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GTA Driver Has Wild Ride

Today on Highlight Reel we have GTA car chases, Joker tricks, For Honor kills, and much more.

Watch the video then talk about your favorite highlight in the comments below. Be sure to check out, like, and share the original videos via the links below. Subscribe to Kotaku on YouTube for more! Catch up on all the episodes on the Highlight Reel Youtube playlist!

Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at [email protected] Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!


Red Dead Redemption 2 Is Coming To PCs

Red Dead Redemption 2, a game about rootin’ and tootin’, finally has a PC release date. In an announcement this morning, developer Rockstar revealed that the mega-huge cowboy game will come to PCs on November 5th.

Until now, players could only experience the story of gritty outlaw Arthur Morgan on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, leaving PC players in a lurch. Red Dead Dead Redemption 2, if you didn’t know, is a prequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption. It released last year to critical acclaim. Its focus on high-fidelity detail—including horse testicles that grow and shrink depending on the heat—caught the attention of reviewers and players alike, although reports of intense crunch to achieve these details broke before the game’s release.


Red Dead Redemption 2 will first be available through the Rockstar Games Launcher, and also available for pre-order on the Epic Games Store and Humble Store. The Steam version will be available for purchase in December. The PC port will also be a launch title for Google Stadia.

Rockstar has sometimes taken more time to release PC ports of their games. 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V didn’t get a PC release for almost two years, to the dismay of some players eager for improved performance and player-created mods. Red Dead Redemption 2 comes slightly more than a year after release, and will include access to Red Dead Online. That game will receive additional bounty hunts and weapons as part of the PC release.

I expect sales of funny hats and spurs to to skyrocket in response to this news.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 Bird Mod Is Magnificently Chill

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game that can be chill, but eventually, somebody pulls a gun on you, or a coyote attacks, or you wander into a whinnying horse fire hell zone. To achieve true chill, you must rise above it all. Thanks to mods, you can.

YouTuber Jedijosh920 (via Polygon) used player model mods to swap out grumpy old Arthur Morgan with a series of different birds. He then soared over Red Dead Redemption 2‘s gargantuan landscape, heedless of the petty cares of cowboys, coyotes, and burning horses—at least, until the former started shooting at him after 13 minutes or so.

By and large, though, playing as a bird seems to be just about the most calming way to experience Red Dead Redemption 2. You can also do a bit of boundary breaking, as Jedijosh920 was able to make it to Mexico, which is not currently accessible in the normal game. Birds, however, have no concept of country, nationality, or unannounced DLC that could take place in Mexico. They simply fly where the wind (and migratory paths) take them. Perhaps we can learn from their example. Or, failing that, we can at least hope there’ll be an official bird mode included in whatever DLC Rockstar decides to release in the future.


Former Rockstar Designer Says Former Top Executive Groped Him

Screenshot: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)

When Colin Bundschu first started at Rockstar Games in November of 2014, he says his new colleagues offered a warning: Don’t cross Jeronimo Barrera. Barrera, the vice president of product development, would often fly in from New York to visit Rockstar’s offices in Carlsbad, California, where they were all working on the Western game Red Dead Redemption 2. Bundschu was told to be cautious when Barrera came to town. Mind how you talk to him, multiple coworkers and managers said. Barrera, one of Rockstar’s top executives, had a reputation for screaming at people, and there were rumors that he had shouted at staff who’d rubbed him the wrong way, telling them they were fired.

So Bundschu wasn’t sure what to do when, at a work gathering shortly after he started, he says Barrera groped him, asked Bundschu to sit on his lap, and rubbed his inner thigh area. These allegations about events from 2014 are being made public for the first time today, but in the days after the incident allegedly happened, Bundschu filed a report to Rockstar’s human resources department and told at least four other people. After an HR investigation that involved speaking to Barrera and others present, and following a dispute over whether Barrera had denied the accusation or told Rockstar he didn’t remember, the company ultimately found Bundschu’s account to be unsubstantiated. A few months after that, Bundschu left Rockstar, and eventually, he exited the video game industry. (He wrote about the incident in a book he self-published on Amazon in 2017, but he used pseudonyms for Barrera and everyone else involved.)

