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Grand Theft Auto Online: Kotaku’s review

Rockstar never intended to support GTA online for almost a decade and beyond. It was never the plan. Yet GTA online continues to be updated and, oddly, now in 2020, is bigger than ever.

Grand Theft Auto Online launched as part of something else. It was the multiplayer mode linked to Grand Theft Auto V, a huge following that would have had one of the most successful entertainment launches in human history. Meantime, GTA online would be launched a few weeks later in a terrible state. Just a few months after his release, the players called him dead. Rockstar itself has since admitted that the launch was a disaster and has lost many players forever due to bugs, server outages and lack of exciting updates.

But now, seven years after that terrible launch, GTA online it̵

7;s one of the most popular games in the world. It completely eclipsed the game it was originally part of and will now do something few online games have ever had: exist on seven platforms actively and simultaneously. Ever since it was released, it has grown, changed and evolved beyond the simple online sandbox that was in 2013. That’s why, in all these years, I have felt that it was time to review GTA online properly.

Illustration for the article entitled iGrand Theft Auto Online / i: iKotaku's review / i

Screenshot: rockstar games

GTA online begins with the created character flying to Los Santos. You peek out the window during a movie and look down on the people who run in the tram and play tennis. And while you can still do these things in today’s game, they have become dated relics of a different era, an era where GTA online he was more rooted and focused on being serious and gritty. Real life. Today, a more accurate introduction would reflect these changes in content, perhaps by sliding your plane on jet skis, explosive RC cars, itinerant motorcycle gangs and huge floating ramps.

In fact, the whole introduction and tutorial that starts GTA online it looks old and needs updating.

Shoot some random gang members, steal drugs, run on a tram and change clothes. Again, these are all things you can still do GTA online, but has gone much further, and soon your phone will explode with text messages and phone calls from seven-year-old characters and factions.

Jumping in GTA online today it is extremely overwhelming. There are numerous people vying for your attention, different companies to buy, things to update, events to attend and robberies to undertake. Some of these missions and events involve global corporations, the FBI and powerful criminal bosses. It is strange that when you start your new game as a low-level criminal, nobody, so many powerful people fall on themselves to reach you. But in a way, it fits. GTA onlineIt’s become a strange game, where you’ll end up owning multiple businesses, several military bases and dozens of armed cars, but you’ll still be asked to help a random gang member sell some weed. It is a game where police officers still send cars and helicopters to prevent players from driving tanks and shooting with lasers.

This mix of banal and wild, of exaggerated, rooted, boring and crazy, is part of GTA onlineThe charm. It has become a giant buffet. And like any big buffet, some parts only seem there because, well, it has to be. Nobody really wants those little coarse and hard shots, but if there weren’t at least some people they would complain. GTA online has many of these contents. Nobody does parachuting missions in 2020. Nobody cares about boring deathmatches in 2020. Yet it’s all part of the big, huge GTA online buffet. If Rockstar were to remove these older and less sought after pieces, it would almost immediately get complaints from angry players who haven’t even touched those modes for years.

GTA online


“The game that never ends.”


Driving, flying and online gambling simulator Open-world action sandbox


Variety of content, robberies, free DLC, user-created content


Toxic community, many difficulties, server problems, cheaters


October 1, 2013


Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, PC

Over the years the GTA online the community has acquired a bad reputation and is highly deserved. I have heard an incredible number of racists, sexists and sacks of dirt while playing this game over the years. Many of them are guys who seem dedicated to being the most picky people they can be. But I also met nice people. I eliminated the robberies with people from all over the world. And the community is always looking for new ways to impress and make me laugh. Some of the stunts that people can do they are amazing and the recent alien war it is an excellent example of how the community can come together in a positive way.

However, Rockstar isn’t doing enough to help keep this community healthy and positive. It is too easy to harass other players, even without mods or cheats. And while Rockstar banishes players, many have complained to me about being molested and targeted without Rockstar’s support or punishment. On Xbox 360 and PS3, gta V is GTA online has stopped receiving official updates, becoming lawless wastes full of powerful hackers and revolutionary mods. At this point, it makes sense to turn it off on those older platforms and maybe, with the next launch of new versions on PS5 and Xbox Series X, will do just that.

The sentiment of fans and the community towards Rockstar has changed a lot since then GTA online launched. In the beginning, people were excited about the future of an online Grand Theft Auto game. But while some are still happy, an increasing number of fans think Rockstar is crushing them for every penny they have. Looking at the increase in game prices it is not difficult to agree. Some recently added clothes cost more than sports cars released in the first year. But the payments for missions and events have not really increased as the content becomes more expensive.

