Sunday, June 27, 2010

Impressions: Red Dead Redemption Multiplayer

Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption has been a huge success thus far, I for one believe it to be the second best game released this year. There is no doubt in my mind that RDR is a strong single-player game, but what about the multiplayer aspect, can it be just as satisfying?

To answer that question I decided to take a break from the single-player and see just what RDR has to offer those looking for some multiplayer action.

There are two ways to get online in RDR; from the main menu when you start the game or from the pause menu while in a game. The main menu option will automatically thrust players into a public match with other players. But what some may not realize is that you can create a private match where players can invite their friends, this can be done from the pause menu while in a single of multiplayer game. I would highly recommend that all new players start a private match first so that you can edit your avatar and check out the world hassle free from other players.

The best part about RDR's online play is the Free Roam mode. Free Roam brings the open-world that players have experienced in the single-player to the multiplayer. In Free Roam you can join a posse with other players, tackle gang hideouts or try some of the competitive modes that are scattered through out the map. In my little play time online, it seems that gang hideouts the popular choice with players.

Multiplayer also features challenges like in the single-player; there are the personal hunter, survivalist and sharpshooter challenges, along with some multiplayer specific challenges as well. The reason players would want to do the various challenges, clear out gang hideouts or participate in some competitive modes is to gain experience. It's very similar to what you would see in Modern Warfare 2 or in Battlefield; as players increase in levels, they gain access to new weapons, avatars, titles and even mounts.

Oh, did I forget to mention that online is open PvP, every man for himself just like the wild west? Well it is, and for me that's where the fun really is to be had. Now that I've gotten the details out of the way, let me tell you a tale of a man who has come to New Austin in search of fame and fortune - or how I stayed up way past my bed time having the most fun online in a long while.

Here's how the story begins; I loaded into the public match in the city of Blackwater. So naturally I begin shooting up the town, killing everything that moves. You have to understand, in the single-player story I am trying to be as good a guy as I can, so I need to let my inner cowboy out.

So after doing that for awhile, I decide maybe it's time to see what other players are doing. At this time there was just one other player, and he was out trying to clear a gang hideout. Being the curious type that I am, I go and ride out to the gang hideout to see what is going on. It's easy to spot another player when they are close because they will have this big colored circle with their name next to it above their heads.

So this guy is up on the ridge looking down at me, I know he's there but he must be using cover so I can't see him. Next thing I know this guys starts taking shots at me. So like a good cowboy I run my ass off to get out of there. At that point I have one thing on my mind, IT'S ON!!

I decided do the noble thing and wait till he's engaged in combat with some npc's before I make my rush on  him. Things go back and forth for a short time; I take him out, he snipes me with his better weapons. Eventually I decide that I might try something else and ride out to McFarland's Ranch. It's a short ride away, but once there I open my map to see what there is to do and I notice his teal circle moving. A few seconds later I realize that this guy is coming after me!

Realizing that my slow moving donkey mount is not going to get me away fast enough, I decide to hijack a real horse from some poor fool and ride as fast as humanly possible out of there. At this point I can't tell where this guy is, how fast he's going and if I am even going to get away. I was litterally on the edge of my chair sweating with my heart pounding when I realize that I am not going to be able to get away and decide to make my way to Armadillo to make my last stand.

I was familiar with the town because of playing the single-player and figured that my best chance was to run and hide in the saloon. I make my way up the stairs, using the railing as cover so that I have a good view of the upstairs and down stair entrances. At this point it's a waiting game, I know he's coming just by checking the map. My heart is pounding, I'm sweating way more than I should be, I'm on the edge of my seat just waiting with a smile on my face.

BLAME!!! Not realizing that I was right upstairs he came running through the front door, one headshot later he knows exactly where I am now. What happened for the next 20 minutes was a gigglefest of me blasting him everytime he tries to come inside the saloon. Eventually in frustration I imagine he tosses a stick of dynamite at the building and it kills me. Pretty cheesy, but it worked.

For the next couple of hours I had this guy chasing me all over New Austin and Mexico. Occasionally I would stop and ambush him then ride away while I had the chance, but eventually he did corner me in a small town in Mexico. Just to be clear, this guy owned me most of the night. Yes I had some success in Armadillo and with a few ambushes, but this guy was higher level with a better mount and weapons, and he wasn't afraid to use them.

Once I realized how late it was I made my way out of dodge and he went on with his gang hideout busting ways. But for that three and a half hour span I haven't had such a heart racing, pulse pounding, palm sweating gigglefest of a good time like that in a long quite awhile.

I have yet to try out the new coop DLC that was released, but what I have played so far has been a real blast. The online gameplay is a nice compliment to the already strong single-player, and I think thats what makes RDR such a great game.


Bronte said...

Great Multiplayer review man. Well , great personal account anyway. It's a pity I won't be able to try out any of the multiplayer. Since I have moved back home in South Asia, my latency is around 500-600 which is grossly insufficient for a twitch-based game. I can play a few MMOs and online via LAN, but that is the extent of it.

Damn you clogged internet tubes of South Asia!

Jayedub said...

You can definitely tell when someone is lagging in RDR, so I imagine it wouldn't be very fun for you.

This was my first stab at writing an impression piece, hopefully it wasn't too wordy, even if it starts out like a review.

Blue Kae said...

Nice, Jaye. I've only briefly dabbled in RDR online with a private game just to see what was what, and I totally agree for most people this is where they should start. I haven't been back to New Austin in a few weeks, but I may have to give it a try after reading this.

Yeebo said...

That was a great preview. This quote was full of win:

"I decided do the noble thing and wait till he's engaged in combat with some npc's before I make my rush on him."

mbp said...

Sounds really good Jayedub. How does the levelling system work exactly - is it like COD where you just get different weapons or does your character actually grow stronger as you level up?

Jayedub said...

The leveling system in RDR is exactly like Modern Warfare 2 of Bad Company 2. So the only thing you have to worry about when facing off against someone higher level than you is that they might have better weapons than you.