GTA Online Summer Update 2020 Adds Just Enough To Make It Great

Before I knew it, hours had completely passed by me on a day that originally had been set aside as a day strictly for work.

Perhaps the joys of being a freelancer, you’re often able to make your own schedule, and when I realized that the latest project wasn’t in need of dire attention, I figured a quick pick up game of something on the PS4 would suffice.

GTA V, and its ever-popular online mode (aptly named GTA Online), never ceases to amaze me in how busy it keeps itself. Given that the Summer 2020 update has just dropped, I thought I’d quickly jump in and see what was new.

There is a lot that’s new here… and most of it is great.

I particularly like the Open Wheel racing addition, it’s a far more grounded way to race others in comparison to the often crazy Transform series for example. Perhaps I liked this particular addition because it’s somewhat more ‘normal’, if anything in the world of GTA Online can be labeled such, but what it also did is make me appreciate what Rockstar has continued to deliver with their service.

Sure, the pay-to-be-flashy model is tiresome, but that’s the only way Rockstar is making money on GTA Online at this point.

The originally promised single-player DLC add-on has basically been a non-event, in fact, remind me, did they ever get round to releasing that? I could swear that they haven’t.

GTA Online, as it has from the very start, caters to just about everyone by way of its variety.

Shooter fan? Ok, the mechanics are average, but you’ve got some seriously diverse options here. Today I jumped into a King of the Hill match and totally enjoyed capturing and defending zones.

Then I had a go at the tried and tested Survival suite of matches, and let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying (at least as a long time fan of the GTA franchise with a deep love for San Andreas in particular) than returning to Grove Street for a Survival shootout against the purple-wearing ballers.

Bounty missions are fun, and thanks to them being spread out right across the map, traveling to the next poor soul in line to meet the wrath of my shotgun gave me time to truly soak in the world that Rockstar has created here. Of course, in 2020, everyone has an open-world game to their name but trips around Mount Chilliad show me that various little additions to the environment, from new gang sites and freshly built buildings, have all been crafted with the detail you’d come to expect.

For as tiresome as some gamers may label GTA Online, there is no doubt that it remains a constantly built upon project by Rockstar.

In comparison to Red Dead Redemption and that particular online offering, the playability in GTA Online has always been bounds ahead, and it remains so with this particular update, one which again brings just enough new additions, however small, to make it worth taking a look at.

If Red Dead Online is a grind, GTA Online is built for immediate fun. If you can get past how damn expensive all the in-game items are, and you can tolerate some at times terrible frame rate performance, the Summer Update keeps on giving.

Again, try the Open Wheel racing mode! It truly is a gas (if you can get the pun?).

GTA Online: Changing The Game For Rockstar

Some would argue that aspects to GTA Online have become a little over the top; but it’s success cannot be questioned. Not even in 2017, four whole years after launch. 

GTA Online is as playable and content packed as its ever been. Gamers still keep coming back for more. Similar to FPS shooter Destiny, GTA Online has amassed a cult following of loyal fans who spend hours upon hours of game time playing through all the modes, both new and old.

Some of the new online modes GTA Online will have to offer are Transformation Racing, which for the first time will allow players to switch between air, water, and road during the course of a single race.

The foundation of GTA Online’ success has come from periodic releases of new game modes.

GTA Online: Changing The Game For Rockstar

The concept of GTA Online was favourable to gamers and was met with a ton of positivity following its original announcement. When GTA V launched in September 2013 (can you believe it’s been that long!?), gamers had two weeks to get familiar with the game prior to the online component releasing.

In 2013, and perhaps even before then, Rockstar had seen the writing on the wall. Online was the future for gaming; developers could no longer just rely on a jam-packed campaign mode. Gamers finish the core single player component of a game quicker than ever, and with that, they want more ‘bang for their buck’.

GTA Online not only gave gamers just that, it changed the course for future Rockstar games.

Rockstar Games: A studio like no other

Red Dead Redemption 2 promises to be the best title of 2017 for gamers, but this certainly won’t be anything new for Rockstar Games.

Some of my all-time classic gaming moments have been from games made by this studio. Rockstar Games simply aren’t afraid to ‘push the boundaries’ and have always released games that have stirred up some kind of controversy.  Continue reading Rockstar Games: A studio like no other

Red Dead Redemption 2 officially announced

After months of speculation, Rockstar Games has finally announced Red Dead Redemption 2 and will launch the Western-based shooter next year.

Due to release next Spring in the US (Autumn in New Zealand), Red Dead Redemption 2 will be Rockstar’s next big release following the phenomenal success of GTA V in 2013.

Since then, gamers have been desperate for news on just when the series would return, with speculation being rife for months. During the past week, Rockstar have released several pieces of artwork teasing the game before officially confirming its existence days later. Continue reading Red Dead Redemption 2 officially announced

Red Dead Redemption 2 Likely For 2017 Release

Following its re-launch on Xbox One, Red Dead Redemption 2 is now a question of when, not if.

The original Red Dead Redemption was one of the best games of the Xbox 360/PS3 console generation. Dubbed “GTA but with horses”, the game followed the adventures of John Marston, a horseback rider gunman of sorts, and

The game would go on to sell millions of copies. Continue reading Red Dead Redemption 2 Likely For 2017 Release

Liberty City incoming to GTA V

Speculation is mounting that Liberty City could be headed to GTA V in the form of a single player DLC, but Rockstar are yet to comment.

According to several trusted YouTube channels, Liberty City will be added to the world of GTA V, marking the first time that additional locations have been added to an existing game in the franchise.

Liberty City featured in both GTA III and GTA IV, with other fictional cities like Vice City and the state of San Andreas featuring in other titles.

