Quick Look: Red Dead Online

I have a stack of games to play. Loads I want to review and create content for this site, with. But I can’t…… I can’t because I’m playing Red Dead Online at any opportunity I get.

At the beginning of December, Rockstar released the Red Dead Online element of Red Dead Redemption 2 as a separate unit for around a fiver. I’ve missed playing Red Dead, we needed a new clan game to play together, and well, it all just seemed to fall into place.

For a fiver, what’s the harm?

Truth be told, I’ve wringed my five pounds out of it already, and had a great time.


Red Dead Online

So what is Red Dead Online and why is it worth anyone’s time?

Fair question, and if I’m honest, you could not play it, and not miss out on anything. To me the joy of Red Dead online comes from playing with others.

Having said that, the map and overall aesthetic of Red Dead Redemption 2 is something I’ve missed. So I’ve been wandering around on horseback, fishing, hunting, taking in bounties and spending way too much money on clothes.

If you’re looking for a game where you just chill, just take it in and do things at your own pace. You’re in the right place! Glorious sunsets, brewing coffee over a campfire, selling animal hides…..you name it, that old-fashioned lifestyle is there for the taking.

Beyond, that though. It can very easily become Grand Theft Auto Online but with horses.

All the hallmark Rockstar touches are there. And economy that screws the player over at every turn. Weird match making. Instances full of hackers and griefers. Fetch-quests, grinding out basic missions.

How can it be enjoyable, then? Well, for a start, the hackers etc have been rare occurrences for me. Plus, once you’re rolling with your posse, you’re too busy lassoing each other to care.


Worth a punt?

Absolutely. If you have a few friends that are so tired of Destiny or other mmo-style games. It seems to me that Red Dead Online is the perfect remedy.

You’re not constantly running the same strikes or missions over and over. You’re not working towards gear where the odds are stacked against you.

Nope. Instead, you’re levelling-up, going on horseback adventures, shoot-outs, stage coach robberies and sometimes running away from bears.

Ok, it isn’t full to the brim with content. And to take on “roles” that give you some kind of direction for a while, you have to use Gold (a currency that you can buy with real money if you so choose). But with a little bit of a grind, you can generally earn enough gold to do what you need.

All the content locked away by levels or money, are generally cosmetic or aimed at the less casual player, anyway. So you’re never really missing out on anything. Especially when you can all do missions together in your posse.

The supply runs remind me so much of starting a business in GTA online. Getting the parts you need to create your product (fetch quests). Then selling them off after your warehouse is full. But without the chaos of GTA, you can your friends can take a 20 minute ride across the map, have a chat and keep any rivals away from the wagon.

It’s just what I needed right now.

After doing daily quests and things in Destiny 2 and even in Warframe. I all but swore I wouldn’t get into that cycle again. Signing in, perhaps completing some minor task, just for a miniscule reward. But here I am. Logging into Red Dead Online every day for a few minutes to keep my streak going……


Just have a good time

The best part about Red Dead Online is the freedom to just dick about with your friends.

God knows that 2020 has been testing enough as it is. Having a virtual playground to be idiots in, make some XP and money and slowly level up, is all I need right now.

Yes, I want to be playing about 100 other games. But when my time is limited, isn’t it better spent catching up with your mates and brothers? Dragging someone behind your horse when they were just trying to look through their catalogue……

Go fishing (with or without dynamite!). Go hunting, or work towards researching every creature in the game. It doesn’t matter.

Red Dead Online lets your be your kind of cowboy. It doesn’t make you stick to masses of story missions. It doesn’t stick level limits on content, and there’s no RNG to let you down over and over again.

Go up the mountains with your horse, take in the view. Listen to that score, and just enjoy your downtime, when we’re all surrounded by a world that had may as well be on fire at this point.

Dip in for 20 minutes here and there, or play for hours. It’s not the most content-rich game in the world. But it’s such a big world to explore. Just kick back a bit.

Red Dead Online is the tonic to the world outside. Pure escapism and joy.

For a fiver, the price of admission is well worth the ride.

Get stuck in!

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