Red Dead Online invites dozens of heavily armed cowboys to share the same multiplayer space. But what happens when someone is used to a life of crime in the story mode of Red Dead Redemption 2 Are you becoming a crowd of unsuspecting people who are trying to get along? Rockstar Games has incorporated an intelligent system to its new online experience to curb those who suffer, one that is based on timed "Parleys" and competitive "Feuds".
I stumbled upon the system of Parleys and Feuds when a man came into me, almost killing my horse. He was thrown out of the tangle of limbs and was on his way back to check his own mount when I shot him dead.
I thought I had it to come, but it seems that he saw things differently.
Moments later, he reappeared in the game, galloped behind me and my horse Wally, and shot me dead. But he did not stop there. He chased me twice more. Each time, Red Dead Online sired me a little farther from where I had died. Each time, he found me on the game map, ran and put a bullet between my eyes.
It was the fourth time he shot me when Red Dead Online gave me a choice: Would I like Parley? Or would I prefer to challenge my opponent to a fight?
My first inclination was to choose Parley. Once selected, a 10-minute timer started dialing down in the background. When he and I faced each other again, we found that the only weapons we had at our disposal were our words. We could take our weapons and point them at each other, but when we tried to pull the triggers, nothing happened.
Ten minutes is a long time to surprise a stranger in voice chat in a modern multiplayer action game. It did not take us long to fix things. He apologized for hurting my horse and I for killing him that first time. Then we go on separate paths.
The Feud option, on the other hand, is a bit more interesting.
To test the Feud mechanic, he first had to find a willing test subject. So I went to the first player I could find, a man in black called BIG_M_UNBROKEN, and I asked him if he would be so kind as to kill me four or five times in a row. Once he did, I challenged him to a fight.
It seems that the Parleys are unilateral issues, while the two parties must agree on the Feuds. Once he accepted my challenge, the game invited us to run to each of the weapons firing while a three minute timer marked. The reappearances were underway for the duration. Red Dead Online even launched a death counter to maintain the score.
In the end, none of us lost anything more than a few rounds of ammunition. If it had been a real fight, at least one of us would have had the satisfaction of killing the other more times in a fair fight. It is not a bad way to vent, with the ultimate goal of maintaining peace.
Once the smoke dissipated, we attacked again just to see what happened. It turns out, Red Dead Online was paying attention. We were just one more time to shoot the option of another Parley for 10 minutes. It is also worth noting that I was able to activate Parleys and Feuds in both Posse and Free Roam modes.
Systems that impose good behavior in online games work best when they are not too punitive. While there is a time and place to kill other players in the game, repeated infractions such as those described above can ruin the fun. For that reason, I think Parleys and Feuds are a great idea.
But I can also see how the Feud mechanic can become a vehicle for all kinds of emerging games. Imagine that the fiefs were used in a semi-organized way, a group of dedicated gunmen who clashed in the streets of San Valentín while the others, the other players who do not participate in the duels, observe. I am eager to find more scenes like the one that comes from Red Dead Online in the near future.