Over the past two months, Kotaku has conducted several interviews with Bundschu and reviewed e-mails between Bundschu and Rockstar HR as well as a seven-page document that Bundschu says he wrote at the time, on the advice of his lawyer uncle, detailing the events of that night and the days afterward. Bundschu said he is going on the record now, four and a half years after the event, because he hopes that going public will help prevent incidents like this from happening again. He also said one of the reasons he was talking about this story was because we’d reached out. (We had first contacted Bundschu in January, after hearing wind of the allegations.)

Barrera, who departed from Rockstar in 2018 after two decades with the company, denies these allegations. When reached by Kotaku last week, he first called to say that the incident had not happened, then sent over a statement through his attorney, Robert Tracy: “Mr. Barrera categorically denies all of the allegations of misconduct you raised with him.” Tracy and Barrera would not elaborate further or comment on the specifics in this story. “Mr. Barrera stands by his statement,” Tracy said in an email when given more details.

When contacted for comment, Rockstar and parent company Take-Two Interactive provided a statement, attributed to Take-Two spokesperson Alan Lewis: “We take these matters extremely seriously. While we do not comment publicly on the specifics of individual investigations, in any case where an employee raises workplace concerns, we investigate them and take appropriate action.” Rockstar would not comment further.

Late last year, a Kotaku investigation detailed Rockstar’s extensive overtime hours and the “culture of fear” experienced by current and former employees, all of whom were granted anonymity so they could speak freely without fear of repercussion. But crunch wasn’t the only thing that impacted morale at Rockstar. While reporting on that story, I heard anecdotes about a frat house-like environment within Rockstar, particularly at the company’s California office. (Rockstar consists of over two thousand employees working in eight offices around the world.) Current and former employees shared stories of Rockstar work trips to strip clubs. Several people described what they called a “cult”-like mentality, where employees were expected to attend social events regularly, and those who left Rockstar were shunned (a mentality encapsulated by Rockstar’s policy, confirmed by the company to Kotaku last year, that anyone who leaves before a game is shipped will not be in that game’s credits). One name kept emerging as one of the driving forces behind this culture: Jeronimo Barrera, the vice president of product development and one of the most powerful people at Rockstar.

Although Barrera is no longer at Rockstar, he served as one of the top decision-makers (just under co-founders Sam and Dan Houser) at a company that brings in billions of dollars in revenue thanks to mega-franchises like Grand Theft Auto. Barrera helped lead development on some of the most critically acclaimed games out there, like Bully and Red Dead Redemption. He often did interviews with journalists to market Rockstar games, and he was a top manager at the company.

Screenshot: Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar)

On Friday, November 21, 2014, a large group of Rockstar employees held a work event at a restaurant in Encinitas, California, several miles away from Rockstar San Diego, as the Carlsbad office is called. They were celebrating some of the designers that Rockstar had hired recently, including Colin Bundschu, who had moved from Seattle that month, leaving behind his friends and long-term girlfriend to take what he saw as a dream job.

“This was a huge move for me, and I was really committed,” Bundschu said. “It was my in into becoming a game designer, which had been my dream and my goal. I was very dedicated to making sure I didn’t fuck it up.”

Earlier that day, Bundschu had met Jeronimo Barrera, who lived in New York but often flew out to Rockstar’s California offices, where Bundschu had just started his new job as a multiplayer designer on Red Dead 2. Bundschu says his manager had warned him to watch what he said, that Barrera could be temperamental—a reputation that Bundschu says he witnessed in his very first conversation with Barrera.

“He introduced himself to me by asking, ‘Have you played through the current build of the game?’” Bundschu said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I actually played through the whole thing earlier.’ He said, ‘That’s good, because I’ve had to fire people for not doing that before.’”

When asked about Barrera, 13 other current and former Rockstar employees shared first- or second-hand stories about his behavior, with most using the words “abrasive” or “volatile” to describe him. All requested anonymity because they said they were scared to harm their careers or scared of retaliation from Rockstar. Some said they had seen Barrera reprimand co-workers for staying friends with ex-Rockstar colleagues on Facebook; others shared anecdotes of drunken antics and pranks gone awry. One common story, not verified firsthand by Kotaku but shared secondhand by three people, was that at a party one evening Barrera had drunkenly tackled a designer into a bush. (The designer did not respond to a request for comment.)

