Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Grand Theft Auto Online
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Grand Theft Auto Online

5:00 PM on 10.08.2013 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

There's a great game underneath all that mess

Grand Theft Auto V was undoubtedly one of the most exciting open-world games in recent memory, but the question remained -- how much would Grand Theft Auto Online add to the package? At first, it was looking pretty good for GTA Online, because in my initial impressions period, I had very little problems getting online and playing. But unfortunately, it seems to have only gotten worse as of late.

Rockstar has a really great game on its hands -- perhaps its best multiplayer offering to date by a mile. The company just really needs to get all of the crippling online issues out of the way as soon as possible.

Grand Theft Auto Online (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])
Developer: Rockstar Games
Publisher: Take Two
Released: October 1, 2013
MSRP: [included with Grand Theft Auto V]

Without sugarcoating it, GTA Online has had a messy launch -- really, really messy. During the first few days of release, thousands of players weren't even able to log into the game, and many more reported multiple glitches with their single-player campaign, as well as deleted online characters and progress. Rockstar recently pushed a "fix" over the weekend for both versions of the game to attempt to rectify the issue -- the only problem is, this made it worse.

After downloading the update, hundreds of players are reporting that their characters have been deleted (again) -- some of which have been playing for days on end. To combat all of the complaints of players paying for real-life money and having it glitched away, microtransactions have been disabled, but that still didn't stop servers from randomly erasing bits of data.

It also boggles the mind that the game doesn't have a proper main menu, and tosses you into the single-player portion first (the quick shortcut to the online mode during the initial loading screen still doesn't always work correctly) before you can trek to the online portion. Rockstar may have warned us about a few of these problems prior to launch, but to not have tested extensively for data corruption and other related deletion issues before going live is not acceptable. GTA Online clearly should have been delayed past its October 1 release date.

Beyond those issues, you also have to deal with the terrible character creation system that I talked about at length in my initial impressions piece. In short, it's one of the worst avatar mechanics I've ever seen in a game, and Rockstar isn't nearly as clever as it thinks it is, having players choose their maternal and paternal grandparents to loosely design a character for a game they're going to be playing for hours on end. Thankfully there are a ton of clothing, accessory, and mask options for your avatar -- otherwise, I would have to look at my revolting character for much longer than I would want to (a skull mask hides his shame).

Microtransacations (cash cards that allow you to buy in-game money) are a thing, and they're a double-edged sword for sure. On one hand, you can't actually use cash to buy anything you haven't earned. So if you aren't the proper rank (online level) and haven't put in the right amount of time, you can't buy a minigun and a massive apartment complex right after you plopped down real-world cash. On the other hand, it does provide shortcuts for players to buy everything once they have ranked up, and it does give other players a small advantage.

In other words, all you have to do is put in the time, pay a little money, and you can unlock every item and weapon in the game that other players may otherwise not be able to afford. This gives you a slight edge in racing and shootouts, given that you have more tools at your disposal, and it allows you to buy more consumables time and time again without worrying about drying up your bank account. It's definitely not game-breaking -- especially if you mostly play with tight-knit crews where you create your own rules -- but it could be a problem long term in regards to the in-game economy.

Despite all of those issues, I can't help but fall in love with the vast majority of GTA Online. I mentioned in my original article that I had created tons of stories on my own outside of the confines of the game. Since that initial impressions period, I've created many, many more great memories -- a testament to the sheer amount of variety on offer. For instance, I created a makeshift mountain biker gang with a few fellow online players, and committed crimes in the hills for hours on end. I had many more intense shootouts in the game's deathmatch modes, as well as a few great races that came down to the wire.

Another group and I grabbed a bunch of planes, and had a three-leg race that involved flying them to a destination, parachuting out, and racing cars to another fixed location. You can rob convenience stores and choose to betray one of your friends, while the cashier shoots another one down right in front of your eyes. Sometimes, I'll just log into GTA Online and cruise Los Santos on my own, enjoying the sights in a brand new way with new missions and races to extend my gameplay past the campaign.

Truly, I can see myself doing this for months on end, as Los Santos' brilliance shines through in GTA Online just as brightly as it does in GTA V proper. You can really tell that Rockstar has learned from every online launch it's ever done from a pure content perspective -- there is an unparallelled amount of variety to engage in, and there was hardly a dull moment for me while playing online in an actual, functioning setting.

