When we’re comparing the past two titles that Rockstar Games has released in the past, we have two: Grand Theft Auto 5, and Red Dead Redemption 2.
Red Dead Redemption 2 managed to finally hop from consoles onto the PC platform, and the single-player campaign offers a dizzying level of immersion and content from fishing, hunting, robberies, and almost everything in between. It’s difficult to fully explore everything in the title, which also comes with a mostly brilliant single-player story that will have players adoring their newly found lives as an outlaw on the cusp of extinction.
Grand Theft Auto 5 has been re-released multiple times, spanning multiple console generations as Rockstar appears more than content with simply rehashing the title until people stop purchasing it. The online component of GTA5, however, turned out to be a massive money-maker for Take-Two and Rockstar, and that’s the culprit that pundits readily point to regarding Rockstar’s suddenly low title output.
Red Dead Redemption 2 hasn’t had as much success with their online components, at least comparing to the digital money printing that GTO turned into.
From difficulty hunting in online game modes (animals don’t spawn if servers are too full) to the omnipresent threat of just getting griefed (which Rockstar encourages as they do in GTO; Shark Card Salesmen are just as much of a thing), Red Dead Online honestly hasn’t impressed to the point that GTAO has.
The ability to at least host private servers with friends to explore the impeccable western world would be a massive step upwards; as of yet, that isn’t possible within the title. There have been datamined UI elements that show that Rockstar has at least considered the element becoming available, and rumors are beginning to circulate that it could be coming soon.
Along with these rumors comes a new announcement from Rockstar: a standalone version of Red Dead Redemption 2 Online, colloquially Red Dead Online or RDO, is being released on December 1st.
Get Red Dead Online as a Standalone Game on December 1st.
New players who do not already own Red Dead Redemption 2 can experience everything Red Dead Online has to offer, including access to all future content updates. https://t.co/u09K5UeuAY pic.twitter.com/6Npqn8kNF8
— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) November 24, 2020
An introductory-pricing of $5 will become available until February 15, 2021, at which point it will switch to $20. An option will be available for owners of just Red Dead Online will be able to upgrade, in-game, to receive the full single-player campaign.
It’s a promising campaign, admittedly, although could very well lead to more crowded lobbies, which can make the online aspect of the title a bit rougher in terms of playability and spawns.
This could well be the catalyst that we’ve been hoping for, allowing players to experience the wonders of a fully-realized world with friends, where Rockstar-encouraged griefing can take a backseat to exploration and feel-good vibes. Here’s hoping, at least.