Back in 2013, when Grand Theft Auto V first released, it felt like a labor of love. Going through the campaign and driving through the Vinewood Hills was a breath of fresh air and Rockstar seemed to improve on everything that felt weird and quirky about Grand Theft Auto IV.
Now, around five years later, Grand Theft Auto V has gone from a fun and engaging game to an absurd, almost Saints Row tier game. Specifically, the finger is being pointed at Grand Theft Auto Online, which was introduced a few weeks after Grand Theft Auto V’s release.
For me, Grand Theft Auto V has gotten old. I know there are a lot of people who thoroughly enjoy it to this day. That being said, I’m expecting people to disagree and potentially even receive backlash. Before that happens, at least let me explain.
In the two years, Rockstar has released a slew of new content for Grand Theft Auto V. Some of which, like the Stunt Races, Slasher adversary mode and the Free Mode challenges are welcomed additions in my book. Even with these fun game modes, the issue that I see is the more, for lack of a better term, financially centric expansion packs. Virtual finances, that is.
In more recent expansions like Smuggler’s Run, Gunrunning Update and Import/Export, you are tasked with earning large sums of money to spend elsewhere to receive extremely expensive vehicles, garages and bunkers that can be accessed in free mode.
As with every grind, there’s something of a “git gud” culture that surrounds the money making and enterprise building on Grand Theft Auto Online. If you have the time and/or are financially comfortable enough, you can spend hours on the grind to get the money to invest in new toys and business ventures. While it’s a grind that requires an essence of time, skill and patience, it can be easily circumvented with a paycheck or two, assuming you don’t have bills to pay.
You could spend hours grinding to get what you want, or just spend 50 real-world dollars and save a few hours. Rockstar broke even on its $137 million budget within hours of its release, they really have no justification to shove Shark Cards in our face. Which reminds me, Rockstar, please, please stop having Lester, Ron and Agent 14 call me on a constant basis saying the same dialogue, I think they should understand by now that I’m not interested.
I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with engaging in the DLC content. However, my issue with it, and the issue I see a lot of people complain about in the Facebook comments (which I take with a grain of salt) are the microtransactions.
I would consider myself a casual Grand Theft Auto Online free mode player. I like to hope on a server, play around for a bit and then call it a day. I’m not about all the extra hype surrounding the new toys and gadgets because, quite frankly, I don’t have the time to do all that. The last thing I need is to have someone hunting me down on his flying missile-flinging motorcycle. Seriously? I’m just trying to have fun with friends.
This rings especially true when the person in question is willing to stalk you across the 49 square miles of San Andreas just to kill you repeatedly. I want to play Grand Theft Auto, not “The Fugitive.”
Now, I’m not about to comb through thousands of social media comments to find people who feel the same as I do. I think it’s fairly safe to assume that there are those who feel similarly. However, what haven’t seen in my time looking at Facebook comment rants are solutions. How can Rockstar help make Grand Theft Auto Online more friendly toward the less bloodthirsty players? I’m thinking of something that goes beyond Passive Mode and Bad Sport lobbies.
Create a server for the players that are more invested in just having fun. This server would (ideally) restrict online features to the more realistic items that can be found across all DLC’s released so far. No flying DeLoreans, no weird submarine cars and no heavy artillery aside from the original content, like the Rhino tank.
This is an extremely rudimentary concept. Even so, it could open up a new world for players who are looking to have a fun time without becoming “The Most Dangerous Game” to some John Doe with an armored, minigun-equipped car. I would imagine that something like this can fluctuate and you can move back and forth between servers at will. Nonetheless, I understand that there are potential drawbacks by splitting the community up in such a way.
This is merely my opinion, but I want to know what you think. Do you like running around armed to the teeth or do you go on the run from one man armies? Also be sure to check out Indie Ranger for more gaming content!