Read Dead Redemption 2 is one of the masterpieces of the current generation of console video gaming and is an equally brightly shining gem on PC. It blew us all away back in 2018 when it was released but saw fierce competition for that year’s Game of the Year Award, which it ultimately lost to God of War. Nevertheless it was extremely warmly received by critics and sits at around an astounding 97 on Metacritic. Its universally acclaimed, luxuriously immersive and richly rewarding single-player campaign continues to delight new players as Rockstar keeps up their post-release support into this new decade with frequent patches, hotfixes, tweaks and balances.
Yet the majority of their continued maintenance of Red Dead Redemption 2 is directed towards its online component; Red Dead Online (RDO). Following a similar model to GTA Online, RDO allows players to roam a sandbox version of the same open world feature in the single-player campaign. Players are free to hunt, gamble, fight, horse race and more across a huge open world.
Just at the end of last month, patch 1.20 was released, which introduced a host of new features to the game, including exploration objectives for players in the guise of the Naturalist Pursuit, new weapons, new horses and more (full patch notes). This chunky update is a good indication of the kind of maintenance regularly afforded Red Dead Redemption 2 and which continues to attract the attention of a loyal and increasingly sizeable player base.
In fact, Rockstar went so far above and beyond in the development of this game that players are still uncovering Easter eggs hidden in the game since launch. Just recently one intrepid explorer of the open world discovered the ghostly sounds of a long-forgotten battle, only appearing when sitting in just the right place at the right time. The richness of detail in both the single-player campaign as well as the sprawling multiplayer open-ended sandbox world has meant that player count has stabilized around 30,000 on Steam alone, a rather extraordinary feat given that this is more than half of the player count at launch on this platform!
The healthy population of this game on Steam, as well as on PlayStation and XBOX is likely to hold steady if not grow further as quarantines and lockdowns continue across the world. And Rockstar are certainly working hard at keeping player interest up with plans for yet more updates over the summer.
Now is in fact a brilliant time to get back into the game, or to pick it up if you are one of the few gamers yet to experience this veritable landmark in the history of video gaming. Incredibly, it is freely available if you have an XBOX Game Pass – if you are subscribed you already have access to this game! What’s more – it’s on sale both on Steam until mid-August as well as half-price on the PS Store! So whether you already own the game or not – now is the time to get (back) into it!
So dig out your cowboy boots, refresh your memory on the rules of Texas Holdem, dust off your hat, revisit the map of RDO’s open world, clean your revolvers and ride back out into the grassy plains, sandy deserts and snowy mountains of Rockstar’s genuine masterpiece Red Dead Redemption 2! This might be the busiest and most packed the servers will be for a long time!