With GTA Online’s July update, Rockstar has added a new mode that seems partially inspired by Battlegrounds, some new (and REALLY expensive) skins, and a super car.
In the new game mode, Dawn Raid, players are split into two teams who have to track down a supply crate and deliver it to a capture point. Like Battlegrounds, players fly into matches on helicopters, and scrounge the terrain for supplies. The maps are all set at night by default, so players are outfitted with night vision and thermal goggles. While these matches only take a few minutes, they feel more tactical than previous GTA Online adversary modes.
If players happen to die in Dawn Raid, they will respawn on the helicopter and jump out again. This simple mechanic turns this mode into something incredibly fun and tense. At one point during one of my matches, I was covering a teammate carrying the supplies, when a friend started firing above me. I looked up and saw two enemy players quickly gliding down, opening fire on me. As I took cover behind a rock, another enemy player tried to land behind me, except he came down too fast and died. As I laughed, I was shot in the head and killed.
Fortunately, dying in Dawn Raid isn’t frustrating: having the opportunity to jump out of the helicopter again means you get to decide where to land. Do you want to try and sneak up on someone? Or do you help teammates by picking off enemies from a vantage point? Spawning in via parachute and frantically looking for supplies while dodging hard-to-see players with sniper rifles reminded me of the incredibly popular Battlegrounds. Coincidence? Hard to say.
The new 4th of July update also adds some new weapon skins, but they are some of the most expensive items in the game. The last major update for GTA Online, Gunrunning, added “Mk.II” weapons upgrades, and to celebrate the 4th of July, Rockstar added American flag skins for those weapons. At first, the cost might not seem like much: each of the new American flag skins cost $95,000. Or at least it seems like they only cost that much. There are hidden costs.
Before you can buy these new skins, you need to spend $73,750 or more upgrading a weapon into the new Mk.II version. And before you can do that, you need a mobile operations center with a weapon workshop. These large and heavily-armored mobile command bases aren’t cheap. Total cost for the basic MoC with weapon workshop will set you back $2,470,000. But before you can even buy that huge mobile base you will need a decommissioned military bunker. The cheapest one is all the way up north in Paleto Bay and it costs $1,165,000. Buying a bunker requires you to be VIP, CEO or Biker Leader. The cheapest of these options is becoming a VIP, which only requires players to have $50,000 in their bank account.
So once you have become a VIP or CEO, bought a bunker, bought a mobile operations center, upgraded that mobile center to have a weapon workshop, then upgrade a weapon to Mk.II the total cost of that “$95,000" skin is actually $3,848,750, at least the first time around. If you don’t want to grind for that cash, it would cost you $60 in Shark Cards to purchase everything needed to buy one of these new skins.
By contrast, The Dewbauchee Vagner, the new car added this week, costs only costs $1.5 million to purchase. You could buy two fancy cars with the money it would take to get an American flag on your gun.
For the players who have already bought everything in the Gunrunning update, another $95,000 isn’t going to be much to them. Still, the price tags attached to new GTA Online items continues to be kinda silly.
Expensive weapon skin aside, the new Dawn Raid mode is fantastic. Given that the game is paying out double XP until July 10th, now is a great time to jump back into GTA Online.
Zach Zwiezen is a a writer living in Kansas City, Missouri. He has written for Gamecritics, Killscreen and Entertainment Fuse.