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GTA 6 City Of The Week: Washington, D.C.

GTA 6 City of the Week is a weekly article series here on GTA 5 Cheats. Every week, we will evaluate a different city in the United States, gauging how well it would fit GTA 6 as a setting.

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Following pretty and peaceful Portland last week, we now go back to the east coast in search of the next possible setting for GTA 6. With the continued massive success of Shark Cards and the (rather messy) departure of Leslie Benzies, we might even find ourselves looking at a completely different GTA whenever the next installment is released. For all we know, whenever GTA 6 undergoes server maintenance, we won’t even have a single player mode to retreat to.

Despite this 5 hour downtime being the longest time Rockstar has ever mucked around with the servers, there is still no word on what the next content update for GTA Online might be. There have been no credible leaks for weeks, making this the first time in ages that we are truly kept in the dark regarding the game’s future.

Of course, if that massive rally for a Biker DLC gains enough popularity, we just might see the day that Rockstar creates it for GTA Online based on popular demand. In the mean time, we’ll have to make do with what we have – meaning a ton of varied jobs, modes and vehicles – and our hopes of what we’ll get.

Well, let’s just see how much we should hope for Washington, D.C. to become the setting of the next GTA game? Will the nation’s capitol prove to be a good place for a crime game, or will D.C. stay out of the Rockstar spotlight?

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After looking at Portland, Oregon last week, it’s no doubt that readers are hoping for a more active and more… criminal city. Well, if you’ll ask anyone who isn’t too satisfied with the current government of the USA, they’ll sure as hell tell you D.C. is full of criminals. A unique federal district, Washington houses all three branches of the federal government – the Congress, the Supreme Court and the President.

Covering territory which geographically would be part of Maryland and Virginia, D.C. isn’t part of any state in legal terms. Population-wise, Washington itself has barely more than half a million citizens, however the greater metropolitan area surrounding it numbers well over 6 million, making it the 7th largest in the country. The Potomac River forms a natural border and has a handful of tributaries, which nicely section off the city into regions – not particularly different or diverse regions, but regions nonetheless.

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There is difference between the wealthier and poorer neighborhoods, but much of the city is interchangeable with the rest. There is a glaring lack of a typical American downtown area with a few massive skyscrapers in the middle of the city, as there is a restriction in place on the height of buildings – they cannot be taller than the width of the adjoining street, plus an additional 6 meters. There are some areas which are roomier, while row-houses dominate others. A massive park-system has been built in the city, making much of it green.

Thing is, Washington has two issues in terms of GTA compatibility: firstly, the green areas and the homogeneity make it uninteresting for players and driving. Secondly, the street-plan of the city is something of a nightmare for anyone who dares sit into a car. Finding your way around the city is difficult due to a repeating pattern.

Crime

Going beyond the jokes about the government, Washington has it’s history of crime and the city was once the capital of more than just the nation. While New Orleans might be the “Murder Capital” today, Washington used to hold that title. In 1991, almost five hundred murders took place. While the numbers have dropped significantly since then, the rate is once again on the rise and can be primarily attributed to gang violence.

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There are some clear cut gang territories in the city, excluding the really rich neighborhoods. The border blocks account for a vast majority of the city’s criminal activity.

Beyond these, there is of course the high-level white collar crime going on. Stepping away from jokes, there are over 200 foreign embassies and an immense amount of various foundations, corporations and groups housed in the city for the sake of being close to Congress. Say what you will, but there is no way all of those dealings are completely clean.

Both of these aspects open up avenues for a GTA tale. Having a story weaved with gang warfare and white collar crime is perfect for this series.

Recognition

D.C. is going to bag some serious points on this section. The White House, the Monument, the Library of Congress, the Lincoln Memorial, the entirety of George Town and much, much more is all located in the city. There is such a staggering amount of notable locations and landmarks in the city that Rockstar would be hard pressed to fit them all into a map sized for a GTA games. Hell, doing the Rockstar thing of twisting the real world into a parody would be easy. All they need to do is make the top of the Washington Monument a bit wider before continuing on to a tip, if you know what I mean.

