Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Grand Theft Auto Online (2013)

Genre: Sandbox  |  Players: 1 - 16  |  Developer: Rockstar North

I’ll begin with a confession: I'm not a fan of online gaming. There are some exceptions, but primarily I play a game to be immersed in story, not for social interaction. I’d much rather someone who cares about online gaming review this, but unfortunately you’re stuck with me.

I'm not being puerile when I say I agree with RS that GTA Online is a separate game; albeit one that uses the same resources and game mechanics as the one player aspect. It has its own levelling-up system, its own monetary system, its own property market and, most importantly, its own unique missions.

It’s set two months before GTA V, so people you may have assassinated there are still available here to offer you jobs. Complete jobs or activities and you’ll earn Reputation Points (RP). Get enough RP and you’ll level-up.

Working your way up the ranks unlocks new items that you can purchase from the in-game stores; things like silencers for guns, engine and transmission upgrades for your personal vehicle, or new clothes.

Jobs also earn you money. Everything revolves around money and not having enough of it. You’ll work your ass off just to afford a new engine. Acquiring enough for an entire car will take a long time.

You could steal a flash car but the mod-shops will refuse to respray it and the cops will have such a hard-on for you that it’s not worth the hassle. Losing your wanted level only stops them for a short time. That means you’re either stuck with a shitbox or you buy your own and upgrade it; and don’t forget to insure it or you’ll have wasted your cash when it eventually gets blown to pieces.

At time of writing, the Heists aren't yet playable, but are promised as FREE DLC in the not-too-distant future. It’s a shame.becuase they are the only part of the online experience that I was genuinely interested in.

Similarly, the Content Creator is still forthcoming.  he official word from RS is that it'll be initially limited to Death Matches and Races (yawn). Perhaps in the future there'll be an option to create custom jobs and rewards.

The potential to add to the game-world over time is reportedly “endless”, which is overly optimistic in my opinion, but admittedly there's scope for a large number of variations on a theme. If they can keep those variations fresh and interesting it'll help distract from the repetitious nature of the theme.

3½ fetch and carry missions out of 5

2 comments:

Neg said...

I've never played GTA myself, but doesn't upgrading and especially INSURING a car (especially a single car) seem entirely against the spirit of the series?

Dr Faustus said...

I can understand how it sounds seeing as how the title is Grand ‘Theft’ Auto but it genuinely is a welcome addition. If you insure your ‘personal vehicle’ you can get it back with all upgrades intact if it gets blown to pieces or simply stops running from too many crashes. It would be frustrating to spend a million bucks upgrading a car only to have it destroyed by bikers or police on just one mission.

You can still choose to car-jack someone with a better car than yours but the cops will hound you, and the car owner may even put a bounty on your head (even the NPCs can do that).