The end is nigh.
It’s been a long time coming, but we’re now seeing signs that Rockstar is really deep in Jumping the Shark mode with GTA Online. They’re running out of ideas badly at this point in time. Now that may be because development of Red Dead Redemption 2 is in full swing, and they have taken their eye off the ball a bit, but the latest in a long line of DLC updates just gives me the fear about where they are going. Here’s five signs for you to look out for:
They are actively helping people grief in Online with some of the stuff they are doing.
The last few DLCs have militarised, bunkered, and given access to Fort Zancudo and an assortment of vehicles that allow players to totally destroy other players. I mean, what’s next, underwater warfare with submarines? The Hunt for Red October DLC?
Not just that, but even the missions are encouraging players to steal from other players and generally ruin their fun. Lobbies are now filled with kids in assorted death machines just ready to take a pop at anyone who is trying to make a quick buck or two from Online to pay for new vehicles and suchlike.
It’s a mess, and it’s getting worse.
They are making players work too hard to farm money so that they buy shark cards instead.
Shark cards are the in-game currency in GTA’s online world. They are micro transactions (although micro might be stretching it a bit here, to get an £8 million card costs a lot of money) that allow players to buy the latest stuff.
Trouble is, the latest stuff is so expensive. Cars, trucks and planes are now routinely costing £3 million plus. Sometimes £5 million. And if you want to try and farm your way there, you’re getting griefed at every turn. It’s too hard to do these days.
Players are being forced to use glitches and cheats to get by.
Because it’s so hard to get money in the game now, players are being forced to use exploits and glitches like car duplication to try and make some money to buy the latest stuff. Every Friday a new exploit launches and every Monday Rockstar have patched it.
A lot of players are now using glitches instead of working hard and Rockstar are banning thousands of players every day for using them.
The races and adversary modes are getting ridiculous.
Another sign that Rockstar is losing the plot is in the races and adversary modes. The latest, Transform Races, puts you in a car. Then a plane. Then a boat. What? It’s lazy and predictable that they’ve done everything on the road, in the air and on the sea, so now they have to mix the three in order to come up with something new.
And finally, the Batmobile.
Yup. The game’s newest vehicle, Vigilante, is basically a poorly veiled Batmobile. I’m surprised DC aren’t suing Rockstar.
It is an utterly pointless addition to the game that serves zero purpose. It’s a desperate throw of the dice to keep players playing but to me it’s having the opposite effect. It’s not as if it’s part of a Superhero DLC or something that would make sense, it’s just been randomly dropped in.
So, there you have it. Rockstar is losing the plot. The studio is doing stuff that makes people play Online less, not more. At this point, they should really stop and leave GTA Online alone rather than make things worse. I want to rewind to when we had the Biker DLC, which was the last good DLC they put in.
It’s a shame, because the best game in a generation is on a downward slope that is getting steeper.