GTA Online’s Freemode update tries to make Los Santos Fun again

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I was disappointed with GTA Online. Though I knew the online bit of the game could never live up to the trailer that preceded it, I thought that GTA Online would bring, as its name suggested, Grand Theft Auto’s great, expansive living and breathing worlds online, creating a sort of hybridised crime MMO – a little like what we were promised (but never given) with APB.

Its freeform, online activities were not quite as dynamic as I’d hoped, really. That changes a bit with the newest update to the game, which as we’ve told you already, adds a number of new things for you to do in Los Santos. GTA Online has received that massive Freemode update that seems like it’ll make running around the digital city fun again – and won’t pester you with lobbies and the humdrum of sitting about waiting. It’s live, and available, and here’s what it adds:

  • Hunt the Beast
    Become the Beast – a stronger, faster (and hairier) version of your character – and flee relentless pursuers all over Los Santos and Blaine County.
  • King of the Castle
    An every man for himself turf war where you’ll need to ascend and claim the designated ‘castle’ as your territory – and then fend off everyone else as they go all out to dethrone you.
  • Hot Property
    Grab the briefcase and go! Jump into a car, bike, boat, motorcycle, P-996 Lazer or just run for the hills with the coveted contraband in hand. Be one of the three players who hold the briefcase the longest to score GTA$ and RP bonuses.
  • Moving Target
    The first player to enter a marked vehicle will become the Moving Target, tasked with safely delivering the vehicle to a designated location. While the marked vehicles will be durable, it’ll take some serious elusive finesse to survive other players’ attempts to destroy you before the drop point.
  • Checkpoint Challenge
    Compete with all your Freemode competitors in a mad dash across southern San Andreas. Who will be the first to race or fly through all the designated checkpoints for fame, fortune and reputation.
  • Kill List and Kill List Competitive
    Take control of some of heavy artillery and duke it out with the mercenaries from Merryweather Security. Rack up GTA$ and RP for each kill.
  • Dead Drop
    Fight for possession of valuable contraband and see if you can make the drop first in this ruthless smuggler’s run.
  • Penned In
    When you see the enormous dome appear over the Los Santos skyline, jump into the closest ride and find your way into it before the timer starts. Then, stay within the dome as it begins to move and shrink, smashing and bashing rivals out. Those who are left out of the dome for more than 7 seconds will explode. See if you can be the sole survivor at the very end.
  • Criminal Damage
    Whet your appetite for destruction with all-you-can-eat buffet. Get strapped with a favorite piece of heavy artillery and let loose over a given time period with no wanted level in sight. Wanton destruction is rewarded with every bullet hole and blast. The player with the largest property damage bill who causes the most destruction will win.
  • Hold the Wheel
    A Sanchez, a Golf Cart or another otherwise humble mode of transport is made into an indestructible marked vehicle. Take command of it and avoid all the other jackers and assailants in your session to be the one behind the driver’s seat when time runs out. Try and go for it solo to keep the entire GTA$ award for yourself, or shrewdly partner up with a gunner to ride with you for protection and split the earnings.
  • Time Trial
    Record the fastest time possible, with a new course to master every week that awards you GTA$ and RP for beating our target time or your own personal best – and a championship worthy haul if you can take down the World Record.
  • Freemode Challenges
    Compete in 19 unique Challenges against your Freemode friends and foes. See who can perform the longest jump, who can drive the farthest without crashing, who can fall the longest distance without dying, who can freefall the farthest before pulling their ‘chute – and many other ways to risk your neck to try and be a top 3 finisher for GTA$ and RP rewards. New Adversary Mode Jobs have been added to GTA Online which unlock at Rank 12.
  • Hunting Pack
    You’re part of a team tasked to deliver a priority vehicle rigged to explode if it drops below a minimum speed, while your opponents race, ram and batter to take it down.
  • Cross the Line
    Heavily-armed squads face off across a neutral zone – with the goal of having all team members strategically penetrate their opponents territory to claim victory.

Says Rockstar:

One of these events can kick off at any given moment while in Freemode, and you can customize your session to decide exactly which ones will happen – so you can play as much or as little of this new content as you like. With countless variations on each Freemode Event, there are tons of unique new experiences, each offering new opportunities for reaping GTA$ and RP in GTA Online.

I’ve not given it a bash yet, because I’m still sneaking about and trying to Fulton everything that moves, but it certainly seems like the update adds just enough to make GTA Online fun again. Have you played it? Is it worth going back to Los Santos for?

Last Updated: September 16, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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