GTA Online: Bikers released on October 4th and has already had its first mini update of new content. I quite enjoyed it for the first few days and I stand by most of what I've said in my first impressions about the biker-themed DLC for Grand Theft Auto Online. In my opinion, Rockstar Games has left out a few neat ways to really make your Motorcycle Club a force to be reckoned with.
It's been a few weeks since the initial excitement of a GTA Online: Bikers. Now that things have settled down, I've had some time to think about little things here or there that feel like missed opportunities or oversights. Some of these are tiny things, and some of these are big things.
1. High-End Housing in Blaine CountyBlaine County isn't exactly flush with high-quality housing. That's the entire point, in fact;it's supposed to be the boonies. That said, there's nonetheless a missing class of homes up north—High-End housing.
High-End housing offers a few distinct advantages for a premium price. To start, you have a ten car garage. Serious car collectors in Grand Theft Auto Online fill up every property slot with the biggest garage options so they can hold onto as many vehicles as possible. Secondly, you can run Heists from High-End housing. Lastly, some High-End housing has a degree of cosmetic customization.
Granted, I can't imagine seeing a biker sitting in a Los Santos penthouse. But surely there's a warehouse or three sitting around up North that could serve as the biker version of high-class digs? If you wish to alternate between running Heists and Motorcycle Club work, you'll either have to base your MC in the city or do an awful lot of traveling.
2. Winchester 1887 ShotgunThe GTA Online: Bikers DLC added quite a few new weapons that make bikers a formidable force on the road. The Compact Grenade Launcher is arguably one of the biggest game-changers out there; scoring a direct hit with this bad boy can do an awful lot of damage. It travels a lot further than Sticky Bombs, too. Combined with the mobility of a motorcycle, this one weapon alone can make a handful of bikers into a force to be reckoned with.
There have been other weapons added as well, of course. A new submachine gun, a one-handed automatic shotgun, and pipe bombs are among the new toys added in GTA Online: Bikers. That said, they missed the most important biker weapon of all: the Winchester 1887 Shotgun.
It's no secret that Rockstar takes a lot of cues for their mission design from movies. Tommy Vercetti's mansion in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was practically a carbon copy of Tony Montana's mansion in Scarface. Watch a handful of the great heist movies like Heat or Point Break and you'll see little hints of characterization and setting that seeped its way into Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online.
I believe that Rockstar Games missed out on one of the most iconic biker weapons ever. Who hasn't seen Terminator 2: Judgement Day? Arnie's badassery with the one-handed action of a (admittedly modified) lever-action shotgun is forever hallowed in movie geek and biker lore alike. So how the heck are you gonna leave it out of GTA Online: Bikers? It would have been such a cool thing to have.
3. Biker-Themed Vehicle DeathmatchesWhen Grand Theft Auto Online releases a DLC, they tend to release new activities or Adversary Modes. GTA Online: Bikers brought us Slipstream, a team-based motorcycle stunt race with melee weapons. It's fun provided that you have a competent team, but it doesn't exactly fit the bill for biker clubs.
I thought it would have been a natural choice for there to be some Vehicle Deathmatches with Motorcycles in the new DLC. Slipstream is cool, don't get me wrong, but there's a certain special something to driving around on a motorcycle with all kinds of lovely weapons and killing someone in a spray of bullets while doing a wheelie.
Frustratingly, the Rockstar Creator doesn't have the ability to make Vehicle Deathmatches either. You can set Respawn Vehicles in certain mission types (such as Captures) but not in Deathmatches. Players aren't even given the option to make it themselves. If you want to get in a good two-wheeled gunfight in GTA Online: Bikers you'll just have to settle for the open road for now.
4. Fighting Over BusinessesBusinesses are a core money-making feature of the new DLC. They operate as a sort of passive income. Each business converts Supply into Product, and you can then sell the Product in a delivery mission similar to CEO Crate deliveries. Supply can either be purchased or stolen from NPCs via a mission. You'll be raided by the authorities occasionally, but the Businesses themselves are otherwise safe from harm.
I can't say that I have the inside track on the real world Motorcycle Club lifestyle of running drugs and firebombing rivals, but I have the feeling that someone else setting up shop in your neighborhood would be blown up Trevor Phillips style. Some sort of way to sabotage or mess with Businesses outside of delivery missions could have added an interesting dynamic to this new segment of gameplay.
5. LED Kits for MotorcyclesQuite a few people like to pretty up their car with a neon kit and bikers are no exception. GTA Online: Bikers has a lot of ways you can customize your new bikes (some of which border on the ridiculous). However, there's a lack of nice options for cosmetic lighting.
