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Games Spotlight

Was ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ a Vehicle for ‘Grand Theft Auto Online’?

With over 90 million sales reported across all versions of the game since its original release on September 17, 2013, Grand Theft Auto V is unarguably a blockbuster success. With 3 main characters, over 250 drivable vehicles, and a story that takes you all over the whole of San Andreas, it was the biggest and most ambitious game in the series yet. And, luckily for the millions of players, more single player missions and content were promised shortly after release.

However, that never came to pass.

Three weeks after release, the long-awaited debut of Grand Theft Auto Online was made. This game was packaged with GTA V and allowed you to play online alongside other players. While online, you could do missions, compete in different game modes with players, or just goof around inside the world. Quickly, Rockstar released free game updates, adding vehicles to the main game as well as the online aspect. But the promised single player missions never materialized.

Fast forward 5 years later. There have been a number free game updates made for GTA Online, adding vehicles, houses, businesses, and new heists, but still not a single new single player mission. As a player more interested in single player, this has turned me off to playing online and the updates do nothing for my excitement. A lot of GTA V’s hype was built around performing heists. But translating heists online is a nightmare.

Your team is typically one guy who has already done the heists, another who is tragically under levelled, and one with a mic inside their mouth. Trying to organize a heist is like trying to corral cats. I’d rather have these heists be included in single player so I can experience them the way Rockstar intended.

Instead, I’m left feeling like GTA V’s single player mode was intended strictly as a way to introduce people to online play. Once they had you online, you’ll be introduced to micro transactions at every turn. Want that super fast new car? Buy a Shark Card for real money and you can have it! I fear that the next iteration of the series will be GTA Online all over again, except with no single player component and rife with micro transactions.

The support for the game has largely skewed in favour of online. There’s simply more content available. The single player game has limited garage space and no way to buy a second garage. So once you fill your garage, that’s it. You either sell cars, or don’t buy any new ones. And with no new missions, new weapons are boring in single player. After a while, the thrill of unstructured chaos is fleeting. There’s definitely a finish line in single player.

They’ve already created the content for the online portion. Why is it just the cars and the weapons that make the leap to single player? I’d love to experience the new heists that they’ve made for online, but the user base can be so toxic. I love story in games but the personality is stripped away when you have three guys dressed like Ronald McDonald attending your planning session.

I get that the customization options allow you to be wacky and have fun with your character. But there’s still a percentage of us that just want to get wrapped up by the game, and online just doesn’t allow us to do that. It’s like I’m being deterred from wanting to play single player because of the lack of support. This same deterrent might also be the thing that drives me away from the Grand Theft Auto franchise altogether.

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