I really like open-world games.
Titles I loved playing the most are GTA Online, Red Dead Online, and Zelda Breath of the Wild. To me, open-world games have this special charm to let players live completely different lives and, to some extent, escape from the mess of a world that we have.
Rockstar Games is so good at making open-world games. A good open-world is not about giving you a massive map so that you have to spend so much time traveling from place to place (like in Just Cause 2), but rather, it makes the game non-linear and gives players the choice to engage with different activities all by their will.
The reason I prefer Online counterparts of GTA and RDR2 is because I get to create my own character, from the look to the voice to the clothing to the weapon loadout. In that world, I am that cute little girl that did all the hunting and grinding. I make life-altering decisions that actually impacts the girl’s fate, and every bullet she took pains me too.
Rockstar’s Red Dead Online is the virtual WestWorld we were looking for. It is so real, you couldn’t help but to relate to everything in that world.
Your character has to eat, otherwise she’ll lose weight, and be more fragile during combat. Your horse will be more friendly to you the more you interact with it. Hunting is extremely exhausting because literally every animal will flee once you shoot a bullet, and they’ll run as far they feel safe, even making maneuvers like real deers to avoid your aim. Carcasses would be too heavy to carry so you can put them on your horse, but they’ll also exhaust your horse faster when galloping. Shotguns will make carcasses and pelts less valuable because it caused too much damage. Fish could actually break loose when you’re too impatient with fishing techniques. And you know what, your horse shits, like quite actually, shits.
One thing that haunts GTA online is its hostile players. The game actually encourages players to attack each other and interfering with each other’s business. So you’ll see players attacking you for no reason and destroying your cargo all the time even when there’s no quarrel. We call these toxic players Griefers, and there aren’t really any effective approach to avoid them.
RD Online on the other hand is a rather peaceful world. You’ll still get attacked, but it happens less and griefers would receive heavy penalties for it. That’s partially because RDO’s map is more scattered than GTA Online so players would very rarely encounter one another. And there’s an Honor System which currently doesn’t do much, but will definitely be more relevant as the game expands. Hostile activity will cause immediate bounty and will have an negative impact on your honor. Eventually you’ll be locked from certain missions and NPCs will treat you differently. I would suggest that Rockstar actually put low honor players in their own separate lobby so that high honor players will be able to enjoy the world without distraction.
GTA Online was released six years ago, and it has developed into something that still attracts new players year over year. I see so much potential in RD Online and am sure that the game will be so different six years from now.
Let’s just hope by that time, Xbox players would finally be able to play with Playstation players in one lobby.