Grand Theft Auto V was released all the way back in 2013 and is about to be re-released for the third time on the next-generation consoles with the expanded and enhanced version set to take things to the next level. Amazing to think that a game almost a decade old is still getting so much love and support from developers and fans.
Despite all the praise that the game’s single-player campaign gets, it’s easy to see that its longevity just does not come from the single-player experience. There’s only so much time you can spend with the trio of misguided heroes before the time comes to move on to another game so why are people still playing it to this day?
The answer, of course, is GTA Online. Rockstar’s multiplayer version of the infamous series takes all the chaos and mayhem of the GTA universe and allows you to share it with other players. It’s one of the most popular live service games on the market and show’s no signs of slowing down.
Especially since the next Grand Theft Auto game is still years away and GTA Online is still getting huge updates with a ton of content to dive into. There aren’t many games outside of the competitive multiplayer scene that can draw players in for months and, in GTAO’s case, sometimes even years. So, without further ado, let’s see if GTA Online is still good in 2021.
So, What’s It All About?
GTA Online takes a page out of Saints Row’s book and allows you to create your very own character to take into the streets of Los Santos. You play as a newcomer to the scene ready to earn your place by any means necessary and claim your spot as the richest and most bad a$ criminal to ever walk the earth.
The gameplay is almost completely identical to the single-player with the way your character moves, drives, and shoots and will be very familiar if you’ve been jamming through the single-player campaign and are jumping into the online multiplayer. The difference you will notice is with the city itself.
Old and New NPCs are there to offer you basic jobs and can be selected by driving up to the mission, waiting in a lobby for other players to join. The payouts are small but once you get some cash in your pocket it’s time to start buying some property and start making some big moves.
Heists are easily the fastest way to make money since they pay the most but you will need a high-end property first before you can start one. You can play these missions with random strangers but they often require a lot of communication and coordination that can be tough to accomplish when most people don’t want to use their microphones. Luckily, there are a few heists that can be done solo to help you make some bank.
Then, What’s Good About It?
Rockstar has been constantly updating GTA Online with a brand new batch of downloadable content nearly every summer. So for newcomers in 2021, there’s going to be an absolute mountain of content to chew through since this game has already been out for so long.
From cars to cribs and everything in between, I almost didn’t know where to start. But with the next GTA still, a few years away, I’m glad that there’s so much GTA action to get familiar with before the release of the next game. Especially now that the expanded and enhanced version is coming out on next-gen consoles meaning bigger lobbies and an even better visual aesthetic to accompany the fun.
I started playing for the new Tuner update that just launched on July 20th and by far my favorite thing about GTA Online has to be the cars and the level of customization at my disposal. I mean, I don’t ever remember being able to change the color of the engine block in any Need for Speed game before and the fact that you can actually show off your cars to other players makes it worthwhile trying to build your dream car.
And, What’s Bad About It?
All the cool cars and gadgets may be fun to play with but all good times come at a cost, especially in GTA Online. While the game itself might be free if you already own GTA V, the in-game economy for the online portion is absolutely insane. So if you don’t already know, you’re in for a pretty hectic grind.
Car customization is all I generally play for but saving up the in-game money to be able to enjoy all that this feature has to offer is pretty taxing. Especially when the most common jobs barely pay enough for me to change the front bumper. I even remember wasting up to GTA$100 000 just because I was indecisive about the paint color.
I know there are a lot of GTAO veterans that know how to become millionaires in the shortest amount of time but trying to figure that all out when you’ve just dropped into Los Santos can be a bit daunting. Learning which properties give you the most access to jobs and figuring out how to run a successful business means watching a YouTube tutorial if you want to skip some leg work.
It’s entirely possible to avoid any microtransactions and earn the in-game millions you need to enjoy all that GTAO has to offer but the need to log in every day, check my supplies, sell my products, and perform heists started to feel like a chore. Like earning money in the game was an actual job that I had to clock in every day and perform these tasks to get what I wanted.
I’ve heard from many long-time players that the Cayo Perico heist is an easy way to grind out millions because the payout is so huge but before you can access that, you have to purchase a submarine for over 2 million. That makes getting the submarine an epic task on its own. It feels like I have to get the shark cards and buy in-game currency with real-world currency if I want to have fun.
If you’ve got the time or at least the money, then you’ll have a much easier time getting started in the world of GTA Online. This is honestly an experience that will utterly consume you if you want to get your hands on all the fun stuff GTAO has to offer. It’s a commitment, to say the least. A commitment you’ll likely be paying for long after you first buy the game.
It’s worth it to me because I’m just that addicted to the car stuff but for casual gamers looking for a fun multiplayer experience, this probably isn’t the game you’re looking for.
Do you play GTA Online? What do you think of the game and what it’s like for new players to join in? Let me know in the comments section below.