One former Rockstar employee who said they were friendly with Barrera still described the executive’s behavior as “outrageous.” Two people shared a story about a group of new QA testers who had been invited out to a dinner by Barrera but did not attend because they were working overtime. When they did go out to the bar, later in the night, Barrera berated them for not coming earlier and told them they were fired, according to the two people, who both said they’d watched it happen. Later, said the two people, someone else from Rockstar called to tell the testers that they were not, in fact, fired, and that they should come back to work.

Screenshot: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)

Barrera, who played a pivotal role in many of Rockstar’s games, from Red Dead Redemption to Bully, was one of the highest-ranking managers at the company. Many of the developers who spoke to Kotaku said he was feared because he had the authority to reprimand or fire anyone, an authority that those developers said he would remind employees of often. One person from Rockstar San Diego’s office said they were “nervous to be around him.” Another said they would warn new employees to be careful what they said near him. A third said they’d seen Barrera screaming at designers under him, and a fourth said the executive treated Rockstar employees “more like frat brothers than co-workers.” A fifth developer, in Rockstar’s New York headquarters, said they made a point to ensure that Barrera never got to know them, on the warning of some of their colleagues. “He had a reputation for firing people and being pretty abrasive,” that person said.

Some people who worked with Barrera said he could be charismatic and gregarious, helping solve production issues at the San Diego office; when people complained that they had to pay for sodas, for example, Barrera declared that they’d now be free. But if you caught him at the wrong time, Rockstar staff said, you never knew what might happen. “He was a loose cannon,” said a sixth person who worked with Barrera. “You didn’t want to get on his bad side. He could make or break you at the company.” A seventh former Rockstar employee, who worked in the San Diego office, said they were scared to be in the same room as Barrera. “The dude was petty and had personal vendettas against people all the time, made work super uncomfortable,” they said. “Say or do one ‘wrong’ thing in front of him and you could get fired on the spot… Super inappropriate around people in general, discussing and encouraging things like sex and drugs a lot.”

Barrera was in California when Rockstar held its meet-and-greet for new developers on that Friday in November of 2014. During dinner, Bundschu says he was sitting next to two other new designers when Barrera came over and started talking to him. According to Bundschu’s account, Barrera was friendly, but after a while, Bundschu started to feel like he was getting most of the top executive’s attention. “He’s only talking to me, and the other two guys cannot get in a word edgewise,” Bundschu said.

Barrera eventually exited the restaurant, and soon afterwards, by Bundschu’s recollection, two Rockstar lead designers told Bundschu and the other two new hires to come with them down the street to a nearby nightclub. As they were walking, Bundschu says, the leads warned the new hires about Barrera’s behavior, telling them to be cautious not to upset him. “They said, ‘Look, we don’t want the three of you to get fired tonight, so whatever you do, don’t do anything to piss him off,’” said Bundschu.

When they got to the nightclub, Bundschu remembers seeing Barrera at a booth with several other Rockstar staffers, complete with full table service: bottles of vodka, mixers, and so on. They all sat down, Bundschu says, and talked for a while. “When I finished my drink, he’d make me another immediately, say, ‘Here, here, keep drinking,’” said Bundschu. “He was actively encouraging me to drink. It was not like I was sitting there helping myself.”

Bundschu estimated he had three drinks, adding that he remembers everything that happened. (“I want to be clear—I remember this so clearly. I wasn’t so drunk that my memory is impaired or anything.”) Barrera moved to the end of the table, Bundschu says, and then asked who wanted to go to the dance floor. Bundschu volunteered, and then, he says, things started getting uncomfortable.

“He stands up and comes up to me, and I don’t know how to say it other than he starts aggressively groping me,” Bundschu said. “Out of the blue. There was no warning, no anything; he just goes for it. I just freaked… It felt like an eternity, but it couldn’t have been more than a couple of minutes.”

