Update: Red Dead Online is now available for all players. Original article follows.
Players who have been impatiently waiting for Rockstar to roll out the online component of Red Dead Redemption 2 are in luck: the Red Dead Online beta test begins tomorrow. The rollout of the beta will last until the end of the week, allowing many players a chance to sample online Red Dead Online gameplay.
Red Dead Redemption 2 released in October and serves as a prequel to the previous title in the franchise. In Red Dead Redemption 2, players take on the role of Arthur Morgan, a veteran of the Van der Linde gang, the same group that had James Marston, the protagonist of the first game, as a member. Arthur must learn how to survive in a world that has become increasingly civilized since the Wild West isn't as wild as it used to be. Arthur's journey takes him across five fictitious states, where he does everything from riding horses, hunting, shooting enemies and living life as an outlaw in a world growing more hostile to his kind.
One aspect of the game missing from its launch was the online component. According to The Verge, Rockstar recently announced that Red Dead Online would begin on Tuesday, Nov. 27 for those who purchased the "Ultimate Edition" of the game. Anyone who bought and played the game during its initial release week will have access to the beta on Thursday, Nov. 29. Everyone else gets access to the online beta on Friday, Nov. 30. The online component is free to play to everyone who bought the game for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Rockstar has not released many details about what online play entails, although it did issue the following statement with its announcement:
With the gameplay of Red Dead Redemption 2 as its foundation, Red Dead Online transforms the vast and deeply detailed landscapes, cities, towns, and habitats of Red Dead Redemption 2 into a new, living online world ready to be shared by multiple players. Create and customize your character, tailor your abilities to suit your play style, and head out into a new frontier full of things to experience.
Explore this huge world solo or with friends. Form or join a posse to ride with up to seven players; gather around the fire at your camp; head out hunting or fishing; visit bustling towns; battle enemy gangs and attack their hideouts; hunt for treasure; take on missions and interact with familiar characters from across the five states; or fight against other outlaws in both spontaneous skirmishes and pitched set-piece battles; compete with other players or whole posses in open world challenges and much more.
This announcement comes after Take-Two Interactive confirmed that Rockstar would release the online beta in late November. Now that time has come, giving Red Dead Redemption fans a chance to explore the world of Red Dead Online with other players.
In the meantime, sales for the title remain strong. The game has shipped at least 17 million copies since its release. With both fans and critics overwhelmingly praising the title, the addition of the online component of the game should send even more copies flying off of shelves, especially with the holidays coming up, as well as keep Red Dead Redemption 2 players interested in the game for years to come.
Source: The Verge