“It’s alright, boah”, this week Rockstar Games finally did something right for Red Dead Online fans. Following the less than impressive Blood Money update earlier this month, the new “Call to Arms” really is something to get excited about.
It is, in essence a survival, or hoard mode. Players can compete alone, or with friends and strangers in one of 5 different locations. Once the game starts, players are given 5 minutes to stock up on guns and ammo, placed around the combat area. 10 NPC sheriffs are there to aid against the onslaught and can be repositioned to a strategic posting of your choice.
The areas to choose from are Blackwater, Fort Mercer, Valentine, Strawberry and MacFarlane’s Ranch. Once the initial preparation time is up, players will face 10 rounds of increasingly difficult, and sizable waves of enemies. Make no mistake, this is not easy. After a number of attempts yesterday, I just about made it to round 6 at which point they really throw everything and the kitchen sink at you.
Check out the new survival game mode, “Call to Arms” in the above Red Dead Online video
Red Dead Online is unquestionably an immersive game. Unlike Rockstar’s multi-generational golden child, GTA 5, you’ll find no flying horses here. Players are invited to bask in the simplicity of the time, and, true to form “Call to Arms” follows that same insignia. All players will have received a telegram in game, inviting them to take part as a hired gun in the new mode. This involves opening your satchel, navigating to the letters and maps packet, and locating the invitation. It’s now also available on the initial menu screen, presumably in an attempt to boost numbers in its inaugural week.
I have to say, it’s a hell of a lot of fun, especially when playing with other players. It’s challenging, for sure, but right now it’s a very, very easy way to get rich quick. Playtime in this mode is currently rewarded very generously, with all players receiving triple cash, XP and gold. For reference, on dying in the 6th round, I received 1.5 gold bars, a few hundred dollars and a couple of thousand XP. It’s worth it for the gold alone, which is Red Dead’s currency of choice, unlocking myriad of content within the title.
Blood Money gets a some TCL, too
Additional to the new game mode, the new update also unlocks “The Conrwall Contracts”. These are a series of crimes aimed at, you guessed it, Leviticus Cornwall. Fans of the base game will no doubt have a lot of fun chipping away at that conniving old bastard. The only downside is that you’ll need “Capitale” to access, one of the less enjoyable grinds in the game.
There are a few new outfits to choose from too, and players logging in this week will receive a bunch of gun oil for their trouble. But, in a game deprived of any meaningful update in a very long time, this is sweet elixir indeed. If the rewards for making it half way are so high, heaven only knows what glorious treasures await on making it past the final wave. I don’t know just yet, but I’m damn well gonna find out, partner.
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020