Barrera stopped and sat back down at the booth alongside their colleagues. Then, Bundschu says, Barrera spread his legs and gestured for Bundschu to come sit on his lap. Bundschu says he remembers freezing.

“I’m thinking, ‘What are my options?’” Bundschu said. “A) I get fired if I don’t do something, and B) he either wants me to grope him, which I’m not fucking doing, or C) maybe I can do something differently. I’m like, ‘Okay, well, I can probably just give him basically a lap dance without touching him,’ which is what I did… I know it sounds terrible, but what do you do? Fuck, it was like, I’d just started. I’d given up so much for this job.”

A few seconds after Bundschu started the lap dance, he recalls, one of his co-workers told him to stop, which he did, writing later in his notes that he felt “extremely ashamed and embarrassed. I have no interest in men and certainly no interest in Jeronimo, and doing what he told me to do in front of the people I work with was very humiliating.” (That co-worker did not respond to requests for comment.) Then he moved to the other side of the table, as far away from Barrera as he could get. “I picked up a glass of water, sat there staring into it, and said nothing for like 20 minutes,” Bundschu said. “For those 20 minutes, my ears were ringing and I didn’t know what to do. I’m like, ‘Fuck, am I gonna get fired? What the fuck is going on right now?’ I was just stunned.”

Then, Bundschu says, Barrera swung around the table and sat down next to him. Bundschu remembers being in mid-conversation with a colleague when, he says, Barrera started rubbing Bundschu’s inner thigh. “I’m sitting there holding my drink and my hands are shaking,” said Bundschu. “I remember looking down and I could see the water in the glass vibrating.”

Shortly afterwards, according to Bundschu’s account, the colleague on his other side looked at Barrera and told him to stop. (The colleague who Bundschu identified is still employed in a lead position at Rockstar and did not respond to requests for comment.) At that point, Bundschu says Barrera stopped, stood up, and went back to the other side of the table.

Bundschu says he then got up to exit the club with two co-workers. “Jeronimo says, ‘Are you leaving already?’” Bundschu said. “I’m like, ‘Yes,’ staring at the ground. I can’t even make eye contact with him. He said, ‘Why aren’t you staying longer? This is not okay.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry, my ride’s here.’ He’s pissed, but I’m like, ‘Sorry, I need to leave.’”

Kotaku attempted to interview as many of the people who Bundschu said were at the nightclub as possible. Some didn’t respond. One said they hadn’t seen “anything inappropriate happen.” Others said they didn’t remember the events of that night. One person confirmed part of Bundschu’s story, saying that they’d seen the two men dancing near their table. “Jeronimo was grinding up and down on his leg,” the person said. “I do remember Jeronimo looking directly at him… Colin was smiling, but it wasn’t a comfortable smile. It was almost like Colin was being flopped around.”

Four of Colin Bundschu’s former Rockstar colleagues told Kotaku that, in the days afterward, Bundschu shared parts of this story with them. One said Bundschu told them that Barrera had grabbed his penis, another said Bundschu had told them Barrera groped him on a dance floor, and the other two said they’d heard broader details. “I remember him saying, ‘What do you do when the vice president of your company touches you?’” said one. A second described it this way: “He told me he had been groped… He was really upset, so I didn’t want to press him on anything he didn’t want to talk about.”

On Sunday, November 23, 2014, two days after the incident, Bundschu met with Rockstar San Diego’s director of human resources, Kelly Gibson. “She said she had no doubt that what I said was true, as I was extremely detailed and thorough,” Bundschu wrote in his notes at the time. “She apologized for what had happened, and said that I would need to hold on until she talked to some people. She also said that the kind of behavior I experienced ‘is not Rockstar, we are here to make games and that is it.’”

In the coming days, Bundschu had a series of meetings with Gibson and with the company’s head of HR, Rob Spampinato, who called in from New York and later flew out to California for a meeting. Bundschu says they informed him they’d talked to several employees who were at the club that night, including Jeronimo Barrera, and that those people had said they didn’t remember anything. “She told me that since Jeronimo ‘did not remember’ the events of the night, that there was not much they could do,” Bundschu wrote in his notes.

