Rockstar is tying up some of 2016’s loose ends with the much-anticipated announcement of the winners of the past year’s final two Snapmatic competitions, however there is still a Rockstar Editor Contest which is aching for a winner. In the meantime however, let’s be awed once again at how many skilled photographers play GTA Online.
Usually Rockstar organizes special Snapmatic competitions whenever a new DLC is released. For those of you new to the game, Snapmatic is the in-game name for a photo app found on the player character’s smartphone menu, allowing you to take screenshots and apply filters, in a way that’s similar to the real world’s Instagram application.
These competitions have become normalized, and always go down according to a formula. The task is always to represent the new content in the submissions, and there are always five winners who take home a total of 1 million GTA$ each. Since two competitions have been lumped together this time, we’ll be presenting 10 winning snaps.
Rockstar kicked off their own official announcement of the winners with the Import/Export entries, so we’re going to start out with the Festive Surprise winners instead. These snaps range from the serene to the chaotic, depicting what the holidays are like in GTA 5, as well as what the holidays are like in GTA 5.
First up, we have the shot titled Enchanting Forest by Vegarius1. The photo, taken in the woodlands of Raton Canyon subscribes to the more spiritual and mystic interpretation of Christmas, with a serene and otherworldly image. The “godrays”, the graphical effect of light shining through the canopy, definitely spices the picture up. Enchanting indeed.
Things take a rather sudden and dramatic turn with Basimatic’s “サンアンドレアス・アベニュー”, which mean San Andreas Avenue. The flaming supercar screams “GTA”, while the fireworks-launcher-toting angry Santa sending a rocket off to light up another vehicle (presumably) complete the festive feel. Of course Christmas in GTA will involve explosions, shoulder-mounted missiles and overprices automobiles.
This eerie shot by Bougazn perfectly highlights the creepy nature of those special light-up bodysuits added by the Festive Surprise update. Not unlike the Deadline outfits, these suits had a decorated-gingerbread-man vibe going on, however they were all pretty damn freaky when seen at night. This image of one such suit-wearing person emerging from the black water is more haunting than it is festive, but hey, we all interpret Christmas differently, right?
While the image of Santa flying through the sky on an old-fashioned sleigh being towed by magical reindeer is charming and nostalgic, this romanticized depiction of the old chap is likely outdated. With globalization and the rapid increase of the population, you can’t expect such archaic devices to suit his needs. One must upgrade and get with the times, as shown in Erin7696’s “Backup Sleigh II”, showing Santa getting a lift with a helicopter. That said, the pilot doesn’t look much like an elf, unless Santa has began to outsource work for cheaper labor. I bet he’s skirting taxes, too.
Doc Wurst shows us what likely goes on in the secret North Pole facility which serves as Santa’s HQ. Rumors that he wasn’t working alone, since it would be impossible for one man to cover the whole world in a single evening, are apparently true. Santa and his army of clones get a lot of free time, seeing as they work one day per year, so naturally their base of operations is outfitted with all kinds of entertainment services to prevent them from getting bored. Here, they are enjoying a ride on the rollercoaster in the picture titled “Del Perro Beach”.
Jumping over to Import/Export, the tonal shift is immediate and obvious. Gone are the homey trappings of the festive season we all know and love. The snow and Santa costumes are replaced by crisp suits, expensive cars and… a gorilla, for whatever reason. These following shots depict the Import/Export update as told by the players.
“Kongdon” by R1CHIEC is far out. Nothing quite screams “the illegal selling of expensive automobiles”… than a gorilla mask, a smoking jacket and an attack helicopter, apparently? Honestly, we’re not quite seeing how this snap is all about Import/Export, as those cars in the background are barely noticeable, but we’ll be damned if it isn’t a neat, over-the-top rendition of what all of GTA Online seems to feel like these days. I guess we’ll let it slide.
This next image immediately falls in line with the Import/Export theme much better than the previous, by giving us a much more stylish version of the image Rockstar itself used to promote the update during the official announcement back in 2016. The wedge-shaped special vehicle has become something of a mascot for Import/Export, and here it is seen in action, casually tossing a semi into the air (not shown: the wedge blowing up about half a mile later, because it can only ram 30 or so cars before totaling…).
One of the most loved of the special vehicles, in spite of its handicapped missile inventory, is the extremely versatile Ruiner 2000. Based on KITT, the high-tech AI spy car of Knight Rider fame, the vehicle has a ton of handy gadgets hidden under its stylish chassis. Here, we see a depiction of the life-saving parachutes in action with an awe-inspiring sunset as the backdrop.
“New Gear” by Nexus_Cat once again thrusts the BF Ramp Buggy into the spotlight in a stylish shot from the special vehicle warehouse, where these new rides are stored. The silhouette, the ominous light filtering in from the windows and the musty feeling lent to the shot by the dim, stuffy setting oozes atmosphere. Looking at it, you can almost smell what it would be like standing right there, nose filled with motor oil, tasting iron on your tongue due to the particles in the air. Damn neat.
Last up we have a… well, we have no bloody idea what this is, but hey, dinosaurs. In the desert. Somehow that’s Import/Export? If nothing else, the shot is damn trippy and more colorful than the past five years of Call of Duty combined. I guess this is what happens when you become right off exporting stolen cars and blow all your wealth on drugs. Just make sure you don’t drive while you’re high, since swerving to avoid that rainbow dragon crapping unicorns onto the road might rack up a high repair bill for your imported car.
There were also a set of special sweepstakes on the Social Club, allowing players to grab some physical merch. You didn’t need to actually do anything to enter the draws here, beyond have an active Social Club account. The winners of the GTA 5 prizes are DeadeyeCrow, todd_blackburn, jsu3275, HarleysJoker696 and GTAMAN56193.
Did you enter either of the Snapmatic competitions or the special GTA 5 sweepstakes? Do we have any of the winners among our readers?
What do you think? Sound off below!