Red Dead Online is finally here (for some people), and with it comes developer Rockstar’s answer to the massive popularity of Battle Royale games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. “Make It Count” is that answer, but how does it compare to the competition? Based on a few early looks at Red Dead Online’s Battle Royale mode, the answer is: Not Great.
Footage of “Make It Count” is still sparse online, but GameSpot has just over four minutes of gameplay. That’s how long they managed to survive in this slow-paced approximation of a Battle Royale game which seems to remove everything that makes Fortnite fun.
A bit of background: “Make It Count” puts 32 players onto a map in a fight to the death. As each match progresses the playable area shrinks, forcing players into encounters. So far it sounds like a lot like Fortnite and PUBG, just with fewer players per game (the usual number is 100).
The twist, however, is that Red Dead Online’s Battle Royale mode limits your weapon options to just one choice. On some maps that’s a bow, while on others it’s throwing knives. Either way, you’re working with a pretty limited arsenal that prioritizes stealth and patience over any sort of Wild West-style guns blazing tactics.
Update: Since publication, more videos of ‘Red Dead Online’s Battle Royale-style mode have surfaced on YouTube. Here’s a few examples. (Original article continues after these gameplay videos.)
Here’s “Make It Count” with bows and arrows:
And here’s the throwing knives version in action:
The result seems kind of boring, to be honest, though it’s hard to judge from just one 4-minute video. Most of that time is spent crouched, hiding, and moving around slowly while looking for opponents. At one point the player does take out an opponent, but then they’re eliminated with a single throwing knife from an enemy that comes rounding a nearby corner.
There’s no building, no vehicles, and no real action. Just slow combat and lots of stress. Hopefully, “Make It Count” will continue to get better as Red Dead Online exits beta mode, but for now I’ll stick to Fortnite.
Related video: Demetrious Johnson on Squad Up: The Fortnite Talk Show - Ep. 7