This significant detail—whether Barrera and others did not remember the incident, or denied that it had happened—was later disputed by Rockstar. In an email to Bundschu dated December 30, 2014, provided by Bundschu, Spampinato wrote that Barrera had not in fact said he didn’t remember the night’s events, but that he’d explicitly denied Bundschu’s allegations.

“First, we have never stated to you that Jeronimo or other witnesses that you asked us to speak with were unable to ‘remember’ if the events you alleged took place or not,” Spampinato wrote to Bundschu. “Rather, and importantly, Jeronimo flatly denied your allegations. The other several individuals you identified as present during the evening of November 21 stated that they did not witness the conduct you described, and they generally did not support your allegations. We have no reason to believe that any of the witnesses were fearful of being candid, and we believe that they were each being truthful when they spoke with us.”

Spampinato’s email went on to say that the company had taken “prompt, careful and thorough steps to address the allegations that you have raised” and that his investigation had determined that Bundschu’s claims were unsubstantiated.

“Given that your allegations could not be substantiated, the remedial action against Jeronimo that you appear to seek is not warranted,” Spampinato wrote. “During the course of this matter, however, we have made clear to Jeronimo and others that Rockstar does not tolerate sexually hostile or inappropriate conduct. We have also offered to facilitate a meeting with Jeronimo so that you could discuss this matter with him in a comfortable environment, and Jeronimo offered, in such meeting, to apologize if you were made to feel uncomfortable (please let us know if you would like us to arrange that meeting in which Kelly can be present). We have also informed all those involved that there may be no retaliation or adverse action against you for bringing this matter to our attention.” (Bundschu told me he declined that opportunity to meet with Barrera, calling it an “insane” and “embarrassing” idea.)

In response, Bundschu wrote that until then, he’d been under the impression that Barrera told Rockstar he had no memory of the evening. “This is the first time you have made this statement, and it is inconsistent with what you told me in Kelly’s presence over the phone on multiple occasions—and what Kelly told me—on multiple occasions,” he wrote to Spampinato in the email exchange obtained by Kotaku. “You and Kelly both told me that Jeronimo said he was drunk and he told you he did not remember what happened at the nightclub. Consistent with this statement, during our conversations you said: ‘He doesn’t remember, so what do you want us to do?’ Kelly made similar statements to me.”

It was a pivotal dispute, and ultimately, Rockstar HR concluded that events had not happened as Bundschu described, although Spampinato also said in his email that the company would be going through anti-harassment training shortly thereafter.

“In conclusion, we will follow up with you periodically to review with you how things are progressing and to ensure the work environment is professional and productive for you and your colleagues,” Spampinato wrote. “To that end, I also note that we will soon be delivering anti-harassment training to all Rockstar San Diego employees. You and your colleagues should receive notice of this training shortly.”

Bundschu says he wanted to stay at Rockstar, but that the entire experience made him feel like that was impossible. By the end of 2014, he was looking for other jobs. Meanwhile, word of the incident between him and Barrera had spread elsewhere in the studio.

“It certainly was office gossip,” said one person who worked for Rockstar at the time. “I remember talking to peers about it. Nobody could quite understand it. I guess the assumption was that it was sort of a joke, jock type of thing… There was no way Colin was going to lie about it. It had serious consequences to him. It obviously happened. But it was impossible to understand, verify whether it was a joke.”

Over the last year, for this story and others, I’ve spoken to dozens of people who work or have worked at Rockstar. Many of those people said they loved working there, and that getting to help make games like Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption was an experience that they’d remember forever. But there’s a common perception at Rockstar that employees who are perceived as negative, as “rocking the boat,” can’t succeed at the company, which has led many of those people to keep their problems to themselves. One current employee said they felt like Rockstar’s HR “can’t be trusted,” adding that even if they had a serious issue to bring up, they’d be afraid to draw that kind of negative attention to themselves.

“There was no way I’d complain to HR at Rockstar about anything,” said a second person who worked at Rockstar. “Once you’re negative, you’re not really wanted at the company.”

In the first week of March 2015, Bundschu submitted his two-week resignation notice to Rockstar. In response, HR told him to stop coming in right away.

