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GTA: Online? No... not yet...
Posted on Monday, October 7 2013 @ 10:49:06 PST

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.

I’m back and I’m ready to rant oh so much!!
Of course I’m going to talk about the game of the moment: GTA V.
The good stuff first: it’s such a ****ing good game. Rockstar truly have excelled with this game. It’s vast, varied, and a wild ride. The single-player story is fun and engaging, the graphics are great (for a GTA game), the world is packed with little touches and easter eggs. And of the previous sentence the most relevant three words are the first three...
The Single Player.
Where Single Player works like a dream, multiplayer works like a turbo-charged Entity trying to make a high-speed corner. I’ve been trying to get online since the first day it was available. I was fully expecting to not be able to get on there on day one and I was not disappointed. I set up my character using the neat concept of inheriting your grandparents’ genes and then tried to jump in. I didn’t get very far before I fell through the floor, hit the same floor I fell through because games, and was forced to wait until I was presented with the screen that has been bounced around the internet.

That’s fine, I knew success wouldn’t be within reach so early after launch because, let’s face it, it never is. It is hilarious that no publisher ever plans for the launch rush, though. Well, it’s either that we buy games from a bunch of chronic underestimaters or that they don’t want to invest in extra support for the launch period because the demand will soon settle down to something more manageable.

So I waited for day two to roll by and gave it another try. My character hadn’t saved (or the second one that I tried on day one) so I quickly remade him with minimal effort and dived right back in… with an even longer wait and exactly the same outcome. So I went to bed.

Day three was much the same except I was greeted by a different waiting screen and waited so long that my controller turned itself off twice before congratulating my patience with a timeout screen.
It’s day four now and I’ve acknowledged I’ve probably picked up a glitch. Incidentally, that solution doesn’t seem to have worked for me, but it did stop me from getting to the waiting for players screen.
So what does this mean on a wider scale? It’s a bit worrying, really; Rockstar is a huge publisher and they still didn’t manage to release their billion-dollar game without server issues and bugs, and some people were looking forward to Xbox One games forcing 24-hour check-ins!

From the very small portion of online I’ve seen (which basically amounts to the load screens), it seems that Rockstar is gradually adding improvements to the online gameplay. The very fact that the load screen shows information about online modes is evidence of that. I just hope that these improvements actually encompass the first ****ing mission soon too.
But the thing that’s really rubbed me the wrong way?

The iFruit app. Oh yes, the bugbear that has dominated comment sections since the game launched has not been lost on me but not because I really can’t wait to train my virtual dog; this has ground my gears because my £40 is effectively worth less than my friend’s £40 because he has an iPhone and I don’t. It’s not about the app; it’s about a huge market being neglected. iFruit might not offer hugely important features but they are features that could have been included in the game, but instead Rockstar chose to make a free app for an external product and then did it badly.

The thing that makes it worse is Rockstar’s frustrating lack of communication. In the comments section on the Rockstar website they almost exclusively respond only when the poster implies that they have accepted money from Apple to make the app exclusive. Besides that, Android users have been given no release date, estimate or otherwise, and not much of an explanation beyond “it’s taking longer than we thought it would," which isn’t particularly convincing seeing as they’ve had five years, so they’re either capable of programming a masterpiece but not an Android app or they didn’t bother with it until it was too late and now they’re focusing on fixing online. And it’s not just the iFruit app; it’s the manual, too. Android users don’t have a manual (unless they get the non-resizable PC version which sometimes doesn’t fit on users’ screens).
Rockstar are still awesome, GTA V is still amazing, but if I was forced to say three bad things about them I would have to limit it to two REALLY big ones.

The opinions expressed here does not necessarily reflect the views of Game Revolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted originally on October 4, 2013 at 4:21 PST, has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan
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