Whether you're driving a chopper or a crotch rocket, there's quite a few companies out there that can light your hog up like a Christmas tree. I've found three such businesses with a quick Google: MotorcycleLEDLights, LEDGlow Lighting, and Custom Dynamics. Check out any one of those businesses and look at all the cool ways they can kit out your bike with custom lighting. I've even seen a few of them on the road now and again; they look just as cool cruising through the city as you'd expect.
To be fair to Rockstar Games, adding more moving lights onto a vehicle would take extra resources. The game is also set in 2013, and I personally haven't seen these kits on the road until the last year or two. However, some of these businesses have been operating in the real world for a decade (or more!). If cars have neon kits, it's only fair to say that bikes should have had some lighting kits as well.
6. A Motorcycle With A SidecarSidecars are a bit of a rarity on the open road these days but they do still exist. They're a classic staple of biker culture—a pod with an extra wheel stuck onto the side of a motorcycle to carry a passenger. We have a trike chopper. We have a three-wheeled, two-seater car. But we don't have a single motorcycle with a sidecar. It just seems like such a silly thing to leave out for a biker-themed DLC.
7. Multiple ClubhousesEvery Motorcycle Club in the game is started by purchasing one of over a dozen Clubhouses in the game. Once you have one, though, that's it. You can't really buy another. You can move its location, but you can only have the one.
Much like VIP work, Motorcycle Clubs have special missions that you can only launch from the Clubhouse itself. GTA Online: Bikers features a lot of driving as it is and you don't have the benefit of an instantly-spawned Buzzard like a CEO does. (Not without a Road Captain, anyway.)
As real-world Motorcycle Clubs get larger, they'll establish different Chapters in different places. It would be nice to have the ability to buy a second Clubhouse, if only for the ability to have one in the city and one out in the boonies. I'd really rather not have to go across the entire map just to launch a mission that's going to probably be sending me right back where I started anyway.
The one minor issue is that Clubhouses in Grand Theft Auto Online also serve as a garage with the capacity for ten motorcycles. A few extra vehicle spaces multiplied by millions of players would be a slightly greater data storage burden for Rockstar Games. I can understand why they might be reluctant to do it, but it sure would be nice if only for the sake of variety. (I hear the Clubhouses in the city are quite nice!)
8. A Heavily Armed MotorcycleThere's plenty of examples in fiction of motorcycles being kitted out with weapons. One of the coolest examples in fiction is the classic Chuck Norris flick The Delta Force. The specially-equipped dirtbikes used by the titular special operations forces have missiles, mortars, and submachine guns bolted onto them. But hey, this is just a crazy bit of Hollywood fiction, right? Not exactly.
Turns out that real-world special forces think that strapping big guns onto vehicles is a great idea—motorcycles and quads included. All-Terrain Vehicles are a nice choice for a stable platform to attach a machine-gun onto. Heck, why not toss a belt-fed grenade launcher onto the thing? Or take a page out of the Book of Trejo and slam a minigun onto your chopper!
Granted, some of these examples are more fantastical than others, but military forces around the world have had a history of putting crew-served weapons like machine guns onto anything with wheels. Heck, even a sidecar vehicle with a machinegun would have been a nice compromise (and historically accurate, to boot).
9. Custom MC LogosRockstar Games has provided a really cool tool that lets you make custom emblems for your Crew. Grand Theft Auto Online lets you use your Crew Logo as the logo for your Motorcycle Club. However, a Crew can have hundreds of people in it and each person might have a Motorcycle Club of their own.
When it comes to picking an emblem for your Motorcycle Club, you can choose from a handful of default ones or use your Crew's Logo. If you want to make something custom, you're just flat out of luck—Rockstar Games hasn't provided the option. It seems so silly, the Social Club lets you save ten different custom emblems, but you can only use one per crew at a time.
Whether you take your chopper out on the weekends or you just watch Sons of Anarchy, it's easy to see that bikers place a lot of value on symbology. Damn near every biker who's been on the road for longer than a month has a vest or jacket filled with patches and many of them are quite unique. Talented artists make up patches, decals, and even tattoos for the most dedicated of members.
With the kind of importance that bikers put on this thing, I think it'd be cool to use the emblem creator (which we already have!) to make a custom logo just for your own Motorcycle Club on a per-player basis. It would let players customize things just a little bit more.
GTA Online: Bikers has added a lot of cool new things to Grand Theft Auto Online. I got much more than what I expected of the DLC, and Rockstar Games deserves kudos for having delivered a great content update overall.
Chats with the Crew I belong to will always have a "I wish..." or "Why didn't they...?" peppered throughout the conversation. Rockstar Games always puts a lot of effort with the little touches of their games, but when it comes to this particular DLC, I find it a bit wanting. I hope they consider fleshing things out a little more in future.
What would you have liked to see in GTA Online: Bikers? Do you think Rockstar Games is missing any particularly important or cool features for your Motorcycle Club? What do you hope will be in the next DLC for Grand Theft Auto Online? Let us know in the comments below!