“This is something women in the video game industry have to deal with all the time,” Bundschu told me on the phone recently. “As a white dude, I thought I was kinda immune to it—an attitude I’ve matured out of.”

Barrera remained at Rockstar, continuing to work on Red Dead Redemption 2 into 2018, when he quietly exited the company.

After leaving Rockstar, Bundschu went to Oculus to work as an engineer for a year, then switched careers entirely. He says he left the video game industry as a result of his experiences with Barrera and Rockstar.

“It could’ve been a really cool job, could’ve been a really cool career,” he said. “After that happens to you, it changes everything.”


Red Dead Online Ain’t Wild West Enough

Lately, Rockstar has been adding a bunch of new game modes into Red Dead Online. Which is good. The game is lacking content and players need more to do. But these new modes aren’t the content Red Dead Online I really want. These modes are sometimes fine, but rarely take advantage of RDO’s incredible and large virtual wild west. That seems like a missed opportunity.

If we look at the last few updates Rockstar has released for Red Dead Online, we see a decently sized list of new content. The majority of this content is new showdowns, competitive PVP modes focused on players killing and racing each other. These modes can sometimes be fun. I’ve enjoyed playing Target Races. But almost none of these modes elicit a feeling of being a rootin’-tootin’ gunslinger in the old west. They feel more or less like modes that could have easily been ripped out of any other online multiplayer game.

Now, in Red Dead Online’s defense, its predecessor, Red Dead Redemption, didn’t have a bunch of online modes that were very western themed. But that game did try to give players more ways to feel like they were a dangerous gunslinger.

My favorite way they included was how every game mode started with a Mexican standoff. Each player standing face to face, hand on their revolver, waiting for the moment to draw their weapon and gun someone down before getting shot or killed themselves. Even the modes that were more standard deathmatches felt elevated by this wonderful opening standoff. Red Dead Redemption’s multiplayer also included poker and liar’s dice, allowing players to hit the saloon and play some cards after winning some duels.

Red Dead Online is missing these touches. Sure, I can explore the vast world on horseback and lasso up some folks. But as Rockstar adds more content, it feels like these modes could do more to tap into the wild west fantasy. This is one of the most gorgeous and highly-detailed worlds I’ve ever seen and it almost feels like this whole map and the time period of the game are being ignored by Rockstar in favor of adding battle royale and CTF modes. These modes are totally fine but don’t take advantage of that huge western map or time period.

Interestingly, some of my favorite modes in Red Dead Online are the horse races. These modes feel different than the automobile races found in GTA Online. Managing your horse’s stamina, your health and controlling them made me feel like a badass cowboy, right up until the point someone kicked me off my horse.

However, most modes in RDO don’t give me that same feeling and I hope future updates add more western-themed modes. Stuff that can only be done in Red Dead Online. Like a mode where players have to wrangle cattle, rob a bank together or even let players meet in towns to have one on one duels at noon.

Outside the PVP game modes, the world of Red Dead Online is filled with some interesting activities, some of which do a better job of letting you live out the fantasy of living in the wild west. I especially like protecting or attacking players’ stagecoaches.

One of my favorite moments in Red Dead Online was when I rode into town and wanted to do an activity that involved protecting a stagecoach as it headed across the map. I found two other players in town and asked if they wanted to help. We grouped up, started the journey and ended up talking about what we had done so far. Eventually, we were attacked by a small rival gang of players. We held them off and got the stagecoach to its location. At that moment, as we said goodbye and rode off our separate ways, I felt like the quintessential Hollywood-style-cowboy. I wish I felt that way more often.

So far after numerous updates, Red Dead Online isn’t becoming the game I had hoped it would become. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a slow game, filled with quiet moments. Red Dead Online, in contrast, feels more active and aggressive and it rarely feels like it is truly taking advantage of its unique setting or the highly detailed world.

I hope the next few years of Red Dead Online updates don’t just keep adding PVP modes and clothing. I want to really get lost in the west, not just score some headshots in a deathmatch mode.


Division 2 Player’s Aim Is Off

Today on Highlight Reel we have bullet curving in The Division 2, Red Dead Redemption 2 dunks, Apex Legends moments and much more!