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Potential Story

We’ve touched on this briefly already. The story potential for the city is as good as the street plan is bad. It can be introduced and hyped up with some sort of gang rivalry, however it turns out that both your gang and the enemy gang has friends in the upper echelons of the Washington hierarchy. Congressmen and politicians use the gangs as proxies to stage assassinations, blackmail campaigns and other politically-motivated acts in their struggle for power.

The player could either be one such gangster who is being singled out by a particular politician as their personal executor, giving you various missions which help their rise. Maybe the gangster doesn’t like being used and turns on the politicians pulling the strings?

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Hell, the player could even act as one of the rising political figures, including a mechanic of managing your own proxy gang by hiring members, supplying them with weapons, giving them missions. You’d also be more restricted, making it a goal not to be linked with criminal acts.

These ideas could even be rolled together like the three-way protagonist setup of GTA V. You could have the political kingpin, his most trusted executor and finally a member of the enemy gang who has secretly switched sides. Maybe the goals of the various protagonists could even clash, forcing the player to choose which story line to advance.

Final Verdict:

A-

Pros: Immense story potential, decent crime levels, recognition.

Cons: That freaking street-plan, not too varied, too many parks.

Washington D.C. is actually a surprisingly good candidate for the setting of a GTA game. While the lack of a downtown area is a bit stinging, the dodgy street plan can be fixed easily with the amount of liberty Rockstar can take with the layout of the original city. Even so, a political conspiracy story in a GTA game? Yes please.

Which city would you like us to review for GTA 6 compatibilitynext week?

GTA 6 City Of The Week: Portland

GTA 6 City of the Week is a weekly article series here on GTA 5 Cheats. Every week, we will evaluate a different city in the United States, gauging how well it would fit GTA 6 as a setting.

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With the recent announcement of Mafia 3 putting a dent into the possibility of New Orleans being the setting of the next game in the GTA series despite the city’s great attributes, we figured it’s time to look at a city less likely to soon be featured in a video game.

With an overwhelming ratio of games with a setting on our planet are set, even partially, in the United States, it becomes increasingly difficult to find cities which aren’t as prominently featured and over done. Poor New York City seems to be the one most frequently attacked and devastated both in movies and game, not to mention that even non-apocalyptic high-violence games rack up high kill-counts of New Yorkers.

GTA has already ticked NYC off the list with Liberty City, along with a handful of other well-known American cities. The challenge here is that one needs to find a location which is prominent enough to be the setting of a major game, but still mostly untapped. What better way to do that than to pick one that’s only recently risen to enjoy great popularity?

The city we’ll be assessing for its adequacy to be a GTA game today is none other than the city of roses, Portland, Oregon.

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Following last week’s “Murder Capital”, continuing with something named after a floral symbol of passion might be a bit jarring. No wonder, most people probably don’t think of Portland when they hear “GTA”. Portland and the surrounding metropolitan area is the largest in the state and third largest in the Pacific Northwest region. The city is relatively new, having only been founded in 1845, which is mirrored in an overwhelmingly modern cityscape. There are districts which have preserved an older style, but they are significantly fewer than in the older cities of the country. The city is nestled in a valley, with the Willamette River flowing through it and the Columbia River forming one of its borders.

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The city and the surrounding area isn’t particularly diverse, though the metropolitan area is divided into five districts which are somewhat unique. The Willamette river separates the western and eastern sides of the city, providing a boundary of social levels as well, to some extent. Northwestern Portland is home to the Pearl District, which is the most luxurious of the five, while Southwestern Portland is mainly comprised of the downtown business and commerce area. On the other hand, On the eastern bank of the river lies North Portland, which contains the poorest district of the city. While this provides Rockstar with the regions necessary for a sectioned GTA map, there isn’t too much difference overall.

