It cannot be understated just how shallow and repetitive Red Dead Online is in its current form. It’s a pale imitation of GTA Online with a paltry set of story missions that can be done in a couple of hours; some bang average PvP modes, and plenty of god-awful cut-and-paste open-world missions. It has a long, long way to go before it becomes anything close to satisfactory.
Surprisingly though, publisher Take-Two Interactive has just announced during an earnings call that not only is Red Dead Online currently performing better than GTA Online did at the same stage of its launch, but that it’s also leaving beta by the end of June. Good luck, Rockstar.
Red Dead Online isn’t a game that’s beyond rescuing, although Rockstar certainly has a mighty uphill battle. They’re certainly not going to be giving up on it though, particularly with Red Dead Redemption 2 shifting 24 million copies already. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has said RDO is a “long term opportunity” and promises “significant new content” once it finally leaves beta.
I personally had high hopes for roaming with my posse. We’ve definitely given Red Dead Online a fair crack since its beta launch but there’s so little to actually grapple onto. It’s a poor, often buggy experience that needs content, and lots of it. None of this is helped by the awful lock-on aiming system on consoles which renders PvP an instant headshot nightmare with sluggish controls. Story missions feel like where Red Dead Online is going to live or die, although we’ve heard precious little from Rockstar on this front, other than ‘it’s coming’.
New ‘A Land of Opportunities’ missions are probably the most sought after content, although Rockstar is also looking to adding new free roam mission types and dynamic events such as ambushes and rescues. GTA 5-style Heists have got to be coming eventually though, or at least something meaty that players can sink their teeth into for weeks on end. There are only so many Showdowns we can busy ourselves with to buy some new dungarees before fatigue sets in. So far, all Red Dead Online has proven is how integral vehicles are to GTA Online; there's just only so much you can while galloping about on a horse.
Still, at least it may be content-rich by the time the PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 finally rolls out. Speaking of which, there are fresh rumours pointing towards a PC release for Red Dead 2.
What do you reckon then, is Red Dead Online going to turn a corner when it leaves beta? What does Rockstar need to add for you to invest more time? Let us know your thoughts below!