Rockstar will be releasing Tiny Racers, the newest GTA Online Adversary Mode, next Tuesday, on the 25th of April. Over the past year, the developers have really leaned on their Adversary Mode game, releasing countless new types with major DLC updates, and as standalone on occasion.
Since it’s pretty clear that Rockstar has no intention of shutting down their Adversary Mode pipeline anytime soon, we thought we might as well share a few concepts for Modes we’d love to see come to the game. When the Modes first started coming to GTA Online in larger numbers, players were fairly ambivalent towards them in spite of the variety in gameplay they offered, however more recently fans have been more receptive.
In spite of frequent double RP and cash promotions, Adversary Modes just struggled to find an audience, with low player counts across the board. However, more recently, approximately since the release of Power Play or maybe even Slasher, these PvP-oriented game modes started picking up steam. Following a brief period of moderate success, the release of Deadline catapulted the Modes into true popularity.
Adversary Modes represent a playground for the developers as much as for the players, as in these modes there is no restriction regarding realism or adherence to the overall style and tone of the rest of the game. While Cunning Stunts blurred this line, Adversary Modes are still the outliers in GTA Online.
So, now that we have power-up enhanced deathmatches, Tron style light-cycle battles and soon we’ll be racing from a top-down perspective, what more could players want? Here are a few ideas Rockstar could draw from.
Every game developer and their cat are making open world survival games these days, with oft shared features. Large map made up of mostly wilderness with the odd abandoned structure here and there, scarce resources and a community populated almost entirely with bloodthirsty savages.
These games also tend to get a lot of hype from streamers, most evidenced by the relatively recent, rather oddly named, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. Anyone who has seen the film Battle Royale (or the more recent, considerably less original version, The Hunger Games) will be familiar with the basic premise. A bunch of unarmed contestants are dropped into an arena – an island, in this case – which has weapons scattered across it. the goal is to kill everyone else and be the last person standing.
Turning this into an Adversary Mode would be a great way to ride the current wave similar games have created. All the Mode would need to do is remove all vehicles and NPCs from the map, scatter some weapon pickups around and let loose some players with the sole objective of snuffing out the life of their fellow humans.
This Adversary Mode would break the mold seeing as usually, the Modes offer quick, short matches. One way to reduce the time would be to designate various areas across the GTA Online map to be smaller areas, offering multiple levels to pick from, as seen in most other Modes.
It’s a little-known fact that GTA 5 does, in fact, have some limited stealth mechanics that allow for players to avoid the prying eyes of the NPC law enforcement. However, in practice, barely any players make use of these mechanics anyway. In a game where gaudy vehicle color schemes, eye-catching outfits, and neon fittings are prominent, hiding in plain sight is a skill unknown to many a player.
A significant change of pace, then, it would be to introduce an Adversary Mode dedicated to one such mechanic. Taking cues from the fantastic multiplayer modes of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, first introduced in Brotherhood, would be to drop players into arenas populated with several NPC clones of themselves with the task of finding the other players.
The basic concept is that the maps for this Mode would be comparatively small areas with a lot of cover. 4-8 players could join a match, which would be seeded with an equal number of NPCs who look exactly identical to the players for each of them. The NPCs decoys would behave as regular PEDs do, following pre-determined paths and reacting to violence based on pre-determined behaviors.
The goal of the game would be to blend in by behaving like an NPC yourself while trying to discover who the other players are. In this Mode, name tags wouldn’t be shown for obvious reasons. Knowing the GTA Online community, if the objective was to find and kill the other players, everyone would just grab their guns and mow down everyone they see, hoping to catch the players first.
To avoid this, the objective would rather be to “tag” characters who you think are the other players. Each contestant would only have a limited number of tags, the use of which would be shown with an animation that differs from those used by the NPCs. This way, you need to make sure you’re low-key when tagging lest a well-hidden opponent make note of the tell and tag you in turn.
Usually, GTA Online puts a whole lot of emphasis on destroying things. You need to blow up vehicles and each other in a multitude of modes in the name of success and wealth. What if an Adversary Mode were to flip that on its head as well?
Imagine a mode where 2-4 teams each have a base, with an unbuilt “monument” at its center. There would be a vast battlefield in between these bases, and in this wilderness, materials would be scattered. To progress with building your monument, team members need to collect materials and safely transport them back to your base.
If you see an opponent carrying materials, you can try to kill them and grab the resources for yourself to hinder their advances, or part of your team might lead an assault on an enemy base to damage their monument, thus reversing some of the progress made, while the others keep building yours. It would be a light version of a strategy game transplanted into GTA Online.
If another team is ahead of you, do you focus on collecting as many resources as possible, or do you attack in order to damage their own monument? Do you try and find resources in locations that fall out of sight, or do you go into the hot zone to kill your opponents and steal theirs?
Granted, this would likely be more complex than any previous Adversary Mode, and we do not know what limitations would prevent it from being made, but adding game modes which require greater amounts of strategy, planning and thought would be a welcome change of pace.
Adversary Modes, for all the flak they got in the past, are one of the most interesting and ostensibly exciting aspects of GTA Online. This is where the developers truly have an opportunity to flex their creative muscles and break out of GTA’s status quo, giving players some unique ways to play the game. If you have any Adversary Mode concept you’d like to see in the game, feel free to share in the comments.
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