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Another issue is that Portland is one of the “greenest” cities in the USA. Now, on first glance this isn’t too big of an issue, since other GTA games featured plenty of outdoors sections. However, Portland’s inner city has also moved more in the direction of public transport, walking and bicycling. Naturally transport via car is still facilitated throughout the city, however there are quite a few no-drive zones which would make it less adequate for a game with “Auto” in its title. As a side effect of this, the city is considered particularly peaceful – something uncharacteristic of a GTA game.

Crime

While the locals are undoubtedly extremely happy about this metric, the fact that Portland is the 3rd safest city in the USA doesn’t make it a shining candidate for a GTA game. With a murder rate of 2 per 100,000 people, if the game sought to be realistic, the player would only be allowed to kill very few NPCs – simple PEDs might even need to be made immortal. It’s not only murders that are few, though. Violent Crime in general is sparse in the city, with even acts of assault or battery being few and far between.

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On the other hand, Portland has an ill-gained reputation for being something of a “pornography capital”. The city’s free-speech laws (which are otherwise admirably enlightened) allow all forms of public nudity (spawning the annual naked bike ride event) and Portland has the highest number of strip clubs in the entire country. It also has some issues with human trafficking involving child-sex-slaves. That’s territory so controversial even Rockstar wouldn’t tread upon. A vigilante story of serving justice upon the traffickers doesn’t fit the GTA theme, and there is absolutely no bloody way Rockstar would make players control one of the traffickers.

Recognition

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Portland isn’t particularly known for being too iconic. As the city is generally more on the modern side of things, it has yet to develop a fully rounded personality of its own. Regardless, some of the older neighborhoods have a few recognizable buildings and the city is famous for its many theaters. These include the Avalon, the Hollywood and the Laurelhurst among many others. Several famous breweries have their headquarters in the city, the buildings of which have become fairly iconic. The White Stag Sign is also an instantly recognizable icon.

 

Potential Story

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Considering how arid of crime the city is, there isn’t much Rockstar could do with the setting. One possibility is that they set the story two-three years in the future, such as the early 2020’s where the player character is trying to establish their own organised crime syndicate in Portland. Since the city isn’t “claimed” by any known large syndicate, it is open for conquest. The story would detail a race between the player’s organisation and other rivals who also see opportunity in the city to secure the criminal throne first. There could be some returning factions, such as the Lost and Damned, trying to get a foothold in the region. This would fit the typical GTA stereotype of beginning the story with the protagonist, a former criminal, arriving or returning to a city where they will once again be criminals.

Another option would be to have a story similar to that of The Ballad of Gay Tony, one of GTA VI’s DLC. The difference would be that instead of a nightclub, the business in question would be a movie theater which is a front for illegal activities. The player character wouldn’t be an aide to the owner like Luis was, but rather the owner. Several other rival theaters would also be fronts for other criminal groups. Missions would include trying to secure exclusive rights to popular films by blackmailing or bribing officials, or stealing and destroying the equipment of rivals. It could still work as a GTA story with less violence to fit the setting.

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Final Verdict:

D

Pros: Clearly defined districts, story potential

Cons: Low crime rate, not particularly iconic, peaceful, more geared towards public transport and bikes than cars, restrictive in terms of violence

Portland just seems to be too nice a town to be a good setting for a GTA game – something that is more of a compliment, all things considered. While it might be interesting to see the city in a virtual rendition, it won’t be done by Rockstar.

What city would you want us to grade next week?

GTA V Custom Parkour Map Speedrunner Sets Record

Depending on what your preferences are, custom super-hard “parkour” race maps in GTA Online are either the game’s saving grace or damning bane. These races fill up the list of community maps made with the Content Creator.  Everyone who falls outside the very small niche that enjoys them finds it a chore to sort through it all. At the same time the core stunting and “parkour” community within GTA V’s player-base spend most of their playtime on these maps and rarely venture into other game-modes.

These maps are built to be extremely difficult to traverse, forcing racers to brave massive jumps, long wall-rides, loops, jumping puzzles, traps and much more. Successfully completing such a parkour map requires perfect timing, an intricate familiarity with the map and your vehicle of choosing, lots of patience, skill and significant know-how as to how GTA’s special brand of physics works.

