I must start this post of by mentioning how lucky I was yesterday. I didn’t experience any issues on my first day of Grand Theft Auto Online. It all started off with a very small title update when I booted up GTA V. Even though we already knew this is how it would work I still applaud Rockstar on fitting so much content on the disc to begin with. Trust me when I tell you that once you manage to get in the game there is a TON of things to do. I was immediately brought into the character creation screen. Rockstar took a unique approach (at least to me) by having me choose my character’s grandparents. This determined how my parents looked, which then influenced how my character looked. I managed to make a character I liked, but I have to admit that in the end I like creating my characters the Skyrim way. After getting his look down and setting up my stats I was brought into the online world.
If I remember correctly, you watch a cut scene that eventually shows your new criminals flying into Los Santos. This is when I decided I didn’t like how my first character looked and went back to make another one. Once you touch down Lamar from the single player game was there to pick me up. Apparently we have been keeping up with each other on Lifeinvader. From here we drove off to a race. The next few missions were pretty much tutorials teaching me a bunch of stuff I already knew how to do though there were a few new things introduced. Unfortunately for a lot of players, this is where their sessions stopped. There have been a lot of glitches reported about this racing mission. The race was supposed to populate with other new players, but my session just put me in a race with Lamar. I was able to move on from there. For some reason this didn’t happen for other players including DC One from the weRgamerz crew. Instead of the game giving DC a private session against Lamar like it did for me, it just kept looping his character walking up to the car. After looping that animation a couple of times it started looking for players….even if he had a full lobby of players. Rockstar did warn of issues when GTA Online launched, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating for the players experience it.
After finishing the race with Lamar (which I set a WORLD RECORD in…thanks to being the only one in the world lol) I was asked to pick up some drugs. It worked just like how missions generally work in single player. A waypoint was put on my map with navigation and all. I ran in guns blazing and procured the drugs. I then turned it in and got paid. Speaking of got paid, you get paid for EVERYTHING. A huge contrasts from the single player portion. This mission was followed by your typical tutorial missions. I customized my first car, robbed my first store, and bought my first pair of shoes. I believe it was after my first team deathmatch (also part of the tutorial) that I was finally done learning the game. Let me point out that after the race mission you can free roam the whole world with randoms that populate your session. The motivation to finish these mission has more to do with playing with your friends. Inviting friends and joining their sessions are disabled until you’ve gone through with the missions.
I was now a GTA Online veteran. I robbed a few more stores to stack up my bank account. You get more money online than you do in the single player. I was getting between 1200-1800 dollars per hold up. Eventually I decided it was time to do another mission. By now a few players had managed to sneak past the dreaded race mission. My first mission was called “Dirty Cop.” We were put into 2 teams of 3. The other team were assigned the roll of dirty cops. It was our job to still some data from them and deliver them to a warehouse. Seemed simple, but it was WILD! Our group all ganged up in an SUV to chase down the 3 dirty cops. As we closed in we started firing at the car in an attempt to slow them down. This is when the mayhem began. Both teams were firing at each other on a straight highway road when all of a sudden two cop cars knocked the other team completely off the road. They rear ended our SUV next. Turns out that you still get a wanted level. The other team got out of their cars and were shot down by the cops. By this time there were about 10 cop cars on the scene and 2 helicopters. The sensitive data was in the middle of all of them. Eventually, we managed to secure the data and turn it in for the win. The match lasted about 10-15 minutes. It was epic.
I made a nice piece of change of this mission. I had to make a quick trip to the atm to deposit it though. You are always paid in cash, and carrying it comes with the risk of dropping it if you are ever wasted. There is a quick menu that you can use that will navigate you to the nearest atm. You will use this A LOT. By this time one of my friends had managed to get into my session. We decided to rob a liquor store. We hoped into my ride, (I named it “Super Man”) and headed to the nearest store. I should mention that there are way more stores to rob, and they are marked on your map. A huge plus! Anyway, my buddy masked up and headed into the store. I stayed with Super Man and played the getaway driver. What was supposed to be a simple stick up turned into complete madness. After the store clerk threw my buddy the loot (you can yell into the mic and shoot around the clerk to speed up the process) he decided to kill the clerk. The choppers were on us before we could leave the gas station. This turned into an 8 minute cop chase that eventually led us both to getting wasted….but it was worth it.
I retired for the night after failing to make any money. I cannot wait to get back to it this afternoon though. I’m hoping that the server issues will be mostly worked out when I return to the streets of Los Santos, but if you haven’t had the chance to play GTA Online be patient. I know…easier said than done, but I’m telling you it is worth it. This game has the potential to create some of the most epic gaming moments you’ve ever had. Especially if you are playing with friends. We are currently working on a creative way to show you our GTA Online experiences including the failed stick up referenced above.
Have you managed to get online yet?