Grand Theft Auto V showed us all that an online portion of a game can prove very lucrative for a developer. Not to mention, be quite enjoyable for the player, too. Which is probably why Red Dead Redemption 2 followed suit with Red Dead Online, albeit post launch. But Rockstar seem to have been taken aback by just how many fans have embraced the spin off. And in how they have all chosen to enjoy its world.
Because if you take any two players, I bet they don’t play it the same way. Take 20 and you can probably say the same. And the next 200 after that…
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This is strange considering Grand Theft Auto Online almost encourages a common kind of behaviour amongst its inhabitants – you know, the ‘make it rain money’ and ‘fill your garage with very fast cars’ sort of lifestyle. Yet, in comparison, Red Dead Online has allowed players to take on their own identities. If they want to be true cowboys (and ‘gals), they can be – spending their days riding the trails and eating their beans. But if they want to be the next Dog the Bounty Hunter, or even fastest finger in the West, the game accommodates that, as well.
In fact, whether you want to be good or bad, you’ll find a place to call home here. And no certain play style trumps any other, either.
This creativity was applauded by the development team, who have admitted they wanted to recreate the Wild West in the 1800s as accurately as possible. And in doing so, offer up a world of opportunities to those who ride into its sunset. The director of design production at Rockstar, Tarek Hamad, told GameSpot:
“With Red Dead Online, we’re trying to deliver every aspect of what it might be like to live in frontier America in the late 1800s, so it offers a huge variety of options for players to create the experience they want within that world,
“By designing it in this way, there’s room for players of all kinds.
“At the same time, we do see a large portion of the community enjoy some of the more solitary and calm pursuits on offer. We’ve made sure to provide just as much freedom for players who want to live a peaceful life as a hunter, or tending to their camp, or a burgeoning business owner – or even become a deadly bounty hunter that can protect the peaceful players of the world from the scoundrels.”
Still, it doesn’t sound like they expected it to become almost Sims-like in its implementation. Nor did they anticipate gamers could take such a secular and meditative experience from something that is an adventure game at heart. But I guess that says a lot about their technical talent, and for us fans in general. So take note game makers, we don’t need to be spoon-fed a linear storyline – just give us a world to carve for ourselves!