So, I purchased GTA V a couple of weeks ago, and since I didn't have internet at home, I was unable to partake of their online offering, though I'd heard many tales about how good it was, how bad it was, and how many problems there were with what probably amounted to server overload.
Yesterday, I got my home internet turned back on.
I cannot even properly express how incredible GTA Online is.
That was easily the most fun I've ever had in a multiplayer environment, with Left 4 Dead a distant second place.
The online Los Santos is amazing, and there is so much to do. For the first time in a very long time, I lost track of time, and I didn't get to bed until almost 2 am. I regret nothing.
I only knew it was as late as it was because my significant other came out of the bedroom (she'd been asleep for several hours) and told me she was hungry. One quick trip to Jack in the Box, and I was back in the sandbox - but realizing that I was only going to get about 4 hours of sleep, I relented and put the game away.
Let me see if I can try to lay it out, realizing of course that I can't give this the proper emphasis to get across how insanely fun it all was.
First up was the character creation screen. A couple of adjustments and there was my character on a plane flying into Los Santos, to be greeted by Lamar (one of the lesser characters in the story mode). I created a female character, because why the hell not? My gamertag makes it obvious that I'm male, so it probably looked a little weird to a few folks, but who cares? I was playing a female protagonist in a GTA game! I might've enjoyed that a little more than I should have. Oh well. Onward.
Lamar took me to a street race - obviously a thinly veiled tutorial, but I came in 3rd, so it was cool. I did notice a lot more wrecking in the online world than in the story mode, but I think that's to be expected from human players when compared to AI NPC's.
After the street, Lamar got a call, and asked me and the person standing next to me if we were interested in a job. We both accepted, and we were on our first heist, holding up a liquor store. My partner in crime got gunned down by the cops because we took too long (I intimidated the store clerk by shooting the bottles behind him and he moved a lot faster to empty the register). As I tried to leave the store and get into my getaway car, another player came running up to my crime scene, and began shooting at me with the cops! I made quick work of him, but the police then killed me. I still managed to get a screen that stated I'd completed the mission, because I did manage to rob the store, even though I got killed trying to escape.
I then respawned, and followed Lamar's directions over my phone and GPS to an NPC that had another job for us - stealing drugs from a rival crew. My cohort and I accepted again, and made our way to what was obviously a drug deal going down, where we killed everyone then stole their drugs, and drove back to our employer.
After that, things got interesting. I was alerted that I was now able to choose missions for myself, and encouraged to explore the world. Which I promptly did. I noticed no lag, no loading problems, and I really did press the issue, trying out every option that I could think of. The quick job function on my phone worked great, I was able to accept invitations to missions from others I'd been playing with. I turned on the passive function so I wouldn't be killed, because people will gun you down, as is only right in a GTA game. I banked my money in an ATM, used part of the tutorial to claim a default car, and put insurance and a tracker on it. I played a survival with someone named ActorKurtRussell, and we managed to survive all 10 waves, for which I got an achievement. Somehow, I doubt he was really Kurt Russell. If it was, that guy is one hell of a gamer.
After all of this, the real bottom line is this:
I had a BLAST playing this game. I can't wait to play it again. If you take nothing else from this post, take that. Because you can take it all the way to the bank, in Los Santos.