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Red Dead Online marks end of beta with poker and gold for all

Wow, that was quick – shortly after Take-Two announced the Red Dead Online beta would end within the next two months, it’s happened. The game is leaving beta today, and is celebrating with a major new content update that introduces new co-op missions, expands Free Roam, and (importantly) adds poker. You’ll never adventure outside the gambling room again.

In Rockstar’s update post, the developer thanked “everyone who participated during the beta period”.

“Your feedback has been instrumental in helping us fine tune the game so far with many of your suggestions implemented in today’s update, and we will continue to implement more of your feedback in future updates to come.”

So, what’s in this one? Alongside an overhaul of the hostility system to reduce griefing (which we already knew about), players can expect to see expansions to the Jessica LeClerk story campaign with both honourable and dishonourable missions. On the good boah path, players battle the Del Lobos gang and help Tom Davies save Valentine, while the path of evil leads to a highway robbery and bank theft. Either way, you wind up at Blackwater “with a dangerous adversary”. I don’t know what this says about morality.

In the Free Roam department, Rockstar has added characters from the story of Red Dead Redemption 2, along with new mission types such as Destroy, Jailbreak and Stolen Wagon. The dubious characters in question include Thomas the Skiff Captain and the Abderdeen pig farmers.

Importantly, dynamic events are now a thing, meaning you can now stumble across the kind of random encounters found in Red Dead’s story mode. Can’t wait to suck venom out of someone’s foot again – although at least in Online I’ll be able to get cash, gold or XP for it as well as honour.