A Geek Notes review of Red Dead Online

By Tamsin Mathias

Rockstar Games announced yesterday that the Beta period for Red Dead Online has finally ended. Hoorah!

Their announcement, revealed that the new update brought with it a host of new gameplay including new cooperative story missions, Free Roam activities and the addition of Poker, alongside a range of updates and improvements that strengthen and stabiliza the foundational world of the Red Dead Online experience.

Rockstar said: “A massive thank you to everyone who participated during the beta period. Your feedback has been instrumental in helping us fine tune the game so far with many of your suggestions implemented in today’s update, and we will continue to implement more of your feedback in future updates to come.

“This is just the beginning. The future of Red Dead Online not only includes continued improvements to the core elements of the world to make every aspect of the game fun for all kinds of players, but also brand-new experiences that establish a deeper, more immersive connection to the world and your character.”

Once we here at Geek Notes heard of the update, we though we’d log on and give it a try.

The new Horley missions feels very much like when heists were introduced in GTA V, but they flow and they’re fun missions to do, too.

It’s the gameplay we’ve been waiting for. It’s not going from stranger to stranger trying to find something to do, completing your daily challenges just to get a boost in XP – it’s getting together either in a posse or not, and completing missions in a way that makes you feel like you’re playing a really interesting game, rather than just wandering around the map.

That’s what put a lot of players off, and why so many people turned off their consoles and went back to their old favourites. They felt like it wasn’t quite what they had in mind, and if you weren’t in a posse, it did end up becoming pretty boring.

But not now.

The addition of poker is interesting. If you’re in a posse, then you can only put down $5.00 at a time. However, if you join a game of poker by yourself, you put down $25.00

There’s an opportunity here to make a lot of money if you play your cards right. As we suspected, gold cannot be used in poker (because that would be classed as gambling, right?) but as long as you have enough dollar you’ll be fine!

Rockstar has also tweaked the graphics – we noticed last night that the horses look different and there are less similarities between the Tennesse Walker and the Morgan, for example.

The night sky definitely looks more ‘alive’ and filled with stars, and the sea is way more detailed than it was with seaweed floating around in it, too.

One of the things that used to wind us up as players was targeting. Rockstar stepped up and introduced the Parley system, but now you can ‘press charges’, too.

When a lower Hostility player is killed without retaliating they will have an option to “Press Charges” during the respawn period, which will enforce an increase on their attacker’s Hostility and Bounty value. Press Charges is not available if you are a high Hostility player or marked as an enemy to the player who killed you.

Rockstar said: “In the weeks ahead, more additions to Red Dead Online include new Free Roam characters, as well as new Showdown modes and lots more. This includes new Free Roam Missions and Clothing for both PS4 and Xbox One next week on May 21st, along with new PS4 Early Access content (keep an eye on the PlayStation Blog for more details soon).

“Then on May 28th, look for the new Head for the Hills Showdown Mode, the Wild Animal Kills Competitive Free Roam Challenge and more. Followed by the Public Enemy Showdown Mode and Railroad Baron Free Roam Event, where players capture cars on a moving train, on June 4th. June 11th’s update includes the Sport of Kings Showdown Mode, plus new limited-time and permanent clothing additions to the Wheeler, Rawson and Co. Catalogue.

“Also keep an eye out for weekly bonuses like RDO$ and Gold gifts, increased payouts, care packages, exclusive gifts and more.”

So if you turned away from Red Dead Online, thinking it’s wasn’t quite what you’re after, give it another go.

To read about all of the latest updates, head over to the Rockstar website.

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