The highly anticipated Red Dead Online Beta released yesterday for owners of the Red Dead Redemption II Ultimate Edition. The update for the online component weighed in at just over 5GB on my PlayStation 4, with roughly 5,6GB on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. When I read that only Ultimate Edition owners will get to play it on the 27th, my heart sank. Luckily for me - the proud owner of the Special Edition - I could play the online beta on the 28th.
In Red Dead Online, you play as an outlaw accused of a hand-full of crimes and the opening moments kick off in an interesting way. You will play around with the character creator then swiftly get rescued by men working for Jessica LeClerk. The inclusion of a light story element in the Red Dead Online is a great addition. The little that I experienced doesn't compare to the single-player story but provides a nice guideline for players starting out. As with most things on the frontier, being rescued comes at a price. Jessica proposes a trade for your rescue: in return for her freeing you, you must hunt down the men that killed her husband.
After this opening sequence, the world opens up to you. You set up a camp, get your first horse and, after the formalities, plot your own way forward. Choosing your path at the moment is a bit bare bones. Not for lack of imagination on the players part, but for actual structured things to do in the beta. Sure, there are activities like hunting, raiding gang hideouts, and some side mission, but it feels a bit empty at the moment.
On the plus side, the entire game map is available to players. A wide open world for them to explore, only this time in a different way. You can join players for some jolly cooperation or, if you are a true outlaw, harass them to no end. Your camp also serves as a safe zone, where you can rest and/or re-group before heading out on your next expedition. If you want to live life dangerously, you can also turn the "safe" function off for your camp.
As I mentioned before, the beta feels a bit empty, but this feeling has me more excited than I could have imagined. The foundation for Red Dead Online is rock solid and taking Grand Theft Auto V's online into consideration, Rockstar is probably going to build a fantastic online environment for Red Dead Redemption II players. If you are expecting the chaotic nature of GTAV's multiplayer, you might be disappointed, but if you want to be a part of Red Dead Online's evolution, you are in for a treat.
If you are still undecided on Red Dead Redemption II, read through Andrew's review right here.
Red Dead Redemption II is now available PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Kingdom Hearts devotee, From Software fanboy and aspiring Audiophile (the good kind that believes in FLAC files). Vincent enjoys writing about games almost as much as playing them.
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