It's hard to believe it's been nearly four months since Grand Theft Auto 5 hit store shelves. Rockstar's open world game continues to give us hours of fun, whether it's stealing cars, completing heist jobs or simply causing chaos throughout Los Santos and the neighboring Blaine County.
By the same token, Grand Theft Auto Online delivers plenty of enjoyment. Even though it had its ups and downs in performance, it's become quite popular with the community. Thankfully, Rockstar Games improved it with various updates, some of which we're still enjoying.
What updates are most significant? Join us as we look back at the finest content added to Grand Theft Auto Online.
The Capture Pack
When Grand Theft Auto Online launched, it came with a variety of team-based modes for players to check out. However, Rockstar Games decided to add more with the Capture pack. It included the following:
Raid – A capture-the-flag style mode where you retrieve packages and deliver them back to your base to score points. Rules vary depending on whether you play the Beachin' scenario (taking place on Vespucci Beach) or Wargames (which resides in Fort Zancuso Air Base).
Hold – Like Raid, you collect packages, but try to keep possession of them as long as you can in your base. At the same time, you raid other bases for their packages, while attempting to reach the target score or hold the most packages to win the round. The map includes Block Party, and features four factions fighting against each other in Chamberlain Hills while trying to steal each other's goods.
GTA – This mode requires the theft of something much bigger than a package – target vehicles scattered across each map. The two new maps introduced here, My Maibatsu and Field of Screams, take place near the Maibatsu Factory, where the prime target is a shipment of Sanchez dirt bikes, and Blaine County, where teams must try to capture – wait for it – a Fieldmaster tractor.
Contend – This mode involves fighting for one package in the center of the map, with teams vying to take it to their base. The map, Salty Snatch, takes place in Chumash Beach, where players battle over a shipment on the pier. Talk about blood on the sand.
The Beach Bum Pack
Obviously a huge addition to Grand Theft Auto Online, the Beach Bum Pack provided a number of new vehicles to the fray, including the BF Bitta dune buggy, the rugged Canis Kalahari off-road truck and the Bravado Paradise beach camper van. For those preferring to make waves, the Speeder speedboat is also available.
In addition, the pack introduced several clothes, including board shirts, tank tops and bikinis. New hairstyle and tattoo options are also on hand in the customization shop. Finally, there are 30 new jobs, so you have plenty to do if you don't want to be a bum.
Multiple Fixes and a Surplus of Cash
Grand Theft Auto Online underwent a number of repairs over the course of the game, but Rockstar was kind enough to provide a lofty cash surplus for those people who played during the first two weeks of release – a bonus that should now be sitting happily in their bank accounts, if it hasn't been spent already. In addition, a few noteworthy fixes were also made to certain areas of the game.
-Players can purchase vehicles from websites.
-Being a good sport now constitutes a $2,000 bonus, rather than $1,000.
-Sticky Bombs can't be thrown during the countdown at the beginning of GTA Races. Yes, believe it or not, there are some folks who resorted to this to guarantee a good start at the beginning of the event.
-Team Balancing has been improved. Although Grand Theft Auto Online has a superb crew system, there were times it failed due to Rank and separation of certain members. With patch 1.07, Rockstar fixed this and made everything balanced, and Rank is taken into consideration.
-The Bad Sport penalty for destroying personal vehicles isn't nearly as harsh. Whew.
There are a number of other improvements, but many of the fixes addressed certain issues with data loss, such as player information or vehicles in garages. They also took care of exploits that certain online users were accessing during deathmatches, like gaining access to weapons that were supposed to be locked prior to the start, or being penalized for cash in certain areas.
Rockstar has added a lot of content over the past few months, and it's on the verge of releasing story-based DLC for the game as well. Grand Theft Auto Online's success run should continue well into 2014.
Grand Theft Auto Online is available now for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, as part of Grand Theft Auto 5. Be sure to check out our Free Guide for complete coverage!