Due to their difficulty many of these maps take quite a bit of time to master, however once you know how to get it done, they can be completed in a relatively short amount of time. This has led rise to the speed-running community within the aficionados of these GTA Online parkour maps.

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Like in regular game speed-running, the competition has boiled down to vying between seconds and milliseconds. Racers record their runs to prove it whenever they topple a record, or, in the case of particularly challenging maps, simply to prove that they ran it successfully.

This particular video shows off one of the most difficult stunt maps currently out there, put together by notorious parkour map creator Retro maniA – you know someone is well known in an internet community when you only need to use half of his moniker, which also happens to be a rather common word.

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The 3 minute and 18 second run is performed by Albert Beck from Evolve Stunting. Watching the video will show that physics, especially gravity and acceleration, don’t exactly mirror reality in GTA V. The map features some insane wall-rides, vertical climbs and the fact that some of the textures don’t load until you’re close by doesn’t help.

It’s quaint that these maps have taken on the name of “parkour” maps, as that sport – if you can call it that – is focused on on-foot running and acrobatics. “Stunt maps” would be more suitable, or “bikour” if you’re feeling creative.

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What are your best times on some of the challenging GTA Online parkour maps?

GTA V Meets District 9’s Alien Slum

District 9 made some serious waves back in 2009 when it was first released. It was lauded for its writing, visuals, pacing, directing and pretty much everything that a movie can be commended for. It’s also a movie that has absolutely nothing in common with GTA V, but leave it to modders when gaps need to be bridged. Several mods out there feature characters, locales, vehicles or objects from various popular films, so this isn’t all that out of place. This mod may be of interest to GTA V fan video creators, functioning in a manner similar to the overgrown cityscapes featured previously.

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District 9 deals with a large alien ship descending over Johannesburg. While the aliens are capable of FTL travel, they are hardly an advanced race. Instead, they are filthy, malnourished, uncivilized and disease ridden. Humanity offers them shelter in a segregated area dubbed District 9, which is a refugee camp-turned-slum. Here the so called “Prawns” live is shoddy bungalows alongside homeless humans. The District is rife with crime and violence with authorities trying desperately to restore order.

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The plot of the film itself follows a particular member of the agency which deals with the aliens as he gets himself in a rather tragic situation, but that is of little import here. French modder Plutonmania has put together an extremely elaborate, if smaller scale replica of District 9 using GTA V’s map editor mod.

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The buildings look the part and he has populated the walled off shanty town with aliens. There are guards stationed on the wall and at the entrance. The land is dirty and arid, with trash everywhere and soot on the plates which make up the walls of the small houses. The atmosphere of the District from the film is perfectly captured by this mod, and really gets the dirty feeling across.

Did you guys see District 9? What did you think?

GTA V’s Map Compared With The Division’s New York

GTA V may still be the crown ruler of the AAA industry but that does not mean that other developers are not busy. Rockstar’s blockbuster had to share the spotlight recently with releases such as the Witcher 3 and Fallout 4, both of which stole some of its fame, though not enough to cause any real damage. While few others try to encroach on Rockstar’s “territory” by making games similar to GTA, they still try to make their own waves in the industry.

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Ubisoft’s next big thing, Tom Clancy’s The Division, was off to a rough start following its announcement. With the memory of Watch_Dogs still fresh, no one believed the otherwise extremely impressive trailers and gameplay demos of the game. The Division is set to be the publisher’s next big thing, intended to have a long life span with frequent content updates. In some ways it can be likened to GTA Online, though there are obvious differences. The Division will be an open-world online third person shooter multiplayer game with RPG elements. The mission structure and setting is entirely different from GTA Online, though some similarities are undeniable.

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The darker grey overlay denotes The Division’s map.

Following the recent beta test of the Division, players’ opinions have been turned around and most people think this game will make up for Watch_Dogs – and then some. A major aspect of games like this is the map, which in The Division envelops most of New York City’s metropolitan area, primarily Manhattan.