Watch the video then talk about your favorite highlight in the comments below. Be sure to check out, like, and share the original videos via the links below. Subscribe to Kotaku on YouTube for more! Catch up on all the episodes on the Highlight Reel Youtube playlist!

Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at [email protected] Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!

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Red Dead Online’s Next Update Will Combat Griefing, Rebalance Weapons 

Screenshot: Rockstar Games

Red Dead Online will be receiving a large update on February 26th, Rockstar Games announced today. This update will add new daily challenges and rebalance some weapons. It will also implement some of the changes Rockstar first revealed back in January. In their news post, they explained in more detail how many of these changes will work and how they hope the changes will improve Red Dead Online.

After a rough launch, Red Dead Online fans have continued to voice their concerns about the in-game economy, lack of missions, griefing and other problems. The upcoming update seems focused on trying to fix some of the biggest issues fans are currently having in RDO.

Ways To Limit Griefing

Rockstar wrote that it’s hoping to “minimize certain destructive player behaviors.” This seems to be a more elegant way of saying “We are going to stop assholes from being so annoying.” Currently player blips, indicators of where players are in the game’s world, can be seen on the map at all times and at any distance, allowing players to target others no matter where they hide.

Following the February update, player blips will only show up if players are within 150 meters of each other. If a player is farther away than 150 meters, they won’t appear on your map unless they fire their weapon.

Rockstar is also implementing a system that will highlight players who are overly aggressive. As players act more aggressively, such as through killing other players or their horses, their player dot will become a darker shade of red. More laid-back and less violent players will stay a bright blue color. This system sounds very similar to GTA Online’s Mental State mechanic. Like that system, players in RDO will also be able to change their dot color from red back to a more peaceful blue if they calm down and stop killing other players for a bit.

Another step Rockstar will take to help limit how often players are killed by aggressive trolls is that, after the update, players will be able to parlay with an entire posse. Currently, if a troll keeps killing you, the game will allow you to parlay with them, which means they can’t hurt or kill you for a certain amount of time. However, in the current system, the aggressive player’s posse can still attack you. The new posse parley will help keep roving bands of trolls from frustrating smaller posses or peaceful solo players.

Bounty Hunting Is Coming

Rockstar has also confirmed that this next big update will add bounties into the game. A player who is overly aggressive and breaks the law often will eventually have a bounty placed on their head.

Unfortunately, it seems players can’t hunt these bounties. Instead, when your bounty gets high enough, NPC bounty hunters will hunt you down and try to kill you.

Not all crimes will earn players a bounty on their head. While killing another player or their horse will quickly bring bounty hunters after you, attacking random NPCs or farm animals won’t be as seriously punished. Some crimes, like small-time robbery, won’t even earn you any amount of bounty, but instead will lower your honor.

It seems like a missed opportunity to not allow other players to become temporary bounty hunters who can hunt down aggressive players. In a game that is lacking content, this could have been a great way to add something new to free roam.

Daily Challenges And Other Changes

Red Dead Online’s February update will add daily challenges into the game. These challenges will cover many different activities in Red Dead Online, asking players to kill bandits, collect herbs, hunt animals, sell stolen goods and more. Rockstar also plans on adding more challenges in future updates. Completing these challenges will unlock new rewards and bonuses.

Rockstar will also be balancing some weapons, specifically the Varmint rifle. The popular small caliber rifle will have its accuracy dropped, making it less effective in long range encounters. Though Rockstar only gave the Varmint Rifle as an example, the post says that “based on community feedback received thus far, select weapons will be re-balanced.” This hopefully means tweaks to other firearms and weapons.

Rockstar also explained that it’s making changes and fixes to the way horse cargo works. Players currently deal with all manner of problems when storing skins and pelts on their horses, with these items sometimes vanishing after players die or fast travel. Rockstar wrote that “fixes to horse cargo are numerous,” though the developer didn’t specify what the changes will actually be.

These new changes and fixes couldn’t come soon enough. Many players are increasingly disappointed in their Red Dead Online experience and are wanting more improvements from Rockstar. Hopefully these changes will help alleviate some of the issues RDO players are dealing with when playing online.