Ironically, Rockstar said that a single player DLC would eventually be released for GTA V back in 2013 when the game was first released.

Since then, next to nothing has been announced, but in the last few weeks a lot of evidence has surfaced that points to a major DLC update incoming.

If Liberty City does come to GTA V, it would likely be an option where gamers can fly from Los Santos International Airport. Wether gamers get to partake in the flight or a loading screen appears remains to be seen.

The single player DLC update to GTA will likely come at a cost to gamers.

The Warehouse removing R18 games shouldn’t worry many

The Warehouse have made the decision that they will no longer stock and sell R18 video games and movies to New Zealand entertainment consumers.

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The Warehouse say that the decision was made from community feedback and internal reviews.

But apparently another reason for the complete removal of anything rated R18 has been the recent release of the Next-Gen version of GTA V on PS4 and Xbox One.

GTA V has recently been under media attention for the depiction of sex in the all new First Person camera angle.

The Warehouse say this did have an impact on the final decision.

While the decision has angered some gamers and movie collectors, it isn’t really much of a surprise as The Warehouse want to try and keep their “family friendly” values intact.

This will also affect Noel Leeming, with all R18 games in DVD’s being pulled from those shelves as well.

For gamers in particular, this news shouldn’t be reacted to with much controversy.

There is simply so many options out there for purchasing as the gaming market is now more popular than ever. The Warehouse also see that they cannot compete with the likes of Mighty Ape and EB Games, and this decision shouldn’t harm the brand at all.

GTA V Review: More of the same

The newer version of GTA V is a solid investment, but don’t expect it to overly wow gamers who are returning to Los Santos on the new systems.

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First with the positives.

The all new First Person Perspective style of gameplay is one of the coolest additions to GTA, and without doubt the strongest game changer for the new version of a game that is already a year old.

Driving, gunplay, and free roam all feel fresh and can be adjusted to easily after an hour so of play time.

Combat feels a lot more like traditional shooters as well, and while not being as hardcore compared to the likes of a Call of Duty or Battlefield, shooting in FPS on GTA V feels much more like how combat in the game should be played.

Another thing is the level that Rockstar have gone to with detail.

Graphically, the new version of GTA V is absolutely stunning, and a big noticeable improvement on the old versions on PS3 and Xbox 360.

New details are many, especially with the interiors of cars in GTA V. Active dials, gauges, radios, and even the blinking on the dash as you start the cars engine are all clear and easily noticed from the First Person view. Even the radio station and song names come up on the radio LED screens in some vehicles.

Flying and skydiving are also amazingly immersive in First Person as well and are certainly worth a go.

The open world feels somewhat improved as well, especially in the small but noticeable little nuances as you drive through the Los Santos and adjoining desert countryside.

While playing through the game, I noticed that over in Blaine Country and near Trevor’s airfield there is actually dust blown on the road and up into the air, where as in the city of Los Santos traffic seems to be a little more bunched in, with cars having minor accidents or pulling out randomly in front of you at what feels like every second intersection.

There is also a noticeable increase in the amount of litter on the road and sidewalks throughout the open world.

The whole environment, unsurprisingly, just feels a lot more cleaned up and slightly more vibrant in the new version of GTA V.

Other improvements are frame rate, the games plays much smoother while still having the occasional issue here and there, with the new 30-player cap in GTA Online a cool feature allowing for more player interactivity.

But does all this justifiably say that GTA V on Next-Gen is worth the investment for players who’ve already experienced the game back on PS3 and Xbox 360?

Sadly not.

While the new First Person style of playing is such a great new way to play the game, the experience on the new version of GTA V is really nothing more than that with a handful or beautiful graphic improvements, with the power of the PS4 and Xbox One consoles being enough to allow Rockstar to fill the world of San Andreas up a little more and make it all feel just that little bit more polished and refined.

What really stuck out was how much better the game looked and played.

But after a few hours game time and once the exploring has been done, the experience is generally just more of the same.

For those who have invested hours and hours into this game already through single player, and the countless days and nights spent with friends creating mayhem in GTA Online, the upgrade is worth a go but not exactly worth a buy considering the other options on the market right now for both PS4 and Xbox One.

GTA V Next-Gen: The new features

It is always hard to gauge how successful a reboot of a game will be, but in GTA V’s case the upgraded version will be everything the original was as well as adding something new.

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Rockstar’s latest entry into the GTA franchise was one of the hottest selling games in history, selling hundreds of thousands of copies within the first 24 hours after the September 17th launch date.

While the newer updated version of GTA V probably won’t sell as well, there are a number of reasons for gamers to invest in the upgrade.

First is the much anticipated debut of First Person Mode in a GTA game, allowing gamers to experience combat, driving, swimming, flying, and just walking around in free roam from a whole new experience.

Other features in the upgrade see the online player cap has been extended to 30, and classic cars from the GTA franchise are available for players to find.

The graphics have been remarkably improved, over 150 new songs have been added to the game, a new special set of missions for Michael’s character.

All GTA Online data from the original versions of the game will be able to be transferred over, allowing players to pick up from where they left off with their online characters and missions.

A big controversy for Rockstar has been the absence of Online Heists in GTA V, a promised feature which had been due to go live shortly after the original launch. Over a year later, Online Heists still are not playable as yet, but Rockstar promise that the mode is close.

Day One patch required for GTA V on new consoles

Rockstar have released the launch trailer for the new version of GTA V, and have also announced that a day one patch download will be required.

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The launch trailer can be found here:

The patch download includes fixes for optimization. Rockstar say that the download will be required if gamers wish to experience gameplay at its best, and it will run for both the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

The new version of GTA V launches next Tuesday, the 18th of November.