Red Dead Online’s New Update is Disappointing
Red Dead Online’s new update isn’t that cool. While Rockstar plans on combining a big new island to GTA Online which will be available later this month, complete with a new single-player heist and more, Red Dead Online’s end of the year update is not so significant. And while some little amount of this new update is great, which includes some new bounty hunter content and some valuable upgrades, the rest is mediocre at best.
This latest update, which was released earlier today, mainly concentrates on two things: adding a new Outlaw Pass and extending the already-present bounty hunter role.
I always love being a bounty hunter in Red Dead Online. It’s one of my preferred roles in the game and with this latest update, its level cap has been raised from 20 to 30. However, this isn’t a free level cap raise: You’ll need to give up over 15 gold bars to become a professional bounty hunter, enabling you to hit level 30. While 15 gold bars isn’t a super-high price, especially for players who have been constantly logging in and finishing challenges, it’s yet one more paywall between players and new content. And players already spent gold to become bounty hunters before this update, so it feels like double-dipping on Rockstar’s part but we know Rockstar and its money-making schemes with GTA 5.
Once you pay your 15 gold and be a professional bounty hunter, you get entrance to new rewards. And sadly, they aren’t anything to write home about. Some are cool, like the ability to hold more food items, but most aren’t very helpful and useful. You also get some new ways to spin your guns and some new cosmetic items. For players like me who already play Red Dead Online on daily basis and who like the bounty hunter role, new content and levels to get are nice. But I challenge this will bring many players back to the game, and I’m not sure if it’s enough to keep me busy for a week. Rockstar is also saying new legendary bounty hunter missions, but the first new one introduced in this update isn’t really good. It’s just your standard RDO mission, where you run in, kill some people, and leave with the mark. Compared to some of the entertaining, creative legendary bounties we’ve seen in the past, it feels like a step back and they are not much to make anyone excited.
This new update also added Outlaw Pass Number 4, which comes with 100 levels. The Outlaw Pass is Red Dead Online’s version of a Fortnite-style battle pass, with different levels and bonuses to earn as you play the game and get XP. The Outlaw Pass comes in two flavors: Free and premium. And just as with the previous Outlaw Passes, the free level provides you a little number of uninspiring rewards. If you want anything worthwhile you’ll have to upgrade to the premium pass, which costs 40 gold bars.
So what do you get after paying 40 gold bars? Well, not much. But not total crap either. One of the first rewards you unlock at level 2 is the ability to cook multiple cuts of meat at once while at your camp. This may not sound appealing, but if you’ve played a lot of RDO, you know how time-consuming and dull cooking meat can be. Now you can make up to three pieces at once! Some other quality-of-life advancements are buried in the pass, which includes the ability to hold more ammo and more ways to fast travel. These are excellent and I’m excited to unlock them. But none of this worth 40 gold bars.
December 2019, Rockstar released The Moonshiners update, one of the awesome and greatest updates for Red Dead Online. It added new story missions, new places to visit, a whole new role, new gear, and more. It was a pleasant influx of new content and things to do. This year, Red Dead Online ends the year with a much more modest and relatively disappointing update. Meanwhile, Rockstar is in the works for the release of the biggest update in GTA Online history in a few weeks.
Red Dead Online has the potential to be something awesome. With a few big updates, a next-gen patch, and more rewards, this could be a much more awesome game. But for now, Rockstar seems incapable, not willing, and uninterested in building RDO into something GTA Online successor.