The first thing that happened to me when I put my spurs on and dived into Red Dead Online’s latest update was too cliche. While fiddling with the options to try and switch into the new Defensive mode, I was lassoed out of my idle animation and dragged helplessly through the mud towards a cliff edge.
Out of muscle memory, I hit pause and opened the map to find something interesting to do while my captors had their wicked way with me. I left that screen none the wiser to find myself sleeping with the fishes, a familiar horse’s head lying right next to me. Sorry, Jebediah.
Anybody who has spent a few minutes checking their phone or trying to coordinate a friend invite while playing Red Dead Online can most likely relate to that anecdote. Yet, jokes aside, it captures one of the game’s most rotten teething problems. Red Dead Online is notorious for senseless griefing that yields little reward. I get it though, I really do. There is some latent incentive to engage with the stunning environment, but there’s not enough to dissuade the instant satisfaction gained from getting gassed and laying explosives under an idle player’s horse.