By the point it launched on PC, Purple Lifeless Redemption 2 had been out for a yr on consoles. Regardless of all the great I would heard concerning the singleplayer story, and the recollections I had of having fun with the primary Purple Lifeless Redemption years earlier than, the one factor on my thoughts was saddling up for Purple Lifeless On-line. A number of buddies and I spent months engrossed within the nightly routine of searching, digging for treasures, wrangling bounties, and all the things else RDO has to supply. It was, and nonetheless is, an enormous world full of lovely vistas and likewise an ideal automobile for group shenanigans and late night time Discord calls.
When you’re headed onto the path for the primary time, it would final you an identical a number of months that it did us, if no more. For those who stick round, Purple Lifeless On-line is like these grizzlies up in northern Ambarino. RDO is majestic and harmful, stuffed with a number of seasons of missions and rewards. A chill has are available on the wind in 2021, although. RDO has settled in to maintain heat with all that previous content material by the lean winter months. Whereas I am positive it would get up within the spring, I simply hope that Rockstar is planning to feed this beast once more when it does.
The primary steps into the frontier
When it debuted on PC through Rockstar’s launcher in November 2019, Purple Lifeless Redemption 2 struggled with performance issues, crashes, and bugs. Issues had been a bit too wild within the West initially. Points endured into January, when it launched on Steam. For me and my buddies, it did not matter. We pushed by annoying visible hiccups and crashes and posse-joining bugs as a result of there was simply so a lot of Purple Lifeless On-line to see. My screenshots folder from December 2019 is equal elements beautiful views and egregious graphical glitches, and I used to be continually sharing each with buddies.
The enormous Frontier Pursuits replace that launched on console earlier in 2019 was obtainable instantly on PC, that means we had three main jobs’ value of quests and ranks to climb. We barely had time to scratch the floor of turning into Merchants and Bounty Hunters and Collectors earlier than one other large job dropped in our lap.
Purple Lifeless On-line added the Moonshiner function in December 2019, with new missions and properties and rewards to earn. Shortly after that, the winter replace blanketed your entire West in snow. We stored busy with a prolonged Outlaw Cross of rewards, nonetheless working our approach to max stage in all 4 jobs together with unlocking modern outfits all through our primary character stage tracks.
By spring, gamers had began feeling a bit antsy. It had been over half a yr for the reason that main Moonshiners replace. Thanks possible partially to the Covid-19 pandemic, gamers had chewed by the Moonshiner function and the second Outlaw Cross and had been hungry for extra with out Rockstar giving any indication of when one other main replace would possibly arrive.
Cue the clown protests.
Exasperated gamers dressed up as clowns in a little bit of goofy self-deprecation whereas ready for brand spanking new actions in RDO. We bought fortunate on timing, it turned out. The Naturalist function was launched simply weeks after the wild west clown conventions. It added a compendium of animals to review, legendary animals to trace, extra ranks, and rewards.
The seven-month await the Naturalist function now feels quaint. The subsequent 12 months after July 2020 introduced a Halloween Outlaw Cross and actions much like the yr earlier than, the standalone Purple Lifeless On-line launch in December, after which the Blood Cash replace in July—a smaller mission and story addition than the Naturalist function from the yr prior.
In December, Rockstar introduced that the winter replace for Purple Lifeless On-line would deliver again the snow from previous years together with gross sales on premium objects, money and XP bonuses, and a few new maps for one of many PvP modes.
The clowns did not trouble coming to city this time.
The Grand Theft shadow
On December 7, Rockstar detailed the largely restrained, smaller replace for Purple Lifeless On-line with out information of any greater replace on the horizon. The subsequent day, it introduced that Grand Theft Auto On-line could be including new missions that includes singleplayer protagonist Franklin and new music from Dr. Dre.
Gamers are anxious that these back-to-back bulletins are proof of Rockstar’s focus. In 2021 we have gotten the GTA Trilogy Remastered releases, a number of updates to GTA On-line, and a few new rumors about improvement on the unannounced GTA 6. Rockstar has additionally confirmed that the next-gen console replace for GTA 5 will launch in March. Purple Lifeless On-line gamers are understandably discouraged, as are its dedicated content creators. So am I.
Nobody anticipated Purple Lifeless to outgrow the lengthy shadow of Grand Theft Auto, I doubt. I actually did not. Nevertheless, each new GTA On-line replace highlights how a lot of Purple Lifeless Redemption 2 remains to be laying on the desk. A number of actions from the singleplayer marketing campaign have but to make the bounce to Purple Lifeless On-line. Rockstar added legendary animal searching with the Naturalist function, however issues like wild horse wrangling nonetheless solely exist offline. I hope we’ll see a few of these issues arrive in RDO, however Rockstar continues to be quiet about future plans so everything of 2022 is foggier than the mornings in Bluewater Marsh.
Enjoying Purple Lifeless On-line right this moment
Regardless of dwindling hope for large updates, Purple Lifeless On-line stays as expansive and lovely as ever. Even returning this winter, nothing about Purple Lifeless On-line has diminished as a result of its lack of main updates. The views I marvelled at two years in the past are simply as screenshot-worthy, and the hours upon hours of various roles and missions to sort out are available. The western sandbox is simply as able to producing unscripted horse crashes, unintentional pistol duels, and the fantastic desert storms I first loved. All that with out the mountain of bugs I initially trekked by.
Whereas ready for greater information, gamers are exhibiting their resilience. Though Steam participant numbers cannot inform your entire image of a sport that is additionally obtainable by Rockstar’s personal launcher on PC and on consoles, numbers are holding regular based on SteamDB. The total model of Purple Lifeless Redemption 2, together with each singleplayer and multiplayer, has maintained round 20,000 concurrent players all through 2020 and 2021. The standalone model of Purple Lifeless On-line frequently contributes around 5,000 concurrent gamers.
Those who have left the net scene are staying entertained, too. Some have re-created the much-loved authentic Purple Lifeless Redemption growth Undead Nightmare. Others have added parts of Mexico to the south fringe of the map. Nonetheless others are preserving busy with roleplaying servers like Wild RP.
Even when participant numbers do finally start to fall in 2022, Purple Lifeless On-line has lengthy been an enormous map scattered with a couple of gamers per server. Not like different on-line video games, Purple Lifeless has all the time been a solo-able expertise that thrives on the quiet moments between Blackwater shootouts. Bringing again the most effective experiences I’ve had solely requires speaking one or two buddies into happening a searching journey by Tall Timber collectively or an occasional legendary bounty mission. With out a new replace to entice them although, the talking-into stays tough.
After this winter’s sparse replace, it appears to be like like Purple Lifeless On-line gamers could have one other seven months to hunker down earlier than Rockstar shares plans in July once more. I simply hope my fellow clowns will final that lengthy.