Rockstar has introduced a new showdown mode in Red Dead Online.
In the latest mode to hit Red Dead Online, you’re going to need all the skills you carefully honed during the main game to prevail. You’re going to need to co-operate better than the van der Linde gang often do, too.
Red Dead Redemption 2, as we all know, was one of the games of 2018. It was quite a stacked year, too, seeing the likes of Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate hit shelves, but for many, Red Dead was the clear winner. As a single-player experience, it’s among the biggest and deepest open-world titles we’ve ever seen.
When you need to publish separate guides to mechanics like fast travel in RDR2 and crafting in RDR2, you know you’re looking at a game complex and content-packed enough to just dive into and lose yourself in -- and for months at a time, if you’ve got the luxury. As expansive as it is, though, the single-player experience is just one crucial piece of the puzzle.
Going forward, Red Dead Online is where the action’s really going to be. It’s just the same as Rockstar’s other recent masterpiece, Grand Theft Auto V. That game’s still doing phenomenally well (it was the 11th best-selling game of last year, regardless of the fact that it was first released back in 2013), and there’s a reason for that: GTA Online continues to be supported with a steady stream of new content.
What the devs need to do, then, is inject that same magic into Red Dead Online. At the moment, it just isn’t performing to the standards that the main game deserves, floundering in comparison to GTA Online. Still, it’s very early days for the service, and Rockstar is working on introducing all kinds of interesting new modes to keep players engaged. Let’s take a look at the latest one.
As players will know, the showdown mode is where the PvP action is to be found, and the newest variant on that is Spoils of War. It’s been called a "frontier take" on the familiar commodity-capturing style of competitive multiplayer, and it’s an absolute blast.
Spoils of War is a team-based mode for up to sixteen players (just two can play, but that’s far less dramatic). While wild west-style gunfights are always fun and dramatic, the action here is a little more cerebral than your average straightforward deathmatch.
Your objective -- as you’ve probably guessed -- is to make your way to the opposing team’s base to nab some of their loot and add it to your own stockpile. It sounds simple enough; just the sort of thing Arthur Morgan and his buddies are used to out on the frontier. Lone wolf gunslinging will only carry you so far here, though, because… well, the other team’s also trying to do the same to you.
This is where the co-operation comes in. How many players do you keep back to guard your own stockpile, and how many do you send forth to grab the enemy’s? If your team’s too aggressive, you won’t have enough players back to defend against the attack. By the same token, if you’re too passive, you’re not going to be making any headway any time soon. The team who’s stolen the most loot at the end of the match wins, after all, so you’re going to have to make that push sometime.
In short, if you’re a player who likes to be a little more tactical than barrelling around and spraying bullets like Arnold Schwarzenegger in… absolutely all his movies, Spoils of War is probably for you. There’s still a lot of high-octane action to be had here, as there is in other Red Dead Online showdown modes, so don’t fret on that count either.
Here’s some more good news: the mode takes place across a variety of different locations, including Valentine and Fort Mercer, so you’ll be sure of a change of scenery too. To play Spoils of War, you need only hit the Features Series option in the launch menu, stop at one of the Featured Series signposts around the world or Quick Join from the player menu.
Why not jump on board and give it a shot? All this week, winning a game netted the player eight dynamite arrows, and Rockstar was running a 20% bonus XP event, too. If you missed out, stick around for the next reward.