Grand Theft Auto 5: Online Review

Grand Theft Auto 5: Online Review

  • over 3 years ago by Jason Magee

Highlights

  • When it works it is fun

Lowlights

  • The long list of problems are unlikely to be fixed due to the way the game has been made
  • Cheaters
  • Rockstars treatment of customers
  • Not really open world

Notes

We gave GTA 5 single player a highly recommended. What about GTA Online, the multiplayer element of GTA 5?

You create your character using a limited selection of options before setting off to make your mark on the world. Once in the world your goals are to level up to unlock items and get cash to buy items. You can do this by robbing stores, racing, playing deathmatches and other similar events. These events are hosted in their own worlds (limited to those playing) but outside of the events you are placed in an ‘open world’ (max 30 players). Sadly, It is extremely difficult to play events with your friends, there is no official support for it. Getting a game with more than one or two people is also difficult as people don’t seem to join the game and once someone does join the game it automatically starts regardless of players 1 minute later.

Eventually you’ll level up enough and purchase an apartment allowing you to operate heists but unless you have a full group of reliable friends, you’re not going to get very far as the game is plagued with connectivity issues. Out of the 15 attempts I’ve made to run heist missions only 6 after successfully launched. During my time playing heists I have spent more time looking at the menu than playing the game.

GTA Online has a cheating problem. Usually in online games a server will be the overlord of decisions (e.g. how much health someone has) but as GTA Online is peer-to-peer the client (your computer) has control over decisions. This means that using cheats your computer can very easily claim your character always has full health, regardless of damage taken.

The online system does not appear very well thought out at all. Until a recent update you had to first load into your single player game then switch to online. Then if you want to join a mission/heist/race etc you have to join another lobby. Unfortunately we experienced several times where joining this lobby would timeout, and you would be either a) dumped back into an online game with randoms if you are lucky or b) dumped back into single player (which requires loading) only to have to repeat the process again. This loss of game time really spoils the experience, it really made us question whether we should waste time trying to play a game of GTA Online or just turn to something else, more fun and more reliable. It is a shame that Rockstar have been so lazy with the networking for the PC port and did not fix any of the problems encountered in the console versions. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that Rockstar will be want or be able to rebuild GTA Online to use dedicated servers. It is a great shame because when it works, this game can be great fun.

Just after the release a lot of people suffered from stolen accounts. Rockstar claim they weren’t hacked but the circumstances suggests otherwise. Either way - they responded to this by hanging up on customers phone calls. See more here.

GTA Online is a MMO that should be backed by thousands of pounds worth of dedicated servers that has instead been hacked into peer-to-peer architecture and it just does not work. GTA Online is poop.