For me, the multiplayer in GTA IV was an experiment that sounded neat on paper, but didn’t work out in practice. Maybe that was because I own the game on PS3, so I only tried it once or twice since there weren’t a lot of folks on my friends list who were always playing it. I’m hoping things will be different with the “free roam” multiplayer mode in Rockstar’s next big open-world game, Red Dead Redemption, because holy hell, it looks like a lot of fun in this trailer.
Free roam allows you to form a posse with up to seven of your friends and traverse the entire game world, looking for things to do. Such things include, but are not limited to: fighting other posses (the maximum player count is 16, so you could have four four-player posses in a game); enforcing or flouting laws; and hunting animals. Is it bad that I’m thrilled by the idea of taking down a big buck while on horseback with some buddies? I mean, doesn’t a testosterone-fueled, manhood-affirming hunt sound like fun to you? (There’s also the added bonus of annoying the hell out of your friends by repeatedly saying “I’m on a horse” in chat.)
Of course, you don’t have to bother with the posse stuff; you can just go off by yourself and do stuff. But that’s not multiplayer, of course, so apparently, you’ll run into other folks in the game world. From the trailer, it’s unclear how that’s going to work — I mean, is this an MMO of sorts? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out until May 18, when Red Dead Redemption comes out on PS3 and 360.