Red Dead Online invites dozens of heavily armed cowboys to share the same multiplayer space. But what happens when someone is used to a criminal life in story mode? Red Dead Redemption 2 rush into a crowd of unsuspecting benefactors who are just trying to hear? Rockstar Games has integrated an intelligent system with its new online experience to slow down sorrows, based on timed "Parleys" and optional and competitive "feuds".
I came across the Parleys and Feuds system when a man came into me, almost killing my horse. He was thrown out of entanglement of limbs and was on his way home to check his own mount when I shot him.
I thought it was going to happen, but it seemed like he was seeing things differently.
Moments later, he came back in the match, galloped behind me and my horse Wally, and shot me down. But he did not stop there. He still tracked me twice. Each time, Red Dead Online has brought me a little further from the place where I died. Each time, he found me on the map of the game, rushed and put a bullet between my eyes.
It was the fourth time he was shooting me when Red Dead Online gave me an option: Would I like Parley? Or should I rather challenge my rival to a Feud?
My first desire was to choose Parley. Once selected, a 10-minute timer began to unfold in the background. When we clashed again, we found that our words were the only weapons we had. We could fire our weapons and aim them, but when we tried to shoot the triggers, nothing happened.
Ten minutes, it's time to chew a stranger in voice chat in a modern multiplayer shooter. We were quick to solve the problems. He apologized for hurting my horse and me for killing him the first time. Then we separated.
The Feud option, on the other hand, is a bit more interesting.
To test the mechanism of Feud, I first had to find a subject for voluntary testing. So I headed for the first player I could find, a man in black called BIG_M_UNBROKEN, and asked him if he would be kind enough to kill me four or five times in a row. Once he had it, I challenged him in front of a feud.
It seems that the Parleys are a one-sided affair, whereas the feuds must be accepted by both parties. Once he accepted my challenge, the game invited us to beat each other, flaming guns while a three minute timer has passed. The Respawns were on for the duration. Red Dead Online even launched a point marker to score points.
In the end, we lost nothing more than a few rounds of ammunition. If it was a real feud, at least one of us would have had the satisfaction of killing the other several times in a fair fight. This is not a bad way to let off steam a bit, the ultimate goal being to keep the peace.
After the smoke dissipated, we started again just to see what happened. It turns out that Red Dead Online was attentive. We were each still a victim of triggering the option for another 10-minute Parley. It is also interesting to note that I was able to trigger Parleys and Feuds in Posse mode and in Free Roam mode.
Systems that impose good behavior in online games work best when they are not too punitive. Although there is a time and place to kill other players in the game, repeated offenses such as those described above can ruin the fun. For this reason, I think Parleys and Feuds are a great idea.
But I can also see how the mechanic Feud can become a vehicle for all kinds of emerging gameplay. Imagine that the Feuds are used in a semi-organized way, a band of dedicated Gunslingers facing each other in the sinister streets of Valentine, while the inhabitants – the other players who did not participate in the duel – watch. I look forward to seeing other scenes like the one of Red Dead Online in the near future.