The main point of Grand Theft Auto online isn’t quite the same as what you might think. Rather than the heists and gang-based crime of its predecessors, GTA Online focuses on a broader scope that combines the thrill of in-game violence with a curated social experience.
The games of the Grand Theft Auto series have always functioned as commentary, embracing a wide range of crimes genres and time periods to parody the mass culture that spawned them, trading on melodrama and goofy violence for an often darker satire. That’s true of all three titles: Vice City drew upon the cocaine-fueled party scene of the 1980s; Grand Theft Auto IV explored the immigrant gangsters of Los Santos; and, most recently, Grand Theft Auto V tracked a middle-aged, retired criminal as he grew into a successful criminal empire.
What’s more, the latest version of GTA Online offers a streamlined introduction and Career Builder that makes it easier to jump into the multiplayer mode from the beginning, which is a welcome change for newcomers to the franchise. However, cross-play between console generations is still limited, so don’t count on that if you have friends playing on old-gen systems.
Whether it’s vehicle races, deathmatches, heists, or casino trips, there’s something for every player in GTA Online. You can even build your own criminal enterprise, allowing you to take on more elaborate missions and challenges.
Heists aren’t just the focus of GTA Online, though; they also form a vital part of Rockstar’s narrative and offer an exciting means to explore its world and its lore. They’re also a great way to spend money and earn rewards, with each heist paying out cash to the leader.
This money can then be used to buy upgrades, unlock new vehicles and weapons, or purchase other things like homes, businesses, and even a vehicle of your own. There’s a lot to do in Grand Theft Auto Online, and it’s difficult to know where to start.
One of the best parts about GTA Online is that it’s free to play. That’s something you can’t say for a lot of other popular online games. But a growing number of gamers are unhappy with the way Rockstar is squeezing them for cash and introducing ever-more expensive content.
What’s more, some of the in-game perks that Rockstar has introduced are incredibly pricey and hardly worth it for anyone but those who are willing to shell out big bucks. This can make the game feel more like a virtual simulation than an open-world adventure.
While many gamers are happy to play the game for free, there’s an ongoing rift between those who enjoy its content and those who see it as a money grab. The issue, which has been growing since GTA Online launched, is that a lot of the content is bundled up into microtransactions and requires players to pay for things they can get for free elsewhere.
While the microtransaction problem isn’t a deal-breaker, it does add a new dynamic to online multiplayer that makes it more challenging for those who don’t want to invest in these upgrades. It’s also important to note that while these microtransactions do provide you with access to better cars, guns, and clothing, they don’t really help you advance in the game, either.