Red Dead Online's battle royale mode just gives you bows and knives

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The first phase of the Red Dead Online beta kicks off today for the console lot, turning Red Redemption 2’s map into a crime-infested playground. Ahead of the beta’s launch, a list of activities has been ferreted out and posted on Twitter by illogical Mods. The list includes various jobs, races and, yes, a battle royale mode. 

Make It Count pits players against each other in a shrinking area until one of them is the last man standing. It’s not an entirely conventional battle royale, however, as weapons are restricted to bows or knives, depending on where you’re fighting. At the Saint Denis Plantation and Tall Trees, you’ll have the bow, while the Stillwater Creek and Strawberry versions only give you throwing knives. 

A cowboy battle royale with no revolvers sounds… bold. I quite like it, though! In concept, anyway. Bows and throwing knives are silent weapons, so even more emphasis is being put on stealth than usual, and it’s undoubtedly going to make me a paranoid mess every time I hear a bird chirping of some leaves rustling. 

Elsewhere, there are a few bounty jobs, all involving a character known as Horley. In one, Horley tasks players with hunting down a conman and outlaw on behalf of a Police Chief. In another, players can avenge the death of a woman’s husband. Horley also introduces players to a horse thief, Clay Davies, who will apparently educate prospective outlaws on the ins and outs of the horse-rustling trade.  

If you just want to shoot things, there are plenty of free-for-all shootouts and team battles over territory. Unfortunately, there are also loads and loads of races. I quite enjoyed the races in GTA Online—at least the very violent ones or the very weird ones—but I’m not really convinced that racing horses will be much fun. Now, if we can race horses inside a complicated network of tubes suspended in the sky, then I’ll be interested. 

Cheers, Eurogamer