomplish surpassing GTAV, it’s going to be really, really good.