On Fridays, we drive purple cars.
GTA Online’s got your need for speed covered with this week’s update. Rockstar’s promising “a full season of pulse-pounding new racing updates” thanks to the Southern San Andreas Super Sport Series, which has begun with one of two new racing modes, the Hotring Circuit.
“There’s nothing more American than strapping yourself inside of the highly combustible turbo-charged death machine that is the new Declasse Hotring Sabre and tearing around a multi-lap track designed for up to 30 adrenaline-addicted maniacs. Embrace the intoxicating smell of burnt rubber and premium-grade gasoline across 10 stock car races made for the new Hotring Sabre, and get Double GTA$ & RP now through March 26th.”
But wait, there’s more. In April, Rockstar will push out the Target Assault mode, and then on May 1st, players will be jumping into new new adversary modes, new vehicles, new transform races, and Doomsday Heist cars. Vroom.
I really like abandoned places in games. One of my favorite articles ever was about Glitch, after it sunsetted, when I recapped my experience touring the abandoned secret places that were inexplicably built into that MMO.
That article popped into my brain again last week when Kotaku wrote about abandoned modes in GTA Online. GTAO is one of the biggest, most lucrative online games in the world, a top-10 game even last year – and yet there’s so much to do, Kotaku argues, that most of the game is suffering from the old MMO problem whereby old content is a ghost town as everyone is in the new stuff. Hence, abandoned modes.
Of course, MMORPGs are constantly struggling to fix that problem by giving us reasons to go back into old content, but they’re not always successful. What’s the most unused place or feature in your favorite MMORPG?
Yes officer, these Battle Bards were well above the speed limit and violated many noise complaints in the local neighborhoods. But it was for a good cause, sir! This music from vehicular MMOs is just way too good to keep quiet! What’s that? You’ll let them go with just a warning? You only know they’re going to peel out and look for another score to settle!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 114: Vroom vroom! (or download it) now:
There aren’t many online games that can honestly say they’re still growing and setting records years and years after their launch, but that’s exactly what Grand Theft Auto Online – which launched way back in 2013 – is doing.
Earlier this week, Rockstar announced the good news in a blog post, stating that “2017 was the biggest year of GTA Online yet, capped off by an epic December that saw more players in the game than ever before.”
The news won’t surprise anybody who’s been watching Superdata’s monthly reports, as the game’s been sitting toward the top of the console charts for a long time, peaking at #1 for several months in the summer of 2017.
Rockstar’s blog post further notes the introduction of the Lampadati Viseris as well as sales and bonus events running through this weekend.
Is Rockstar Games planting little Easter eggs in Grand Theft Auto Online for its upcoming multiplayer western? And are the two games connected?
This seems to be the case, as player dataminers have discovered GTA Online files that indicate the studio is setting up a treasure hunt that will lead gamers to a special chest that holds signature Red Dead Redemption 2 gold-plated pistols. Even better, the chest may also bestow an in-game benefit for the upcoming western title.
The treasure hunt should be coming with the next update, called “The Doomsday Heist.” If all of this is shown to be true, then it might confirm that both games share the same world, just in different timelines.
Like GTA Online, Red Dead Redemption 2 will feature some online multiplayer functionality, although the exact specifics of this have yet to be revealed. We do know that it’ll have lockboxes, however.
Sometimes, robbing banks gets boring. Specifically, robbing banks in Grand Theft Auto Online; you should not be robbing banks in real life under any circumstances. Don’t rob banks. But the next update for the game is promising a robbery involving jetpacks into a mountain, transforming DeLoreans, and doomsday scenarios. You probably shouldn’t be involved in that sort of heist anyway, but it’s a little more unclear what is happening here that is actually illegal.
This is GTAO, so something illegal is probably happening. But what is a bit more unclear.
You can check out the trailer for the update just below; at a glance, this “epic online adventure” has a lot of story hooks that seem more like single-player content, like promising to investigate the mysteries of Mount Chilliad. You’ll have to see how it plays out for yourself when the update goes live on December 12th; until then, watch the trailer to get all of the aforementioned transforming DeLorean action you could ask for. (In short bursts. You should not continually watch a one-minute trailer for the next several days.)
Did you catch last night’s Game Awards from LA? If not, you probably didn’t miss anything super-groundbreaking, although Overwatch did quite well for itself amid a crowd of mostly single-player titles. Blizzard’s team shooter won two awards, one for Best Ongoing Game and one for Best E-Sports Game (see if you can spot what’s wrong with those awards).
There were several other online games nominated for awards but losing out to other titles. Destiny 2, in particular, had six nominations in categories such as Best Art Direction, Best Ongoing Game, and Best Multiplayer. Other nominations of note included PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (which had a Game of the Year nod), Warframe, Grand Theft Auto Online, Monster Hunter World, Fortnite, League of Legends, and Dota 2.