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Fallout 4 also compared.

Of course, the map is significantly smaller than that of GTA V but keep in mind that the Division has no vehicles, and is much more tightly packed. There is also an entire underground section, and many more interiors than in GTA V. This is a prime example of a smaller map with more in it, just like Fallout 4.

Are any of you anticipating The Division, or is it GTA V and nothing else for you?

New GTA Online Property Locations Revealed

The release of Executives and Other Criminals is mere hours away, and yet even now, there are content leaks occurring. GTA Online dataminers are not a patient sort, and are racing against the clock to go down in internet history as the ones to leak info about the new DLC before release, even if it is less than 24 hours before!

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In the GTA Online content update announcement trailer it was revealed that new properties will be added to the Vinewood Hills area. Now, one of the fans responsible for the initial leak which revealed the yacht and many other additions ahead of time has managed to discern the exact locations of the upcoming properties.

Before you fire up GTA Online and race to the locations to check out which static buildings will be purchasable, keep in mind that Rockstar will most likely reconstruct the buildings in the set locations, and some may not even have houses at them currently.

We know for a fact that the new Vinewood Hills properties will be massive, with some of them having at least three stories. The new properties also suggest that the apartment customization feature will be coming to GTA Online with this particular update, though this has yet to be confirmed.

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While mansions and manors in the most expensive and luxurious region of the GTA V map are cool and all, nothing will quite be as flashy as the new yachts, which will also function as properties with their own upgrades, garages and fully detailed interiors.

The new houses will make the apartments of the High Life DLC look like student hostels, this we know for sure, however what exactly the new properties will look like, and what architectural style they will follow, is still a mystery.

This also confirms for the first time the exact number of new properties, which is 12. Which are you more looking forward to: the new properties, or the yacht?

GTA V Goes Survival Horror With Creepy Mod

Need a quick fix for your craving of horror games? Satisfied with only a little story to go with the frights? Not put off by the budget feel of a user created mod? Then this GTA V scenario is right up your alley!

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Zombie mods, in lieu of the shambling corpses actually appearing in the game as official content, are plenty for GTA V. However, much like the game itself, they are all goofy, comedic takes on the reanimated dead epidemic (be it on purpose or otherwise). However, while in recent years the focus has shifted to the parody side of things, the concept of bringing people back to life gone horribly wrong still has some genuine scare potential, even if it has been overdone, and then some.

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Part of the wonder of the zombie genre is observing the tricks people pull to make it all still seem fresh (no pun intended). Something is always changed or added to the typical zombie formula in an attempt to strike gold a second time. While mixing up zombies with animals is hardly a new concept, modder DJ Scream has decided to take that route when making his GTA V mod.

Humane Labs Experiments takes us back to the sinister bioresearch facility, which was the scene of one of GTA Online’s Heists. Supposedly just a food packaging joint, the building is used for all kinds of shady purposes, such as bioweapons research. This mod shows us the aftermath of a strange virus breaking containment, which killed most personnel and animals, and brought them back as violent, bloodthirsty monsters.

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The modder makes great use of the level design of the Labs, and the mod has plenty genuine scares in it. Granted, you’ll blow through it quite quickly, but it is a great way to mix things up. Do you hope for some official zombie content being released for GTA V down the line?

GTA V Meets Mario Kart, Again

GTA V has collided with the colorful rainbow-happiness Nintendo racing game, Mario Kart.

GTA V has an emphasis on cars. It has an emphasis on car stealing, car buying, car upgrading and various forms of car based violence. It also has an emphasis on car racing, with several game modes being based around competitive vehicular activities. Several Adversary Modes make extensive use of vehicles, and they force players to be the fastest to win. I mean, “auto” is in the game’s title for crying out loud.

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On the other hand, the racing genre in video games is an extremely saturated market, with racing games of all styles and types being readily available on all platforms. There’s no shortage in realistic racing games, or ones which have combat elements and the like. However, Nintentdo’s extremely popular racing series, Mario Kart, manages to pull that off while retaining the tameness of the franchise.

