Tagged: Rockstar

I can’t stop making things with GTA Online’s Content Creator

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I was pretty excited about Grand Theft Auto Online’s content creator that allows users to build their own races and deathmatches, but I didn’t expect to get this into it. Since the feature was added a few days ago (with a big BETA tag, naturally) it’s all I’ve wanted to do in the game.

The tools are surprisingly easy to use and while it’s not as granularly customizable as Little Big Planet or Trials Evolution there’s a lot you can do with it. I didn’t realize until I was deep into a new deathmatch that helicopters, planes and military vehicles can be dropped in at will. You can switch to the default over-the-shoulder camera to stash objects, weapons and checkpoints. There’s plenty of potential with dynamic (explosive) objects and ramps for more exciting and unpredictable races than Rockstar’s own.

While making this stuff is easy, finding it may put a damper on the whole thing. Right now the only way to find user created stuff is through the Rockstar Social Club website. There’s loads of options to find just the event you’re looking for but having that search within the game would make it much more accessible. Rockstar will be verifying quality content and pushing it into the game world as well as promoting user made stuff through in-game events. If you’re still chasing the game’s numerous awards there’s more incentive to dip into the tools with rewards for plays, up-votes and an unlockable Rockstar t-shirt should the team bestow a verified tag on your creation.

So what’s next? Tanks vs Choppers? Garbage truck racing through the mountains? Molotov fights on a deserted island? I may not be super hot on competing online but I sure do love making these things.

My first 200 hours in Grand Theft Auto V (Part 2: Online)

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As obsessed as I was about seeing as much of the single player content as possible, I had no idea how possessed I would get once Grand Theft Auto Online rolled out. I stuck with it after the shaky launch and found a different kind of San Andreas than the world Trevor, Michael and Franklin inhabit. I’m a no-good thug, fresh off the plane and in town to meet my LifeInvader pal, Lamar. He basically hands me a gun and throws open the gates to the world; a confusing new place where I’m a criminal jack-of-all-trades.

Like the fervor around the launch of Portal and Fez part of the fun has been figuring out how this peculiar MMOGTA works. Rockstar filled the game with grinding, loot and quest givers like any other MMO but they wrote a bunch of their own rules and didn’t bother explaining them all. Passive mode makes you immune to player abuse, unless you get in a car. The world is full of ATMs that you can stash your cash in but you can also use your phone for convenient online banking. Races and respawns cost money. Your apartment comes with daily utility fees. I’ve posted a few times as I’ve discovered how it all works and now that I’ve gotten farther in things are really getting crazy.

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At any time the open world around you is crawling with distractions. If it’s not driving to a clothing store to see what your last level-up unlocked it’s an impromptu gang attack, an armored truck packed with money, a convenience store yet to be robbed or a random player to greet/grief. All of that sits alongside starting points for nearly 100 races, 72 deathmatches, 6 Horde style survival games, parachuting and team deathmatches.

What you could call story missions pop up frequently from your cellphone contacts and work much like regular GTA missions only you can invite your friends. These linger on the “drive here, kill these guys, drive back” formula for quite a while but soon it gets interesting. Stealing tankers as they barrell across the highway is much easier with multiple gunmen. Bringing a helicopter full of gun-toting friends to bear on a sky-high construction site is much more exciting than attempting it alone. The most elaborate mission I’ve been a part of so far eclipses even the single player stuff with multiple gunfights, invasions and even hacking.

All of this has been even more all-consuming since we decided to buy a second copy of the game. Finding a game with an interesting online mode that Katy and I are both interested in at the same time hardly ever happens. GTA Online has paid for itself a million times over in ridiculous knife fights, accidental explosions, frantic Survival rounds, racing shenanigans, and bluntly honest fashion advice. Joined by a regular, nightly crew of friends I’ve finally found that unrelentingly fun multiplayer experience that so many have had this console generation.

My first 200 hours in Grand Theft Auto V (Part 1: Single Player)

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I’ve just topped 200 hours in Grand Theft Auto V so I thought I’d answer your probable first question, “what the hell are you doing in that game all the time!?”. After 93 hours I wrapped up the single player story and completed the 100% checklist which, somewhat perplexingly doesn’t require you to do everything in the game. Still, it was a feat of fun and dedication that I enjoyed completely… mostly.

You’ve probably heard it already but the heists in the game are definitely the highlight. Going over the planning board, choosing your approach and crew, running little missions to recon or acquire gear build up some of the game’s best moments. What really sucked me in, though, is the world that Rockstar created. So many little details at every turn solidify San Andreas as a real place that I couldn’t pull myself out of. One-off conversations you overhear, the random people out on hiking trips or picnics, the handwritten in-game Internet that hooks right into the game world. Websites point to secrets and even start whole mission chains which wind up unlocking some of the game’s mysteries and teasing you with others.

Even after the gargantuan credits finally stop scrolling each character has a good post-game moment that let’s you know Rockstar isn’t finished yet. This is where I really got started on the 100% checklist and other unfinished business because I was honestly saddened at the idea of leaving this world. Little did I know that once GTA Online sorted out its launch-week woes I wouldn’t have to worry about ever leaving San Andreas again. Check back tomorrow for a lengthy recount of my time as a strong, silent, fashionably confused Ginger fumbling into Rockstar’s online world.

Halloween came to Grand Theft Auto Online

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I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner but the idea of celebrating Halloween in Grand Theft Auto Online suddenly struck me the morning of. The game’s got plenty of gross outfits and masks, cars are customizable enough and Katy’s already expressed her love for knife fights, so why not?

I made a quick post on Google+ inviting people to friend up, dress up and stalk the streets of a private game with melee weapon in hand. I wish the weather cheat code worked in Online so we could’ve kept it atmospheric but the deathmatches and races were filled with eerie rain and darkness… it was the most the game allowed. I had dug up some spooky royalty free mp3s as well so if you watch our archived stream (Part 1Part 2) you’ll get the full effect. Umm, sorry about the frequent kitten mews, I don’t know why those are in there.

It went really well and we had friends cycling in and out for nearly five hours doing races, knife fights and a round of Survival. It was also my most popular Google+ post by far with 76 +1’s and commenters asking if we were doing the same thing on PlayStation 3 or if the party was still going. It wound up being one of the most memorable Halloween nights for me since I was a kid.