Illustration for the article entitled iGrand Theft Auto Online / i: iKotaku's review / i

Screenshot: rockstar games

This leaves players with two options: Grind for more money to buy all new toys or buy Shark cards using real world money to quickly fill up their digital bank. This is the main point of tension between Rockstar and longtime players. Many players think he is doing Rockstar GTA online more than a struggle to earn more money. And the company recently added a casino too. This only added more fuel to this fire as players could, in theory, use real world money to buy shark cards and use them to buy gambling chips to gamble, a situation so legally uncertain the company had to shut down some of these features in the countries with stricter gaming laws

In GTA Online defense, while item prices have gone up, a large majority of the content can be played freely or with a very limited game investment. For example, that new casino is free to enter, provides players with free tokens every day and has a reward wheel that can spin once a day at no cost. On the flip side, if you want to make new thefts in casinos and not have a wealthy in-game friend, you will be paying out a non-insignificant amount of money in the real world to earn your way to that content. It is this clash between offering free content and hiding some content behind small or large paywalls that has created a rift between Rockstar and its fans. And while every year it passes without a new main line GTA, is GTA online updates continue to present more and more expensive items, it seems that this rift will only grow.

Whether you are an angry old player or a beginner jumping for the first time, you will find out quickly GTA online‘S fiction is a total disaster in 2020. When the game was launched, Rockstar explained that it was set up before the events of gta V, a game that takes place around 2012. All of this made sense. It worked. But over the years the deadlines have changed, and this no longer seems to be the case. The characters will refer to 2018 and new songs released after 2012 are now available GTA onlineRadio. Yet in the meantime, the characters who died inside gta V, set in 2012, can still interact with your character while you are busy carrying out missions presumably set in 2018 or later.

But none of this really matters. GTA online has long since abandoned the ingrained world and the narrative launched in favor of becoming a giant content platform, where both Rockstar and players can create and share wild game modes and maps. Huge floating tracks with transforming vehicles and power-ups are some of the most popular things in GTA online nowadays, with players creating and uploading their own versions using the game creation tools. These tools were launched a few months later GTA online it went live, but it didn’t really get popular until the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

Illustration for the article entitled iGrand Theft Auto Online / i: iKotaku's review / i

Screenshot: rockstar games

Now players can create new content for seven game modes and upload them for others to play and entertain. And they can do all of this with little or no involvement from Rockstar Games. Developers sometimes highlight the creations they find exciting or fun, but in general the community manages and manages this huge piece of the game themselves. Even if one day Rockstar stops supporting GTA Online, it will continue to receive new content from dedicated creators for years. In a sense, Rockstar created a giant monster that he couldn’t really kill, even if he wanted to.

While GTA online continues to grow and grow, both thanks to the fans and the official updates of Rockstar, the world and the game are starting to strive. Spending nearly a decade on the same map started making things seem boring. The world seems static and there are only so many times that I can drive from the desert to the city during a mission before I start to find myself wanting to change scenery. And even if its file size increases, it starts showing its age. This is still an internal Xbox 360 and PS3 game from 2012. While the textures have improved and the drawing distances have increased, based on what Rockstar has added, there seems to be only so much to do.

Many of the new content uses the same basic game mechanics and systems. New missions often feature reused old areas and many races are based on similar tracks and map blocks. I have a feeling that Rockstar is not able to upset the world or the game in a big way, not to ruin everything in the process. For example, the big e shiny new casino what was added last year is impressive, until you realize it’s just an empty facade, with the new content hidden behind multiple remarkably slow loading screens. It all seems squeaky and old, as one day Rockstar will add too many machines to the game and everything will collapse like a sandcastle.

Illustration for the article entitled iGrand Theft Auto Online / i: iKotaku's review / i

Screenshot: rockstar games

In fact, it is unlikely GTA online it will end up so embarrassing and wild, but this brings me to the biggest question in my mind as I prepare to play this new generation of consoles: how GTA online end? All the money he earns, GTA online could to seem as if it will go on forever, but it is equally unlikely that everything would collapse under its own weight. So how and when will it end?

There is always the possibility that GTA online will go on with Grand Theft Auto VI. But it seems less likely today than in 2015 or so. Today, GTA online it looks too old and flaky to be carried forward in the future GTA VI. When he finally leaves, I will miss him GTA online more than any other game, which is strange to think about. This is a game with a large and often shitty community, with tons of boring and boring content and server problems. But I love it. It is this strange little world where I always have something to do and when it finally goes out, I will miss everything.

Grand Theft Auto Online it’s a better game today than it was in 2012, 2014 or even 2017. In 2020, Grand Theft Auto Online both feels like a dinosaur from a different era, but strangely, even more relevant than ever. It was one of the first “games as a service” released in the last generation. Since its rocky launch, it has become one of the most successful games ever made, yet nobody really copied it. I think this is a testament to how difficult it is to make one of these open world games always online. The only real clone of GTA online is Red Dead Online, another game developed by Rockstar. It appears that Rockstar may be the only studio willing, capable or crazy enough to try and accomplish these things.

And I’m thankful for doing it GTA online. After 676 hours, I still enjoy logging in and playing with friends or just walking around alone doing what I want to do that day. And it seems, based on Rockstar’s porting to the new machines, that I will end up putting another 600 hours into this game before it’s finished. Alright then. I don’t mind at all. GTA online it’s a great game and a world I love to go back to, even when a 12 year old decides to blow me up.

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