Don’t put too much stock in these results; after all, the Massively OP end-of-year awards are coming to you very soon, and we actually understand what an ongoing game really is! You can watch the full three-hour stream below to get the full experience if you so desire or just catch our favorite highlight.
Remember Warspear Online? It’s a 2-D fantasy MMO out of Russia from 2008, when it debuted on mobile devices. (This should make you feel super old.) The devs say that in bringing the game to Steam this week, they hope to “expand [their] audience by attracting desktop gamers who are lacking nostalgic MMORPGs.”
Valnir Rok is also new to Steam this fall. This week it dropped a good-sized patch, updating the “Viking-inspired online roleplaying adventure” game with a new PvP arena, an ability system, an NPC employment system, new experience mechanics, character idles, and a bunch of bug fixes.
Finally, there’s Broke Protocol, the cops-and-robbers voxelbox that’s a mash-up of GTAO and Minecraft, and it trickled out to Steam quietly a few months back, to mostly positive reviews (though no updates since). We’ve tucked trailers down below if there’s anything that strikes your fancy!
Do you know where Massively OP’s MJ hasn’t been in over a year? Los Santos, that’s where! And she’s dying to see the Halloween goodness that GTAO has to offer. There are some pretty sweet cars like the Fränken Stange and the Lurcher that she wants to check out. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. for a ride on the wild side of Halloween.
What: Grand Theft Auto Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, November 3rd, 2017
If you ever get tired of mayhem in Grand Theft Auto Online… just kidding, nobody ever gets tired of mayhem in GTAO. That’s why you’re playing GTAO. And it’s why in tomorrow’s patch, Rockstar is offering an all-new flavor of chaos: “Transform Races,” stunt races “with a twist.”
“Instantly mix vehicle and race types as you switch between land, sea and air in Transform Races, the next evolution of stunt racing in Grand Theft Auto Online. Jump instantly from the curves of a gritty, downtown street race straight into a speeding jet high above Los Santos, then dive face first down Raton Canyon on a jet ski and more. Transform Races are new and unique stunt tracks that seamlessly transition across land, sea and air, running the gamut of available vehicle types – everything from Supers and Off-Roads, to Boats, Planes, and Helicopters – and even some skydiving thrown in for good measure.”
The update’s out tomorrowday; check out the new trailer down below. Maybe don’t if you get airsick, though, because whoa.
It didn’t quite make summer, but close enough: Rockstar has finally rolled out the new trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2. We’ve been keeping an eye on the western as like its sister GTAO it’s got some MMO-ish elements: “The game’s vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.”
The trailer description doesn’t mention deployment for PC, so we still don’t know whether that’s happening, but at the very least we can assume it’s not happening right off.
“The all-new trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2, the story of outlaw Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang as they rob, fight and steal their way across the vast and rugged heart of America in order to survive. Coming Spring 2018 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems.”
Likewise, the game was originally set for fall of this year, then delayed to spring of 2018, which apparently holds. The trailer’s down below.
SuperData’s August 2017 global revenue report confirms what anybody even casually watching PUBG already knows: The upstart game that’s kicking butt on Steam is the literal definition of industry disruptor.
Over on the PC side, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds dislodged World of Warcraft by one place since last month, while DOTA 2 fell down to 10 and ROBLOX fell out of the listing as CS:GO returned. On console, GTAV/GTAO is still on top, though Overwatch got bumped one place thanks to the entry of Yet Another Madden game. And the mobile listing shuffled slightly, with Pokemon Go inching upward once again.
“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds continues to dominate PC game sales, despite still being in Steam Early Access,” says SuperData. “PUBG is the number 1 premium PC game for the 3rd month in a row and has overtaken World of Warcraft on the total PC games list for the first time.” Indeed, the company says PUBG sales accelerated last month, “bringing total life-to-date sales close to 9 million units through August.”
Grand Theft Auto Online doesn’t want to be left out of the ridiculous launch-day extravaganza the end of August is having, which is why Rockstar’s just launched the Smuggler’s Run update.
“With a name that’s a nod to an early classic from the Rockstar Games catalog, Smuggler’s Run opens up the air corridors above Los Santos and Blaine County, providing new business opportunities while introducing a range of planes, choppers and even ultralights as highly viable options for transporting criminal cargo across the state – simultaneously opening up some creative new methods of dispatching any rival gangs along the way. Smuggler’s Run delivers a massive range of new, customizable aircraft perfect for any mission along with expansive new aircraft hangars in which to stash your fleet of fantastic flying machines.”
Expect seven new aircraft from “getaway racers” to zippy badasses that only look like hunks ‘o junk, plus a couple of cars for the landbound gangsters and a new scavenger hunt-themed adversary mode called Motor Wars. There are even new tats. Try not to die!