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Red Dead Online’s new Naturalist update introduces a tough new dilemma

Red Dead Online Screenshot

After seven long months of waiting, Red Dead Redemption 2’s online fans were rewarded yesterday with the release of a Summer 2020 Update. The new update brings a new question to the Red Dead table: if given the choice, will players save animals, or sell their parts?

The update, available on PS4, Xbox One and PC, includes new features with the introduction of Naturalism as a Frontier Pursuit, alongside a new Outlaw Pass, plus additional content, game features, and fixes.

Red Dead Naturalist

Red Dead Online’s Summer update has players choose between animal conservation and poaching in the new Naturalist Frontier Pursuit.

Players can now find a new path in tracking, studying, and hunting animals across the open world game after accessing the role through the Welcome Centre in Strawberry. Faced with a choice between Harriet Davenport, an animal-loving conservationist, or Gus MacMillan, a big game hunter, players will track seven new Legendary Animal species across the map. Players will decide whether to protect or poach cougars, foxes, boars, beavers, wolves, bison, and elk as they fill out their Animal Field Guides.

Killing and skinning animals to sell their pelts and meat has seemed like an integral part of the game for so long – so how will the new role fit into the game? Will the players continue to hunt animals to sell their parts and rock stylish – or garish – new looks, actively working against the conservation efforts of Harriet Davenport? Or will they take the high road and refrain from the slaughter, instead dedicating their animal interactions to the purpose of protection and turning their Frontier Pursuit into a scientific one.

Just in case any players think of double crossing Ms. Davenport and trading pelts on the side, Rockstar Games warns that “Harriet will take notice of your poaching activities if you try to play both sides of this quarrel.” 

Alongside the new characters and moral quandaries, the Naturalist update includes new items, skills, and gameplay. There’s a new Naturalist-specialised horse breed, and the players will learn how to Mercy Kill and set up Wilderness Camps.

If the players choose to continue the Naturalist role, they can work with other players to free and defend a species of Legendary Animal from enemy Poachers. Another part of the role is to sedate and tag animals, obtaining blood samples without killing them in order to continue Harriet’s research and conservation efforts. And not for nothing either, as each mission completed for Harriet comes with a hefty reward.

Both opposing characters have several stores across the Read Dead Online world, where you can progress in the Naturalist role, purchase tonics, gain new missions, or sell your poached animal parts to craft new clothing items and various knick-knacks.

Red Dead Online Poacher Screenshot

Rockstar have also added two new weapons to the game, the Improved Bow and the Elephant Rifle. Players are also able to purchase a new Advanced Camera with increased mobility and filters – more of which can be accessed through Outlaw Pass rewards. The Advanced Camera is also able to identify animals in the Animal Field Guide.

Players will also now have the chance to unlock six new emotes: ‘Take Note’, ‘Confident Dance’, ‘Formal Dance’, ‘Thanks’, ‘Rock Paper Scissors’, and ‘Beat Chest’.

Through PlayStation 4 Early Access Content, players will be able to obtain the Legendary Gabbro Horn Ram, the Legendary Chalk Horn Ram, the Legendary Rutile Horn Ram, three fossil collections, and the Woodcote poncho.

Additionally, the new update brings The Outlaw Pass No.3 to Red Dead Online, available through the Wheeler, Rawson & Co. Catalogue.

Find out more about the Naturalist update at Rockstar Games. Buy Red Dead Redemption 2 here

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July 29, 2020