Mario is no Michael, and the fat plumber’s exploits rarely result in anyone’s gruesome death, or wanton acts of violence. Despite it and GTA being about as incompatible as you can get, thanks to the power of mods, the two have crossed over in the past.

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Now, finally, the modded Kart has a proper track to race on. Modder MrVicho13 has ported the iconic Mario Kart 64 track Yoshi Valley, which was a fan favorite at the time and made a return is several Mario Kart games since.

The GTA V version is a perfect recreation, with the models ripped straight from the Mario Kart 8 files for full authenticity. The mod works by using the FiveM mod package (which is currently still alive, though who knows how!), and can be fully explored. Of course, the experience is only authentic when used with the other Mario Kart mods.

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Do we have any Mario Kart fans among our readers, or are you 100% commited to GTA V?

New GTA Online Adversary Mode Announced, Released

More and more it seems that Rockstar is adopting a policy of announcing and releasing new GTA Online content simultaneously.

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The developer of GTA has been stepping up the Adversary Modes in recent updates, constantly adding newer and newer game modes, each of which are becoming progressively more unique and less conventional. The design team is going all out on trying to mold the existing game mechanics into exciting new features which would typically be unconventional in a game of this genre. We recently saw the Slasher and Running Back modes being added which are more divergent, as well as a number of more traditional but still creative modes like Hunting Pack.

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Yesterday we reported on some rumors, based of leaked information, that the upcoming December DLCs (Christmas update and Lowriders Part II) would add a number of Adversary Modes to GTA Online, including one called Every Bullet Counts. Well, in a rather surprising turn of events, Rockstar announced Every Bullet Counts soon after as a standalone Adversary Mode update, which went live immediately as the announcement was made.

The Adversary Mode sees four players, armed with Marksman Pistols with just two bullets locked together, in a confined space. You also have some melee weapons to fall back on should your two shots go awry. The mode seeks to force players into a tense situation, as anyone who does not move for longer than five seconds will have their blips displayed on the map.

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Every Bullet Counts also introduces new maps. The mode will be played in locations only accessible through this game mode. The fact that the rumor leak accurately named this mode before the announcement, plus the fact that it mentioned the map being expanded, which this indirectly does, lends the leak significant credibility.

Which aspect of this new GTA Online Adversary Mode do you find most appealing?

GTA V Map Expanded In Christmas DLC, New Adversary Modes

The leaked upcoming DLCs might be bringing changes to GTA Online, the likes of which have never been seen before.

Some time ago, in between the release of Freemode Events and Lowriders for GTA Online, the press (us included) was buzzing without end about the possibilities of upcoming content, and potential leaks.

The underlying framework restructuring that happened with Freemode Events was the forerunner of a whole new wave of GTA Online DLC. Lowriders being one of the most substantial updates in the game’s history backed this claim, however the future seems even more radical.

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We’re well into December, and players are getting eager to hear about the upcoming Christmas DLC for GTA Online, as well as the second part of the Lowriders update. The large leak we reported on some time ago revealed some of the content which will be added to the game with these updates. However, chances are that the leak hasn’t revealed all content that the XMAS_3_MP and LOW_2_MP code-named updates will contain.

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The leak spoke of apartment customization, however it is unknown whether or not this will be contained in the aforementioned DLCs or in some unnamed update to be released in 2016. Recent rumors are talking of three new Adversary Modes, ‘Every Bullet Counts’ (update: Rockstar has officially announced this Adversary Mode as a standalone, available now.), ‘Extraction’ and ‘Beast VS Slasher’.

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The shakiest rumor also seems to be the one players are hoping most. Rockstar may be expanding the map of GTA V in the upcoming DLC, however the nature of this expansion it not known. Whether or not a new island will be added near the coast, accessible by boat, or a new area will be added (maybe North Yankton will be touched up, expanded, and opened up to players) in some form.

What kinds of features do you hope to see in upcoming GTA Online DLC?