Following its recent launch as a standalone title, Red Dead Online has been doing everything it can to attract players back. Its players are often a grumpy bunch when it comes to RDO updates, and sometimes with good reason, gazing enviously at GTA Online's fancy heists while supping on the thin gruel of their latest new bounties and 40% off poncho sales.
One regular call is for more substantial mission content playable with your posse and so, in Red Dead Online's latest update, Rockstar's added three new missions that are the first in a chain... of solo mission content. They look pretty good, to be fair, though you have to laugh. "We don't deserve this" RDO players plead like Little Bill Daggett in Unforgiven, as Rockstar North's Bill Munny takes cold aim. "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."
The new missions are accessed through telegrams from a mystery character called 'J', and while the formats will be familiar to experienced cowpokes they are varied and interesting. A One Horse Deal sees you head out to steal a prize untamed Arabian racehorse, before escaping under hot pursuit; Rich Pickings is a semi-stealth mission where you invade the manor of St Denis' crooked mayor, and liberate his ill-gotten smuggling profits; finally Outrider has the player escorting a wagon with one NPC driver, who I'm going to predict lasts about thirty seconds as soon as the baddies turn up.
In a nice touch each new mission has three difficulty levels that increase with each replay. Rockstar's press release announcing these missions also says more in this vein is to come: "keep an eye out for new missions in the future."
Alongside this there's the usual blend of bonuses, discounts, and extra rewards that RDO delivers with every update: the full notes are here. Rockstar's support for Red Dead Online does seem to have been reinvigorated alongside the standalone release, and this particular mission chain is clearly an ongoing project: the fact that, for now at least, it's for solo players only... that's RDO all over.
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Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."