Grand Theft Auto Online Review

She came a long way, flying to Los Santos International late at night. It wasn’t what she was running away from that mattered. The past was over. It was the opportunities in his future that mattered to him. As her plane flew over, she looked out over the city, thinking of the possibilities that lay ahead.

Grand Theft Auto Online is full of possibilities. My character has engaged in mundane criminal activity, robbing shops and participating in shootings. But that’s not what turns him on about Los Santos. No, what she loves are the opportunities to fly helicopters over the mansions of the Vinewood Hills, participate in tank battles near the forests of Great Chaparral, fight in fighter jets above from Fort Zancudo. For a while, she stumbled upon a mysterious criminal wearing a pig mask, and they committed crimes together and played golf and tennis together like a modern, fitness-oriented Bonnie and Clyde.

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Now playing: Grand Theft Auto V: Online – Video Review

Glory day.

The great variety of things to do with and against other players in the open world of Grand Theft Auto Online is its greatest asset. No single element is up to more focused games. As a multiplayer racing game, it’s not Forza or Burnout. As an online shooter, it’s not as exciting as the multiplayer in The Last of Us. Its sporting offerings won’t compete with Tiger Woods or Top Spin. But none of these games let you do more than a fraction of what GTA Online lets you do, and GTA Online does what it does well enough to make them really enjoyable. When you move from one exciting activity to another, GTA Online is exhilarating.

I found myself more invested in the elegant and enigmatic character that I created than I ever was in Michael, Franklin or Trevor.

Unfortunately, sometimes the world behaves in a way that puts an end to your fun. The stability of GTA Online has improved significantly since its launch, but during this time many players have lost characters and properties that they have purchased, which is not a minor setback. Low-level characters don’t have access to most of the best content in GTA Online. At first, your mission options are dominated by bland deathmatch of the last team standing. GTA Online doesn’t look its best right away, which is unfortunate even for new players, but it’s doubly unfortunate to have to climb the ranks a second time. Losing a property is also a huge setback, given that it takes a long time to make enough money for the finest houses in the game.

Then there are a host of smaller but still important issues. Sometimes matches don’t start, leaving you stranded in the halls. The races sometimes get stuck and the competitors sometimes warp around the environment. If you keep behaving like this you will be labeled a bad sport and be forced to play with all the other morons.

Don't question the idea that a two-speed criminal has access to a fighter plane.  Go for it.
Don’t question the idea that a two-speed criminal has access to a fighter plane. Go for it.

Rockstar is giving everyone who has played GTA Online so far half a million dollars in online cash, a nice gesture, but nothing can replace the lost characters you may have gotten to grips with. GTA Online does not attempt to create a tightly woven narrative around your character’s accomplishments. Instead, it provides a very loose structure where your silent character sometimes comes into contact with characters like Lester, Trevor, and other characters from the single-player game. As my imagination filled in the gaps, I found myself more invested in the elegant, enigmatic character I created than I ever was in Michael, Franklin, or Trevor.

As other players approach you, you might feel a knot of anticipation in your stomach as you wonder if they are going to ignore you and go about their business, or risk their lives in an attempt to kill you and take some of the money that you are. carry.

The world is the same as the single-player game, but with all the extravagant activities you constantly indulge in, it feels pleasantly disconnected from GTAV’s Los Santos. This is a feverish Grand Theft Auto dream in which no narrative justification is needed before you parachute from a skyscraper or jump into a jet to chase opposing players as they hurtle down the freeway in sports cars. GTA Online is largely removing the story to make way for merry mayhem.

At least the chaos is generally joyous. Sometimes other open world players can go out of their way to be fools and keep attacking you, but you can activate passive mode for the pittance of $ 100 so you can’t shoot or you get shot, and the fact that the activities are instantiated means you won’t find your round of golf interrupted by riders mowing you down in a sports car. When you’re not doing an activity, there’s usually an element of exciting danger as you walk through the open world. As other players approach you, you might feel a knot of anticipation in your stomach as you wonder if they are going to ignore you and go about their business, or risk their lives in an attempt to kill you and take some of the money that you are. carry. Smart gamers frequently bank their money to avoid large losses, and although the game advises you to go to the nearest ATM, you can do it quickly from anywhere just by using the internet on your phone, which almost makes all the distinction between money and money in the bank unnecessary.

Someday it might all be yours.
Someday it might all be yours.

You can also interact with other players indirectly, by calling Lester and donating money to put bounties on other players, which marks them as red blips on the map. (It’s also exciting and scary to be on the other end of this situation, to receive the message that another player has put a few thousand dollars on your head and knowing that you are about to be. hunted down by all the thugs in town.) Events happen periodically. in the world too, which promote competition between players. Sometimes a particular vehicle that legitimate car dealership and businessman Simeon wants is marked on the map for all players, and whoever brings it back to the dealership reap the rewards first. And often, the chaos that other players generate on their own contributes to a surreal sense of life in Los Santos. You might see a huge police chase speed past you, or run into someone walking down the street in a propeller plane for no apparent reason.

For me, however, it’s the structured activities that will keep me coming back to Grand Theft Auto Online. These are missions like Roadgame, in which you race other players down the beautiful coastal highway to collect coke and then go on a meandering car chase through the hills to deliver it first. It’s an opportunity to race planes through the downtown skyscrapers as the sunset paints the sky in beautiful shades of orange and purple. Even though the in-game houses are basically just places to take in picturesque views of the city and watch other players on TV “news”, I have my eye on a luxury apartment. of great height in particular. In fact, I want my character to be successful, to do something here, and to rise above the brutal streets of Los Santos.

Los Santos doesn’t look as neat or alive online as it does offline. The pop-in texture is much more visible and there is less traffic on the roads. But it’s still a diverse and beautiful setting, and in GTA Online it gives you more fun things to do with other players than any other open world action game. The unpredictable human element is both an asset and a handicap, and the technical issues that plagued it are far too important to ignore. But when it clicks, as it often is, there is no such thing as GTA Online.

Grand Theft Auto Online is on our list of the best Xbox co-op games.