To help augment the concept of separation from the campaign, it's great that GTA Online offers up a few cameos from the core story but doesn't go overboard. It really gives you a sense that you're still in that same great piece of Los Santos you know and love. By not retreading too much, Online ends up feeling like you're creating your own story devoid of Michael, Franklin and Trevor's influences.

Rockstar also has grand plans for the game, and I have faith that it'll follow through with pretty much all of its promises: complex multiplayer heists, extra races and playlists, and of course the biggest feature of them all, the map creation tool. All of it is coming at a later date, and provided that Rockstar can iron out all of the technical issues, I think that GTA V's online portion will be one of the biggest online games in recent memory.

Before it gets there, GTA Online needs a lot of work. It's one of the most fun online games I've ever played, but the rampant issues including the mass deletion of character data is something that really should have been worked out before the game launched. One day GTA Online will reach its true potential with a massive map creation tool and more playable content than pretty much every genre outside of MMOs -- of this I have no doubt, given how deep Rockstar's coffers are. But for now, it's best to tread lightly until all of the kinks are worked out.



THE VERDICT

7

Grand Theft Auto Online - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director, Co-EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Grand Theft Auto Online


  Feb 05

GTA Online is still making shedloads of money

So don't expect a new GTA game just yet


  Sep 29

GTA Online exploit may open door to cheaters

Temporary characters = permanent chaos


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

Narrative Mistakes: Mass Effect's Reapers As Primary Villains

Journey to Become a Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast

Waifu Wars - The End

Hindsight Part II: Unreleased Games of the Past

Robbing Kirby of his Greatest Asset

The meaning of The Witness (Part 3 of 3)

Friday Night Fights: War Never Changes Edition

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

ikiryou avatarikiryou
Starting over from scratch after dying in a roguelike MMO
Occams avatarOccams
I've been listening to the live stream of the phone call with the remaining militia jackasses in Oregon all morning and its the saddest, funniest thing I've heard in a while.
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Next South Park RPG is releasing in the first fiscal year of 2017, apparently. It'll probably be fractured but whole. Can't wait! D':
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Waaaait a minute... From a design standpoint.. Wouldn't a bodysuit look better with shoes/boots, thus .GASP. precluding bare feet? Say it aint so! :'''(
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey guys, there's a new episode of PStoid up. You should go listen to it, I hear Phil takes his shirt off. I mean, it's a podcast so you can't see it. But you can IMAGINE it!
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Yesterday, I brought a banana with me to my job for my lunch break. Some yokel must have swiped it, for I never saw it again, nor got to eat it. My response when: [img]http://i.imgur.com/wrZt8SO.png[/img]
darrenhupke avatardarrenhupke
"At launch, playing through most of the single player content will give you enough Fight Money to get Alex for free!" Will it be possible to earn enough FC by April for the next character DLC? I'm guessing not.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Right, looking for advice. Just redeemed four old XCOM games from a humble bundle a few years back, so I wanted advice on which one I should give a looksie to first. Got 5 choices, kind of thinking terror from the deep or apocalypse. Any suggestions?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Never be first to avert your eyes when locked in a staring contest with a cat. You must push through the pain if you ever wish to become truly whole, to win this eternal conflict of wills. Bonus XP is awarded on Thursdays!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
S Magala Plate first fight! :D
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I have basic knowledge of two other languages (with certificates to prove so) and I decided today that soon I shall be fluent in both. One at a time though.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
If you had to pick one: Firewatch, Not a Hero, or Layers of Fear?
Shinta avatarShinta
I'm soooo glad that they kept the gyroscope controls intact with Gravity Rush Remastered, and that they work well. First Dual Shock 4 game to ever use them well. If you turned them off in options, you're really missing out. Helps you fine tune aim.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Even Luigi gets it.
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Alone With the Psychopath (2014) - I wrote this song after being inspired by the Epic Rap Battle of History between Jack the Ripper and Lecter. I think it sounds neat, and doesn't rip off too much from the song that inspired it =p
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
Tell me who downvoted my smash 4 opinion or the cat gets it. I'm not joking around.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Is that new digimon game any good or no? I know there's the review but I'd like feedback from a couple others too
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
People bitching that "(insert character) Needs Nerfing" because they lost to them several times online, incoming in T-5 days.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
For some reason I had a dream that I was playing a new Jet Set Radio game. It was open world and had an amazing day/night cycle. It was wonderful, yet horrible...
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
4.6 Million XCOM operatives down and down! [url]https://xcom.com/xcom-2-stats[/url] 66% from Collateral damage. Never mind the Alien invasion, cars are the real threat
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -