Right off the bat, the Moonshiners update for Red Dead Online is a mixed bag. Bringing the first addition of player-owned properties in the form of shacks with a basement where illicit moonshine is produced and a bar, which, oddly enough, generates no income for the player. The Moonshiners update shines in the little details while the main driving force behind it is a little bland and has a lot of players concerned for the future of Red Dead Online.
The Waiting Game
Unlike the Bounty Hunter and Collector Roles, Moonshiners follows suit along with the Trader Role which requires players to stock up supplies, wait for the product to be produced, and then perform a sale that could be botched by other players or NPCs.
It’s the same formula used for almost all of the businesses in GTA Online, which is worrying. This is a cowboy game, not a waiting game. I really hope Rockstar doesn’t rinse and repeat this gameplay in all of their future DLC plans. It’ll be nice to have roles that require more active gameplay like the Bounty Hunter and the Collector Roles.
The Little Details
The main area where this update excels at is immersion. It was quite funny noticing the on-screen prompts begin to be misspelt as my character got drunk off his own moonshine and watching the characters drunkenly slap or hug one another. The addition of the band is a nice touch for a bit of ambiance in the underground bar but after a while, these things become a little redundant.
Moonshiners does come with an exciting storyline which involves Maggie, a former moonshiner and now mentor to the player character after a big bad Revenue Agent (assuming these were some sort of tax collector or something) burnt her alive. Crippled, angry and driven by revenge Maggie is a really nice character to interact with and her story is enjoyable. This is by far Moonshiner’s biggest strength.
I really hope this alone won’t be the future of Red Dead. The Moonshiners business is nice to have running in the background while players do other things. But if all the roles end up being a rinse and repeat of the Trader role, the game is going to have a very short lifespan.
Red Dead Online needs more active roles that require moment-to-moment gameplay. Moonshiners is a nice addition, don’t get me wrong, but as a free roam role it lacks in excitement.