GTA: Online has finally be released to the masses after being out in closed beta testing. We all knew that there was a potential for server issues with the amount of sales and popularity GTA:V has received in a matter of weeks. But did I expect it to be this bad? No, not at all. Take a look at our first impression of GTA: Online.
We all have seen the reviews of the story portion of GTA:5, and they have been stellar. My thoughts are also on the same page as I think it’s a fantastic game and a great way for the series to finish up on within this current console cycle. Great graphics, great gameplay, and a massive amount of things to do within Los Santos. It’s truly an epic experience within the sandbox style of play that GTA has been known for since the Playstation 2 days. What I wasn’t necessarily expecting, was the initial release of GTA: Online to be the complete opposite.
First, let me get the good stuff out of the way. It’s cool the way the character creation scheme is setup, utilizing the lineage of your parents and their parents, to essentially form the look of your character. You then choose what type of person you are, for example, how much you work out, work legally, sleep, and party. These all factor into your attributes and what type of character you are within the online city of Los Santos. Unfortunately for me, this is where my fun essentially stopped. Once I created myself, I was treated to my character being picked up by Lamar from the GTA story. Lamar preceded to drive me through Los Santos telling me about the characters I’ll meet and how I can do a street race to earn some cash. Well, on the way to said street race, I saw countless textures and graphics popping in and out, going from grey looking slates, to a building, and back again. It was quite possibly the worst pop-in I’ve seen since the early days of the Xbox 360. I shrugged it off as just being some slight server issues. Once I get to the racing spot, I get dropped off and my character proceeds into a blue circle to initiate the racing game. From here I was placed into a loading screen of sorts that shown the other characters and players that were attempting to join the race. I use the word attempting because we never did actually race. I sat there for 20 minutes while my character looked around the parking lot we were sitting in. I finally get a notification saying the race had already started and I was going into spectator mode.” Alright then, I’ll wait”, I said. So I waited, and waited, and waited. Nothing every happened! I backed out to the dashboard, restarted the game, then went back to the same spot to try to reload the race. Again, I was treated to a slightly different loading screen that took another 20 minutes to only put me into another waiting area. This happened one more time before I finally decided not to try again after I had wasted over an hour trying to do one race. Server issues? Maybe. But then again, when you have a closed beta months before launch, you’d expect to at least get past the first mission?! The other unfortunate part of this, during the loading screens, all buttons are disabled so you’re essentially stuck there unless you go back to your dashboard and restart the game.
So far, my first impressions haven’t been very good with GTA:Online. I hope it’s all server issues and Rockstar irons everything out within the next few days. If they do, I’m sure this will be a fun, addictive, and fully enjoyable online component to go with an already stellar single player campaign. If they don’t, then this will be the biggest bust not only from Rockstar, but on this current generation of consoles.
Look for Techraptor’s GTA: Online review next week!