Grand Theft Auto Online Review for Xbox 360

Grand Theft Auto Online Review for Xbox 360

A Fun but Buggy GTA

Grand Theft Auto Online is probably the most ambitious title that Rockstar has ever created. As a totally separate entity from Grand Theft Auto V , this stand-alone, online world looks to be able to offer an evolving, completely different GTA experience with a character of your own creation. However, a bug-ridden release has hampered players incessantly, which begs the question–is it worth it?

Well, the short answer is yes. There is plenty to do in GTA Online , and I’m sure Rockstar is working tirelessly to fix the issues caused with its release. But I’ll talk more about that later.

GTA Online puts you at the helm of a character that is entirely unique to the GTA universe, a character of your making. Your journey is started with a unique character-creation system. Instead of just altering your appearance as you see fit, you have to choose your grandparents on your mother and father’s side, and change your appearance via resemblance sliders. This is an interesting twist on character creation, but can become annoying, especially if you are trying to achieve a certain look. Additionally, you are able to assign the number of hours a day you spend doing certain activities, such as legal and illegal activities, sitting on the couch or exercising. This will change your attributes to match the lifestyle of your character. This indirect approach to customization is fairly intuitive, but can seem unnecessary at times.

Once you’ve given birth to your newly christened criminal mastermind, you fly into Los Santos and meet your first contact–Lamar. You may remember Lamar from Franklin’s storyline as the quick-witted and utterly hilarious “homie”-spouting contact. He isn’t the only recognizable face you will see in Los Santos either, other minor characters from GTA V make an appearance and add an air of familiarity to the game.

Grand Theft Auto Online Screenshot

After a few tutorial missions to get you started in Los Santos, you will be on your way. Unfortunately, this is where the buggy experience begins. If you were lucky enough to be able to connect to GTA Online in the first place, completing the tutorial launches you into its open world. Here you will find deathmatches, races, places to rob, and all the other criminal delights of Los Santos. The problems really start when you try to do any of these activities with another person, which is kind of the point of an online title.

Grand Theft Auto Online Screenshot

As I would try to join and/or host an event within the online world, I would be met with problem after problem. The matchmaking and invite system needs some serious fine-tuning; I have yet to successfully complete any of the events that require other players. The events in the world do give you an option for a quick-match of sorts, where the game invites other players of your skill level automatically. The only problem that I found with this approach was that it took forever–waiting for people to accept invites and having those people hang around long enough to play the match while we waited for enough people to join. I did get into one game, but then lost connection to the game. Which, after 15-20 minutes of waiting to even start the match, was wholly frustrating. Load-screens are another annoyance that plagues both Grand Theft Auto Online and Grand Theft Auto V ; however, they seem to be much longer in Online . It’s just a minor issue and not one that I didn’t expect, but it’s still there.

But, if you can get past these issues, GTA Online is quite an achievement. With a couple patches, Rockstar will be able to realize the vision that it clearly has for this game.

Grand Theft Auto Online Screenshot

So, instead of running through the content, I did what any self-respecting GTA player would do–embarked on my own personal campaign of carnage and destruction the likes of which Los Santos has never seen. Even though deathmatches and races weren’t working properly for me, I had plenty of fun hunting other players and having shootouts in any random location we might happen upon, then running from the cops while fighting off the onslaught of player-characters at the same time. In this respect, Grand Theft Auto Online functions flawlessly.

So, is Grand Theft Auto Online the end-all-be-all of online gaming? Not yet. Rockstar still has a long way to go to refine matchmaking systems, increase server stability, and streamline the user-interface for better ease-of-access. But the good news is that since Rockstar released GTA Online separately from GTA V , all of this is possible. The intention behind the online world of Los Santos was so that it could evolve and get better with time. It may not be the best online experience you will ever have right now, but I believe that it will continue to get better with time. Plus, it’s free with Grand Theft Auto V anyway, so there really isn’t anything to complain about. Of course, the sooner the better Rockstar. Just sayin’.

The same as GTA V , but visual glitches are much more prevalent. 4.3 Control
Nothing changed here. The exact same tight control scheme of GTA V , with the same minor frustrations. 4.8 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Sounds just as good as GTA V . 3.0 Play Value
A plethora of content plagued by a buggy release that can be ridiculously frustrating. 3.8 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • The biggest, most dynamic and most diverse open world ever created, Grand Theft Auto V blends storytelling and gameplay in new ways as players repeatedly jump in and out of the lives of the game’s three lead characters, playing all sides of the game’s interwoven story.
  • All the classic hallmarks of the groundbreaking series return, including incredible attention to detail and Grand Theft Auto’s darkly humorous take on modern culture, alongside a brand new and ambitious approach to open-world multiplayer.
  • Our largest open world yet –by far–and spanning vastly diverse cultural and geographical areas, the entire world of Grand Theft Auto V is open from the very beginning of the game to explore. Visitors to the greater metropolis of Los Santos and the countryside of Blaine County will encounter faded celebrities, meth heads, party people, violent gangs, hikers, bikers and every other manner of colorful denizen. You’ll be able to traverse everywhere from the tops of the mountains, through the streets of Los Santos and to the depths of the ocean floor.

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