Red Dead Online is released in beta on Tuesday, and lets Red Dead Redemption 2 players explore Wild West. It's a very personal story to discover, missions you can handle like a bag, and a chance to rub elbows with other players – or shoot them in your face – as you move the world freely.
There is also a series of more traditional competing multiplayer modes called the Showdown Series. Right now, there is a trio of playlists, a rotating set of modes that include traditional deathmatch, team deathmatch and control point game types. It is also a separate horse racing game.
Red Dead Online also has its own take on the royal genres of the game and implement the genre's rules in some fun ways. A game type, called Make It Count, drops a group of players into a map with the goal of being the last person standing. But doing well does not spread a lot of weapons and objects around the map that could potentially make you stronger. Everyone is on the same levels in Make It Count.
There are two variations on Make It Count. In one, the players fight with arcs and a limited number of arrows. In the other, the players only have six throwing knives (and a regular knife), giving one-kill kills. These weapon restrictions force many confrontations in the Make It Count to be close and personal ̵
Like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite Red Dead Online's combat royal mode will shrink the playing area at a certain time and push players into ever closer quarters. To add to the thrill of Make It Count is that the strokes often take place in large open-air areas. I have mostly fought other players in the woods of Tall Trees and fog the swamps of Saint Denis, with few or no structures around to linger. The best thing you can hope for is to hide in the bushes or shadows of a stall in the town of Strawberry and hope you will not be discovered. But Rockstar also counteracts hard camping; If you stay stationary for a long time, the game will warn you that it will expose your position on the map to other players.
Rockstar amplifies the pressure with a stress-inducing soundtrack, a scary song of strings that makes you play Red Dead, feels like you're in a slasher girl. The Showdown series has some good music at all, but it has the most influence in Make It Count. And when another player is nearby, the controller will vibrate in a way that feels like your heart is pumping quickly as adrenaline hits. It is extremely effective to spice up the excitement.
I've been in matches with as few as eight players and as many as 13, but do not expect to match the massive players numbers to other game royal games. And right now, it seems that the only way to play Make It Count is to make it appear in the Showdown Series playlist, which means you have to play the other game modes (Shootout, Most Wanted, Hostile Territory and Name Your Weapons) to enjoy Rockstar's take on battle royale.
Fortunately, most of the other modes are also quite good. Most Wanted plays with deathmatch scoring rules, so players who have more kills are also worth more points when killed – and their kill count counting is shown just above the head. Name Your weapon also plays with scoring by giving each weapon in the arsenal its own scoring value. The "harder" a weapon is to use, the more points you get per killing. So a killing with a tomahawk or your bare fist gives more points than the easy-to-use carabiner or the reliable shotgun.
The disadvantage of the Make It Count is that it is not particularly interesting to see see ]. And Red Dead Online seems to very often match me to the current game of Make It Count, where I'm forced to encourage others slowly, trying to kill each other. Make It Count needs its own dedicated playlist.
Make It Count is where I'm most interested in spending my competitive time in Red Dead Online. Rockstar promises updates to the game's online multiplayer modes, so hopefully we will see the studio experiment more with more variations in the battle royale-inspired mode.